Create the best Grazing Platter for family friends in no time with my helpful tips and tricks to make everything easier! Great for snacks for entertaining any season! It’s also perfect for a quiet night in, when you don’t want to cook!
Loading your grazing platter up with colorful cheeses, fruits, meats and breads will make you seem like the most professional hostess since Emily Post! (She was the “queen” of etiquette, look her up 🙂 )
Make it easy for your guests to enjoy with mini forks or toothpicks. Make sure all of your pieces are cut into bite-size pieces. Only pick fruits and vegetables that are seedless (think things like seedless grapes and olives).
What is a grazing board / grazing platter?
A grazing board, unlike a charcuterie board is filled with meats, cheeses and lots of accompaniments a charcuterie board is just meats with a few accompaniments, according to Time!
A cheese board is a collection of different cheeses with only crackers or breads, usually without all of the accompaniments, except a few.
The great thing about a grazing board is that you can customize to your tastes and do whatever you fancy! Have fun with it! Get creative! We always add at least one new cheese, a new type of meat and new fruits, veggies and condiments. It’s always fun to try new things, and you never know, you may find your next favorite food.
What you need
A mixture of hard cheeses and soft, spreadable cheeses is always your best bet. Cut the hard cheeses into bite sized pieces. Make sure you have enough mini cheese knives for each different spreadable cheese on you board.
- Swiss / Greyere
- Monterrey Jack
- cheese spreads
- port wine cheese
It’s nice to use a mixture of breads, crackers and toasts, or even pretzels or sturdy chips will work. For the breads, using mixed flours is great, as well.
White, wheat, rye, sourdough and even gluten free are great to add for those that are intolerant (place the gluten free in a separate section of the board, or make a separate gluten free board).
- Good quality, artisan breads
- Your favorite packaged crackers (there are actually great gluten free varieties available too)
- We found nice, bite sized toasts at our local grocer.
- Pretzels (again, great GF available), tortilla chips
There are so many colors and flavors available. Mix it up so that you have all of the colors of the rainbow, concentrating on local seasonal availability, for the best selection.
If cut fruit is known to brown, cut them at the last minute, before adding to platter. Some fruits that I don’t recommend are bananas, peaches and nectarines. They brown too quickly.
- Oranges, tangerines
- seedless grapes
- cantaloupe or other melons
- strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, currants
- tropical fruits; kiwi, mango, passion fruit,
- apples, cut up last minute, can brush with lemon juice to deter browning
- pears, cut up last minute, can brush with lemon juice to deter browning
- dried fruits are great too! Apples, pears, raisins, cherries, apricots, etc.
- carrot sticks
- cherry tomatoes
- sliced peppers- bell peppers or hot peppers
Good meat choices are spreadable meats and smoked meats. Freshly cooked pork, beef, venison or chicken can also work.
- corned beef or pastrami
- liverwurst or pate’
- prosciutto, chorizo, andouille, coppa, etc.
- seafoods, I have even done specialty boards with seafood
- homemade or store bought dips
- deviled eggs
- fruit spreads and pastes
- fancy mustards
- nuts and seeds, like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or kernels, etc.
What quantities to use on the grazing platter?
For cheeses and meats, I usually plan on 2 oz (56 gr) per person, for an appetizer. The rest of the additions to your board, I just guestimate. Figuring 5-6 pieces of fruits and vegetables for each guest.
What if you don’t have a huge board to serve your grazing platter on?
Get creative and use whatever you have in the house. Old baking sheets will give your board that vintage look. Use baking pans, any shape will work.
Use any trays, platters or boards that you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy anything special.
You can make multiple smaller boards and scatter them throughout the area, so that wherever someone is standing, they are close to a board.
Don’t feel that you have to put everything on the same board. Mix them up.
You can even do special boards for special dietary restrictions. Be it gluten, diary, vegetarian, vegan, you can make a board for each and put a cute label on them.
What utensils and containers work?
I use small containers for any dips or spreadables. Ramekins, small bowls, even shot glasses are great for condiments. If you buy or make dips, put them in a small container to serve, then refill as needed.
Make sure you have lots of spreading knives and small spoons for scooping out dips and condiments. You can find cheap sets online (links below).
- Start with an itemized list with the total quantities that you will need for the amount fof guests you expect.
- It is easy, at least for us, to go crazy in the cheese shop. Make sure you plan out how much you will need, for the people attending your gathering. Don’t go overboard. Many cheeses don’t freeze well, so you have to be able to use up your leftovers within a week. Same goes for the meats and the perishable fruits and vegetables.
- Get anything you can get done the day before, including; cutting up the hard cheeses and placing in plastic wrap or bags. (Keep varieties separate)
- Wash any fruits the day before, except fruit that will perish if wet, such as strawberries and raspberries.
- Anything that will spoil in the hot weather, should be kept refrigerated until the last minute, such as; mayonnaise based dips and sauces, meats, deviled eggs, etc.
- Hard cheeses or very sharp cheeses will cut better if they are room temperature.
- Try new things on your boards.
- Decorate your boards with pretty fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley and dill.
- Arrange your platter so that have pops of color all over to make the platter more appealing.
- Be careful, it is easy to spend a ton of money when you are shopping for specialty cheeses and meats. If you stick to the first tip above, this will be less of a danger.
Other delicious appetizers that would be great on your grazing board
- oysters rockefeller
- brie with balsamic strawberries
- easy 10 minute shrimp dip
- hot drab dip
- chicken stuffed tomato bites
Supplies I use to make grazing boards
Contains affiliate links, for full disclosure, see FTC Disclosure, here.
That’s how easy it is to make the best grazing platter or grazing board. Thanks for stopping by today!
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How to Make the Best Grazing Platter
- 1/2 lb brie cheese
- 1/2 lb favorite cheddar
- 1/2 lb muenster cheese
- 1 bunch red grapes
- 1 whole orange
- 1 apple
- 1 large loaf fresh, crusty bread, such as French or Ciabatta
- 1 bottle favorite wine
- Wash and prepare all fruit into bite sized pieces. Arrange on serving board.Slice cheeses into bite sized pieces. Arrange on serving board.Serve with broken chunks of bread, assorted crackers and a glass of wine.
- aloutte type
- cream cheese blends
- port wine cheese
- Stilton cheeses
- dried cranberries
Originally published 2/20/17 Newly updated 5/8/20