Holiday Cheese Board

cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor

Holiday Cheese Board

The holidays are going to be especially hard this year. Being physically apart from loved ones can be tough! But one thing we can all still do is make wonderful food and virtually celebrate together. My solution is making a beautiful appetizer board and encouraging my family to do the same before we connect online. So, we can toast and snack with each other.

Holidays, whether quarantined or not, are all about being together (zoom or in-person) and the food. Okay, maybe the second isn’t as important for everyone. But I know the food, snacks, treats, and drinks are very important to my family. We always try to do something fun and delicious for appetizers for the during the day treats that we can keep munching on. So, this board is something that we would put out and enjoy from like lunch until dinner.

I made this cheese board and included this melted alpine cheese to add something special. Also, who doesn’t love a warm gooey cheese dip? It’s thick and delicious and perfect holiday flavors. Below you can get the instructions for how to build this and also the recipe for the cheese dip.

Table of Contents

cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor

What do you put on an appetizer platter?

I love filling appetizer boards and platters with things that can stand being out for a bit of time and don’t need a heat or cooling source. You can also of course customize them for your or your guests to dietary restrictions. I’ve included some ideas below:

  • Cheeses – sliced or cubed, whatever your favorite brand.
  • Dips – whether baked brie, cheese dips, artichoke and spinach, etc.
  • Cured meats – prosciutto, salamis, etc.
  • Crackers or baguettes – sliced up baguettes and crackers can be used with cheese, meats, or even by themselves.
  • Pickled or marinated veggies – anything from pickled peppers to pickles, or marinated artichoke hearts, or really anything you enjoy. Place these into little bowls on your board.
  • Olives – olives are always a good option for appetizer boards. You can choose your favorites, including stuffed olives.
  • Small appetizers – something like puff pastries, meatballs, mini samosas, etc. something that can hold on its own for a few hours.
  • Fruit – you can do fresh or dried. You can slice up some apples, pears, berries, or you can serve your favorite dried fruits like apricots or figs.
  • Nuts – your favorite nuts can make a great filler on a platter. However, make sure you don’t have any nut allergies with your family and friends.
cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor

What kind of olives go on a cheese platter?

Olives are something of a preference, but some that go well are green or purple olives. I always suggest using pitted olives to save from hazards and the awkwardness of spitting out seeds in front of people. Some of my favorites are Kalamata, stuffed green olives (like blue cheese or garlic), Castelvetrano, Niçoise, and Cerignola.

How to fold prosciutto for a charcuterie board?

I like to make my prosciutto into little roses. It makes it much easier to pick up for guests and also looks great. To make a prosciutto rose, you want to pull one piece of prosciutto by itself. Then taking one end, pinch about 1” of the bottom edge. Start to roll that pinched end into the rest of prosciutto. Rolling it into itself you will start to see it form. Then gently take the top of the “petals” (the top side of the rose) and pull it slightly down and out. You’ll see it resemble a little rose!

How do I say charcuterie board?

Shar-Coo-Tur-EE. Charcuterie is French for delicatessen. So, technically boards like this do count as a charcuterie board since we have those “deli” meats. However, nowadays the word has kind of morphed and grown to cover even more. You’ll see boards with just cheese called charcuterie boards. Or you’ll even see hot chocolate or dessert boards called “charcuterie” boards. I usually tend to just call them boards or something like treat boards, snack boards, or grazing boards. I don’t mind it either way honestly, but I know some people are very specific about it.

cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor

Holiday Appetizer Board Ingredients

Things in bowls

  • Olives – Kalamata and Cerignola
  • Marinated artichokes
  • Hot pepper jelly
  • Honey
  • Hot alpine cheese dip – homemade (recipe below)

Directly on the board

  • Cheese – Havarti, gouda, cranberry goat cheese, and blue cheese (I used Roth Cheese brand, one of my favorites)
  • Charcuterie – salami and prosciutto roses
  • Crackers
  • Baguette – toasted and not toasted (lightly brush with butter or olive oil and broil for 4-7 minutes, flip halfway)
  • Dried Figs
  • Apple
  • Pomegranate
  • Candied cranberries – homemade (spritz with a bit of water and toss in granulated sugar)
  • Popcorn
  • Rosemary
cheese in baking dish with herbs
baked cheese in tray

How do you make a homemade charcuterie board?

  1. Make/Bake – You want to prepare anything that will take a while to make. For the above I went ahead and made the popcorn, candied cranberries, popcorn, and the hot alpine cheese dip.
  2. Prep other ingredients – this will be opening packages, slicing fruit, etc. For this step, I cut up apples, pomegranates, made prosciutto roses, sliced cheeses, and opened packages.
  3. Place your board – you want to place your board wherever you want its final destination to be. It’s so much easier to build your board in place. Transferring boards can end in disaster and ingredients go everywhere. Also it can get so heavy!
  4. Create the layout – you start to build a layout by placing your bowls first. For this one, I knew I had 5 bowls (anything liquid or needs a spoon) and one lipped dish that needed to be placed. So, I tried to somewhat split them across the board to create interest to the eye and varying heights. So, I filled the bowls with honey, two types of olives, pepper jelly, artichokes, and the hot cheese.
  5. Place the hero pieces – if your board has something essential to it, this is when you want to plate it. Make sure they have a good spot. Since I did this board with a focus on cheese, I set that out next. Kind of placing them in largest empty spots or curling around bowls. I like a variety of shapes and flavors to cheese, so be sure to do slices, cubes, etc. to get a variation.
  6. Set larger items/supporting ingredients – this would be necessary pieces to the board, but not as important as the hero. On this board that’s the charcuterie meats, breads and crackers.
  7. Fill in with “fillers” – this is my favorite part because you’re really making the board come together. For this board this is the fruits, candied cranberries, rosemary, and popcorn. With boards like this remember that more is more! Keep going to you’ve filled almost all the holes.
  8. Utensils – I like to get utensils that go with the theme, but also are useful. Spoons, knives, etc. If they can match, even better!
  9. Decorate – Now, this is a fun way to get creative and customize your boards for specific holidays or occasions. Here I added little décor around the outside of the board with jingle bells, greenery, and lights. But you could add edible flowers or little props. Like for a Valentine’s Day board you could add little paper or toy hearts. Something fun to make it unique.
  10. Assemble off board needs – This would be plates, napkins, utensils, or even a little menu to tell people what is on the board!

FAQs for an Appetizer Board

What type of board should you use for an appetizer board?

Anything food safe. I tent to use wooden, marble, or stone boards. I have a variety and choose the one that will work best size-wise, but also if there is anything that could stain.

How to make a cheese board look better?

More. The answer is to keep adding more. Yes, patterns of shapes/sizes, adding in bowls for height, keeping to a color scheme can always help. But the biggest issue I see are sparse boards. More is more in this case. Keep adding.

Other Recipes to Try

cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor
cheese and appetizer platter with holiday decor

Holiday Cheese Board and Alpine Cheese Dip

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Share Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Amanda Wilens

Ingredients

Alpine Herb Baked Cheese Dip
  • 6 oz alpine cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Rosemary chopped
  • Pinch flakey salt
Board – Things in bowls:
  • Olives – Kalamata and Cerignola
  • Marinated artichokes
  • Hot pepper jelly
  • Honey
  • Hot alpine cheese dip – homemade recipe below
Board – Directly on the board:
  • Cheese havarti, gouda, cranberry goat cheese, and blue cheese
  • Charcuterie salami and prosciutto roses
  • Crackers
  • Baguette – toasted and not toasted lightly brush with butter or olive oil and broil for 4-7 minutes, flip halfway
  • Dried Figs
  • Apple
  • Pomegranate
  • Candied cranberries spritz with a bit of water and toss in granulated sugar
  • Popcorn
  • Rosemary

Instructions

Alpine Herb Baked Cheese Dip

  • Preheat oven to hi broil.
  • Cut cheese into little cubes. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and rosemary.
  • Pour cheese into a baking dish. I used a mini pie pan, but a mini cast iron would work great too (something about 3-4” wide).
  • Place in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it melts, but doesn’t burn.
  • Remove from oven, top with salt, and serve.

Appetizer Board

  • Make/Bake – You want to prepare anything that will take a while to make. For the above I went ahead and made the popcorn, candied cranberries, popcorn, and the hot alpine cheese dip.
  • Prep other ingredients – this will be opening packages, slicing fruit, etc. For this step, I cut up apples, pomegranates, made prosciutto roses, sliced cheeses, and opened packages.
  • Place your board – you want to place your board wherever you want its final destination to be. It’s so much easier to build your board in place. Transferring boards can end in disaster and ingredients go everywhere. Also it can get so heavy!
  • Create the layout – you start to build a layout by placing your bowls first. For this one, I knew I had 5 bowls (anything liquid or needs a spoon) and one lipped dish that needed to be placed. So, I tried to somewhat split them across the board to create interest to the eye and varying heights. So, I filled the bowls with honey, two types of olives, pepper jelly, artichokes, and the hot cheese.
  • Place the hero pieces – if your board has something essential to it, this is when you want to plate it. Make sure they have a good spot. Since I did this board with a focus on cheese, I set that out next. Kind of placing them in largest empty spots or curling around bowls. I like a variety of shapes and flavors to cheese, so be sure to do slices, cubes, etc. to get a variation.
  • Set larger items/supporting ingredients – this would be necessary pieces to the board, but not as important as the hero. On this board that’s the charcuterie meats, breads and crackers.
  • Fill in with “fillers” – this is my favorite part because you’re really making the board come together. For this board this is the fruits, candied cranberries, rosemary, and popcorn. With boards like this remember that more is more! Keep going to you’ve filled almost all the holes.
  • Utensils – I like to get utensils that go with the theme, but also are useful. Spoons, knives, etc. If they can match, even better!
  • Decorate – Now, this is a fun way to get creative and customize your boards for specific holidays or occasions. Here I added little décor around the outside of the board with jingle bells, greenery, and lights. But you could add edible flowers or little props. Like for a Valentine’s Day board you could add little paper or toy hearts. Something fun to make it unique.
  • Assemble off board needs – This would be plates, napkins, utensils, or even a little menu to tell people what is on the board!

Notes

You don’t have to keep specifically to all the ingredients I used, but have fun building your own board!

Nutrition

Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @amanda.wilens or tag #amandawilensmakes