Charcuterie Skewers are a fun twist on charcuterie boards, are simple to prepare and even easier to serve and eat. These appetizer skewers will pair beautifully with your favorite holiday appetizers at your next party or gathering.
The holiday season is right around the corner and you are probably already planning to host or attend a few parties or gatherings. When I'm looking for a Thanksgiving appetizer or Christmas appetizer, I look for something that's colorful, flavorful and easy to make. Charcuterie on a stick hits the mark.
What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie boards are all the rage and are popping up at parties and on restaurant menus. Charcuterie is perfect as a holiday appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas Parties, New Year's Eve or any event. Large boards are covered with various meats, cheeses, pickles, olives, veggies, dried or fresh fruits, nuts, spreads and crackers. Guests can graze the board, selecting items they want and placing them onto small plates or napkins. Traditional boards contain meat but I also make a Vegan grazing board which is great for vegetarian guests. During holiday season, I put toegther a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board as it's fun to serve at a party.
Charcuterie kabobs or skewers are similarly loaded with meat and cheese but are easier to serve and eat. Guests get a sampling of cheese, meat, olives and pickles for a wonderful balance of savory and salty, creamy and crunchy. Charcuterie skewers are an affordable alternative to massive boards because it is easier to control portion sizes for each guest. And who wouldn't love meat and cheese on a stick?
If you like serving appetizer skewers you might also like these:
- Greek Shrimp Skewers – Succulent shrimp, feta cheese and cucumber slices are tasty and easy to assemble in advance.
- Strawberry Basil Feta Skewers – This sweet and herby skewer comes together quickly and pairs well with sangria or a cocktail.
- Pesto Tortellini Skewers – These skewer appetizers are perfect to bring to a party because they travel exceptionally well.
- Mini Pesto Caprese Salad Skewers - If you like tomatoes, these are an excellent appetizer.
- Cheese - Choose your favorite block-style cheeses and cut them into cubes.
- Meat – We use salami or pepperoni but you can use any type of deli meat.
- Olives – Use a combination of black and green olives or stick with your favorite.
- Pickles – Sweet or spicy pickles both work. Select small pickles or cut larger pickles into bite-sized pieces.
- Roasted Red Pepper – Roasted peppers are available in a jar or you can make your own.
- Herbs – Fresh herbs are optional but make a flavorful and aromatic garnish.
- Balsamic Glaze – Drizzle with balsamic glaze for additional flavor.
See recipe card below for more detailed quantities and instructions.
How to Make Charcuterie Skewers
- Thread one of each of the ingredients onto a bamboo skewer.
- Repeat until you have made 12 skewers.
- Garnish with herbs and drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.
- Serve on a platter for a simple and tasty crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Hint: It's easy to double, triple or even quadruple this charcuterie appetizer skewers recipe based on the number of guests you are expecting.
The best thing about this crowd-pleasing appetizer is that it is so easy to customize. Here are some suggestions:
- Use different cheeses and meats. Have fun and make different types of skewers using different colored cheeses or various flavors of meats. Block cheese works best along with sliced deli meats which can be cut and folded to easily fit on the skewers.
- Prepare diet-friendly skewers. Use gluten-free ingredients, make some without meat or cheese for a vegetarian skewer, or leave the cheese out for those with dairy allergies.
- Use holiday garnishes. Use fresh rosemary in place of skewers for a piney, holiday flavor. You can also drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic glaze to fancy them up a bit.
- Add more flavor. Swap out and add ingredients for flavor and color. Suggestions include stuffed olives, dried cranberries, marinated beans, artichokes, marinated mushrooms and more.
Tips for Making Charcuterie Kabobs
- Cut cheese and veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- If necessary, fold the meat in half or quarters so it doesn't hang off the skewers.
- Use a variety of colors when choosing ingredients.
- Use disposable bamboo skewers so guests can just toss them and don't feel like they have to keep up with reusable skewers. I use these 4-inch bamboo skewers for this recipe.
Serving charcuterie skewers as a simple appetizer along with a variety of other finger foods (see list below) at a holiday gathering is a no-brainer, but the fun doesn't stop there. These appetizer skewers are perfect for picnics, lunch boxes or afterschool snacks. Make a lovely light dinner with skewers and a salad. Or pair them with one or more of the following appetizers:
- Crispy Oven Fried Zucchini Chips
- Old Bay Shrimp
- Pimento Cheese with Smoked Gouda
- Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip
Prep/ Leftovers and Storage
Charcuterie skewers are perfect for making in advance. Prep the skewers and cover them with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving.
Store the leftovers in a similar fashion in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Leftover charcuterie kabobs make a great snack. You can also strip the skewers and use the leftover ingredients to add to salads.
When it comes to Charcuterie Skewers, this recipe is really meant to be a method than something followed to the letter. Don't be afraid to change up the ingredients to give your appetizers a unique twist.
Bamboo skewers are often found in grocery stores near the party supplies. They are also available in specialty kitchen stores or online at Amazon or other retailers. If you can't find bamboo skewers you can use toothpicks or plastic cocktail picks. These are the 4- inch skewers I use for this recipe.
Charcuterie is a French term that means "pork butcher." Although it literally refers to the meat, it has colloquially come to include cheese, nuts, crackers, dips and more.
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- 12 bamboo skewers
- 24 cubes cheese
- 12 small slices of salami or pepperoni (folded)
- 12 olives or pickles (small ones or cut in pieces)
- 12 pieces of roasted red pepper
- herbs and balsamic glaze, optional
- Take a skewer and thread cheese, salami, olives, peppers and another piece of cheese so that skewer is full. Repeat with all ingredients to make 12 skewers. Garnish with herbs or balsamic glaze if desired.