I absolutely LOVE cheese boards during the holidays. It’s such a festive and gorgeous way to celebrate any occasion with friends and family. Many cheese boards that I find in restaurants are not gluten free friendly, so I wanted to create a gluten free friendly cheese board for all of you to enjoy. It’s a more mindful way of celebrating, while still enjoying delicious cheeses, meats, fruits, nuts and more!
First, let’s talk CHEESE. The star of the show. Getting high quality cheeses is so worth it, but stick to 3-4 types. I love mixing both soft and hard cheeses for my board for different textures. I also love using brie, goat, and manchego for some milder cheese options, and sharp cheddar or gouda for a stronger flavor. Get grass-fed cheeses or goats milk cheeses that may be easier to digest. Also, check out your local farmers/grocers for locally made cheese if accessible to you! I always go to BiRite SF for my cheeses.
Following the cheeses comes all of your pairings. First, I love filling my cheese boards with savory items like crackers, olives, meats and nuts. gluten free friendly items like grain/gluten free crackers (I love Hu Kitchen grain free crackers). I also love using gluten free/nitrate free cured meats like Applegate Farms salami, or high quality prosciutto from my local grocery store (BiRite SF also has great options for all cheese board items including cured meats). Nuts of any kind work for cheese boards, though I’m partial to salted marcona almonds (SO GOOD), shelled pistachios for color, and pecans for a little bit more of a fall feel. Finally, don’t forget adding in some delicious salty olives like green and kalamata olives. These pair beautifully with sharper cheeses, and are a great filler option for a gluten-free board.
Having some sweet pairings for your milder cheeses is also so important! I love using honey and high quality preserves that are unique. I find amazing, locally made preserves from BiRite as well! Check out Bonnie’s Jams for more natural preserves (no pectin added) and unique flavor combinations. For this cheese board I used a lovely lemon pear preserve by Bonnie’s Jams. I intentionally then used citrus and pears for fresh fruit to accompany the preserves. I sliced up some Barlett pears and navel oranges for a sweet but fresh component to the board.
That’s about it! Cheese boards don’t need to be complicated, and making them gluten free is so easy if you just add in some gluten free crackers, or just stick to nuts, gluten free cured meats, olives and dried and/or fresh fruit. You can’t go wrong either way!
If you give this a try, let me know in the comments below. Enjoy!
Holiday [GF] Cheese Board
- Cheese board or platter of any kind
- Cheese knives
- 3-4 cheese blocks I love using a mix of hard and soft cheeses, like manchego, goat, brie, gouda, or sharp cheddar
- 1 cup honey I love putting it in a small glass jar
- 1 cup preserves I will use the jar the preserves come in if it's pretty, or i'll remove some into a small glass jar
- 1/2 cup olives or savories I love using olives for my cheese board
- 2-3 cups nuts of any kind I love using salted marcona almonds, pistachios,
- 2-3 fresh fruits, sliced if applicable I love using pears, pomegranates, apples, oranges berries, or other seasonal fruits
- 1 cup dried fruit I love using a mix of dates, figs, prunes or other high quality dried fruits (no added sugars)
- 2-3 types of sliced dry/cured meat I love using high quality, gluten free/ additive free meats like prosciutto, Applegate farms salami
- First, place your blocks of cheese across the board on different sides. Space out your cheese blocks so there's room in between them for filling in with nuts, cheese, preserves and more
- Add your jars of preserves and honey. I like to pair the manchego or goat (milder cheeses) with the sweet preserves and honey, so place them near those cheeses.
- Add your sliced fresh fruit on opposite sides of the board next to the sweet honey and preserves.
- Then, add your gluten or grain free crackers (I love using Hu Kitchen grain free crackers), followed by your sliced fresh fruit.
- Add your dried meats and olives (you may wish to place the olives in a small dish or jar). I like rolling prosciutto and placing them in a couple rows on the board, or laying the salami in a row too.
- Add your nuts and dried fruits to fill in any gaps on the cheese board. You should be ready to serve. Enjoy!