Have you ever wondered How To Make a Cheese Board? Some people call them charcuterie boards, but there’s a difference between the two. When combined, they make the perfect appetizer at every party, and are super easy to create!
Cheese Board vs. Charcuterie
Charcuterie boards are basically made up of cured meats that go well together. They’re all the rage right now, and creating one couldn’t be easier!
A cheese board is just what it implies…a board or platter made up of different types of cheeses accompanied by breads, crackers and spreads.
I’ve combined the best of both worlds by using both charcuterie and cheese. The result is an ultimate blend of everyone’s favorite appetizers!
Choosing a Board
However, you don’t have to buy a board to create a masterpiece! You can connect three plates in a row or use a simple cutting board if you don’t have a lot of space.
I like to decorate around the board depending on the season. Look for dried fruit slices at the craft store, or use other seasonal decor such as mini pumpkins, gourds, or fresh cranberries. Fresh foliage and berries are fun, but craft stores also sell faux-foliage that looks incredibly real.
Think of the word ‘flowing’ as you decorate. Keep it light and breezy to match the decor of your table centerpieces.
What to Put on a Cheese Board
Once you’ve gathered your board and decor, it’s time to select the cheese and accompaniments.
Most grocery stores have a large variety of cheese to choose from. Or, you can usually find a specialty store in many cities that will allow you to taste before you buy.
Types of Cheese
As far as types go, I recommend choosing varieties your guests will recognize and at least one that will surprise them. A sharp Cheddar is always popular, and folks usually love Havarti or Muenster.
Roquefort is a bold choice, since it tends to be pungent and sharp. Throw in something unexpected like a Camembert (soft) or Manchego (hard) that will intrigue your guests. Be sure to label everything so folks will know what they’re eating!
Accompaniments put the pizazz in your board, so have fun with it. There’s no limit to what you can add to a charcuterie board or how it can be arranged.
- Breads and Dippers – crostini, crackers, fresh veggies, bread sticks, baguette
- Dried fruits – dates, apricots, cherries, figs, pineapple
- Fresh fruit – grape clusters, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pears, apples
- Cured meats – pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, mortadella, chorizo
- Dips – pimento cheese, cream cheese, pesto goat cheese, hummus
- Nuts – smoked almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews
- Olives & Pickles – kalamata, manzanilla, roasted garlic, gherkin pickles
- Chutneys & Spreads – apricot, fig, tomato jam, whole grain mustards, honey
- Fresh Herbs – rosemary, thyme, oregano
How to Assemble a Cheese Board
Assembling your board is so much fun! Even if you’re not the creative type, you can make it happen with very little effort.
Remember 3 Rules
- Add the cheeses first, spread them out, and cut a few slices off blocks.
- Place liquid items like olives, hummus, and spreads in small bowls around the board.
- Fill in the gaps with nuts, crackers and dried fruits, then garnish with fresh herbs.
Easy, peasy! Above all, have fun with it. Your guests will rave about your creation!
- Cheese tastes best at room temperature, so let it sit on the board 1 hour before serving.
- Slice the cheese if it’s the hard type to make it easier on your guests.
- Include different textures and flavors so guests will have a variety to choose from.
Dips and Spreads
Just about any dip will work on a cheese board, but here are a few of my favorites…
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Smoked Pimento-Jack Cheese
- Pesto Goat Cheese with Raspberry Sauce
- Basil Pesto Sauce
- Southern Pimento Cheese
- Bacon Apricot Spread
How to Make a Cheese Board
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- 8 ounce block sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 ounce block Havarti cheese or other cheese of your choice
- 2 cups olive medley with roasted garlic from deli
- 1 large red seedless grape cluster
- 1 package sliced salami & pepperoni from deli
- 2 cups pistachios with shells
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 sleeve savory crackers
- 1 bag herbed crostini from deli
- rosemary to garnish
- Slice cheddar cheese and place on cheese board (ad) toward one side.
- Place Havarti cheese on board diagonally from cheddar.
- Spoon olive medley into 2 small bowls and place near cheeses.
- Arrange grape cluster on board near cheese.
- Roll slices of salami and pepperoni and place on board in an empty space.
- Fill in gaps on board with pistachios, dried apricots, crackers and crostini.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Substitutions can be made for all of the above depending on the season.
- Decorate the outside of the board with seasonal decor if desired.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.
You will find as many ways to pronounce charcuterie as stars in the sky. But ‘How Do You Say That Word‘ has an interesting commentary on how to pronounce this French derivative.
Any food safe surface makes a wonderful vessel for charcuterie and cheese. Large platters or small plates can be used, as well as cutting boards and even salt blocks.
Instead of purchasing cheeses in the deli section of your grocery store, look for them in the refrigerated section that carries shredded cheese and whole blocks. Or visit your local Aldi store or Trader Joe’s for products that are reasonably priced!
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