how to build the perfect cheese board

building the perfect cheese tray

It’s almost the weekend, friends! We have started to really look forward to the weekends over here. We spend them working on house projects, making fun cocktails (I shared our favorite cocktail here), going on walks, and squeezing in a cheese tray every now and then!

I know none of us are entertaining right now, but you’d be surprised the morale boost you get when you put on some real clothes and prep a fun meal or h’orderves. Last weekend I decided to change out of my loungewear and put on a dress – it was so life giving! Then I had fun putting together an appealing cheese board for us to enjoy outside while our girls played in the yard. It was so fun!
During my late night pinterest binges, I’ve been studying how to make a beautiful cheese platter. Of course there’s no cookie cutter recipe for what makes the perfect cheese board, but there are some consistent elements that I find to elevate any cheese platter. We gave it a go last week and I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all!
building the perfect cheese tray

For starters, every cheese board should consist of 3 main elements – cheese, meat, and accompaniments. How many items in each area and what type of element you choose is up to you. You’ll base each element on the season, the number of guests you’re entertaining, and the theme of your gathering.


1. cheese
2. meat
3. accompaniments

Picking the cheese and the meat is typically the easy part (more on that in a bit), but the accompaniments is where your creative spirit will flourish. Here you’ll add varying textures, colors, and flavor profiles.


  • nuts
  • olives
  • fruit
  • veggies
  • honey/jam
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper?
  • dips/hummus/etc
building the perfect cheese tray


1. Pick your cheese – (minimum of 3, but 4 is best) some bold, some mild, and a crowd pleasers. Choose one cheese from each category: firm, soft and semi soft. Consider the shape as well for some variety – wedges, circle, log, etc.. A good rule of thumb for how much cheese to have is 1 oz per person.

2. Meats – 3-4 types and varying options. My personal opinion is that prosciutto is a must. Here you’ll want to opt for meats that are easy to pick up – salami, soppressata, etc. As far as quantity, you’ll also choose about 1-2 oz of meat per person.

3. Accompaniments – these can be themed for the season or the holiday. I also recommend trying to touch on the different senses: fresh, salty, sweet, tangy. I recommend different textures as well – crunchy, creamy, soft, etc..

4. Start in the center – you’ll want to choose something to “anchor” the board. Choose a big, strong cheese or a dip.

5. Work from the outside in – I like to start with the corners or edges and work my way in. This ensures you cover the whole board. I start with my biggest items like my cheeses and then gradually add items in until I’ve covered most of the board.

6. Fill in the gaps – step back and look at what is missing – look at color and texture. This is your chance to add some fresh elements to your board.  Add things like some clippings of flowers, some herbs from your garden, little berries for color, etc.
NOTE: pull cheeses according to recommendations; pull meats right before guests arrive (about 10-15 min).
building the perfect cheese traybuilding the perfect cheese tray