This mouthwatering and stunning cheese board is made from an array of hard and soft cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, and nuts. Cheese lovers and connoisseurs, unite!
What Is a Cheese Board?
A cheese board is an assortment of cheeses arranged on a platter, usually served with small sides of crackers and/or fruit. Cheese boards are not to be confused with charcuterie boards (which are mainly cured meat), as they are entirely devoted to cheese. The flavors vary widely depending on which types of cheese are used, but it’s guaranteed to be a rich, savory, and indulgent experience any way!
How To Assemble a Cheese Board
Although a cheese board may look daunting, it’s unbelievably simple to pull together. All it takes is a handful of ingredients and ten minutes!
- Arrange the cheese: Arrange the cheese onto a large platter or cutting board, grouping it by type. Use a variety of chunks and slices.
- Add the sides: Place the crackers around the cheese, then add any other accompaniments you desire, such as fruit or nuts. Dig in and enjoy!
Must-Have Hard & Soft Cheeses
Whether you’re playing it safe with your favorite varieties or stepping out into the unknown, the selection of cheeses for a cheese board is paramount. Here are a few of our must-haves to inspire your quest for cheese!
- Hard cheeses: Please your guests with sharp cheddar, salty Parmiggiano-Reggiano, nutty Dubliner, buttery Gouda, or decadent Manchego. Or, step it up with homemade cheese!
- Soft cheeses: Indulge with a luxurious triple-cream Brie, creamy Camembert, Boursin cheese, sweet Chèvre, funky Gorgonzola, bright Roquefort, or earthy Stilton.
Choose Your Sides
Now that you’ve selected an amazing variety of cheeses, it’s time to bring out the accompaniments. Keep it simple with fruit and crackers, go above and beyond with olives and jam, or pick anything in between.
- Fresh fruit: The juicy sweetness of fruit and the sharp saltiness of cheese is a match made in heaven. Use a variety of freshly sliced pears, apples, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, or figs for your cheese board.
- Dried fruit: Add a burst of fruity flavor with dried apricots, dates, or cranberries.
- Cured meat: Intensify the savoriness of the cheese with a serving of prosciutto, salami, or chorizo sausage.
- Crackers: Crunch away on homemade sourdough crackers, or buy a variety pack to add texture to your board.
- Nuts: Nuts are another phenomenal way to introduce crunch. Go with walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, or cashews. Seasoned Marcona almonds are a wonderful variation here, as are candied nuts for a pop of sweetness.
- Pickles and olives: Add a tangy pop with cornichons (tiny French gherkins) or pickled red onions, or get briny with black or green olives.
- Dips/Spreads: Offer bowls of honey, jam, hummus, pesto, or mustard to amp up the flavor.
Are you ready to assemble? Let’s run through the key tools you’ll need for an awe-inspiring cheese board.
- Large board: Build your display on a large cheese board, cutting board, or serving platter.
- Small bowls: Small glass bowls like these are perfect for showing off dips or spreads.
- Charcuterie set: Get your cheese knives, tongs, and other accessories in one place with this charcuterie set.
Tips for the Perfect Cheese Board
Not only should a cheese board taste amazing, it should entice all the senses. Follow these tips to wow your guests with flavor, texture, and aesthetic.
- Use a wide variety of textures and flavors. Make your cheese board exciting and memorable with an inclusive selection of cheeses. Aim for at least one type of firm, semi-firm, and soft cheese, as well as a range of mild to sharp cheeses.
- Be bold and branch out! Now is the time to experiment with all the cheeses you’ve avoided in the past. Whether you’re going funky with a Roquefort or braving it out with Manchego, remember that every palate is different. Even if you dislike a certain type of cheese, someone else may love it!
- Bring the cheeses to room temperature. Their flavor is most prominent at room temperature — half an hour before serving is ideal.
- Label the cheeses. It’s important to know which cheese is which, especially if you’re serving a wide selection.
- Add accompaniments. We guarantee that nobody would complain if you served a platter of just cheese. However, a large part of the appeal of a cheese board lies in the extras — fruit, nuts, crackers, etc. These ingredients complement and balance the sharp saltiness of the cheese.
- Keep presentation in mind. While it may be tempting to scatter everything haphazardly on the platter, remember that we eat first with our eyes. Do your best to keep the presentation neat and appealing, and arrange the accompaniments according to which cheese they pair best with.
Make Ahead & Storage
Are you wondering how to prepare this cheese board in advance? Or are you ready to put away the leftovers? You’ve come to the right place to find the answers and solutions!
- Make ahead: Get a head start on your party prep by pre-slicing the cheeses, fruits, and/or meats the night before. Store them in separate containers in the fridge overnight, then assemble the next morning. Save any ingredients that have a tendency to brown (like sliced apples or bananas) until right before serving.
- Storage: After two hours, it’s time to put the cheese board away to preserve its freshness. Wrap the board tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate and enjoy within 24 hours.
More Party Appetizers
- Crudités Platter — Assorted veggies served with hummus and tzatziki sauce
- Chicken Bacon Canapés — Creamy and cheesy bites made with canned chicken
- Zucchini Pizza Bites — Your favorite pizza flavor delivered in a healthier package
- Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches — Smoked salmon, dill cream cheese, and cucumber loaded onto baguette slices
- Dessert Charcuterie Board – Finish off your meal with your favorite chocolates and cookies on a delicious board
- 8 oz hard cheese cheddar, parmesan, gouda
- 8 oz goat cheese plain or with mix ins
- 8 oz brie cheese
- 4 oz crackers
- 1 lb fruits berries or grapes
- 1 cup nuts almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts