say hello to your new favorite summer date night: the ultimate summer picnic charcuterie board!!! chris & i have been having so much fun with picnic date nights lately, & i’m really excited to share all of our tips & tricks to keeping date night easy & fun this summer. this post will show you how to make the perfect charcuterie board for 2, some of my absolute favorite cheese board items, & other easy picnic food ideas.
this post is sponsored by the DeLallo Foods, who i’m so excited to partner & share with you all throughout 2019. all thoughts & opinions are my own.
summer is here, & i’m ready for allllll the date night picnics outside! it’s my new favorite way to take a break, connect with chris, & enjoy the warm weather that’s finally(!!!) here in minneapolis.
every year, chris & i create a summer bucket list, a list of all of the things we’d like to do together throughout the summer.
our bucket list really helps us feel like we make the most of the warm weather months (here in minneapolis they don’t last very long!). instead of sitting around asking each other “what do you wanna do tonight?” (…or watching another episode of american ninja warrior…), we can turn to our list & do something we know we’re gonna love. do you create a summer bucket list too?
always pretty high on our list of summer to-dos is taking date night outside with a fun picnic. whether it’s our neighborhood’s outdoor movie night, or a concert at the lake harriet pavillion, or just an impromptu grab-our-faves-&-head-to-the-park kinda thursday night, our picnic date nights are quickly becoming my of the highlights of the summer.
& i’m pretty sure once you try one you’ll be hooked too!
4 reasons to go on a summer picnic for date night:
- it’s the easiest summer date night. no need to spend hours cooking a fancy meal, you just grab some nibbles & head outside, but it still feels totally special.
- it can be very budget-friendly. you can grab a great bottle of wine & some high-quality charcuterie items, & it’ll still be a fraction of the price of a night out at an expensive restaurant.
- speaking of…a summer picnic date night is so much more intimate & cozy than a busy restaurant patio.
- plus, it gets you outside. you can find a pretty spot to sit & enjoy the weather & the fresh air. there’s nothing better than that!
summer picnic tips:
the best summer picnic is one that’s easy and stress-free so take these tips – but make them your own! you can make your picnic as basic or as beautiful as you like. and picnics in the back yard totally count, too!
- scout a good location: somewhere with good energy, but not a huge bustling crowd. here in minneapolis, we love lake of the isles. the lake is so picturesque & cozy, but has a gorgeous view of downtown that’s even prettier at dusk.
- speaking of…make your picnic pretty: grab a fun blanket & make it your go-to picnic blanket. (i recently fell in love with this one from target!) if you want to make it even cozier, grab some cute outdoor pillows to lean against. my fave picnic staple (non-food, of course – ha!): flowers! a fresh bunch of flowers will make your date night feel even more special. you can easily grab a bunch from tj’s or the farmers market for $5.
- keep it simple! to keep things really easy, i like bringing a charcuterie board, along with some of our favorite seasonal fruits. since it’s the height of berry season, i’m obsessed with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & blackberries right now. watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, peaches, figs would work too – anything that’s fresh & seasonal is great.
- & lastly…don’t forget the drinks! it wouldn’t be a date night without a couple of drinks! to keep things really simple, i like packing an easy drinking rosé for me & a couple of beers for chris. if you want to take things up a notch, you could also mix up a batch of your favorite cocktail & pop them in individual mason jars…perfect for transporting & drinking!
cheese board ideas + how to make a charcuterie board for a summer picnic:
if you’re wondering what to put on a cheese board or how to arrange a cheese platter…i got you!
italian charcuterie is seriously the best for snack-able romantic picnic foods & i turn to DeLallo for all of my charcuterie needs! DeLallo’s charcuterie is super high-quality, but also super cost-effective. (best combination, right?!)
when it comes to building the perfect date night charcuterie board, it’s important to choose your faves, but also go for a good variety. i like to choose a couple of meats, a good cheese, a sweet element, & a munchie or two (olive, artichokes, peppers, tomatoes, etc.). & don’t forget to pack bread, crackers, or crostini for building the perfect bites!
here are some of the summer charcuterie board staples i’m obsessed with right now:
- prosciutto (salty, sweet, & oh-so perfect!)
- sweet sopressata (chris’ fave!)
- asiago (think of it as parmesan’s cousin – salty & nutty, it’s a great all-purpose cheese)
- castelvetrano olives (briney & meaty – my FAVE olive!)
- grilled artichokes (DeLallo’s are THE BEST!)
- sour cherry spread (tastes like summer!)
as a fun bonus, my friends at DeLallo created a pwwb summer picnic charcuterie board, complete with all of the ingredients we used to build the board pictured here. consider it your one-stop shop for all your charcuterie needs this summer! shop the pwwb summer picnic charcuterie board here!
how to assemble a charcuterie platter:
once you’ve gathered everything, it’s time to put together your meat and cheese platter. because we’re taking this outside, you can keep the assembly really easy, & don’t worry about making it perfect! this is more about enjoying a summer date night, than it is about building the perfect charcuterie board.
grab your favorite charcuterie platter or cheese board, &…
- start by placing your meats & cheeses around the board. it’s easiest to start with some of these bigger items, especially since they’re the heart of the charcuterie board!
- next, add in the munchies: arrange your munchies (olives, artichokes, etc.) around the meat & cheeses. since meat & cheeses tend to stay put, they act as a great barrier to keep other cheese board components on the board.
- last, fill in empty space with crostini, crackers, & fresh fruit. a pop of fresh herbs is always a fun way to add beautiful color, too!
if you’re packing for a picnic, be sure to be mindful of the commute! it’s always a good idea to wrap your charcuterie board with plastic wrap or foil to help everything stay put. you could also, of course, skip the board altogether & opt for smaller airtight containers instead. you do you!
more picnic food ideas:
- feels fancy, but so, so easy to throw together: prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe with balsamic glaze
- great served at room temp or chilled: sundried tomato pasta salad or vegan southwest pasta salad
- the best summertime snack!: white bean pesto hummus
- lavender lemonade rosé cocktails…i mean does that really need any further explanation? ?
be sure to plan a fun picnic date night with your honey sometime soon this summer, & leave me a comment &/or give this recipe a rating when you do! & of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on instagram! above all, i love hearing from you & looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my aaaaabsolute favorite thing.
thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter & the companies i partner with to keep bringing you great original content. i only feature brands & products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! photos by the insanely talented veronica barnes.Print
say hello to your new favorite summer date night: the ultimate summer picnic charcuterie board!!! sharing all of my tips & tricks to keeping date night easy & fun this summer: how to make the perfect charcuterie board for 2, some of my absolute favorite cheese board items, & other easy picnic food ideas!
My rule of thumb for building the perfect date night charcuterie board is to choose your faves, but also go for a good variety. Choose 1-2 meats, a good cheese, a sweet element, & 1-2 munchies (olives, artichokes, peppers, tomatoes, etc.). & don’t forget bread, crackers, or crostini for building the perfect bites!
Pictured on this picnic charcuterie board are some of our favorites from DeLallo – see Recipe Notes!
Grab your favorite charcuterie platter or cheese board, &…
- Start by placing meats & cheeses around the board. It’s easiest to start with some of these bigger items, especially since they’re the heart of the charcuterie board!
- Next, add in the munchies: arrange your munchies (olives, artichokes, etc.) around the meat & cheeses. Since meat & cheeses tend to stay put, they act as a great barrier to keep other cheese board components on the board.
- Fill in empty space with crostini, crackers, & fresh fruit. A pop of fresh herbs is always a fun way to add beautiful color, too!
- a fun bonus! my friends at DeLallo created a pwwb summer picnic charcuterie board, complete with all of the ingredients we used to build the board pictured here. consider it your one-stop shop for all your charcuterie needs this summer: shop the pwwb summer picnic charcuterie board here!
Keywords: charcuterie board, how to make a charcuterie board, cheese board ideas, picnic food ideas