Cheese Boards are featured today just in time for the start of the holiday season. An antipasto platter is great all year long, although in recent years they've become quite popular! Here are some quick tips on creating the perfect cheese board that everyone will be talking about after your next dinner party.
My husband and I have a little tradition of putting together an Cheese Board or antipasto platter along with a few other appetizers and watching a movie a few times a year. When the kids were younger we would wait until they were in bed before we put our “perfect cheese board” together to enjoy.
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What is a Perfect Cheese Board?
A good cheese board often consists of a variety of meats and cheeses and often fruit or nuts. In other words, it's "antipasto" which means “before the meal.” It's small bites of food to get you ready for the main meal. And when put together properly, a cheese board can be almost like a work of art.
Putting together a cheese board is probably one of the easiest things you can do when entertaining.
What Goes on a Cheese Board?
Cheese boards are simply colorful offerings of marinated vegetables, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olives, deli meats and most importantly, a variety of different cheeses. However, it’s always best to keep things simple.
Here's a list of a few very popular items to include on your next party platter:
- Cheese – mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, cheddar are a few of our favorites. We love to use fresh mozzarella that’s been marinated as well.
- Thinly sliced ham, Genoa salami or pepperoni.
- Canned marinated artichokes.
- Olives – look for an assortment. Our local supermarket has an olive bar that I love to use when putting together an antipasto platter or salad.
- Peppers – marinated or just freshly sliced. Look for an assortment of colored peppers as well.
- Fruit – keep it simple. Seedless grapes are usually the best.
- Jams - lately I have been serving fig jam alongside my cheese boards. Jam goes great with cheese!
- Bread or Crackers – try not to have too much if you’re serving your antipasto platter before the main meal. You don’t want your guests filling up too much so they’re no longer hunger for the main meal.
- If you are serving bread, you can also offer a fruit or olive spread to use. Homemade French Bread would be perfect to serve alongside!
- Don’t forget to keep your platter pretty. Use fresh basil leaves or rosemary to help bring the colors together for a beautiful platter.
Perfect Cheese Board
- Brie, 2 cups
- Applewood Cheddar, 3 cups
- Roast turkey, shredded, 3 cups
- Mortadella or Italian Sausage, 2 cups
- Blue Diamond Nut Thin Crackers
- Cranberry Nut Crackers
- Harvest Baked Snap Crisps
- Fresh Cranberries
- Sweet and Spicy Pecans
- Clementine, peeled and segmented
- Place the brie in the center of your cheeseboard.
- Use the nut thins to form a half circle around the brie cheese, and then use the cranberry nut crackers to form the remaining half of the circle, then add a large pile of the cranberry crackers alongside.
- Place the applewood cheddar along one side of the board.
- Fan out the mortadella and place that and the roasted turkey along two other edges of the board, forming a rough triangle with the applewood cheddar.
- In remaining spaces on the board, add in the green pea snacks, fresh cranberries, and clementines.
- Add a generous pile of the sweet and spicy pecans, and then use extras to fill in any small spaces on the board.
How Far in Advance Should you Prepare a Cheese Board?
- The last thing anyone needs is to be putting together the cheese board as your guests are standing around watching you. So what should you do?
- I recommend prepping the different cheeses by cutting or slicing them earlier in the day. Place the cheeses in plastic containers or plastic bags in the refrigerator. Make sure to keep the different flavors of cheese separate. Otherwise, the cheeses will all start to taste alike.
- You can even prep the meat ahead of time and store in plastic bags as well in the refrigerator. You can have the rest of the ingredients that don't need refrigeration in their packages near the board you are going to spread everything out on.
- Around 30 minutes or so before guests begin to arrive, arrange everything on the board. Since cheese tastes better at room temperature, it's okay to put the cheeses and meats on the board a few minutes before you expect your guests.
- Cover the board with plastic wrap and remove right before you're ready to serve.
Accessories Needed for a Perfect Cheese Board
- You can find a huge collection of Cheese Boards in most stores these days. I have purchased a few from Amazon that I love.
- What you may not know is you don't actually need a "board" to put your cheese, crackers and meat on! You can use a Marble Tray, Slate Tray or regular tray. Even a large platter will work. I love the color of this this aqua tray! Be creative!
- It always helps to have cheese knives and forks available for your guests.
- Cheese Markers are always a great idea to help you label the different cheese or meats used.
More Easy Appetizer Recipes:
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
- Caprese Antipasto Skewers
- Mini Spinach and Bacon Quiche
- Zucchini Pizza Bites - low calorie and low carb!
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 857mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 29g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.