As the holidays approach full swing, family meetups and seasonal parties become more common. Hosting these social gatherings can be challenging, especially when finding suitable recipes for large, shareable dishes. Thankfully, a new online food trend might provide a helpful, efficient, and elegant answer — the butter board.
What Is a Butter Board?
As its name suggests, a butter board is just that: butter on a board. Simple and tasteful, butter boards allow the host to create sharable hors d’oeuvres that are as elegant as they are delicious. Hosts can quickly create platters by spreading room-temperature butter on a large board or tray, coating it with a selection of toppings, and serving it with bread or crackers.
Butter boards are highly customizable and can be flavored to complement any meal or spread. Sweet butter boards use unsalted butter with honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup, and fruit. In contrast, savory boards can use either unsalted or salted butter, plus ingredients like nuts, olive oil, red onions, chives, chiles, fresh rosemary, herbs, meats, and vegetables.
Are Butter Boards Charcuterie Boards?
To epicureans, the butter board trend may sound eerily similar to another tradition: the charcuterie board. Charcuterie boards originate from France and typically contain olives, cheese, cured meats, fruit, bread, and nuts. Today, these boards take many forms (like the cheese board) and have become a widespread way of preparing centerpieces for festive gatherings.
The butter board is a modern take on the charcuterie board. A butter board offers guests a shareable appetizer similar to a charcuterie board but is less expensive, complex, and time-consuming for hosts to create.
How To Make the Best Butter Boards
What You’ll Need
Butter boards have become popular due to their simplicity and short prep time. For most boards, you won’t need anything more than butter, toppings, a serving platter, a butter knife, plates, and crusty bread or crackers.
For butter, most professional chefs recommend some of the following brands:
- Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter
- Plugra European Style Butter
- Shirgar Welsh Salted Butter
- Daylesford Organic Salted Butter
How To Make a Butter Board
- Let the butter sit for 30 to 45 minutes until room temperature and soft. This makes the butter more spreadable.
- Spread the butter over the board using a butter knife, cheese knife, or spatula.
- Add your preferred toppings, bread, and crackers.
- Serve alongside appetizer plates.
Tips for Choosing the Best Board
We recommend using a wide cheese platter over wooden cutting boards when serving. While wooden boards might be more aesthetically pleasing, stone, marble, or slate platters are heavier, higher quality, and easier to clean up. Parchment paper also makes cleanup more manageable but can detract from the board’s presentation.
Butter Boards for the Holidays
Since this new trend is relatively inexpensive and highly customizable, it’s no surprise that many hosts and party planners would get on board. For several months, butter boards have been trending on social media. There are dozens of butter board recipes, from hearty, protein-packed ensembles to fall-themed, pumpkin-spiced placements.
However, many butter board recipes are fast and loose online, often missing measurements. We suspect this is because the exact measurements aren’t so important when making these boards. The free flow and experimental nature of butter boards make tracking exact proportions difficult and contrary to the expressive nature of the trend.
Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite butter board recipes and organized them for the holiday season. Each board is built to taste, and most ingredients are dusted on top to cover the board entirely or used sparingly as garnishes. This is why the ingredients in our recipes here only include what’s on the board, not the exact amount.
Butter Boards for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving butter boards fit into one of two categories, savory or sweet. Savory boards fall in line with standard Thanksgiving Day fare, filled with fresh herbs, pistachios, black pepper, roasted garlic, and veggies. The sweet boards can act as a palate cleanser and contain ingredients like hot honey, lemon zest, fruit, and flaky sea salt.
Here are some of our favorite butter board recipes for Thanksgiving parties:
1. Pomegranate and Citrus Butter Board
This butter board is brought to you by convinoboard on TikTok. She combines bright flavors like orange zest and pomegranate with salt and honey to create a deep, savory theme that works perfectly as a Thanksgiving appetizer. This board is also a great source of vitamin A and C from the pomegranate and saturated fats from the walnuts.
- Salted butter
- Sea salt
- Orange zest
- Pomegranate seeds
- Mint leaves
- Marigold petals
- Crumbled walnuts