Create a colorful and enticing cheese board to eat before Thanksgiving dinner. Looking for the best (and easiest) Thanksgiving charcuterie board? This recipe can be made and ready to serve as your Thanksgiving appetizer in 20 minutes. This Thanksgiving themed charcuterie board is full of fall flavors like cranberries, walnuts, fig jam, and more! If you're in search of an appetizer everyone will love, you have to whip this up!
Maybe it's just me, but a Thanksgiving grazing board sounds like the perfect way to start the holiday! Whether you have a late Thanksgiving dinner and need some snacks to hold you over, or you just want an easy Thanksgiving appetizer to bring over to a friend who's hosting, this is the perfect answer!
I'm obsessed with the colors and beauty of this fall board. It's truly the perfect Thanksgiving themed charcuterie board that anyone would be happy to eat!
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
If you want to learn the in's and out's to creating beautiful and delicious cheese boards, don't worry! You'll learn many different skills in this post including:
- What cheese knife is used for each type of cheese
- Tips for making your cheese board ahead of time
- The best way to transport a cheese board
If you've ever thought about selling your charcuterie boards professionally, check out this helpful pricing guide.
The great thing about charcuterie boards is that you can always easily substitute an ingredient if you can't find something at the grocery store, don't like an ingredient listed, or have family members/friends with allergies. Below is a list of ingredients used in this Thanksgiving cheese board, as well as substitution suggestions:
- Brie cheese wheel: Brie is an amazing soft cheese! Feel free to swap for goat cheese.
- Blue stilton cheese: A regular blue cheese will work as well. We really just want something that has lots of flavors.
- Cheddar cheese: You could use yellow cheddar, gruyere, or gouda instead.
- Manchego cheese: Try substituting for asiago or parmesan - both of which are hard cheeses.
- Fig jam: Really any fall flavored jam will work!
- Honey: Maple syrup would also provide a fun fall twist. Make sure it goes along with the flavor of jam you select.
- Italian dry salami: You could swap for summer sausage, soppressata, or genoa.
- Prosciutto: Just add another type of salami/sausage listed above if you can't find prosciutto.
- Sweet gherkin pickles: Cornichons are very similar to sweet gherkins.
- Castelvetrano olives: Really any type of olive will work! We're just looking for a salty bite.
- Red seedless grapes: You could also slice up apples or pears as a swap.
- Pomegranate: I love the bright pop of red the pomegranate gives. Opt for brightly colored fruit like fresh figs or raspberries if you can't find pomegranates.
- Dried apricots/cranberries: Any dried or fresh fruit can be used here.
- Pistachios/walnuts: Allergic to nuts? Try swapping for pumpkin seeds or pepitas.
- Assorted crackers: Any type of crackers will work. You can also find gluten free crackers if your friends or family can't have wheat.
- Ciabatta bread: A baguette or additional crackers would be the perfect swap!
For even more substitution ideas, grab a copy of my ultimate charcuterie board shopping list. You'll find 100+ food ideas on this list!
Tools & Equipment
In order to make this Thanksgiving themed charcuterie board, you'll need a few tools:
- Pick your favorite cheese board: You can use almost any wooden serving platter, just make sure it is a decent size (I used a 15 inch x 15 inch board) so you can fit all the food! I love this round board from World Market and this long board from Crate and Barrel.
- Grab a few small bowls: Bowls are a great way to keep jams and juices from ruining the cheese and meat on the board. I like to use small condiment cups and mini glass bowls like are pictured on my cheese board.
- Small plates for serving: I love these appetizer plates to set along the cheese board for serving.
Types of Cheese Knives
Make sure to grab yourself a nice set of cheese knives to use for serving your Thanksgiving cheese board. Here are the four most popular cheese knives and what they're used for.
Chisel Knife: Used for semi-soft (fontina, gouda, Havarti) to semi-hard (cheddar, manchego) cheeses. It helps divide soft cheese, or shave down hard cheese.
Open Work Blade Knife: Used for soft, sticky cheeses (brie, Boursin, taleggio). The holes help prevent the cheese from sticking to the blade.
Narrow Plane Knife: Used for mainly semi-hard cheeses (cheddar, manchego). However, this is a fairly versatile knife that can cut on the long or short end.
Small Spade Knife: Used for hard cheeses (asiago, parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano). The point of the knife makes it easy to cut the cheese into wedges
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! You can prep this cheese board the morning of Thanksgiving and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve! Just cover it with plastic wrap so everything stays nice and fresh. Also, be sure to keep the crackers out of the fridge so they don't become stale.
Great question! If you're bringing this appetizer to a family member or friend's house, it's pretty easy to transport.
All you'll need to do is build it on a charcuterie board that has edges so the food doesn't fall off. Also, be sure any liquids (like honey or jam), as well as items that may drip juice (olives or pickles), are in a small bowl that can be placed on your charcuterie board. Then, simply wrap the board up using plastic wrap and take it to your destination.
For food safety, be sure the charcuterie board isn't out of a refrigerator or temperature-controlled environment for too long.
You can safely leave the cheese board out at room temperature for 1-2 hours. After this, you should discard the leftovers.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Check out these other Thanksgiving recipes to add to your menu. Plus, grab my free Thanksgiving planning checklist:
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20 Minute Thanksgiving Cheese Board
- 8 ounce brie cheese wheel
- 5 ounces blue stilton cheese
- 5 ounces cheddar cheese cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 ounces manchego cheese sliced into wedges
- 2.5 ounces fig jam plus a few tablespoons extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 ounces Italian dry salami
- 4 ounces prosciutto
- 4 ounces sweet gherkin pickles
- 2.5 ounces pitted Castelvetrano olives
- 6 ounces red seedless grapes
- 1 medium pomegranate segmented into large wedges
- 2 ounces dried apricots
- 1 ounce dried cranberries
- 2 ounces in-shell roasted pistachios
- 1 ounce shelled walnuts
- 6 ounces assorted crackers
- 4 ounces ciabatta bread thinly sliced and toasted
- Place the brie wheel, blue stilton, cheddar, and manchego cheese spaced out on four corners of the cheese board. Top brie with a few tablespoons of fig jam and drizzle with honey.
- Pile the salami and prosciutto next to two of the cheeses on the board. You can fold the salami to add an extra layer of dimension to your cheese board.
- Add the fig jam, sweet gherkins, and Castelvetrano olives into small bowls. Place in any open space on the cheese board.
- Place the grapes and pomegranate wedges next to the cheese. Pile dried apricots and cranberries into any open space available.
- Fill in the remaining spaces with pistachios, walnuts, and crackers. Serve ciabatta bread on a plate alongside the cheese board. Serve and enjoy immediately.
The instructions were so easy follow, and this recipe was a huge success at my last ladies night. I am looking forward to making it again for my family this thanksgiving. It was just so good.