Move over, gingerbread!

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Decorating gingerbread houses is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This year I decorated haunted cookie houses at Halloween and am planning a traditional gingerbread house for Christmas, but now I've added another kind of house to my holiday to-do list. Charcuterie houses are the newest holiday food trend you'll want to try ASAP. Yes, you read that right: The latest holiday food trend involves swapping out gingerbread, icing, and candy for cold cuts, cheese cubes, and fresh veggies. 

This tasty trend takes things to a whole new level. Charcuterie chalets (as folks online are calling them) aren’t totally new, but we’re starting to see more of them as we get closer to Christmas—perhaps because people are still spending a lot of time at home and looking for new holiday traditions to start this year.

To make your own charcuterie house, take inspiration from some of the most creative versions on Instagram. The first step is finding a surface to build your house on. We recommend using a traditional charcuterie board or tray. We love the way this one is styled on a tray with a wide rim ($21, Target), which allows the whole scene to be covered in grated parmesan “snow” without creating a huge mess.

Next, build your structure. You can construct the walls from crackers, pretzels, or any other sturdy snack material. If food engineering isn’t your strong suit, you could also purchase an inexpensive gingerbread house kit ($10, Target) and cover it with your charcuterie supplies rather than frosting and candy—just be sure to let your family know so they don’t get a bite of both gingerbread and prosciutto. (And be sure to keep the candy and icing included in the kit for your Christmas sugar cookies!)

Once you’ve chosen a structure, cover the house with all your favorite charcuterie ingredients: Crackers, cheese, meat, and veggies are a few of our favorite options. If your board uses meat and cheese, be sure to keep the entire house chilled until you’re ready to serve it. If you don’t eat it all at once, cover the house and put it back in the fridge right away. Who knows, this may just become your new favorite holiday tradition

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