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How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray

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Learning how to arrange a simple cheese tray is a life skill that will help you entertain for years to come!

How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray | Supplies, tips and inspiration for adding a cheese plate to your menu

How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray

When entertaining, a cheese tray is one of the simplest appetizers you can serve. But it takes more than slapping a rectangle of Velveeta and sleeve of Ritz on a plate. With a little finesse, you can take some basic supermarket finds to create a delicious, enticing cheese board.  Below are a few hints on How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray.

How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray | Supplies, tips and inspiration for adding a cheese plate to your menu

Necessities for Your Cheese Tray

Here’s what you need:

  • A wooden board or tray, ceramic plate or other attactive serving dish (I used this rectangular “slate” platter from Sur la Table).
  • Cheeses…at least 2, but 3 or more if serving a crowd. Vary tastes and textures. Use a couple cow’s milk cheeses and add a goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese. I like to include a soft buttery cheese like Brie, Camembert or Cambozola (which is a combination of a triple creme cheese and Gorgonzola), a blue (if not using a Cambozola), and a firm mild cheese, like cheddar, fontina (ones my hubby will eat) on each cheese tray.
  • Cheese knives…use one for each cheese if available
  • Something sweet…I used fresh figs on this tray, but fresh fruits like apple or pear slices or dried fruits also work well with cheeses. Quince paste is a more unusual addition…it works well with Manchego.
  • Nuts add a nice crunch…use your favorites
  • Crackers or toasts

More Tips:

Make sure to bring your cheeses to room temperature before serving. Taking the cheeses out of the fridge an hour or two before serving will bring them to the proper temperature. I arrange the cheeses on the board first, then fill in the empty spaces with piles of fruits, nuts or even meats. For this party, I wanted more of an antipasto platter and used Prosciutto, Genoa salami, Cambozola, Manchego and Fontina. Roasted red peppers with a drizzle of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil plus a bowl of Mediterranean olives completed this appetizer offering.

I hope this has given you some ideas or inspiration. What combination of cheeses is your favorite when entertaining?

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52 comments on “How to Arrange a Simple Cheese Tray”

  1. What a beautiful cheese tray and I especially love the figs! I would be back to this cheese tray many times! 😉

  2. Love your presentation, especially the figs! Now the only question is, when’s your next party? 😉

  3. i love the way you decorate it…

  4. I love an elegant cheese tray. This one looks really delicious and I love the figs.

  5. What a great post! My favorite combination of cheeses is one Brie, one blue and a sheep’s milk, although I sometimes experiment, too. I love putting out fig preserves with the blue, and if there’s a cheddar in the mix, I think chutney works well. And grapes are always a nice addition!

  6. love this!! it all looks so delicious!

  7. This is a WONDERFUL post, and I love your gorgeous cheese tray with beautifully arranged foods! I also love the color of the tray itself. Love the dark color which food will stand out more.

  8. I saw this on Fabulous Food Blog Recipes and had to come check it out. I’m hosting a wine drinking party in the fall (we will not merely taste and spit out, we’ll be drinking) and I’d like to serve a cheese tray.
    I like the ideas, and will think about what fresh fruits will be in season once my date arrives–may have to make some preserves.


  9. So pretty! We got a few cheese boards for our wedding and I’ll be sure to use your tips when we have company over 🙂

  10. Dear friend Liz.
    Please my friend, let this whole tray for me. I love everything that’s in it and it would be a great feast to eat it with a glass of wine. All very nice and delicious.

  11. What a gorgeous looking cheese platter! Love the figs here Liz. Beautiful!

  12. That is one gorgeously arranged cheese tray! Love the figs too.

  13. Nice! Like the addition of the figs.

  14. I’ve always wondered about this, Liz.

    Looks Fabulously divine! Xx

  15. Great info post. I have no problem picking the cheeses but making a pretty plate like yours is a challenge. Nice inspirations.

  16. How pretty. This would make it a party even if you were alone! 🙂

  17. I love how you arrangue all Lizzy! I love cheese and when some friends come to house we love to make a cheeese tray to serve with different wines!!!

  18. Such a beautiful presentation Liz and how did you know I’ve had a taste for figs!

  19. I could munch on this instead of dinner any day:@)

  20. You have taken the mystery out of what I thought was an intimidating arrangement. I love to order these when we go out but haven’t yet to put one together at home, except for wheat thins and cheddar. 🙂

  21. I love it! Nothing beats a nice cheese tray! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I want to make a cheese tray for dinner!

  22. That looks so classy and professional 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  23. Liz, I love cheese trays. I even think I could justify them as dinner several nights a week. Yours look beautiful. Thanks for the tips!

  24. Yours looks great and the tips are very useful!

  25. What a gorgeous selection + arrangement! Fresh figs are ALWAYS a winner with me!

  26. Great tips for cheeseboard preparations. Nothing like a fig to dress up any platter. Your looks perfect!

  27. Good tips! I don’t usually bring my cheese to room temperature…and I now realize how much better they would be if I did! Thank you for sharing yet another delicious and delightful post. I hope you had a wonderful Monday. Here’s to an even better week!

  28. Figs and cheese…totally love them!
    Thanks for sharing the tips for cheese plate preparations, Liz.

  29. Beautiful cheese tray Liz, and I love the figs on it…
    Have a great week ahead 😀

  30. Dear Lizzy, A beautiful cheese tray. I love cheese platters. I love to sit, nibble and chat. That is the best part.
    blessings dear. Catherine xo

  31. Lovely presentation of cheeses, Liz. Great tips about bringing les fromages to room temp for easy slicing. Like the suggestion of adding a sweet to the board, too =)

    P.s. J’adore Laughing Cow wedges. Très chic, right?

  32. Love the array and how you added the cheese on a dark tray, brings out the color in food. love figs.

  33. I always keep cheese, crackers and quince paste in the house and there’s always something to serve when someone drops by and you want to offer a drink. Your cheese tray looks very special.

  34. Your cheese platter looks really inviting. I always like to serve three cheeses believing I will at least having something on the platter everyone will like. And there’s always a blue. And there’s always quince paste. And there’s always something like fresh dates to add some sweetness. I’d love to have you and Bill over to share a cheese plate! xx

  35. This is my favorite spot at a party. I love cheese. Your arrangement above is pretty. It almost would make me not want to sample but I think the cheese would eventually win and I would dig right in.

  36. Beautiful and elegant 🙂

  37. You made a beautiful arrangement Liz! Your cheese platter looks very elegant and tasty!

  38. You are missing the donuts. No, but seriously, great tips and so often when entertaining I forgot how easy and lovely a cheese tray is rather than worrying about cooking up and appetizer and getting it out hot when guests arrive. I love it when trays have little wads of proscuitto as well as that is a favorite of mine.

  39. Many people don’t know how to do a cheese tray and it really requires so little effort to make it great. This is so much better than a wedge of cheese thrown on a plate. And I love cheese!

  40. Now this is what you call simple but professional looking arrangement of deliciousness. Thank you for the tips, Liz. Love those cheese. 🙂

  41. i have never had to do this so the fact that I am learning how to now by you makes me happy! I am bookmarking it

  42. Lizzy, you did an excellent job on you cheese platter. Now I know what to use the fresh figs for…other than bake in desserts since fresh figs are sooo very expensive here, in S. Florida and we only get them this time of the year! xoxo

  43. Such great tips!
    I would love to dive right into that cheese board! It looks fabulous, all of my favourites.

  44. What a beautiful cheese platter, love that slate board. Have beeb eyeing that for sometime, but it’s so expensive waiting for it to go on sale 🙂
    I love adding little pots of jams/relishes and sometimes even Dijon mustard with the cheese 🙂 Never had ripe fig with cheese, must try 🙂

  45. Beautiful Lizzy, just beautiful, you’re such a classy hostess!

  46. A very enticing cheese platter. I love serving it right on the cutting board as it makes it easy for everyone to help themselves. I hope I can find figs at the market this weekend as I also am going to be making a cheese tray.

  47. Beautifully presented!! I think you just have a knack for presenting things perfectly. 🙂

  48. Lizzy,
    Your presentation is beautiful. I thought I saw prosciutto…love it. I usually have imported sharp provolone, fontina and asiago.

  49. I just love this! As I was reading it, my daughter leaned over and said, “mom, pin that so I can pin it from you. I want my cheese tray to look like THAT!” So consider it pinned!! 🙂

  50. Yes, I love almost everything you put out for us, and I think you are so creative and your food is delicious (yes, I have made several of your creations). This post is very inspiring. Cheese presentations are always challenging for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

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