New Year’s Eve Charcuterie Board

Happy New Year, everyone! Wow!! Celebrating the end of 2020 has brought the world together; we can shed the weight of the number 2020 and look toward the brightness ahead. I have a perfect way to celebrate the end of this year: a New Year’s Eve Charcuterie Board. I love this idea because you can assemble it early and snack all night – which is my favorite way to eat. A homemade olive mix serves as the centerpiece in this arrangement, but every layer of this board plays a special role.

complete charcuterie board

We have salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter; soft, smooth, crunchy, crispy, and chewy. All the flavors and textures are here, with endless combinations to excite and satisfy your palette. And, at the end of this year, we can all use a bit of satisfaction, right?!

Marinated Olive Mix

Let’s start with the olive mix because we need to let that marinate while we construct the board. Ideally it could sit in the fridge overnight, but an hour or two will be fine.

At least two types of olives work best for this. I have Chalkidiki and Kalamata olives with few stragglers left in jars in the fridge: green olives with pimientos and Spanish Manzanilla olives. We will smash the olives or at least break them in half, ending up with about 2 cups of olives.

Slice a quarter of a red onion (or half, if you have a small one) into strips. Peel 5 or 6 garlic cloves and leave them whole. Juice about 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice and zest about half of that lemon. We have fresh Rosemary sprigs, Thyme sprigs, and we will finely chop the parsley. Combine all of that with one cup of good olive oil. And then, this is optional, but I added two tablespoons of dry sherry. A couple tablespoons of Gin would be good too!

marinated olive mix

Give it a good stir and cover to let sit while we get to work on the board. I like this one-quart Cambro because the lid fits tightly and I can just give the whole mix a good shake every 10 minutes or so.

The Cheese

We definitely want to start with the cheese. Cheese needs to come up to room temperature before serving. You want the creamy textures to be creamy, which they will not be when they’re cold. We can also taste things better when they’re not cold; the distinctive flavors of specific cheeses will be easier to taste when they’re at room temperature.

charcuterie board with cheese

It’s good to have a variety of cheeses that range from soft to hard. I typically go heavier on the hard and semi-hard cheeses, usually only featuring one or two super soft cheeses. Today, I went for broke with a Brie (because, well…2020). But, I often go for a Chevre with herbs. Elsewhere on the board, I have Manchego, a truffle cheese, a Comté cheese and a red wine-drunken goat cheese.

Since the olives are the centerpiece, I arranged the cheese wedges like a sun, radiating out from the olive bowl, with the wheel of Brie off to the side. This arrangement can work on a large square or rectangle board, as well.

The Meat

Go for whatever meats you like! Salami and Prosciutto are easy choices. There are variations to those two that are quite nice too. The cheese wedges have set the shape of the board, so now we just fill in with meat. The triangular shapes created by the cheese are perfect spots for the sliced meats.

new year's eve charcuterie board with meat and cheese

I have Prosciutto, Spanish Jamón Serrano (similar texturally to Prosciutto, but with salty cured flavor) and Calabrese Salami (which is a spicy salami). Also, we have Kielbasa and Smoked Chicken Liver Pâté, which I topped with fig jam. Take each slice of meat and create a little roll or bunch it up and place it so that one doesn’t have to fiddle with separating each slice.

The Fruit

Now that we have our foundation set with the meat and cheese, we can fill in with seasonal fruits. Tomatoes are a nice palette cleanser, their burst of acidic juiciness is a welcome refreshment. Plus, cherry tomatoes are bitesize and pretty decent even in winter. Go for a combination of different cherry tomatoes for color and flavor variety.

charcuterie board with meat and cheese

For the other fruits, I wanted go with winter fruits, so instead of grapes (which always go well), I chose mandarines, persimmons and red pears. I quartered the mandarines and sliced the persimmons and pears.

charcuterie board with cheese, meat and fruit

With the fruits in place, now we just fill in the blank spots with snacky things like nuts and dried fruits. I have plain pecans, spicy sweet candied pecans, salty Marcona almonds and dried apricots. It’s nice too, to have a little dish or two of mustard, jam or honey. I have a spicy sweet pepper jam, which I placed near the Kielbasa.

charcuterie board without olives

Et Voilà

We finish with the strained olive mix in the center and the crackers and bread. I always like to have a wide variety of crackers and some sliced sourdough baguette.

complete new year's eve charcuterie board

I can’t tell you how happy I am about a cheeseboard. The creativity; thinking about the flavor combinations; coming up with interesting ways to arrange it….it just really captures my favorite parts about food. Endless combinations, all the textures and flavors to play with – it’s just very satisfying. A perfect way to end 2020.

New Year’s Eve Charcuterie Board

New Year's Eve Charcuterie Board Gif

Do you love charcuterie boards as much as I do? Are you making a New Year’s Eve Charcuterie Board tonight? Let me know in the comments. Also, let me know what your plans are for tonight, and what you’re looking forward to in the new year. Reach out to me on Instagram, facebook or Pinterest. Want a perfect New Year’s Day Breakfast? Check out my Perfect Breakfast Sandwich.

Happy new year, everyone!

I want to take a minute to say just how thankful I am for your support and for being a part of this blog. I jumped into this new season of my life with both feet and your interest, support and love have not only warmed my heart, but helped me see that dreams can become reality. Thank you! xo Kelly

Marinated Olive Mix

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Appetizer American
By Kelly Djalali Serves: Makes 2 Cups
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: At least 1 Hour Marinate Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Onions, olives, lemon zest and fresh herbs give this homemade marinated olive mix a fresh touch. Easily customizable and perfect for any occasion.


  • 2 cups Mixed olives, smashed or broken up
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Red Onion, Sliced into strips
  • 3-5 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 8-10 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 5-8 Stems of Flat Leaf or Curly Parsley
  • 3-5 Fresh Garlic, Peeled
  • 2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp. Dry Sherry or Gin (optional)



Smash and break up the olives.


Slice the red onion into strips.


Finely chop the parsley.


Juice and zest the lemon.


Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl or 1-qt. Cambro and give it a good stir.


Cover and let sit for at least one hour, give it a stir or a shake every 10-20 minutes.


To serve, strain the olive mix and save the oil for another use.

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  • Angela Grafe
    December 31, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Dear Kelly, Happy New Year!
    What a surprise —- I just prepared similar board for tonight, only added italian bread, made by myself.
    Frohes Neues Jahr! Gesundheit und Frieden – Angela

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 9:18 am

      Frohes neues Jahr, Angela! I bet you have a wonderful selection of German meats for your board! Ich wünsche Ihnen Gesundheit und Glück im neuen Jahr! xo Kelly

  • Mary
    December 31, 2020 at 10:08 am

    What a beautiful board! Having a quiet New Years Eve this year, hadn’t thought about doing a Charcuterie Board but I have enough ingredients to make a small one for us. Planning to try a new cocktail with bourbon, orange liqueur, bitters and sparking wine.
    Happy New Year, here’s hoping 2021 is better for all of us.

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 10:46 am

      Hi Mary, Well that sounds like a lovely New Year’s Eve! That cocktail sounds delicious too! We all know that the world will not all of a sudden be different at the stroke of midnight tonight, but I do have hope that we can all walk into 2021 with a more hopeful and positive outlook. Thank you so much for writing in to share your plans for tonight, I wish you a very happy New Year! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    December 31, 2020 at 11:08 am

    This looks amazing I’m going to make the when we have your brother and sister and their families over in January .. happy new year to you and Alex ???? ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Sounds great Mom! Happy New Year to you and Grandma! xo Kelly

  • Carolyn
    December 31, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Lovely board. Although there are hundreds on the internet, no one ever finishes the recipe with how to serve. Do you prefer plates, napkins, fingers? Would you include cocktail tongs, forks, spoons? Even without Covid, it seems people have different standards for digging in which makes others not want to dig in. Are more utensils a tactile sign that no fingers would be appreciated? I have enjoyed your creative posts. Happy New Year!

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Carolyn! When I put together a board for just Alex and myself, I just have the cheese knives and we use our fingers. I usually just leave it out on the counter or island and we come and go. If I am having other people over, I put out appetizer plates with cloth napkins; I have small forks and spoons I put out for picking up the different meats and cheese. I also will put out cocktail picks for spearing a cheese or sausage slice. Before Covid, when I would put utensils out for each thing, most people would still use their fingers. I think nowadays though, people are more cautious and less likely to use their fingers – if there are adequate utensils. You can lead people to using the utensils by pre-slicing some of the cheese and actually sticking the cheese and meat slices with a toothpick, or place toothpicks on the plates, as a prompt to use them. Thanks so much for writing in, you are so right about not seeing the serving situation! I hope that answers your question, though. Happy New Year! xo Kelly

  • Elisa
    December 31, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you Kelly for such a beautiful suggestion to end the year. Your posts are so fun to read, with great instructions. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Elisa, Thank you! I am so happy you enjoy reading my posts and recipes. Happy New Year to you and yours! xo Kelly

  • Kathy L Davis
    December 31, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I love charcuterie boards. I love the way you put yours together and I had never thought of the olive mix. What a great ideal. Thanks. Happy New Year!

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 31, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Hello Kathy, the olive mix is really tasty. I had to keep Alex from eating it like a salad! It’s fun because you can really mix it up with whatever you like. Happy New Year, and thank you for stopping by today! xo Kelly

  • Susan Vallee
    January 1, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Kelly, the charcuterie board is beautiful! Will definitely try it for my next party – whenever that will ever be! The marinated olives sound great!

    • Kelly Djalali
      January 1, 2021 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Susan! No party needed, just snack on that all day! That’s how we do it. Thank you for stopping by today, I love to hear from y’all! Happy New Year to you, xo Kelly