Make a turkey shaped appetizer charcuterie board this Thanksgiving with lots of fun foods for your kids! This turkey charcuterie board can be made in only 15 minutes and is a cute addition to the appetizer or dessert table. You and the kids will have a blast putting it together! Choose your favorite brown, red, orange and yellow foods or follow the picture to create the best turkey shaped appetizer of the year!
You need this turkey charcuterie board on your table this Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate the holidays with your family than by making festive shaped snacks and desserts?
Your kids are going to love seeing this on Thanksgiving Day. It’s so fun!
I know, I know, look at all those not-before-dinner snacks. But it's the most wonderful time of the year. And it's coming to an end quick. Let them have their cake and eat it too!
This turkey shaped board can be made as a dessert, too, so include it where you think it fits best this Thanksgiving.
You may be wondering, isn't charcuterie just meat and cheese? You're right. Traditionally, charcuterie boards are made with meats and cheeses as their main items. To go along with the meat and cheese, fruits, nuts, spreads, and sauces are also acceptable as part of traditional charcuterie.
But as charcuterie boards have become increasingly popular, whether for a big holiday dinner or an everyday breakfast option with your family, they've turned into something so much more than only meats and cheeses.
The sky's the limit, especially with kid-friendly charcuterie boards. You can get away with adding lots of fun foods to your board and still calling it charcuterie without any disapproval. Or, having to hear "that's not charcuterie, that's a snack board!"
This turkey shaped board may be a snack board, technically. And I am okay with that!
Whatever you choose to call it, this kid-friendly Thanksgiving charcuterie board is a must have turkey shaped appetizer this year. I guarantee you it will be the center of attention!
And the most important part of making a kid-friendly charcuterie board? Getting your kids in on the fun! Your board doesn't have to look perfect, so let them help. Even if your board turns out with crooked eyes like mine. 😃
🍱 Charcuterie Board Tips
I have many kid-friendly charcuterie boards this past year, and have written about how to create a basic kid-friendly board. It includes general tips for choosing foods and how to arrange them on the board. Take a look at this post to creating kid-friendly boards for additional suggestions on making the ultimate board for your little darlings.
I've condensed some of those tips and suggestions below to make them specific to Thanksgiving charcuterie boards.
To make this super cute turkey shaped appetizer (or Thanksgiving charcuterie) board, follow these tips:
- Choose 3 or 4 Thanksgiving colors, but not all of them. We think of Thanksgiving colors as red, orange, yellow, white, brown, and green. Centering the board around only 3 or 4 of these helps the turkey to stand out and look like, well, a turkey! Once you choose your focus colors, any hue or shade of them should work.
- Decide on the type of food. Do you want a sweet board? A savory board? A combination? What foods will your kids eat? Try not to choose foods that you know your kids won't eat just because they fit into the color scheme.
- Choose your board. A rectangle board works great for turkey shaped appetizer boards. You can also use a cutting board if you don't have a charcuterie board. No one will know the difference!
- Choose 2 small bowls as focal points around the turkey. Place the bowls on the board first, and then shape the other foods into a turkey around them.
- Place foods, candies, etc. of different colors next to each other so that everything stands out on its own.
- When shaping the turkey, start with the donuts first and work your way into the turkey's pretzel body.
- After creating the turkey, fill in the gaps between the turkey and the bowl with candy or fruit that is part of your color scheme.
- Offer small kid-friendly disposable serving utensils to avoid lots of mess and kids' germs from getting into the food.
When making Thanksgiving charcuterie boards or other holiday boards shaped into objects, there are 3 steps I always follow:
- I always draw an outline on paper first.
- Then I make a list of foods that I think will work with the colors.
- And last, I write in what foods will work in different locations.
👉🏼 Board Suggestions
If you'd like suggestions on where to purchase a good charcuterie board, you can find endless options on Amazon. I have seen cute wooden boards in Target as well, and they usually have a good selection of holiday-themed boards on their website. Home Goods is another great option for good quality, yet discounted boards.
I like this rectangular board on Amazon if you're looking to shop online. If you'd like a circular board for other occasions, this is one of my favorites. I love that it has handles for easy carrying. I found an awesome handled board in Home Goods for a really great price, so make sure to check there too!
My absolute favorite board is this Smirly Cheese Board. It's awesome for adult charcuterie boards that include wine, cheese, meat, nuts, and fruit because it has 5 different serving sections and servingware!
🔪 Step-By-Step Directions
For this fun turkey shaped Thanksgiving charcuterie board, I chose red, orange, yellow, and brown as my colors.
To choose the foods, it was easiest to think about what took up most of the board first: the turkey's body, so I worked in 3 steps.
- Choosing food for the turkey's body
- Choosing food for the details on the body
- Deciding on accent foods to place around the turkey
For the body, I used donuts, caramel popcorn, and red grapes for the feathers. The wings are made with cheez-its or cheddar cheese cubes. The turkey's body is made with mini pretzels.
Arrange the feathers in a large U shape, starting with the donuts and working your way in to the grapes.
Then I worked on the details of the body. For the eyes, I arranged mini marshmallows in a circle and stuck a brown m&m in the center. Blueberries, hershey kisses or chocolate chips work too.
The nose is a piece of American cheese cut into a triangle. The wattle (that red fleshy thing that hangs from its neck), is made with raspberries. Strawberries or twizzlers are another good choice for the wattle.
The feet are my favorite part! They are Nutella breadsticks I happened to stumble upon at the grocery store. I think each pack was a little over $1 and they work perfectly for turkey legs! I dipped each breadstick in a little Nutella to give it some definition.
Once the turkey was done, I focused on filling in the gaps with objects that we associate with Thanksgiving, like pumpkins. I started by placing the peeled clementines on the corners and filled in the gaps with candy pumpkins. The stems on the clementine pumpkins are sour punch bites, which you can find in most stores. Celery is a good choice for the stem too, to keep it healthier!
Last, I filled in the jars with candy corn and red, orange, yellow, and brown m&m's. I did not buy a special bag of m&m's. I picked out these colors for the standard package.
Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board: A Turkey Shaped Appetizer for Kids
- 1 package chocolate donuts
- 3 cups caramel popcorn
- 2 cups red grapes
- 2 cups cheez its or cheddar cheese cubes
- 1 bag mini pretzels
- 10 mini marshmallows
- 2 raspberries
- 1 slice yellow cheese, cut into a triangle
- 4 Nutella breadsticks
- 5 clementines or tangerines, peeled
- 5 sour punch bites
- candy pumpkins
- candy corn
- red, orange, yellow, brown m&ms
- On a rectangular wooden board, place 2 small bowls on opposite corners.
- Arrange the "feathers" first in a large U shape, starting with the donuts and working your way to the grapes. Arrange the pretzels as the turkey's body and use the Cheez-Its for the wings.
- Arrange 5 mini marshmallows in a circle for each eye. Place a brown m&m inside the circle for the pupil. Add the triangle piece of cheese for the nose and the 2 raspberries for the wattle. Dip 4 breadsticks into the Nutella and place securely at the bottom of the pretzel body.
- Arrange the clementines on the open corners of the board. Insert a sour punch bite into each to create a stem. Fill in any gaps with candy pumpkins.
- Fill the bowls with candy corn and m&ms.
Another thing I enjoyed about this board was being able to use leftover candy from the Halloween treats we made.
If you make this turkey shaped Thanksgiving charcuterie board, I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed with Thanksgiving this year! It's one of the best Thanksgiving appetizer or dessert ideas for kids!
That's all there is to this easy and fun turkey shaped Thanksgiving charcuterie board. If you created one for your family, let me know how it turned out in the comments below! I'd love to hear what fun foods you included and how much everyone loved it.