How to Create an Easy, Affordable Cheese Board feat. Trader Joe’s

Hi, friends! I’m back with another cheese board post! I am no expert by any means, but I am writing this post to make cheese boards more accessible and less intimidating to those who do not know where to begin. All of the information in today’s post culminates in the cheese board pictured below, which I made for my family’s gathering over this long weekend.

Beginning with the supplies, wooden cutting boards make a great cheese board! If you’re looking to purchase cheese boards, World Market has some great affordable options (I have this large round one and this rectangular slate one from them). If you are making a small cheese board, you can use a dinner plate or even a Pyrex container! During quarantine, I had to get creative with my cheese boards since the boards I have are for larger groups. For this cheese board, I used a large serving plate!

Moving onto cheeses, there are lots of information online as to what kind of cheese to include for a well-rounded cheese board. I am a firm believer in buying what you want to eat! If you don’t like blue cheeses, don’t put a blue cheese on your board. If you like blue cheeses, put a blue cheese on your board! Almost always, I have a brie, a cheddar, and a blue on my board based on the preferences of my friends and family. Trader Joe’s has solid cheese options at great prices, some of which I talk about below. For today’s cheese board, I got all of the ingredients from Trader Joe’s (keep reading for the comprehensive list).

In building the cheese boards, I highly recommend checking out Cheese By Numbers instagram account. I came across it a couple of years ago on the Explore page, and this is what got me to start making cheese boards in the first place! Following the Cheese By Numbers method, every board has a step-by-step photo follow. You can recreate any of their boards or follow the general rule of placing cheese, meat, produce, crunch, dip, and garnish in that order! I typically finish with rosemary to add some colors, which we usually get from the back porch but this was made at my family’s, and I totally forgot!

Not pictured: candied orange slices, salami, and cheese bites

Ingredients:

Unexpected Cheddar $3.99 (a family favorite; this is the only cheese Jiyoung wants, I swear)

Blueberry and Vanilla Chèvre $4.49 (another family favorite; mom and brother love this one!)

Cave Aged Blue Cheese $3.15 (I enjoy Crumbly Gorgonzola too!)

Triple Creme Brie with Wild Mushrooms $4.73 (I haven’t been seeing the goat milk brie recently so I’m not sure if it’s discontinued, but the goat milk brie is even cheaper and tastier in my opinion!)

Columbus Italian Dry Salame $4.49

Fig Butter $2.49 (another condiment I use often too is Blue Cheese Mustard)

Oven-Baked Cheese Bites with Black Summer Truffle $2.99 (this might not be for everyone because it’s cheesy/truffle-y/salty, but I am obsessed)

Raisin Rosemary Crisps $3.99 (Fig & Olive crisps are a great option too among many others—my family simply prefers this one! Recently, I tried and LOVED the Roasted Gorgonzola Flavored Oven Crisp Crackers)

Sweetened Dried Orange Slices $3*(I don’t have the exact price for this item because I bought it during my last TJ trip, but I’m 99% confident this costs less than $3?! I will check the price and update this post after my next TJ trip!)

Blueberries $3.49

Raspberries $4.99

Total: $41.80 (roughly)

The total for EVERYTHING on the board was barely over $40. It fed four adults with leftovers of almost everything! You’ll have enough candied orange slices and fig butter to use for multiple boards! Blueberries and raspberries can be used for other dishes.

You really can use any produce you already have on hand (one time, I used celery because that was the only produce we had on hand during quarantine). If you have rosemary or other herbs in your home garden, they make the perfect garnish and add a beautiful color to the board.

Hope this blog post was helpful (or at least fun to read) for you!