Full of Southern nibbles like pickled okra, pimento cheese, and candied pecans, the Southern Appetizer Board is where it's at! Think along the lines of a charcuterie board, only nothing but southern food is allowed.
This thing is crazy easy to put together and requires no cooking. But the best part? We have incorporated all the flavors and textures you could ask for. Salty, sweet, fresh, savory, creamy, and crunchy, and all of it with a southern spin!
This is perfect for hosting at home. Whether it's an appetizer before the main course, part of a finger food line up at a shower, or just there to accompany the wine at ladies' night, your guests will be thrilled when you set this in front of them.
WHAT GOES ON A SOUTHERN APPETIZER BOARD
Before you can assemble your southern appetizer board, you'll first have to decide what you're going to put on it!
The items listed below are merely a suggestion, so feel free to get as creative as you'd like when it comes to assembling your appetizer masterpiece! We started with a fun combination of cheeses and meats that carry with them a certain Southern heir.
- Pimento Cheese | Pimento cheese (also spelled Pimiento cheese) is a Southern institution and an absolutely perfect addition to any Southern appetizer platter. While store-bought pimento cheeses are wonderful, I highly suggest you try whipping up your own homemade pimento cheese. It takes all of 10 minutes and is well worth every single one of them! Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like yours with a little kick!
- Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese | Pepper jelly cream cheese can be found at just about any holiday party in the south. However, as quick and easy as this appetizer staple is, there's absolutely no reason to wait for special occasions to pull it out.
- Summer Sausage | We didn't feel right loading the board down with Italian cured meats and calling it Southern Appetizer Board. Therefore, our protein of choice could be none other than American-made summer sausage.
- Bread and Butter Pickles | Bread and butter pickles are sweet, mildly tart, and ideal for adding brightness and crunch to your appetizer board.
- Pickled Okra | Pickled okra is a Southern favorite, but if you aren't a fan, pickled green beans make for an excellent substitution.
- Candied Pecans | nuts are always a welcomed addition to charcuterie boards. In the case of a southern charcuterie board, no nut could be more appropriate than the southern grown pecan. Especially when you serve it candied.
Above are items we consider indicatively Southern, but feel free to get creative with fresh fruit, nuts, cheeses, and crackers. Let this charcuterie board be a creative outlet for your culinary heart!
If there is a suggested food item you don't care for, simply remove it and sub in something you'd prefer. For example, if you aren't a fan of the pepper jelly cream cheese sub in a block of soft cheese, like perhaps a blue cheese with a drizzle of honey and a topping of chopped dried fruit!
And of course, if you'd like to take this appetizer to the next level, deviled eggs couldn't possibly hurt.
ASSEMBLING YOUR SOUTHERN APPETIZER BOARD
It helps to think about food pairings that are going to make for the very best bites. Once you have an idea of which nibbles are ideal together, you can better map out your board.
Board placement is nothing to fret over or even spend a great deal of time on. Remember, this Southern appetizer board was designed for a low-key good time, both while making it and enjoying it amongst family and friends.
This board is a fun mix of both sweet and savory items. However, I think it is important when assembling a charcuterie board that the elements butting up against one another can be pleasantly consumed even if they so happen to touch.
So what does this mean? Well, it makes more sense to put sweet items like Georgia peaches near the pepper jelly cream cheese rather than neighboring them with the summer sausage.
For spreads or dips that require crackers or dipping vessels to consume them, it makes sense to have those items nestled near them. Proximity can serve as a sort of a guide for your guests when it comes to large appetizer boards.
For example, Ritz crackers are perfectly placed next to the pepper jelly cream cheese. These two are a quintessential pairing and are meant to be eaten together. The same goes for the celery sticks, sliced cucumber, and saltine crackers being placed alongside the pimento cheese.
Another rule of thumb to help you along with the assembly of your southern appetizer board is to place the heaviest items down first.
Keep in mind that "heavy" items on a charcuterie board don't come down to just the largest individual items. Heavy items can actually be very small items housed in a condiment bowl. The condiment bowl itself is heavy-looking and should therefore go down before stand-alone light and airy items such as crackers, berries, and the like.
To assemble your southern appetizer board, place any whole box of cheeses you are using, condiment bowls housing spreads or smaller items, and large groupings of meats and cheeses down first. Then, fill in with sliced fruits, vegetables, and crackers.
Once you've got everything in place, all that's left is to serve and enjoy!
6 MORE SOUTHERN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Crockpot BBQ Meatballs
- Bacon-Wrapped Smokies
- Texas Trash
- Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Summer Sausage Cheese Platter
The Southern Appetizer Board is an amazing mix of all the textures and flavors with a distinctly southern flair!
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pepper jelly
- ⅓ cup candied jalapenos
- 1 cup pimiento cheese
- 1 cup pickled okra
- 1 cup jalapeno stuffed olives
- 1 cup bread and butter pickles
- ½ cup candied pecans
- 1 /2 package (about 8-ounces) summer sausage thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Pepperjack cheese
- 1 ½ cup salted, roasted peanuts
- ½ cucumber, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, cut into sticks
- 2 peaches, sliced
- 1 cup fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
- 1 sleeve Saltine crackers
The items listed above are merely a suggestion. Feel free to get as creative as you like when it comes to adding to your Southern Appetizer Board.
Have ready a large, round or rectangular serving board or cutting board.
Position the cream cheese on the board and top with pepper jelly and candied jalapenos.
Place the pimento cheese, okra, olives, pickles, and pecans in small bowls or jars and place them on the board.
Add the summer sausage, jack cheese, sliced vegetables and fruit.
Fill in empty spaces with crackers and boiled peanuts, and serve!