Cheeseboards are nothing new. Neither is the fact that they're one of the easiest spreads to throw together, and that Trader Joe's is a pretty great place to get all your affordable cheeseboard supplies (#notsponsored, but like if TJ's wants to sponsor my life I wouldn't say no). So, I'll save my breath and your time on the cheeseboard basics. I mean, you know how it works by now anyway, right?? A few kinds of cheese, a board, some crackers....you know the drill. You got this.
So, let's get straight to it...the details on this holiday cheeseboard that costs under $35 to make and serves 6-8 (or 4-6, if it's the main event). The price may fluctuate based on the exact products you get, as well as the amount of each item you get and the store you shop at, but everything I purchased for these photos rang up at just under $35 at Trader Joe's (full disclosure: I also added a few small things I already had on hand, like almonds and walnuts, which I encourage you to do, as well).
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ASSEMBLE A CHEESEBOARD
Here's the general formula I used:
3-4 types of cheese (1 soft, 1 semi-soft, 1 hard, 1 spreadable)
2 types of crackers (one plain, one flavored)
2 types of fruit
2 types of nuts
1 dried fruit/citrus
Once at the store, I looked for anything with a wintery/holiday flavor (think: citrus, cranberry, spices, plum, truffle, mushroom, toasted nuts), put it all in my cart, then slowly worked my way through the items, eliminating some, choosing others, based on flavors that I thought would pair well together, as well as things I had too much of or not enough of (aka I didn't exactly need three truffle flavored items).
Here's what I ended up with:
Mushroom brie (Alternative options: Italian truffle cheese, herb & garlic stuffed brie)
Syrah wine soaked toscano cheese (Alternative options: iberico, manchego)
Blue cheese + roasted pecan spread (Alternative options: cranberry or fig goat cheese)
2 persimmons (Alternative options: pomegranate seeds or fresh citrus)
1 apple (Alternative option: pear)
Toasted almonds and walnuts (Alternative options: pecans, pistachios, candied walnuts, smokey almonds)
Dried orange slices
1 Truffle sausage (Alternative options: any other sausages, prosciutto)
1 jar of Sugar Plum Jam (Alternative options: orange marmalade)
1 box of Brioche Toasts (Alternative Option: cocial Crackers)
1 box of Rosemary Italian Style Crackers (Alternative Options: cracker Trio, pistachio and pomegranate crackers)
Each of the items I picked were delicious on their own, but also worked really well paired together. For example, the sausage, blue cheese spread and apple slices were a favorite combo, as was the rosemary crackers, toscano cheese, orange slices and walnuts and the brioche toast with the plum jam and winter cheese.
To assemble the cheeseboard, I simply layered a few marble and wooden boards on my tabletop, added some greenery, a towel, a few candles and a handful of tiny Christmas ornaments scattered throughout. Jams, dips and the nuts all went in small bowls, while the remainder of the ingredients were spread throughout the boards. Empty spaces were filled in with additional nuts, fruit or sausage slices or more ornaments.
Whether you snack on this spread as a meal while watching a holiday movie, writing out your holiday cards, or decking the halls, or you enjoy it in a more traditional appetizer role, this holiday cheeseboard is brimming with all the festive flavors you could want without hurting your wallet one bit.