A cheese platter doesn’t have to be a big act of self-expression. While we love original, carefully selected partnerships of cheeses, crackers, pickles, and meats, this type of food production can take more effort than we can muster on a hot summer evening. But the beauty of a cheese platter is that it can be defined in so many ways: something you painstakingly assemble for a crowd, or a serving instrument you can use for an easy snacking meal.
So where to start ? When we lack patience and/or creativity, we turn to our archives for inspiration. With full ingredient lists and step-by-step building instructions, the following recipes are the culinary equivalent of IKEA furniture manuals. It’s a compliment, of course: these plans are detailed, easy to follow, and best built with a bottle of wine handy.
Beyond their convenience, these recipes provide foundational inspiration and techniques to broaden the horizons of your cheese board. Never made a vegetable platter before? You will find three of them below. Observe what you like, then improve on it next time. A few iterations later, you’ll be building the raw vegetable spread of your dreams.
Whether you’re looking for an easy, no-cook meal to snack on, or you’re browsing recipes in the hope of finding culinary inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are our 11 favorite cheese board recipes that can serve as dinner (even if you don’t add cheese).
Perhaps the most classic cheese plate duo, a meat and cheese platter never leads to a bad time. Here, we’ve excerpted recipes for standard charcuterie boards (as seen on TikTok, Instagram, and Wallace and Gromit), but we also dipped our toes into more adventurous plates, like grilled sausage plates and pulled pork nachos.
If you want to incorporate fish into a classic cheese plate presentation, Marissa Mullen’s Cheese Platter with Smoked Trout, Potatoes and Eggs will give you the complex flavor and polished aesthetic you’re looking for. However, if you want to go rogue and build a board around a culinary challenge, serve Magnus Nillsson’s Gravlax with soft bread, crunchy vegetables (like cucumbers), lots of dill, and your favorite cream cheese.
There are countless reasons to create a veggie-based snack plate, but here are a few of our favorites: they’re often bright and refreshing, the lack of meat usually results in more affordable ingredients, and the natural colors and vibrant vegetables tend to burst when served on a platter.
Carefully crafted to balance the sweet notes of chocolate with the more savory flavors of cheese, these boards are the perfect companion for a late-night glass of wine. Best of all, they look great and come together quickly, making them the perfect low-key dessert for a dinner party.
These arrangements of meat, cheese, fish, vegetables and chocolate deserve a home of equal beauty. Here are our favorite trays, boards and serving platters for building cheese plates.
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What’s your favorite way to prepare a cheese platter? Let us know in the comments below!