How to assemble a cheese board
I LOVE a good cheese board. Talk about easy and impressive entertaining! They make a beautiful display for any occasion and offer options for even the pickiest of guests. Whenever I am making a cheese board I like to include a variety textures, colors, and flavor profiles to really make a visually appealing stand alone appetizer display.
Choosing a work surface
Large cutting boards, wooden chopping blocks, marble or slate slabs, or large platters work well for displaying cheese boards. I love using this wine barrel top with handles as my board for a larger group. I have had this one for years — one of our wedding gifts that I’ve gotten the most use out of over the years. If you don’t have a large board you can even build your display right on your counter top, just line it with brown butcher paper or parchment paper.
To make for an eye catching display, make sure to cut your cheese selections into different sizes and shapes and fold your charcuterie into easy to grab pieces. Folding the charcuterie creates a great visual effect and gives the board a fancy feel.
For a larger group and a larger display I always pre-cut a majority of the cheese selections to make for an easy pick-up and eat situation. Edible flowers are a great way to add a pop of color if you can find them at your local grocery store.
Cheese boards are a great way to entertain without having to heat up your kitchen or keep up with food while you entertain! If you’re looking for an impressive and stress free way to host and enjoy your gathering, load up on all the ingredients, pre-cut everything, and store the prepped ingredients in zip top bags in the fridge. Doing this type of prep work in advance means all you have to do is assemble your board(s) right before your guests arrive.
Hosting events can often mean you are working and not enjoying your guests or your party. Advance prep work is key to make sure you get to relax and enjoy the evening. The night before my event, I lay all platters and serving pieces out, twist napkins, stack plates, set out serving spoons, and setup a work surface in the kitchen for assembling my boards. I put a sticky note on each platter to label where food will be served, which sounds extra OCD, I know, but it truly is a big help when you’re in last minute rush mode. Plus, it’s always nice to have things organized if someone arrives early and wants to help.
After assembling, all that is left to do is pop open some wine and enjoy your party!
- cut cheese into different shapes
- crumble a hard cheese with the tip of a knife
- wait to cut fruit that browns quickly until right before serving
- soak sliced apples in the juice of one lemon and 1/2 cup of water for 2 minutes and drain to keep pre-sliced apples from browning
- purchase pre-made dips to put in small serving bowls nestled in your board
- honeycomb is an impressive and delicious addition to a cheese or charcuterie board if you can find it. I get it next to the honey at Central Market here in Dallas
- Trader Joe’s is a great source for an array of reasonably priced cheese options
- placing all of your cheese on the board/platter first will help you begin to build and fill in the empty space
- the olive bar at your local grocery store is a perfect place to get many cheese board friendly items and they offer a wide variety and you can purchase everything in whatever quantity you desire
- buying Italian meats at the deli counter, freshly sliced, will beat prepackaged any day in my opinion
- when in doubt, more is more 🙂
Cheese Board Ingredients
These are some of my favorite things to mix and match to make delicious grazing style cheese boards. Print out this “recipe card”, circle the things you’d like to include on your board and then use it as an easy shopping list!
All Things Cheese Boards
- large wooden board, cutting boards work great
- small condiment bowls
- cheese knives
- small tongs
ALL THE CHEESES
- hard cheeses manchego, parmigiano-reggiano, white cheddar, edam
- aged cheeses aged cheddar, gouda, gruyere
- soft cheeses brie, boursin, cambozola, blue, goat, camembert
- stone fruits sliced
- berries rinsed and dried, whole
- kiwi sliced or halved
- apples sliced
- dried fruits figs, apricots, cranberries, raisins,
- grapes multiple varieties and colors
- fruit spreads blueberry, fig, sweet and spicy
- dark chocolate covered almonds or any chocolate covered nut
- candied ginger
- honey roasted cashews
- honey in small bowl with spoon
- fruit butters apple, fig, pear
- nuts any kind, flavored and plain
- olives castelvetrano, green cerignola, kalamata, caper berries,
- charcuterie prosciutto, jamon iberico, sopressata, pepperoni, salami
- crackers variety of color and shape
- sliced bread
- dips hummus, spinach & artichoke, cheese spreads, bruschetta, olive tapenade
- quick pickled veggies cucumber, red onion, carrots, celery
- pepper antipasto from a jar or grocery store olive bar
- baby tomatoes vine on, if you can find them
- pickles gerkins, small dills, sweet and spicy
- mustard in small bowl with spoon
- roasted beets
- snack mixes trail mix, nut mixes
FILLERS & GARNISH
- edible flowers you’ll find these near the pre-packed herbs
- baby apples
- rosemary sprigs
- sweet peppers small
- preserved lemons
- Start by positioning your cheese on your board. Make sure they are cut into different sizes and shapes for a visually appealing board.
- If you are using Charcuterie place it next. Fold the meats in different patterns (half, quarters, rolled, etc.) to add height and save space for other ingredients.
- Next place larger items like individual bowls of dips and spreads.
- Add fruit, veggies and crackers in between the cheese and larger items.
- Fill in remaining smaller spaces with your fillers & garnish items to cover all empty spaces on your board.
I love seeing photos when you make my recipes! Make sure to tag me @katyscookin on Instagram when you make a Katy’s Cookin inspired cheese board. Thanks for stopping by!