30 Festive Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Ideas

30 Festive Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Ideas

These beautiful fall and Thanksgiving charcuterie boards are sure to make an impression at holiday parties! With meats, cheeses, and a few outside-the-box boards, you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

Charcuterie Boards for Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving day and you have hungry guests arriving at your house well before the meal will be ready. If you don’t want to cook even more than you already are, a charcuterie board is a great option for an appetizer that will please everyone and keep you relaxed that day. 

Not sure where to start? I’ve compiled all of the very best Thanksgiving charcuterie board ideas so you can make yours the most delicious and beautiful it can be!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me continue to provide gardening content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.

Tips for Making a Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board

  • Use lots of seasonal fruits to add a variety of flavors, textures, and fall colors. Pears, pomegranates, persimmons, cranberries, and apples are all in season during the fall and make a perfect addition to a cheese board.  
  • Keep the Thanksgiving theme going with seasonal garnishes. Mini pumpkins and other seasonal produce, such as rosemary and fresh cranberries, are perfect for this. 
  • For a truly stunning board, fill in any empty spaces. Once you’ve arranged the larger items such as meats, cheeses, crackers, and bread, fill in every little open space with items of different sizes. I like to use small fruits, nuts, chocolates, and garnishes to fill in the gaps. 
  • Offer cheese knives for soft cheeses like goat cheese and brie and a spreader for spreads, like jam and mustard.
  • Feel free to get creative with what you add to your board. It doesn’t just have to be meat, cheese, and crackers. Try adding unique candies, salty snacks, and vegetables to give your guests some variety.

Shop Charcuterie Boards

Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board Ideas

Fall-Themed Charcuterie Boards

Make your holiday extra festive with these elegant fall-themed charcuterie boards. 

Thanksgiving Appetizer Boards

Branch out from the classic meat and cheese board with these fun and creative appetizer boards.

Butter Boards for Thanksgiving

Make your bread and rolls more fun by serving these creative butter boards with seasonal ingredients.

Dessert Boards for Thanksgiving

Make Thanksgiving dessert more special with a beautiful dessert board.

More Unique Board Ideas for Thanksgiving

Have a unique holiday celebration with some of these out-of-the-box boards.

four thanksgiving charcuterie boards
Easy Mirepoix: How to Freeze It for Fast Cooking Later

Easy Mirepoix: How to Freeze It for Fast Cooking Later

Learn everything you need to know about mirepoix: what it is, how to make it, and how to freeze it for ease of cooking later.

If you like cooking soups, stuffing, or casseroles, you’ve probably used mirepoix before, even if you didn’t know it at the time.

Mirepoix, the aromatic base used in a lot of French cooking, describes the combination of onion, carrots, and celery. 

Mirepoix is a delicious way to start off so many recipes and I end up using it a lot, particularly in the winter.

If you also use mirepoix a lot, why not make a large batch and have some ready to use on your next meal?

This basic mirepoix comes together in just a few easy steps and having it on hand will give your meals the most flavor they can possibly have.

Have you ever wondered “can you freeze mirepoix?” The answer is an emphatic yes; freezing mirepoix is a great way to preserve fresh vegetables and simplify your cooking.

Keep reading and I’ll fill you in on some details and teach you how to freezer mirepoix in a couple of simple steps.

 

Looking down at a tray of mirepoix next to a bunch of carrots and an onion

 

What is Mirepoix?

Mirepoix is a combination of vegetables that are used as the aromatic base of many French dishes. It is considered a staple of French cooking. 

Traditional mirepoix consists of carrots, celery, and onion. 

These three flavorful ingredients are used in many flavorful soups, stir-fries, casseroles, pot roasts, and other dishes. They add an amazing flavor to recipes without overpowering the other ingredients. 

How to Pronounce Mirepoix

Mirepoix, a French word in origin, is pronounced: “meer-pwah.” Don’t worry if you’ve always said it wrong, it took me a long time to learn the correct pronounciation, too.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me continue to provide gardening content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.

 

A hand chopping an onion on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Mirepoix

1. Prepare your vegetables

Once you wash your vegetables well, prepare them for chopping. Remove the onion skin, peel the carrots and chop off their ends, and remove the leaves from the celery stalks.

Save the tops of the celery, carrot peels, and onion skins to make a flavorful homemade vegetable stock.

2. Chop your vegetables

After you prepare the vegetables, you need to decide how you will chop them. I personally opt for an old-fashioned knife and cutting board, but there are a few options:

      1. Chop them manually with a knife
      2. Use a vegetable chopper
      3. Use a dicing attachment on a food processor
      4. Use a regular food processor blade. If you use this method, be very careful not to over-process the vegetables and turn them into puree. I recommend using the pulse function and watching them closely to avoid this.

3. Choose your size

Mirepoix vegetables may be cut into uniform pieces or each vegetable can be chopped to a different size according to your preference. The size can also vary from larger pieces (½ inch) to a smaller dice (minced).

4. Figure out how much mirepoix to make

You can decide how much mirepoix you want and figure out the amounts from there, or you can follow the recipe below. 

To make your own recipe, divide the amount of mirepoix by four and allot two parts onion and one part each of carrots and celery. 

 

Can You Freeze Mirepoix?

Mirepoix freezes very well and is easy to use frozen. Making a big batch of mirepoix for the freezer is a great way to preserve your vegetables and make cooking more effortless in the future.

Mirepoix that has been frozen will have a slightly different texture and it will be more watery. Because mirepoix is often a small part of a dish, the difference in texture will likely go completely unnoticed. The flavor will remain the same. 

Freezing mirepoix is one of the best ways to preserve celery, carrots, and onions. I like to make a big batch in the autumn when these vegetables are plentiful and use it for soups and more throughout the winter.

A bunch of carrots, celery, and two onions sitting on a wooden table.

Why Freeze Mirepoix?

Freezing mirepoix has a lot of benefits in the kitchen. 

    • Prevents food waste: If you have an excess of celery, carrots, and/or onion, making a batch of mirepoix is the prefect way to prevent them from going bad before you are able to use them.
    • Preserves garden harvests: Gardeners know that sometimes you are bombarded with large quantities of a certain vegetable. Freezing mirepoix allows you to preserve these beautiful garden harvests so you have homegrown vegetables available in the dead of winter.
    • Saves time cooking: Putting in a small investment of time to save a lot of time down the road is a great way to make cooking more enjoyable. You can batch-make mirepoix and then avoid washing, peeling, and chopping your mirepoix vegetables several times over in the future.

How to Freeze Mirepoix

Freezing mirepoix is very easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. Mirepoix doesn’t need much for freezing; no precooking or blanching is necessary. The main concern is that once mirepoix is frozen, it turns into a solid block. There are a few ways to avoid having one huge, unbreakable block of mirepoix in your freezer.

    1. Freeze the mirepoix in small servings (enough for a single recipe) directly in freezer bags, jars, or small freezer-safe containers. Using this method, I typically portion out one-cup servings. Once you prepare your mirepoix, pack it into single serving containers, label them, and store them in the freezer. They will freeze solid, but you can remove the chunk of mirepoix from its container and have the amount you need for a recipe ready to go.
    2. Freeze the mirepoix in single servings by freezing it in a muffin tin or ice cube tray. Once the mirepoix has frozen solid, remove the blocks from the trays and store them in a larger container or ziploc bag. To remove the mirepoix cubes from their trays, simply run the bottom side of the tray under warm water for a few seconds. The warm water will help the mirepoix become unstuck from its tray. 
    3. Flash freeze the mirepoix so it does not stick. This way, you are able to take as much as you need for a recipe without having to pre-portion the mirepoix. Do this by spreading your mirepoix on a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze it until the vegetables are no longer soft (usually 2 – 4 hours), then transfer it to your bag, jar, or container. Return it to the freezer immediately. Flash freezing allows the vegetables to freeze on the tray when they aren’t touching and as long as they don’t thaw and refreeze, they won’t stick together.
A bowl of raspberries with a lime wedge next to it

How to Use Frozen Mirepoix

Using frozen mirepoix is very easy and doesn’t require any thawing beforehand. 

Warm up some olive oil in a skillet or pot over medium-low heat, then pour the contents of your frozen mirepoix bags into the oil. 

The mirepoix will thaw as it cooks. While the cooking time may be a couple of minutes longer than it is for fresh mirepoix, the method is exactly the same. 

Mirepoix Ingredients and Ratio

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Mirepoix is made up of carrots, celery, and yellow onion. The ratio is 1:1:2, or one part carrots, one part celery, and two parts onion. This means for every portion of carrots you have, there should be an equal portion of celery and two portions of onion.

If you want to make 2 cups of mirepoix, chop 1 cup of onions, ½ cup of celery, and ½ cup of carrots. The ratio can be measured by volume with measuring cups or by weight, using a kitchen scale. 

Best Recipes to Use Freezer Mirepoix

Winter Veggie Soup

Minestrone Soup

Garden Pasta Sauce

Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 4 cups

Easy Freezer Mirepoix

A bowl of mirepoix with celery, carrots, and an onion around it.

Make a big batch of this easy mirepoix and freeze it to make future cooking a breeze!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced

Instructions

To Make

  1. Chop the vegetables finely or run them through a food processor until they reach your desired size. Mix the vegetables well so each veggie is evenly distributed in the mixture.
  2. Use it as the flavorful base for your favorite recipes. Mirepoix is best in soups, stir-fries, and casseroles.

To Freeze

  1. Spread the mirepoix in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 
  2. Freeze for at least 2 hours, then pack into freezer bags for long-term storage.
  3. Alternatively, pack single servings into a muffin tin, ice cube tray, or another small container.
A pinterest image. The photo is of a bowl of mirepoix. The text reads "how to freeze mirepoix"

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

What is Fire Cider?

Fire cider is an herbal tonic that supports your immune system and digestion. It is an infused vinegar made with a variety of ingredients that provide powerful benefits for your overall health. These ingredients vary based on which recipe you use, but the most basic recipe includes ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish, and hot peppers. Each ingredient in any given recipe will add different benefits and flavors to the fire cider. 

Fire cider is a natural remedy for colds that became popular during the 1970s, but it is based on traditional folk remedies going back centuries. It has gained further popularity in the herbalist community in recent years.

Fire cider is typically drank diluted in water, but it can also be taken by adding it to soups, tea, juice, or making it into a salad dressing. The flavor is spicy, vinegary, savory, and sweet. 

Health Benefits of Fire Cider

Fire cider boosts the immune system, and has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes a sore throat, fights illness, supports digestion, and promotes respiratory health. Each ingredient brings powerful benefits that promote overall wellness.

Ginger Root: Contain gingerol, which offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Also supports digestion and respiratory health.

Turmeric Root: Contains curcumin, which has profound anti-inflammatory properties. Supports brain, heart, and skin health.

Onion and Garlic: Powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits.

Jalapenos: Rich in vitamins A and C and fights infections.

Lemon and Orange: High in vitamin C and antibacterial properties.

Cayenne Pepper: Clear sinus congestion and fights inflammation.

Black Pepper: Known to enhance curcumin absorption by 2000% and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Honey: Promotes healing and is high in antioxidants. Also soothes sore throats.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Balances blood sugar and has antimicrobial properties.

 

a closeup of red onion chopped

Fire Cider Ingredients

The fire cider base recipe is ginger, onion, garlic, horseradish root, and hot peppers in apple cider vinegar with honey. The recipe below adds a lot of beneficial herbs, fruit, and spices, but omits the horseradish. This is simply because fresh horseradish root is difficult to find and often very expensive. If you are able to easily obtain horseradish root, definitely add it to your fire cider!

Because this is a medicinal tonic, it is important to choose good quality ingredients. The fire cider won’t be the most effective medicine it can be if you use ingredients that are covered in pesticides or processed to the point they are dead. I strongly recommend using:

Raw honey (local honey is best when possible)

Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother

All organic ingredients

I purchase most of the ingredients for fire cider from Azure Standard. They sell a wide variety of organic products and I have found them to be a lot more affordable than what I get at the grocery store. They also have bulk options that reduce the price even more, when I have the space and budget for it.

How to Make Fire Cider

Fire cider is very easy to put together, then you simply have to wait for a month before using it. I like to start a batch of fire cider in September using fresh garden herbs that will be ready right when cold and flu season is coming around. I typically start another batch every 4-6 weeks, depending on how often I’m drinking it. 

a jar of fire cider ingredients with apple cider vinegar being poured in

How to Take Fire Cider

Fire cider has a unique flavor that is tangy, sweet, and a little savory. I’ve found that people are very divided on whether or not they enjoy it, but all agree that it is worth drinking for the health benefits! The most common way to take fire cider is adding one or two tablespoons to a glass of water. 

Another option is to incorporate it into your existing meal. You can make fire cider salad dressings, add it to soups, or use it as the vinegar on a sandwich. 

My favorite way to consume fire cider is by making it into a hot wellness drink. This beverage is warming, comforting, and delicious. It also incorporates fat from the oil, which helps the bioavailability of curcumin, the primary compound that gives turmeric its benefits. 

Fire Cider Wellness Drink Recipe

Ingredients

2 Tbsp fire cider

Juice of half a lemon

Honey to taste

1 Tbsp coconut oil or MTC oil

½ tsp cayenne (optional)

Boiling water

Instructions

Put all of the ingredients in a cup of hot water. Stir tp dissolve the honey and enjoy. 

 

A jar of fire cider

Preserving Garden Ingredients for Winter Fire Cider

I like to eat as seasonally as possible, which means that fresh peppers are not on the menu in the winter. Fresh herbs are also not in season unless I grow them indoors. In order to grow as much of my own fire cider ingredients as possible, I preserve some garden harvests to use for fire cider in the winter by freezing. This is a really easy way to save money and live seasonally while making fire cider.

How to Freeze Fire Cider Ingredients

  1. Bag 1-batch portions of fresh herbs and jalapenos.
  2. Label each bag.
  3. Freeze until it’s time to make a batch of fire cider.
  4. Empty the contents of the bag straight into the jar, still frozen.
Yield: 16 ounces

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe

looking down into a jar of fire cider closeup

Fire cider is an herbal tonic for boosting the immune system and promoting overall wellness. It is a tangy, spicy addition to your beverages or meals!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 28 days
Total Time 28 days 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup ginger, grated or chopped
  • ½ cup turmeric root, grated or chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Jalapenos, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, chopped with the peel
  • 1 small orange, chopped with the peel
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh herbs (I recommend thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary)
  • Raw apple cider vinegar (enough to fill the jar, about 2 cups)
  • ¼ cup raw honey, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Pack all of the ingredients except the apple cider vinegar and the honey in a quart jar.
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar to the top of the jar.
  3. Cover the jar with a plastic lid or a piece of parchment paper with a metal lid over it. The vinegar will corrode the metal lid if there is no parchment paper barrier.
  4. Store in a dark, cool place for four weeks. Give the jar a shake every day or so.
  5. After the four weeks, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and stir the honey into it.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months and take 1-2 tablespoons a day, or more when you’re sick. 

Notes

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

The Best Veggie Soup on a picture of vegetable soup
The BEST Butternut Squash Soup

The BEST Butternut Squash Soup

This savory butternut squash soup is the perfect hearty soup for autumn nights.  This soup is warming, nourishing, and flavorful with roasted butternut squash, fresh herbs, and coconut milk.

 

There are few foods that scream “fall” more than butternut squash. As a great storage vegetable, butternut squash is in season throughout the winter months, but I love making dishes with it in the fall when I’m craving heartier vegetables and those rich autumn flavors. This time of year, I love warming and nourishing foods.

 This soup is easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. With vegetable broth, onion, and sage, it is delightfully savory, even with the sweet flavor of the butternut squash. This butternut squash soup is the perfect addition to your soup season lineup.

 

Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

 

Butternut Squash:  The main ingredient of this soup, and for good reason! Butternut squash is hearty, healthy, and absolutely delicious. It makes for a soup that is flavorful and suitable as a main dish. 

 

Sage, Rosemary, and Red Pepper Flakes: This delightful combination of herbs and spices makes this soup complex and savory. Sage brings the quintessential autumn flavor and the red pepper flakes add just a little spice to warm you up. 

 

Onions, Carrots, Celery, and Garlic: I add these four aromatics to nearly every soup I make because they give it a robust, flavorful base. If you want to avoid chopping them in the future, you can try out a homemade freezer mirepoix to have on hand. 

 

Coconut Milk: This makes for a delicious, creamy soup while keeping it dairy-free and vegan! You can substitute heavy cream if you prefer, but I like how light the coconut milk is in this starchy squash soup.

 

Vegetable Broth: Broth is part of what makes this soup so savory! Use carton broth, vegetable stock cubes with water, or homemade. You can substitute for chicken stock if you desire. 

A close up of a bowl of butternut squash soup with roasted seeds and a sage leaf on top

What to Serve with the Soup

I like serving it with a warm piece of sourdough and an autumn salad. This soup is also great with grilled cheese sandwiches! Butternut squash soup is great as a main dish or served as a starter or side dish. 

 

 

Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Soup?

Yes, you can. Butternut squash soup freezes really well in a jar, bag, or another airtight container. I love making a double batch and freezing the leftover soup so I have easy meals on hand for a quick weeknight meal.

 

How to Freeze Butternut Squash Soup

  1. Let your soup sit out on the counter to cool to room temperature.
  2. Package the soup into mason jars, silicone bags, or freezer bags.
  3. Label the soup with the type of soup and the date.
  4. Store in the fridge overnight to reduce the temperature even further. This is an optional but recommended step.
  5. Store in the freezer for up to a year.

 

How to freeze liquids in jars

Always ensure you are leaving at least 2 inches of headspace at the top of the jar. Liquids expand as they freeze and if there isn’t room to it to expand, your jar will crack (ask me how I know!).  When you put the jar in the freezer, do not twist the lid on tightly; rather, leave it sitting loosely atop the jar. Once the liquid is frozen, you can tighten the lids to prevent freezer burn. Ensure the soup has completely cooled to fridge temperature before freezing it.

 

When you’re ready to eat your soup, I recommend pulling it out of the freezer and allowing it to thaw in the fridge for 12-24 hours. This is the easiest way to thaw it. If you’re in a rush and need it thawed more quickly, run it under hot water until you are able to remove the soup from its container and heat it in a saucepan over the stove.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me continue to provide content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.

A bowl of butternut squash soup sitting on a table surrounded by a butternut squash half, a napkin, a loaf of bread, and a spoon

Ingredients:

Olive oil

Yellow onion

Carrots

Celery

Butternut squash

Garlic

Sage

Rosemary

Red pepper flakes

Coconut Milk

Veggie broth

 

Optional for topping: Roasted pumpkin seeds or roasted butternut squash seeds, fried sage, homemade croutons

 

Equipment:

Large soup pot (I like stainless steel pots or dutch ovens)

Immersion blender or stand blender

Vegetable peeler

Want more delicious soup recipes? Try this winter veggie soup!

 

Yield: 4 Servings

Butternut Squash Soup

A bowl of butternut squash soup sitting on a table with a green napkin, a loaf of bread, and a sage leaf

This savory butternut squash soup is the perfect hearty soup for autumn nights.  This soup is warming, nourishing, and flavorful with roasted butternut squash, fresh herbs, and coconut milk.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 cups veggie broth

Instructions

1.  Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat

2. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. 

3. Add the broth, butternut squash, sage, rosemary, and red pepper flakes, and bring to a simmer. 

4. Simmer the soup until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 3 minutes.

5. Use an immersion blender to blend until creamy and smooth. Alternatively, blend soup in a stand blender.

Serve topped with roasted pumpkin or butternut squash seeds, fried sage leaves, or homemade croutons

Notes

*If blending hot soup in a stand blender, be sure to leave the cap off of the blender lid and cover the opening with a towel.

* Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh herbs at a ratio of 3:1. For the 3 tablespoons of fresh sage, substitute 1 tablespoon of dried.

The Best Veggie Soup on a picture of vegetable soup