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This easy Holiday Cheese Board takes minutes to assemble, is a beautiful and delicious display of seasonal finger foods and appetizers that will keep everyone satisfied for parties and gatherings. I’m keeping it super simple with store-bought ingredients and almost zero prep.
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I’ll show you how I like to fill out a holiday cheese board using only a handful of ingredient categories to keep everything simple, delicious and something you can be proud of.
All you need is a collection of store-bought ingredients to create this simple board. I gather my favorite cheeses, holiday-inspired fruits, meats, and a variety of crackers and finger foods to help create an easy cheese board to serve friends and family.
When Do You Serve a Cheese Board?
I love to assemble a cheese board for almost all holidays. They’re simple to make and everyone absolutely loves them.
It’s a casual way to encourage people to gather, to have fun, and, honestly, it keeps them satisfied until dinner.
Holidays are THE perfect time to serve a cheese board. Especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s, perhaps, the EASIEST way to entertain.
As a host… it takes minutes to pull together. And often, you can buy the ingredients in larger quantities to help stock the pantry for quick and easy boards all season.
Essentials of a Holiday Cheese Board
I often limit my holiday boards to a few ingredient categories:
The cheese counter at your market can seem intimidating– and most definitely tempting! This is why I try to limit myself to 3 or 4 choices of my favorite cheeses.
Great holiday cheese choices might be Brie (or a pastry-encrusted Brie as I’ve done here), I also like to include cheddar because it seems to be the most popular, and then a wedge or block of goat cheese or blue cheese is always a nice accompaniment. Boursin has delicious and easy choices for the cheese board as well.
When you’re buying your cheese, choose different shapes and sizes, and spread them throughout the board.
Most all cheese boards benefit from a selection of deli meats, like prosciutto, and salami.
I love fruit on a cheese board. First, it’s a super easy way to fill out the board, and more importantly, it brings color and texture. Plus, my friends also love the option of fruit for every occasion, whether it’s a breakfast board, brunch board, or a Mediterranean-inspired board.
For the holidays, I like to add grapes, a classic choice, and also include mandarin oranges, persimmons, and kiwi slices. Other ideas to include might be dried fruit, like cranberries, dates, etc.
Spreads & Jam
Adding condiments, like spreads and jams, is a delicious way to add flavor to your offerings on a cheese board. And give something to spread on the crackers, crostini, and breads you add to the board.
Finger Foods: Crackers & Nuts
I also like to have at least a couple of cracker varieties on cheese boards. Perfect for spreads, soft cheeses, or simply a savory, salty snack. Choose crackers with different shapes and flavors for interest and consider including gluten-free crackers as well. And they don’t have to be “fancy”– sometimes Ritz crackers are the first to go!
Mixed nuts scattered across the board are easy and delicious finger foods– and help fill in the gaps so the board looks full.
Cheese Board Tips
Here are some quick tips for pulling together your Holiday Cheese Board:
- Always serve cheese at room temperature.
- Buy ingredients in multiples (like cheese and crackers) and spread them throughout the board. This helps the board look fuller with fewer ingredients.
- Choose cheese board ingredients you love, and likely your guests will too.
- Stock your pantry with cheese board ingredients for quick entertaining throughout the season.
Holiday Cheese Board Ingredients
Here are the specific ingredients I’ve used on this Holiday Cheese Board.
- Cheeses: Sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese purchased already in cubes. Wedges of Roquefort and Beecher’s Yule Käse (which is a local Seattle favorite). I also included a store-made baked brie in puff pastry which I heated before serving.
- Deli Meats: Thin slices of prosciutto and salami.
- Fruit: Clusters of red grapes, thin slices of kiwi, persimmons, and leafed satsuma oranges.
- Spreads and Jams: Jars of honey, fig spread, raspberry, and apricot jams.
- Finger Foods: Thin crisp crackers, garlic butter crostini, Raincoast Crisps Cranberry and Hazelnut, mixed nuts, olives, and fresh rosemary for fragrance and holiday cheer :)!
How to Arrange a Holiday Cheese Board
There are so many ways to arrange a cheese board. And most often, the size and shape of your board determines the layout.
And honestly, almost any pan, cutting board, or plate can serve dual purpose as a cheese board.
For this holiday board, I’m using a new paddle board I picked up at Crate and Barrel this year. It’s thin and fits easily into my storage area. And, I’m looking forward to using it all season long.
I like to begin placing by placing wedges of cheese, empty containers, and utensils on the board.
I then begin to add deli meats and cubed cheeses.
Next, I like to add the spreads and fruit and spread around the board for color and texture.
Finally, I fill in all the empty spaces with crackers, nuts, and clusters of grapes. I then add the spreads and fill the bowls with nuts and other condiments like mixed olives.
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- 3-4 cheese wedges: like brie, goat cheese, and cheddar
- Deli meat: like salami, and prosciutto
- Fruit: like grapes, kiwi, mandarin, pomegranate, and persimmons
- Spreads: like honey, fig preserves, and jams
- Crackers and finger foods: like nuts and mixed olives
- Arrange the cheese on a large serving board along with cheese knives and empty containers.
- Then fill the board in with the deli meats, nuts, fruits, spreads, and finger foods. I like to keep the crackers on the edges of the board and fill in the blank spaces with additional nuts and grape clusters. Serve the cheese board at room temperature.