Today I’m sharing a fun twist on a classic favorite … DIY Charcuterie Cups! It’s really the perfect way to entertain (and even celebrate!) outdoors without sharing food or having to gather around the same appetizer platters. I did not invent the idea—it’s been all over the internet since the pandemic started—but I’m excited to share my own version in today’s new post (details down below!).
50th Anniversary Celebration for My Parents
It all started when my brother and I decided we absolutely had to do something to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary this year! They live down in Florida and have both been fully vaccinated (woohoo!). So we decided that if this celebration was going to happen in the lovely winter month of February, Florida was absolutely the best place to do it. Bring on the sunshine and warm weather!
So, my parents knew we were coming down with our families, but they didn’t know exactly what we had in store. We just told them to be dressed up and ready by 4:30 on Saturday. We had an upscale sunset beach picnic planned complete with a live steel drummer, champagne, and some yummy snacks, of course! We were so lucky to have a super beautiful evening with absolutely perfect weather.
Video of the Scene
The little Charcuterie cups (along with crackers that we also had available) were the perfect thing to serve as we all sat down in our seats and enjoyed the live music and the sunset. And, funny story, I was so busy finishing up the cheese balls and glazing the nuts (at the bottom of the cups) that my 13-year-old literally assembled all of the charcuterie cups 100% by herself! She did such a good job; I swear she’s a little food stylist in the making, and I’m so lucky to have her!
What We Put in the Charcuterie Cups
Here’s what we put in the cups (most of the food was purchased locally at Trader Joe’s)…
- Mini cheese balls
Recipe is down below.
- Mini brie bites
These were at Trader Joe’s, but I’ve seen them at other grocery stores as well.
- Slices of Manchego
One block went a long way!
- Mini cheese balls
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cornichons (i.e. baby pickles)
Olives would be a good choice, too!
- Dried apricots
Both folded over accordion-style on the toothpicks.
- Tall breadstick
I could not find a 100% whole-grain breadstick, but you could make them yourself. The ones from Trader Joe’s were at least a cleanish version without junky additives.
This was purely for garnish, although one of my children—I’m not naming names—did actually eat hers (random), LOL.
- Glazed nuts
These were placed at the very bottom of the cup, I used the recipe from my first 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. Any roasted nuts would be a good substitute.
We offered a variety of options on the side.
- Tall breadstick
- Paper cups
I found our particular cups on Amazon but also saw similar cups advertised for wedding confetti.
It was harder than I would’ve thought to find nice long toothpicks to stick out of the cups. I ended up getting mine at Total Wine & More, but saw them for sale in larger quantities on Amazon.
- Stickers (optional)
We used our Cricut to make and cut out our stickers, but you could absolutely hand write your message on any blank sticker you can find!
- Paper cups
Recipe for the Mini Cheese Balls
Here’s how we made the mini cheese balls for the charcuterie cups. I actually made them in advance at home, froze them, and pulled them out of the freezer just before traveling. They went straight into the fridge when we got there, and I waited to roll them in the crushed nuts just before serving. It worked out perfectly (and it was nice to have one less thing to do/make once we got there)!
Mini Cheese Balls (for DIY Charcuterie Cups)
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 green onion chopped (white and green parts)
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or similar)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup crushed nuts for outside coating (I used pistachios, measurement is approximate)
- Combine all ingredients except the crushed nuts in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Use a tablespoon-sized scooper to roll the cheese mixture into equal-sized balls.
- Freeze or store in the fridge for up to three days (I made mine in advance and pulled them out of the freezer before traveling). Just before serving, roll the cheese balls around in the crushed nuts until evenly coated.
I hope this gives you some ideas for a fun outdoor celebration that you can have this spring or summer (even if you aren’t at the beach)! Instead of continuing to cancel everything for another year, we’ve just got to get creative. Here are my parents with their four grandkids just as the sun was setting. It’s safe to say it was a very successful celebration, and I’m so glad it all worked out as planned! :)