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Today I am sharing exactly How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board…because nothing is more impressive than a beautiful spread of cheese and meats. I keep mine simple, delicious, and pretty using store-bought ingredients that everyone loves. Fill out your cheese board with your favorite cheeses, seasonal fruits, meats, and crackers to create the perfect appetizer for all your upcoming dinner parties and gatherings with friends.

overhead photo of an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

Is it really a holiday party without a cheese board? In addition to a good baked Brie appetizer (or the blue cheese bites in HBH Super Simple), I always serve a cheese board for Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining. Everyone loves snacking on a cheese board as they chat throughout the kitchen. And I have to say, I really love creating them! There’s something so inviting about walking into a kitchen with a cheese board on the counter. For me, it’s pretty much a must at any gathering.

And the best part? Cheese boards can be thrown together in minutes if you keep a well-stocked pantry. It’s a great last-minute appetizer that’s always impressive.

With Thanksgiving just one day away, and the Christmas entertaining season upon us, I figured it was the perfect time to share with you guys just exactly how I put together my cheese boards. My biggest secret? Keep it simple…but make it look impressive.

Here is how I do it (I have many words)…

How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board | halfbakedharvest.com #cheeseboard #appetizers #christmas #thanksgiving

added the cheese

How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board | halfbakedharvest.com #cheeseboard #appetizers #christmas #thanksgiving

next up the meats

How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board | halfbakedharvest.com #cheeseboard #appetizers #christmas #thanksgiving

slowly filling it in

How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board | halfbakedharvest.com #cheeseboard #appetizers #christmas #thanksgiving

…and almost there

The Essentials to a Good Cheese Board.

The cheeses: keep it simple and stick to using only three or four of your favorite cheeses. I know it can be so tempting to go overboard at the cheese counter, but trust me, simple is best. Pick cheeses that you love, but also that you know will go over well with guests. For a holiday board, I always use a creamy Brie, a sharp cheddar, and a block of goat cheese (I love using Humboldt Fog or an herb rolled goat cheese log). This combo is usually pretty well-loved by everyone, and each of these are relatively affordable as well.

And then, since I love a funky blue cheese, I always throw a wedge of that on my board as well. Another great cheese is Mimolette, which is a little pricer, but so delicious.

Here’s my secret to creating a big, beautiful board with only three cheese varieties…buy multiple wedges/blocks of the same cheese and arrange them throughout your board. This makes the board look super full but keeps the flavors from becoming overwhelming to guests.

overhead close up photo of an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

The meats: every good board needs some deli meats. My favorites are prosciutto and spicy salami. Again, these are simple but always loved by all. You don’t need to get fancy with the meats. Just use one or two that you really love.

The fruits: you know me, I have to have several fruits. For holiday boards, I always include ruby red pomegranates, persimmons, winter citrus, and either apples or pears. Grapes are pretty classic on a cheese board too, but personally, I love to switch it up and give everyone a board that’s not as “basic” and expected. Throw on some different fruits and have fun. Some other ideas are dried apricots, cranberries, and figs…if you can find them.

The spreads: fig preserves are always on my boards as well as honey. I just don’t make a cheese board without either of these. This season I’m also adding some cranberry sauce because after making a huge batch of homemade sauce, I’ve been obsessed with pairing it with cheese and crackers. Delicious.

The Crackers and Nuts: I’m such a huge fan of crackers and nuts on cheese boards. I like to use a good variety of them to keep the board interesting. Not going to lie, I usually just run into Whole Foods and buy everything that catches my eye…sea salt pita crisps, fig and olive crackers, and everything spice thins. You whatever you’d like here. Also? I will not be upset with you if you were to put Ritz crackers on your board. I will forever LOVE buttery Ritz crackers and a slice of cheddar…so good.

For the nuts, again any combo works, but I love salty Marcona almonds, roasted pistachios, and candied walnuts.

Odds and ends: salty olives are a must (for me), marinated artichokes are a delicious addition, and pickles are great too.

overhead close up photo of How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

How to Arrange Your Cheese Board

One of the questions I get asked most is how to arrange a cheese board.

The truth? There is no exact right way. It’s a lot of arranging and rearranging, but here are the steps I take.

I always start with the cheese and place the wedges evenly throughout my board. These are my “anchors”, simply arrange everything else around the cheese. If you plan to cut any of the cheese wedges, do this now while the cheese is still chilled. The cheese will be much easier to cut when cold.

From here I always add the spreads, then meats, arranging them around the cheese. From here I’ll usually start adding any fruits and veggies that I’m using. Again, I arrange them evenly around what is already on the board, making small adjustments as I place each food.

Finally, I like to save the crackers and nuts for last. I use these to fill in all the blank spaces on my board. I love a very FULL cheese board, so these are my “fillers” that end up perfectly rounding out the board.

close up photo of How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

My best tips…

Always serve cheese at room temperature. People assume cheese should be cold, but its flavor is best at room temp. This makes it great for serving at parties. You can assemble your board before guests arrive. By the time everyone gets to snacking, the cheese should be perfect.

To create a super full looking board with minimal ingredients, just buy multiples of each ingredient and arrange them evenly throughout the board. This creates a full look. You don’t have to buy a million and one different ingredients…that quite possibly no one will eat.

And on that note, use only foods you know you LOVE. Not into olives, skip them. This is your board, so make it with the ingredients you love most. This way you’ll be able to enjoy anything that’s leftover.

Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with all your favorite cheese board ingredients…at all times…but especially throughout the holiday season. You never know when someone might stop by for a five o’clock cocktail and appetizer. In my case, this happens often. Sometimes it’s only one or two people, but around here, it can be as many as twenty. My point…be prepared.

And that’s my simple process. Nothing too fancy, but when it comes to a cheese board it really should be simple. Use your favorite ingredients, always include colorful fruits, and many delicious crackers.

You can’t go wrong! Fingers crossed you still have a little wiggle room in your Thanksgiving menu to include this board. I’m excitedly waiting to see them all on Instagram this week! If you think I’m joking, I’m not. I LOVE looking at the recipes you all make. Favorite part of my day!

side angled photo of an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

If you make this easy holiday cheese board be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easy Holiday Cheese Board.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 3-4 cheese wedges/blocks, such as Brie, goat cheese, cheddar, and blue cheese
  • assorted meats, such as salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni
  • assorted nuts, such as Marcona almonds and pistachios
  • assorted fruit, such as pomegranate, pears, citrus, and persimmons
  • assorted veggies, such as marinated artichokes, mixed olives, and pickles
  • spreads, such as honey, fig preserves, and cranberry sauce
  • crackers or a variety of your favorites

Instructions

  • 1. Arrange the cheese on a large serving board. While the cheese is cold, slice or cube some of the cheese blocks/wedges, if desired.
    2. Fill the board in with the meats, nuts, fruits, veggies, and spreads as desired. Add the crackers on the outside of the board, filling in the empty space. Serve the cheese board at room temperature.

Notes

Slice the Cheese Cold: while the cheese is still cold, slice the hard cheeses into slices and crumble some of the softer cheese so guests have an idea what to do. 
Serve at Room Temp: room temperature is always best for a cheese board.
My Four Favorite Cheeses: For a holiday board, I use Brie, Humboldt fog goat cheese, sharp cheddar, and blue cheese. 

horizontal photo of How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board

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Comments

    1. Hey Lydia,
      I found this board at a vintage shop. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  1. This looks amzing! This isn’t as hard as what I thought it would be. No party plans now…but will give a try. Can these be made in summer months?

  2. Love making cheese boards but I was wondering what the honey is used for? Also, do you have a good recipe for candied walnuts?

    1. Hey Sandy,
      I like to drizzle honey over cheese. So sorry I do not. I hope you love the recipe, Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jenny,
      I think that is just about the size that I have! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Rachel,
      So sorry I found this board at a vintage shop, I do not have a link. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. Could you share where to shop for the pan you are using for the board? Looks like a copper rectangular pan ??? Where would you suggest getting boards, some boards state no food! I would like to find antique looking boards. Thank you again!

    1. Hey Donna,
      I found this at an antique store, so I would recommend looking around unique shops to find something a little different. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I’m ordering cheese online and having it delivered. Approximately how much does each of the cheese weigh? Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Your Holiday Cheese Board – Wow! Just Wow! The steps! The end result. Stunning and scrumptious. Not an Instagramer, so no pics and my attempt didn’t quite match yours, but it was pretty wonderful and delicious too. Added a little jar of Black Truffle honey and I was one of those who hung nearby to nibble on and on. Gratitude for your loving placement and embellishments. You inspired me to create my best yet. For me this could be dinner every night. THANK YOU!

    1. Hi Janel! My board is about 30″ W x 18.5” D x 3” H. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  6. Hello! I’m going to make your delicious, beautifully decorated cheeseboard for Christmas – what is the size of your cheeseboard? Where was it purchased?
    Thank you! Loretta

    1. Hi Loretta! My board is about 30″ W x 18.5” D x 3” H. It was a vintage store find, so sadly I do not have a link. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Lovely cheese board! I could snack on these every day as I was a rat in my former life…never met a cheese I didn’t like:-) For those of you asking where to find a beautiful board, if you have Home Goods where you live they have a lot of them…different sizes and shapes and very reasonably priced. Thanks for all of the beautiful recipes and photos you provide for us. Hope you had a relaxed, blessed Thanksgiving! Sending love from Encinitas California.

    1. Thank you so much Linda! So glad you shared a place, because mine are mostly etsy or vintage! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    SO GORGEOUS!! ?? & those Brie Cranberry tarts are SO beautiful too! Power in a fabulous presentation! You are inspiring do many! Best wishes to you! Teresa

    1. Hi Teri! This is actually just a junk store find. I think it was $10!! So sorry, I don’t have a link for you. 🙁 Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

  9. Hey Tieghan,
    I LOVE this cheese board and it really seems like you!! It looks absolutely beautiful and I’m always jealous I don’t have as many people to feed (so I’m not able to make a HUGE board/ too many things). I hope you enjoyed making and photographing this one.?And I hope you’re enjoying some of the family time before everyone leaves (if they haven’t already)! What do you have planned for T day since no one will be around? Are you still cutting the tree on Black Friday (haha hopefully not by yourself)? Either way, have a lovely thanksgiving!! Thank you for all of the love you put into each and every post and for being a spark of joy in the day.
    Stay warm!

    1. Hi Kristen! You can still put a bunch of things, just in smaller portions! I am so glad you like this! I am definitely cooking and taking care of the animals.. but I am not sure I don’t have much planned! I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hey Cat! I like to leave the rind on the Brie! It’s edible and does help keep the brie in one piece. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

  10. I’m drooling!!!! Humbolt Fog is one of my all time favorite cheeses, but I honestly haven’t met too many cheeses I don’t like! This is a beautiful board, I’d eat this for dinner!!

  11. Absolutely love your blog Tieghan!! I am making a cheeseboard for a holiday party and will definitely use this as inspiration. Question for you though – I love the look of fruits like pomegranates or half-cut pears and apples on the board, but does anyone actually eat them!?

    1. Hi Michelle! Yes they do! I find that many people like the sweetness along with the cheese. Also, a great option for people who are gluten free to use instead of crackers! xTieghan

  12. Beautiful! I love your how-to posts. Any recommendations on places to find large serving/cheese boards? You always have the prettiest wooden boards to display food on.

    1. Hi Melisa! I usually find mine from vintage places or on etsy! Also, Trader Joes has a really nice board right now! xTieghan

  13. I made a cheese board for our early Thanksgiving this year. I used your recipe for homemade pumpkin butter and put a jar on there. I also took dried apricots, put a tiny bit of that pumpkin butter on there and then wrapped it in prosciutto. It was yummy!

  14. 5 stars
    Your board looks like a piece of art!
    I made a fantastic jalapeño cranberry jam special for my holiday cheese boards this year! I can’t wait to put it out!!!

  15. This looks so yummy!

    I’m in Scotland, and cheeseboard usually appears towards the end of the meal here, but I love the idea of it as an appetiser much more. Need to get me a big board or tray ?

    Must say, now I’ve started reading your blog everyday, I really love it. Love the pictures of your beloved Colorado too. Thanks for all the work you put in.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours when it comes. Xx

  16. Dear. Like the holiday cheese board picture so much. Would like to have it on my kitchen wall. Could u pls send me the pic in high resolution to my email. Tks so much and keep cooking, baking etc… Love yr blog. Olga