Or make one to snack on while the turkey is in the oven!

By Emily VanSchmus
November 13, 2020
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If you’re planning to downsize your Thanksgiving gathering, you may be wondering whether to make something in place of a large roasted turkey. Here's an Instagram food trend to consider: Thanksgiving charcuterie boards, and we can’t wait to make our own.

If you’re celebrating with just the people in your household, a big grazing board can absolutely replace the big traditional dinner this year. Even if you are planning a classic turkey dinner, you’ll probably need something to munch on while you cook all day, and these Thanksgiving-themed boards won't disappoint.

With two weeks to go before Thanksgiving, more than 350 posts were tagged #thanksgivingcharcuterie on Instagram. Google Trends also showed searches for Thanksgiving charcuterie were up 450% since 2018, so it seems we're not the only ones intrigued by these delectable holiday displays. 

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite images to help inspire your own holiday snacking. Follow these steps to build your own charcuterie board, and borrow inspiration from these gorgeous photos to give your board a festive Thanksgiving vibe. 

We're always thankful for a good cheese tray, and this board from With Love and Brie has it all. It's got the traditional meats and cheeses, but it's topped with tasty treats like golden berries and kumquats, and even a cinnamon and maple syrup whipped goat cheese that has our mouths watering. To make your board extra festive, use miniature alphabet cookie cutters ($10, Amazon) to cut a word or phrase out of cheese.

There's no wrong way to make a holiday grazing board: Our favorite method is to pile it with as many of our favorite goodies as possible. We love the way Ashley from Sorrenteaux Boards added some festive flair by carving fall leaf shapes into her cheese. To get the look, use a set of leaf-shaped cookie cutters ($8, Amazon).

Move over, roast turkey! This adorable charcuterie board is the only bird we'll be eating this Thanksgiving. Not only is it much easier to prepare than a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, it's the perfect alternative for a small-scale celebration. To make your own, layer cheese, fruit and crackers on top of a round wood board ($12, Amazon) in color-coordinating rows to mimic the feathers of a turkey.

Set this year's holiday board apart by sticking to a theme. We love the way Meg Quinn from Ain’t Too Proud To Meg carried a fall leaf theme throughout her board by pairing leaf-shaped chips, cookies, and cheese cutouts with her meats and fruits. And the addition of chocolate turkeys takes the board from fall to Thanksgiving in one quick step. To see all of the ingredients she used on her board and learn how to make a perfect brie cutout, check out the post on her website.

If you're celebrating with just a few people, you may not feel like making multiple full-size pies this Thanksgiving. You can still get your pie fix this season with this genius idea from Amy of A Little Love Designs. She put together a pie-themed dessert board topped with mouthwatering mini pies, so you can snack your way through the dessert table without having a dozen pieces of pie leftover. With the addition of pretty fruits and florals, this might just be one of the most beautiful dessert spreads we've seen.

You don't need to become a master baker to really wow your family this Thanksgiving. Take a few tips from Eden Passante of Sugar and Charm, who created a gorgeous Thanksgiving appetizer spread atop a round serving board. To find out exactly what ingredients she included on the board, check out her blog post with all the details.

If making and filling a real cornucopia feels like too much work for your small family Thanksgiving celebration, why not make a small-scale display on top of a serving board? Maegan Brown of The Baker Mama is the queen of charcuterie boards, and her Thanksgiving-inspired cornucopia (made from chips, pretzels, and crackers) is the perfect way to deck out a traditional meat and cheese board. Once you've finished laying everything out, add a few pretty cheese knives and serving utensils ($12, Amazon) for low-touch helpings.

Brooke Dunigan's Thanksgiving creation is almost too pretty to eat! She paired the typical fruit, cheese, meat and crackers with festive elements like leaf-shaped cookies, mini pumpkins, and an edible, ''Give thanks.' With its bright red fruits and green rosemary sprigs, you could recreate this design again at Christmas—with an updated holiday phrase, of course.

Thanksgiving is the season to reflect on what we're grateful for, and a gorgeous grazing board would definitely make the list this season! Arranged atop The Giving Board ($30, Love Paper Creations), this spread of orange, red, and yellow snacks has us in the Thanksgiving spirit already.

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