How to Make a Simple Cheese Board

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A cheese board is a welcome addition to any party, gathering, or snack table.

These tips I’m sharing today are going to make it easy for you to pull together an easy cheese board with little more than what you might find in your refrigerator or freezer.

Easy Cheese Board Tips

It’s easier than you might think to pull together a crowd-pleasing beautiful cheese board in just a few minutes relying on kitchen staples and familiar ingredients.

And with a few special ingredients on hand, you’ll have a cheese board at your fingertips for any possible occasion.

Simple Cheese Boards

Pick 2-3 cheeses, a handful of different crackers, some fruits and vegetables, pickles and olives, a little dish or jam or mustard, and you’re almost done.

Family movie nights, date nights at home with Sean, two-handed coffee mornings, or a quick lunch with friends? A cheese board is almost always my answer to the “what should I serve?” question.

When you have a last-minute dinner guest or an unexpected visit from a friend, learning to pull together a basic cheese board in just a few minutes can save the day.

Enjoy as a pre-dinner appetizer alone, alongside other appetizers or hors d’oeuvres or a centerpiece for a picnic lunch.

The serving possibilities are endless.

Keep it basic! Every cheese board doesn’t need to have every single ingredient on it. Sometimes the most basic cheese boards are my favorite.

  1. Arrange the cheese around the board. Next, add the crackers. 
  2. Add little bowls or piles of pickles and olives. Add tiny dishes of jam and/or mustard. 
  3. Fill in the gaps with fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. 
How To Make A Basic Cheeseboard

Crackers for a Cheese Board

The crackers don’t need to be fancy. Whatever you have in your pantry is likely to do. Ritz crackers are a fantastic vehicle for most kinds of cheeses, as are woven wheat styles of crackers (like Triscuits), and water crackers.

If you happen to have a baguette or another type of crusty bread around, you can certainly add it to your cheeseboard. But there’s no need to bake bread or make a special trip to the bakery just for your board. Remember–we’re aiming for simple!

Fruits and Vegetables for a Cheese Board 

Adding fruit to your cheese board isn’t strictly necessary but it is a nice way to balance out the salty flavors of cheese and crackers with something sweet.

Grapes, apple, and pear slices are traditional but strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries would also be tasty additions to your cheeseboard.

Cheeseboard snack platters

Nuts for a Cheese Board

Nuts make a cheese board feel just a little extra special somehow. Almonds, cashews, and walnuts are wonderful choices. Choose a roasted and salted variety or your favorite candied, sugared, or other specialty nuts. 

Just about any variety of nuts can add the perfect blend of sweetness, saltiness, and crunch to a cheese board. Candied Walnuts, Cinnamon Roasted Pecans, and these Ginger Honey Roasted Almonds are a few of my personal favorites. (These Smoked Almonds are on my list to try soon!)

Check out the Meat Lover’s Cheese Board and these Cheese Plate Snacks for more great ideas and food combinations to add to a cheeseboard.

Simple Cheese Board

How to Transport a Board

I love using rimmed boards and trays when making charcuterie boards and cheese trays. That rim helps everything stay in place when moving things from one location to another.

Assemble the tray at home and cover it tightly with plastic wrap during transport to prevent accidental spills.

If you’re using a flat charcuterie board and need to transport your cheese board, I recommend bringing your ingredients in airtight containers and assembling the board upon arrival.

Occasions like this are when you want to keep your ingredients as minimal and no-fuss as possible.

Easy Cheese Boards

Assembling a cheese board really doesn’t require any special knowledge or high-brow expensive cheeses and meats.

In most cases, you can pull together a tasty board that everyone will love using ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

For more tips on making a cheese board that won’t break the bank, visit my Cheese Board Making 101 Guide. 

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Cheeseboard snack platters

How To Make An Easy Cheese Board

4.67 from 3 votes
A good cheese board is a welcome addition to any party, gathering or snack table. These tips I'm sharing today are going to make it easy for you to pull together a cheese board with little more than what you might find in your refrigerator or freezer.
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Ingredients 

  • 2-3 assorted cheeses
  • 3 varieties of crackers
  • fresh ready to eat vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes, mini peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower
  • fresh ready to eat fruits: grapes and berries
  • small bite-size pickles, olives, and sliced jalapenos
  • sweet and spicy jam or jelly
  • dry mustard
  • dried fruits: apricots, banana chips, and raisins
  • assorted nuts

Instructions

  • Arrange the cheese around the board. Next, add the crackers. 
  • Add little bowls or piles of pickles and olives. Add tiny dishes of jam and/or mustard. 
  • Fill in the gaps with fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. Enjoy!
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{originally published 12/26/18 – recipe notes and photos updated 3/18/22}

How To Make A Simple Cheese Board

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Mary says

      Hi Janet! I’m so glad you like the cheese board. I found one on Amazon that is very close to the look and size of that board. You can see it here: https://amzn.to/2Ebyuea I’m fairly certain that I bought mine at Ross for about half that price. I’ve picked up most of my boards at discount home stores like Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods. It’s a really affordable way to gather a variety of sizes.

  1. Jay Figueroa says

    I love the variety of foods on this board and it doesn’t look too expensive to put together either. Thanks!5 stars

  2. Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious) says

    Mary,

    Well done. A couple of thoughts.

    People confuse cheese boards (with or without fruit and veg) and charcuterie (preserved meats). They go together beautifully but are different things. Vocabulary matters.

    Second, admittedly a personal foible, is that cheeses or anything else you need to cut such as pates buried in the board rapidly lead to a mess. Putting items that guests or other participants need to slice right on the edge means less refresh maintenance and less food on the floor.

    sail fast and eat well, dave4 stars