How to Build The Ultimate (Trader Joe's) Cheese Board

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

A charcuterie board is my go-to snack to serve when we have friends over but for some reason it seems to get the shaft during the Holidays. I'm not sure if we're the only ones who ignore the cheese board goodness when wrangling relatives but I'm here to say bring The Board back to Thanksgiving! 

My number one spot for all things apps/snacks/hostess with the mostess tricks is Trader Joe's. Their cheese section is by far the best of the best and they carry the best crackers, unusual treats and nuts at reasonable prices.

I ran into Trader Joe's today, spent 5 total minutes in the store and, after a few minutes of assembly, I had this gorgeous meat and cheese board. 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

I mean, you need that, am I right?

Here's what you need to make a little charcuterie magic of your own

Supplies:
I used two cheese slate boards shoved together in order to cover more square footage on my table, a few clear glass bowls, two vintage silver cups and a red ramekin or two

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

To build the board:

Sweet, fresh color

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

I always start building a cheese board with grapes. Unlike apples that brown, grapes can handle being out on the table for a bit without losing their texture. Trader Joe's has a box of green, red and purple grapes that provide color and please every palette. I start the board by laying out the grapes (on the stem), making sure to spread the colors across the board

Nibbles + Dip

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

Next, I fill my small bowls and ramekins with honey, olives, nuts, candied lemons and any other little snack I have laying around. I'm a huge fan of the tiny bags of olives because my husband is the only one who loves them so we don't need a jar, just a handful. The candied lemons are a new addition to this year's board and I love their look but also how they taste like a sour candy! 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

Once full, I place the small bowls on the board, nestled into the grapes. I also go ahead and place the silver cups that I'm using for my tall breadsticks and cheese straws so I can see the lay of the land but I'll wait until the end to fill them up. 

Cheese

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

Up next are the stars of the show! My tried and true, go-to Trader Joe's cheeses are two goat cheeses (the honey chevre and the cranberry chevre), the unbelievably good slicing brie, two cheddars to please the traditionalists and a gouda. I have yet to spot a slicing brie anywhere but Trader Joe's and I cannot tell you how great it is to serve at gatherings. Trust me on this one and buy two, you'll need it! 

When laying out the cheeses on the board, don't be afraid to break up the hard cheeses and cut the soft cheeses into smaller servings. You can pull out the rest as needed and I love the rustic look of the broken cheeses. 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

I like to serve the honey chevre with local honey drizzled on top - it is so delicious and is a nice balance to the sharper cheddars. I also make sure to pre-slice a few pieces of the hard cheeses so people start snacking ASAP. Sometimes you'll have a shy crowd that is afraid to dig in and no one needs an uneaten cheese board! 

Savory + Herb

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

My husband is a huge proscuitto fan and we love the thinly sliced pack at TJ. I pull each slice apart, bunch it up a bit and tuck it into open spaces all over the board. It gives the illusion that there is more of the fancy stuff without you having to break the bank to make it happen. 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

The fresh rosemary is just a pretty touch of green to add to the board around the holidays - the fragrance doesn't hurt either! 

Crunch and Crackers 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

If you've never snagged a box of Trader Joe's Cheese Straws, you are missing out! As a good Southerner, I used to make my cheese straws from scratch using Paula Dean's recipe, but that ship has long sailed thanks to the Trader Joe's version. I also love the Italian Breadsticks with Olive Oil and the Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps for spreading soft cheeses. The Crisps come in other flavors but give this one a try, it's by far the best! 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

To serve on the board, I break the cheese straws and breadsticks in half length wise and pop them into silver cups. The Crisps are just stashed into any open spaces available so that one can be snagged from any angle. 

Once all of that goodness is out on the board, I take a step back and make sure I haven't forgotten anything, lay out a few cheese knives and let our guests get to work on it! 

The ultimate step by step guide to build the best cheese board with Trader Joes products

Enjoy, friends, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Want more Trader Joe's goodness? Check out my Cookie Butter Brownie recipe here!

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6 comments

  1. So this might be one of my favorite posts ever! I love a good cheese board, and I think it is perfect for entertaining! Trader Joe's is my favorite too. :)

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  2. WOW. About how much is the total cost?

    BTW -- shared this on my Trader Joe's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/traderjoesfanpage/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I took a peek at the receipt and all supplies (including a new jar of honey) came to $55 pre-tax. I'll update the post to share :-)!

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    2. WOW. OMG. I am making this for my next party!
      Please message me on Facebook to get my email and then send me links if you ever post something else Trader Joe's. I'm always looking for high quality content to share.

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    3. You got it! DM sent - with a link to my cookie butter brownies!!

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