A cheese board doesn’t need to be some grand act of self-expression. While we adore original, thoughtfully curated partnerships of cheeses, crackers, pickles, and meats, that sort of culinary production can require more effort than we can muster on a hot summer evening. But the beauty of a cheese board is that it can be defined in many ways—something you painstakingly assemble for a crowd, or a serving instrument that you can use for an easy, snackable meal.
So where to begin? When we’re short on patience and/or creativity, we turn to our archives for grazing inspiration. With comprehensive ingredient lists and step-by-step building instructions, the following recipes are the culinary equivalent of IKEA furniture manuals. That’s a compliment, of course: These blueprints are detailed, easy to follow, and best built with a bottle of wine within reach.
Beyond their convenience, these recipes provide inspiration and foundational techniques for expanding your cheese board horizons. Never built a vegetable-forward platter before? You’ll find three below. Observe what you enjoy, and then improve upon it the next time. A few iterations later, you’ll be building the crudités spread of your dreams.
Whether you’re looking for an easy, no-cook, snackable meal or perusing recipes in hopes of garnering culinary inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are our 11 favorite cheese board recipes that can double as dinner (even if you fail to add cheese).
Perhaps the most classic cheese plate duo, a platter of meat and cheese never leads to a bad time. Here we’ve pulled recipes for standard charcuterie boards (as seen on TikTok, Instagram, and Wallace & Gromit), but also dipped our toes into more adventurous platters, like grilled sausage plates and pulled pork nachos.
If you’d like to incorporate fish into a classic cheese plate presentation, Marissa Mullen’s Cheese Board With Smoked Trout, Potatoes & Eggs will provide the complex flavor and curated aesthetic you’re searching for. However, if you’d like to go rogue and build a board around one culinary challenge, serve Magnus Nillsson’s Gravlax alongside soft bread, crunchy vegetables (like cucumbers), plenty of dill, and your favorite cream cheese.
There’s countless reasons to build a vegetable-forward snacking plate, but here are some of our favorites: They’re often bright and refreshing, the lack of meat typically translates to more affordable ingredients, and vegetables’ natural, vibrant colors tend to pop when served on a platter.
Carefully curated to balance the sweet notes of chocolate with cheese’s more savory flavors, these boards are the ideal companion for a late-night glass of wine. Even better, they look great and come together quickly, making them the perfect, low-key dinner party dessert.
These arrangements of meat, cheese, fish, vegetables, and chocolate deserve a home of equal beauty. Here are our favorite platters, boards, and serving dishes for building cheese plates.
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What’s your favorite way to make a cheese board? Let us know in the comments below!