How to make the perfect cheese board for a party with 5 different cheeses! A fun vegetarian charcuterie board option that’s totally meatless but just as satisfying. Serve yours on any board or platter that you want, or use my round cheese board design as inspiration!

How to Make a Cheese Board

A cheese board is basically a meatless charcuterie board—with plenty of cheese, crackers, & other snacks, but no meat. It’s a great vegetarian party appetizer that always looks impressive, but it’s so simple to prepare. (And it can be fun!) I’ll walk you through how to arrange a pretty cheese plate in around 30 minutes, using whatever board, platter, or serving dishes you have.

Vegetarian Charcuterie Board

What do you need for a cheese board?

  • Cheeses. Choose 3-5 cheeses—including at least 1 hard cheese (like cheddar or Swiss) and 1 soft cheese (like goat or blue cheese). Plan for ~3 oz cheese per person if you’re serving an appetizer cheese platter, or 4-5 oz if it’s a main course.
  • Crackers or Bread. Entertainment crackers, pretzel sticks, pretzel chips, pita bread, baguette slices—serve whatever you enjoy eating with cheese!
  • Spreads. Both savory & sweet! Savory spreads like whole grain mustard & hummus are essential, but every cheese plate also needs something sweet, like fruit jam or honey.
  • Fruit. Fresh fruits like berries, grapes, or apple slices are all tasty pairings on a homemade cheese plate, or you can include dried fruits like dried apricots or prunes.
  • Vegetables. Options like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, or snap peas can add color & freshness to a simple cheese plate.
  • Snacks & Sweets. Goodies like crunchy cashews or rich dark chocolate squares can elevate your party cheese board to the next level!

Can I add meat to my cheese plate?

If you don’t need your cheese board to be vegetarian, you can absolutely add meat! My Ultimate Charcuterie Board Guide has loads of ideas for the best charcuterie meats to use, or check out the best budget charcuterie ingredients to keep your board affordable.

Party Cheese Board Ideas
How to make a cheese board look good

Best Cheeses for a Cheese Plate

The secret to a good cheese board is variety, so try to include cheeses with different textures, flavors, shapes, & colors. Soft cheeses tend to be creamier & spreadable, with more tangy & pungent flavors than hard cheeses. So I try to choose ~2 hard cheeses + 2 soft cheeses to make a nicely balanced cheese plate.

  • Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Swiss, Colby Jack, Gouda, Gruyère, provolone, pepper Jack. To cut down on prep work, buy pre-sliced hard cheeses or cracker cuts.
  • Soft Cheeses: Goat cheese, brie, cream cheese or Neufchâtel, burrata, mascarpone. Try blue cheese if you enjoy a stronger, funkier flavor!
  • Semi-Soft Cheeses: Muenster, Havarti, mozzarella slices or pearls. (Serve mozzarella pearls with toothpicks for snacking!)

What can I use for a cheese board?

If you don’t have a big wooden charcuterie board, use whatever serving dishes that you do have—and it’s okay to split things up into 2 boards if you need to. I used 2 wooden fruit bowls to set up this round cheese board design! If you use multiple dishes, it helps to choose a ‘main platter’ for the bulk of your cheeses & snacks, and a ‘side platter’ (or two) for items like dips, crackers & breads.

How to Make a Cheese Platter
Cheese and Cracker Board
If needed, set up a separate board for dips & crackers.

How to Make a Cheese Board Step-by-Step

  1. If you’re using 2 boards or platters: Set up accompaniments like dips, spreads, crackers, & bread separately from your main cheese platter. (Shown above.)
  2. Place large items on the cheese board first, like dip bowls & soft cheeses.
  3. Add sliced cheeses, crackers & breads next, building around the larger elements on the board. (If you’re using a round board, it helps to fill in the curved edges of the board first.) You can line up cheese cubes, layer cheese slices in a line, or arrange items like crackers in piles—however you want it to look!
  4. Fill in the board with fruits, veggies, & snacks. Try to place these items near cheeses you think they’ll pair well with.
  5. Add garnishes & utensils before serving. Garnish your pretty cheese plate with fresh mint or thyme sprigs for a nice pop of color! Place spreaders or spoons in any dips or soft cheeses that may need them.
Add small bowls onto the cheese board first.
Place small bowls on the cheese board first to create structure.
Arrange cheese cubes & cheese slices to fill the edges of a round charcuterie board.
If you’re using a round board, line up cheese cubes & cheese slices to fill the curved edges first.
Add large items to the board next like blocks of soft cheese.
Add blocks of soft cheese next, then start building around them.
Fill the space on the cheese platter with fruits & veggies.
Then fill the spaces on your cheese board with fruits & vegetables.
Finish your cheese tray with snacks & garnishes.
Add snacks in small piles around the board & garnish with fresh herbs!
Vegetarian Charcuterie Board

How to Make a Cheese Board (Step by Step)

How to set up an eye-catching cheese platter for a party in around half an hour (or less)! A fun vegetarian charcuterie board idea with 5 different cheeses & no meat.
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Main Cheese Board

  • 12 oz cheese cracker cuts, (I used sharp cheddar, Swiss, & Colby Jack)
  • 3 oz cheddar cheese cubes
  • 4 oz blue cheese wedge
  • 4 oz herbed goat cheese log
  • 20-30 pretzel sticks
  • 2-3 small bunches grapes, (red or green)
  • ½ cup fresh berries, (I used blueberries & raspberries)
  • 1-2 clementines, peeled into wedges
  • ¼ cup red cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup snap peas
  • 3 Tbsp roasted cashews
  • 2-3 oz dark chocolate squares
  • 3-4 fresh mint sprigs

Dips & Crackers Board

  • 30-40 crackers of choice
  • 1-2 pieces pita bread, sliced into wedges
  • 10-15 pretzel chips
  • 2-3 Tbsp hummus
  • 2-3 Tbsp pesto
  • 2-3 Tbsp apricot jam


  • round wooden serving platters what I used
  • large wooden board if you have one
  • use whatever board or platters you have!


  • Fill small pinch bowls with dips, spreads, or small snacks like pretzel sticks or olives. Place these onto the board first.
  • If you're serving a Dips & Crackers Board on the side:
    Set up a separate platter with dip bowls in the middle and the crackers & breads arranged around them.
  • Add cheeses to the board next. On a round board: I start by lining up cheese slices & cheese cubes to fill the edges of the board, then place soft cheeses in the middle.
    On a rectangular board: Place larger items like soft cheeses first, then arrange sliced cheeses around them.
  • Then add crackers & breads. Arrange piles or fan them out on the board. (Unless you're serving the on the side.)
  • Fill spaces with fruits, veggies, & snacks. Place each item near cheeses you think it will pair well with!
  • Garnish. Add fresh mint leaves or herb sprigs to finish your cheese board! Serve with small spoons or spreaders for dips & soft cheeses.


Serving Size

This party cheese board can feed anywhere from 8-12 people as an appetizer, accounting for 2-3 oz of cheese per person.

Ingredient Amounts

The ingredients provided are approximations of what I used to make the cheese board in the photos, but you don’t have to follow them to a T if you don’t want to. Use this as a customizable base recipe to make your own cheese board with whatever cheeses & ingredients you enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag us @mindovermunch — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!