If you’ve been following along for a while you know that I’m just slightlyyy obsessed with cheeseboards. I think they’re so much fun to put together and even more fun to eat! Andrew and I love having them at home for our date nights in. I’m of the belief that you can make just about any ingredients work on a cheeseboard. Something I love doing is creating a theme, whether it be a type of food or simply based on the season. I like to switch my ingredients up depending on the time of year and winter has to be one of my favorites. This may have something to do with the nostalgia of how my love for them started.
Last year around Christmas time one of my best friends Jenna and I went to Trader Joe’s on the hunt for the best cheeseboard ingredients. We came home, assembled it and enjoyed it throughout the night (with wine of course). Such a fun memory and I found some of my Trader Joe’s favorites from that trip. Since then I have researched and tested out a few more items that have become my go-tos. Here is everything I used on my most recent holiday inspired cheeseboard. There were a few items I wasn’t able to track down but I’ll include them in case you are! As always, sub anything out based on preference and taste and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. Happy cheeseboard building! Enjoy!
- Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe’s
- Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah or Merlot from Trader Joe’s – My grandma was actually the one who found this cheese a few years ago and we’ve been OBSESSED ever since. It’s creamy, flavorful and unique. I love incorporating it on cheeseboards and it’s also great on pasta and salad. Our TJ’s didn’t have the exact one during our last trip so we substituted it with Sartori Merlot.
- Creamy Toscano Cheese Dusted With Cinnamon from Trader Joe’s – We love this one and it’s perfect for so many winter dishes, including this one! I also have my grandma to thank for this one. When I first tried it, I wasn’t sold on the mixture of cinnamon and cheese but it’s safe to say it’s one of my absolute favorites. Trust me on this one, try it if you see it! This is delicious on pastas as well, especially ones with butternut squash, sage, brown butter, etc.
- Port Salut from Trader Joe’s – This cheese is to die for. It’s soft in texture and not too strong. I found out about this while watching one of What’s Gaby Cooking’s Live’s last year. It’s a game changer for cheeseboards!
- Laura Chenel Creamy Brie – This one is pretty pungent and I personally am not the biggest fan, however, Andrew likes it so we keep it in the mix haha. I also like the way it looks on a cheeseboard and ties it all together. A great alternative here would be a smoked gouda.
- Blueberry Vanilla Chevre Goat Cheese – Sadly we couldn’t find this during our last TJ’s run but I love incorporating it on cheeseboards, especially in the winter. It’s sweet and savory and deliciousss!
I’m going to preface this by saying that I don’t use too much meat on my cheeseboards based on personal preference. On my most recent cheeseboard, I only had prosciutto on hand but will list all that I would normally use if we were fully stocked. I tend to focus more on the cheese and fruits.
- Prosciutto – If I’m at Trader Joe’s I’ll pick up the Citterio. Eataly has some of the best Prosciutto we’ve ever eaten hands down, so if you happen to be in store or online – highly recommend trying that one!
- Columbus Peppered Salame – I absolutely love the peppered crust on this and fortunately, you can find it pretty much anywhere too (Trader Joe’s, Target, Amazon, etc.)!
- 3 Pack of Calabrese Salame, Del Duca Prosciutto, and Capocollo from Trader Joe’s – This is a fantastic option that I pick up often – 3 in 1! The brand is Daniele Foods.
- Pomegranates – Nothing looks more festive if you ask me! I love using half of it on one of the corners. You can also sprinkle some of the seeds overtop for extra presentation points!
- Persimmons – So many fun ways to slice these up and incorporate them.
- Figs – Hands down my favorite fruit to include in cheeseboards.
- Grapes – These not only pair well with everything, but like the pomegranates, also take up a good amount of space if you happen to be short on some ingredients.
- Asian Pears – Crispy, juicy and delicious! These are perfect especially for a fall/winter cheeseboard. If you haven’t tried these yet, highly recommend!
- Bartlett Pairs – For all of the pears and apples I like to thinly slice and fan them out a bit. Easy to eat and pretty too – also great for wrapping around certain items on the board.
- Honeycrisp Apples – Any type of apple works, I usually use honeycrisp or gala.
- Orange Slices from Trader Joe’s – I love how festive these look and they’re perfect for sweet lovers.
- Soft & Juicy Mandarins – I could eat these all day and they’re great for adding texture on a cheeseboard.
- Cranberries – These are perfect to incorporate for the holidays and to fill in the gaps of your board towards the end.
- Pitted Dates – Another sweet element that goes great with some of the cheeses.
- Persimmons – I had plans to add these on but sadly ran out of room! Have them saved for next time!
- Marcona Almonds with Rosemary from Trader Joe’s – If you haven’t tried these yet, run don’t walk to pick some up! They’re amazing and so much better than plain in my opinion.
- Candied Walnuts from Trader Joe’s – These are addictive! Super crunchy, sweet, and festive.
- Candied Pecans – I didn’t use any this time but have in the past. They’re delicious also!
- Fig & Olive Crisps – These, and the ones below, are out of this world. Hands down my favorite crackers from Trader Joe’s and something unique and colorful to add to the board.
- Raisin Rosemary Crisps – Give me alllll the rosemary. We always have these on hand in our pantry because they sell out fast!
- Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps – I’ve never tried these but heard they had a pumpkin version as well. I would guess they’re perfect for Thanksgiving!
- Scalloped Cracker Trio – These are GREAT! Garlic, Red Chili and Rosemary crackers that are flavorful and buttery.
- Parmesan Crisps – Because, why not? I’ll add more cheese wherever I can! Plus they’re a nice change from the more traditional crackers and lend to a variation of shape.
- Divina Chili Fig Spread – This is something I always love to have on hand! They sell it just about anywhere (I’ve seen it at Ralphs, Sprouts, Walmart etc.) and it’s such a great addition to a cheeseboard. Once again, thanks to Nana for introducing me to this!
- Honey – I’m pretty obsessed with honey. I use a ton in teas, on toasts, in salad dressings and on cheeseboards. It pairs so well with everything on here!
- Castelvetrano Olives – I put these in a little dish so that they stay in place on the board. These are great olives that are mild enough for most to like. Don’t forget to add a little dish on the board or close by for the pits!
- Rosemary – Garnish! One of the most important parts. This adds some color and holiday flare.
Here’s the marble slab I used if anyone’s interested. I also love using traditional wood boards as well.