Make a showstopper centerpiece for your holiday celebrations with a harvest-inspired fall cheese board! Filled with sweet and savory seasonal flavors, it’s the perfect way to welcome Thanksgiving guests to your home before the big dinner.
The Ultimate Fall Cheese Board
Fall is one of the best times of the year to make a gorgeous, bountiful cheese board. It’s an easy hors d’oeuvre that makes a big impression without taking up precious oven or stove space on prime entertaining days, like Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving.
Growing up, I always used to help my mother, grandmother, and aunt with our holiday entertaining prep. (I’ve always been in the kitchen, even as a kid!)
One of my “jobs” from a very young age was to help one of them assemble the cheese board. This was THE MOST important task imaginable in my little eyes (turkey? what turkey?), and I always took the job very seriously.
As a result, I got to know my way around a cheese board from a very young age. I’ve been a cheese lover practically from birth!
Here’s how I like to make an epic cheese and charcuterie board with a fall theme. With a mix of creamy and piquant cheeses, crisp, sweet-tart seasonal fruit, toasty nuts, and fragrant autumnal herbs, this board is nothing short of holiday heaven.
Want to learn more about making a showstopper cheese display? Don’t miss my Ultimate Cheese Board Guide, with printable shopping list for your trip to the market!
What You’ll Need to make a Fall Harvest Cheese Board
First, you need to choose a board. I like to use wood boards whenever possible for a fall harvest cheese display. The pretty grains and warm tones set the autumnal mood so well.
The board pictured in this post is a large pine charcuterie board that I picked up from Williams-Sonoma years ago. (Amazingly, I found this beauty on a clearance table. Such a great buy!)
It’s from the brand Europe2You (etúHome), and they have a gorgeous selection of charcuterie boards in various wood grains, shapes, and sizes. (Not an ad! I’ve just been very happy with mine.)
You’ll also need cheese knives and small spoons for serving your condiments. I gravitate toward wood handles, copper, and pewter to capture the fall vibe.
I also absolutely love (and receive so many compliments) on the twig collection at Sur la Table. (Such cute pieces!) I’ve had them for a couple of years, and everyone always hones right in on them at parties and when I use them to style a photo.
Some of the Cheeses I Love for Fall:
Choose 3 to 6 cheeses for your board, across a range of cheese styles (aged, semi-soft, etc.). For hors d’oeuvres before a holiday meal, plan on 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of each cheese you choose, per guest.
- Aged/Hard: Beecher’s Flagship Reserve (2019 #1 Clothbound Cheddar, American Cheese Society, pictured), Mimolette (pictured), Beemster 3-year Aged Gouda
- Blue: Rogue River Blue (pictured), Point Reyes Farmstead Original Blue (multiple award-winning)
- Semisoft: Manchego, Gruyère (pictured), Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Cheese (multiple award-winning, pictured)
- Bloomy: Brie, Camembert, Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam (multiple award-winning, pictured)
- Washed Rind: Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk (multiple award-winning), Rush Creek Reserve, Taleggio
- Fresh: Wensleydale with Cranberries, Truffle Burrata
Have you heard? Oregon’s Rogue River Blue took home the top prize of World’s Best Cheese at the 2019 World Cheese Awards! It was the first time a US cheese has won the top honor. Rogue Creamery only makes the cheese in the autumn, aging it for 9 to 11 months wrapped in pear liqueur-soaked grape leaves. It’s an exceptional cheese to add to a fall cheese board.
Fall Cheese Board Accompaniments:
Add visual appeal and variety to your board with seasonal accoutrements to complement the cheeses you choose. Choose at least 3-5, depending on the size of the board you’re building.
Some of my favorite accompaniments for a fall cheese board are:
- Fresh Fruit: sliced pears and apples, grapes, figs, pomegranates
- Dried Fruit: cranberries, dates, figs
- Nuts: candied nuts, Marcona almonds, Spanish date and walnut cake
- Olives: Gaeta, Castelvetrano, oil-cured black olives
- Condiments: honey or honeycomb, preserves (recommended: Bonnie’s Jam’s Cranberry Cherry Cabernet, Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Grape Jelly), apple butter
- Charcuterie: salami, prosciutto di parma, soppressata (hot or sweet)
- Garnishes: fresh sage leaves, rosemary sprigs, sugared cranberries
The Best Breads and Crackers for Fall Cheeses
I love to incorporate toasty wheat crackers and fruit and nut varieties into my fall cheese displays. The warm flavors go so well with autumn fruits and complement some of the sharper cheeses well with a pop of sweetness.
I almost always include my go-to Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers (the round cookie-like crackers pictured). I also recently found a new favorite for the season in Whitney’s Castleton Crackers Salted Maple (the long rectangular crackers pictured).
Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps in Rosemary-Raisin-Pecan and Salty Date-Almond are two fall favorites, as well as a classic neutral, like a simple table water or butter cracker.
Need more cracker recommendations? Don’t miss our list of 15 Crackers We Love to Serve with Cheese!
A tiny word of caution: it can be easy to make a fall cheese board too sweet when working with seasonal flavors like maple and dried fruits. Be sure to round out the board some salty and savory bites to complement the range of cheeses on your board.
Fall Harvest Cheese Board
Cheese Ideas (choose 3-6), 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of each variety per person for hors d'oeuvres*
- Aged/Hard Cheeses: Clothbound Cheddar, Aged Gouda, Mimolette
- Blue: Point Reyes Farmstead Original, Rogue River Blue, Gorgonzola
- Washed Rind: Taleggio, Red Hawk, Rush Creek Reserve
- Semisoft: Manchego, Gruyère, Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Goat Cheese
- Bloomy rind: Brie, Camembert, Triple Crème
- Fresh: Truffle Burrata, Wensleydale with Cranberries
Accompaniment Ideas (choose at least 3-5, depending on the size of the board)
- assorted charcuterie (soppressata, prosciutto, salami)
- olives (Gaeta, Castelvetrano, oil-cured black olives)
- sweet condiments (honey/honeycomb, apple butter, preserves, chutney)
- nuts (candied nuts, Marcona almonds, Spanish date and walnut cake)
- fresh fruit (sliced pears and/or apples, grapes, figs, pomegranates)
- dried fruit (cranberries, dates, figs)
- assorted crackers
- garnishes (fresh sage leaves, rosemary sprigs, sugared cranberries)
- Arrange all ingredients on a board or platter. Remove cheeses from the refrigerator one hour prior to serving.