Learn how to assemble an amazing fruit and cheese platter for your next party. Pick your favorite fruits, cheeses and fillers to make your platter the star of the show!
When entertaining or hosting a dinner party, I usually always set out a big fruit and cheese platter or charcuterie board. It has a little something for everyone and is perfect for snacking. Plus they look so pretty too…I always have so much fun assembling them!
Fruit and cheese platters are one of my favorites to make for a party! They are always a show stopper and it’s something I know everyone will love and will get eaten. I tend to stick with “safer” cheeses that I know kids will like too but the sky is the limit with cheese boards. I’ll share lots of variations below.
The best part about these fruit and cheese boards is that you can customize with all your favorites. No need to follow mine exactly. Use what is in season and add your favorite cheese and fruits.
How to assemble a cheese board
- Start with your platter or board. You can use a variety of boards. I love to use this round wooden board from Amazon, as well as trays, cutting boards, marble boards or even cookie trays.
- Arrange the large items and cheese. You can see below that I like to add the cheese and crackers to the board first. Try to add one to each corner.
- Add in the fruits and spreads. Separate by color and texture to add variety to the platter.
- Fill in the gaps. Use nuts and other fruits or crackers to fill in any empty gaps or unused space.
You can see below there is a gap around the oranges, so I decided to fill that space by adding pistachios. You could also fill it in with more fruit or crackers. You want the board to be totally full by the time that you’re done. That’s the key to an amazing cheese and fruit board.
Best cheese to use
When choosing my cheese, I like to aim for a variety of soft, hard and firm. As well as focus on the colors, shapes, strengths and textures. I tend to not choose too many crumbly varieties, but you can definitely add those. For the best flavor, allow them to come to room temperature.
- Parmesan reggiano – I love the shape this adds to the board as well as the flavor. It’s usually a hit with everyone.
- Gouda – Gouda has a sweet and nutty flavor. It’s always a great addition.
- Aged cheddar – Cheddar is always a safe option and has such a great flavor.
- Baked brie with honey – This is a soft variety that I love to add. I love to warm it before adding a little honey on top.
- Blue cheese – Gorgonzola and Saint Agure add a different flavor addition. While blue cheese isn’t my favorite, I know some love it.
- Family friendly – Sliced cheddar, sliced colby jack, sliced swiss, Babybel cheese and mozzarella cheese sticks (cut in half) are usually all a safe bet for the whole family.
Fruits to add
Fruits add the perfect sweetness and color to any platter. Here are some of my favorites to add. You just want to make sure not to add a juicy fruit such as pineapple or watermelon as it will make the crackers and bread soggy.
- Grapes – Red grapes are a classic and add good flavor and dimension to your platter.
- Green apples – One of my favorite combos is a slice of baguette with cheese, apple and a drizzle of honey.
- Berries – Fresh berries always add great color and texture. The sweetness they add is the perfect pairing.
- Pears – Sliced pears are super yummy with a slice of cheese and bread.
- Mandarin oranges – These are a great option for winter boards especially.
- Cherries – These are a fun addition to add to a summer cheese and fruit board.
- Figs – I find these don’t get eaten as often, but they add such a pretty element.
- Dried fruit – Dried fruit is also a great option to add. I love adding dried apricots, dates and cranberries.
Favorite fillers to add
I always love including fresh bread, as well as a couple varieties of crackers and nuts on my platters. They’re great fillers for any empty spots.
- Bread – I love buying a french baguette or making this french bread into smaller, skinnier loaves. Crunchy thin bread sticks are also a nice addition.
- Crackers – Club crackers, multi grain crackers, pita crackers (from Trader Joe’s), Triscuit thin crisps and wheat thins are some of my favorites to add.
- Nuts – Pistachios, cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts are always great options. Beware of any allergies from guests before adding. I like to add nuts to a bowl just to be safe.
- Honey – This is a great option to add for a little sweetness and flavor.
- Jam – A fig spread, pepper jelly or jam always adds a nice touch.
- Dark chocolate – Chocolate is always a good idea and pairs nicely with both fruit and cheese.
- Garnishes – To take your platter up a notch or add some additional color, try adding some rosemary sprigs, mint leaves or fresh flowers.
More appetizer ideas for entertaining:
- Charcuterie board – Full of meats, cheeses, crackers and more
- Fresh fruit platter – A light, refreshing and healthy platter idea
- Fruit and veggie platter – Great for both kids and adults
- Cheese ball – A great addition to a cheese and fruit board
Fruit and Cheese Platter Recipe
- 8 ounces parmesan reggiano cheese
- 8 ounces sliced cheese , I love using the Trader Joe's Party Tray with a mix of colby jack, cheddar cheese and swiss cheese
- 6 babybell cheese , or other desired cheese
- 1/2 french baguette
- 25-40 crackers , more as needed to fill in
- 1 pint berries
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1/2 pound grapes
- 1 cup cherries , optional
- 3-5 mandarin oranges , optional
- 1 cup pistachios , optional
- 1 cup mixed nuts , optional
Optional dips: honey, jam or fig spread
- Slice fruit and set aside.
- Place a couple small bowls onto a board or platter. Place honey or any dips in the bowl. Then place smaller fruit and nuts into the remaining bowls if desired.
- Start by arranging any larger items onto the board first. I like to start with the cheese. Then add in your bread and crackers. Fill in the empty space with the fruit. Add more of any other fruit, crackers or nuts to fill in the gaps. The key to a great platter is to make it look full.
- Add spoons, tongs or toothpicks for serving. Serve immediately or cover until ready to serve.
- Cheese: Feel free to add your favorite cheese such as: gouda, aged cheddar, brie, blue cheese.
- Fruit: Pears, figs and dried fruit such as apricots, figs and cranberries also make a great addition.
- Spread: Honey, a fig spread, pepper jelly or jam always adds a nice touch.
- Chocolate: Dark chocolate is always a good idea and pairs nicely with fruit and cheese.
- Garnishes: To take your platter up a notch or add some additional color, try adding some rosemary sprigs, mint leaves or fresh flowers.