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Cheese platter ideas for a pretty and tasty appetizer from Ballard Designs

How to Make Your Cheese Platter Awesome

Cheese platters seem easy but often feel intimidating. Guests are headed over, dinner's in the oven, and the pressure is on to pull together a pretty cheese platter to satisfy your guests' grumbling bellies. Find our cheese tray ideas below.

Marble cheese board with fruit, cheeses, and crackers

Variety Pack

Your first step to a beautiful cheese platter starts at the grocery store. Get a variety of cheeses – a soft cheese, a hard cheese, and something funky. Between those three there's a little something for everyone and the textures will bring a little something different to the party.

Add Sweetness

There are a couple of different ways to add sweetness to your cheese board. Our favorite way is to add fruit. Pomegranates over a log of goat cheese, whole fruit like figs or berries to pair with charcuterie, or even honey for drizzling.

Wooden cheese board with cheeses, charcuterie, and fruit
Marble cheese board and wooden bowl with crackers

Crackers and Crunch

Every cheese board needs crackers. Get a few different options – we like water crackers because they don't overpower a bold cheese. But we also like to include one cracker option that has a bit more punch!

In addition to crackers, other crunchy pieces are important. It's all about combining lots of textures! Nuts are a great addition because their saltiness complements most cheeses, and the crunchy texture is a nice contrast to soft cheeses.

Marble cheese board with cheese, crackers, and fruit

Add Extras

Extra elements help bring beauty to your cheese platters. A sprinkling of herbs or a bowl of olives may seem like a last minute addition, but they make your cheese platter into a beautiful spread. You know what they say, you eat first with your eyes!

Know Your Knives

Cheese knives have different shapes depending on which cheese you're cutting. Here are the three types of knives you need in your arsenal and which cheeses they pair with.

Cheese Fork: Meant for transferring cheeses from your cheese board to your plate

Spatula: The flat edge is meant for cutting soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert

Heart Shaped: Best with hard cheeses like gouda, parigiano-reggiano, and manchengo

Cheese knives in marble and brass from Ballard Designs
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