2020 has been a year for the books in several, often negative, ways. And that has sparked inventiveness and creativity like never before. Which probably explains the explosion of charcuterie chalets. Although holiday parties aren't in the cards this year, I love incorporating fun food elements whenever I host and this Texas charcuterie chalet would be very on brand for one of my gatherings. So I'm teaching you how to make a charcuterie chalet today. And you're probably wondering what exactly makes this charcuterie chalet Texas style. Let's get into the details of this trendy charcuterie display.
- Date Night Cheese Board for Two
- Trader Joe's Fall Cheese Board
- Valentine's Day Sweet Charcuterie Board
What is a Charcuterie Chalet?
Actually, before we even get started, what is a charcuterie chalet? Very glad you asked! A charcuterie chalet is cross between a savory gingerbread house and a charcuterie board. It's made up of all the elements you would expect from a classic charcuterie board like meats, cheeses, fresh and pickled veggies, crackers, dips, and nuts. And everything is constructed to resemble a house...or a chalet, if you're fancy. Charcuterie chalets actually go by a few different creative names:
- Charcuterie Cottage
- Charcuterie House
- Cheese Board House
- Cheese Chateau
- Meat Mansion
I'm partial to ranch-style homes and bungalows, so if you think of any clever names that incorporate those, please let me know in the comments! Also, because of the ingredients, a charcuterie chalet is sometimes called a keto gingerbread house or low carb gingerbread house.
So, What Makes this Texas Style?
Firstly, I sourced almost every ingredient for my Texas-style charcuterie chalet from H-E-B. It's a Texas mainstay and where I do most of my grocery shopping anyway. H-E-B also carries tons of Texas made brands and caters to our state pride with fun items like marble and wood Texas shaped charcuterie boards. Yes, I have one. And no, this post isn't sponsored by H-E-B (though I have worked with them before). All of that to say, many of the ingredients for my charcuterie chalet are local to Texas. Aside from that, below are the Texas-specific elements I included.
- Pecans make up the cute cobblestone walkway leading up to the charcuterie chalet front door and are a state symbol of Texas. These are actually native to Texas and our only commercially-grown nut.
- Queso fills the above-ground pool in the backyard of this charcuterie chalet because the owners are doing well for themselves and kind of bougie. I mean, wouldn't you want a queso pool in your backyard if you could have one? Queso is practically its own food group in the state of Texas and a key component of Tex-Mex cuisine so there's that. It's my favorite part of the whole charcuterie setup.
- Instead of a snow-covered charcuterie chalet, mine has a lush, full lawn of broccoli florets because we don't experience the whole white Christmas winter wonderland aesthetic in most parts of Texas, especially my hometown of Houston. Houstonians are proud of their lawns, too, and I think this one would fit in well around here.
- Tortilla chips pair perfectly with queso and are, again, key to our beloved Tex-Mex cuisine. So I crushed up red and green tortilla chips to mimic Christmas lights!
- Pine trees are popular in Houston, especially closer to the Woodlands, Texas, so I used fresh rosemary to mimic them instead of evergreen trees you'd see surround a northern charcuterie chalet.
Texas-Style Charcuterie Chalet Ingredients
I tried to keep this Texas-style charcuterie chalet simple enough while still ensuring a visually impressive outcome. Here's what you'll need to add to your charcuterie chalet shopping list to make it.
- Cheese Slices - for the roof shingles
- Cream Cheese Spread - to hold everything together
- Crispbread - for the siding and roof
- Crushed Red and Green Tortilla Chips - for the Christmas lights
- Deli Meat - for ground cover
- Fresh Broccoli Florets - for the grass
- Fresh Rosemary - for the pine trees
- Pecan Halves - for the cobblestone walkway
- Queso - to fill the swimming pool
- Waffle-Cut Pretzels - for the doors and windows
You'll also need a ramekin (small bowl) for the queso pool and a cake stand or tray on which to build and serve the charcuterie chalet. And if you're wondering how much does a charcuterie chalet cost to make? the ingredients for this one cost me just under $40 and I didn't use all of anything, except the queso. And it took about 45 minutes to assemble.
How to Build a Charcuterie Chalet
To assemble a charcuterie chalet, you'll need lots of cream cheese and a little patience. I'm going to share two ways I've made a charcuterie chalet and you can choose which to execute based on your tolerance for adventure. The first, more risky, method is to construct the charcuterie chalet freestyle with no interior support. Put all the walls together, add the roof, and pray. This was the first method I used and it looked pretty much like the chalet you see in these pictures...but not for very long. Unless you basically build the thing in a freezer, it will be prone to shifting a bit and eventually folding. Which isn't out of the ordinary for Houston homes. We're prone to foundation issues since we're essentially living on top of swap land.
Anyway, my preferred method for building a charcuterie chalet is to start with some interior support. To do this, stack about six sheets of crispbread on top of one another, spreading a layer of cream cheese in between each. Then slather cream cheese around every side of the stack. This will be your base that the walls stick to. Easy and it stands the test of time. Despite the popularity of charcuterie chalets in these internet streets, I haven't come across a legit step-by-step tutorial. So here are my charcuterie chalet instructions.
- You'll need four pieces of crispbread for the walls of the charcuterie chalet. Place them around the crispbread and cream cheese base. To make yours look like my Texas-style charcuterie chalet, the front and rear walls should be laid long side-down and the side walls should be short-side down. Secure the corners where each of the walls meet with lots of cream cheese and press them gently together and against the interior stack of crispbread.
- To make the roof, spread cream cheese on two more pieces of crispbread. Then arrange the cheese slices on each piece in opposite directions to form a shingle pattern. Set them aside.
- Cut another piece of crispbread in half to make the two triangle pieces that will bridge the gap between the front walls and the roof. Secure them to the front walls with--you guessed it--more cream cheese. Line the top edges of the triangle pieces and side walls with cream cheese to prep them for the roof.
- Attach windows and doors to the walls using more cream cheese and, if you like, shape a stalk of rosemary into a wreath and secure it to front door with even more cream cheese.
- Fill a ramekin with queso and place it in the "backyard" then surround it with folded deli meat.
- To make the walkway or front porch, fold another piece of deli meat and place it front of the door then lay four pecan halves on top of it.
- To create the lawn, trim your broccoli florets, as necessary, to ensure the "greenery" sits flat to give you that grass look. Place it all around the house.
- Stick the woody ends of rosemary stalks into the tops of a few broccoli florets to create your pine trees.
- I recommend placing the roof on last because it's relatively heavy due to the cheese slice shingles. If the roof seems a little shaky, add more crispbread or another filler ingredient to the top of your crispbread stack to help support the roof then try placing it again. Spread cream cheese between the two roof pieces and into the spaces where the roof meets each wall. Once the roof is in position, adorn the trim of the house with crushed red and green tortilla chips to mimic the appearance of Christmas lights. And that's it. You're done!
Tips for Making a Charcuterie Chalet
- If you've taken nothing else away from this charcuterie chalet recipe, I hope it is that cream cheese is key. Seriously, I used two tubs of it. Don't underestimate its magic in the process of creating a solid charcuterie chalet. It will get all over your hands but that's just part of the fun. 🙂
- Store any cream cheese you aren't working with in the fridge until needed to keep it spreadable yet stiff.
- You may need to shave the crispbread edges a bit to ensure they are straight and even. Gently run a kitchen knife back and forth along any uneven edges to accomplish this.
- Feel free to customize the ingredients to your and your guests tastes. I don't really understand why you wouldn't want a queso pool but won't take it personally if you opt for a salsa or guac pool instead. Both are perfectly acceptable.
- Store your charcuterie chalet in the fridge until party time to prevent melting and shifting. I've made a charcuterie chalet the evening before it was needed and it was fine in the fridge although the cream cheese may crack a little in some places. I don't recommend making it any further ahead than that.
- To serve a charcuterie chalet at a party, include serving plates nearby and bowls of complimentary foods (like whole tortilla chips for the queso). Then prepare for your edible mini mansion to be destroyed before your very eyes. I mean, it's nice to look at but even better to eat, right?
I have a massive sweet tooth and don't usually get overly excited about anything savory but this Texas-style charcuterie chalet is truly a thing of beauty. Sharing is caring so be sure to pin this charcuterie chalet tutorial on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
P.S. more fun food ideas for your next party:
Charcuterie Chalet Recipe
A Texas twist on the trendy charcuterie chalet display with a queso pool in the backyard!
- fresh broccoli florets
- cream cheese spread
- red and green tortilla chips crushed
- fresh rosemary stalks
- cheddar jack cheese slices
- waffle cut pretzels
- deli meat of your choosing
- pecan halves