Joanna Gaines’ Budget-Friendly Charcuterie Cheese Board Tips and Tricks

A charcuterie cheese board is an ideal appetizer because it can be custom-made based on your tastes and budget. Joanna Gaines offered up some easy tips for keeping a cheese plate simple so it’s more affordable.

Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend the Build Series in 2017
Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines | Rob Kim/Getty Images

Joanna Gaines has tips for saving money when creating a cheese board

In the first issue of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ magazine The Magnolia Journal, released in 2016, Joanna shared some guidelines (via Pop Sugar) for creating a cheese board that’s budget-friendly.

Gaines notes that you don’t have to use the finest cheese, as most any cheese is worthy of sitting atop a cracker for snacking. The offerings can be more basic rather than purchasing specialty cheeses that have a heftier price tag. Some more affordable options include cheddar, swiss, or muenster cheeses. She uses different textures and flavors, such as brie, Monterey Jack, and parmesan.

The addition of meats is nice, but can be omitted, or a small amount can be placed on the board but cut into smaller pieces to stretch it further. It’s not necessary to put out full pieces of prosciutto or salami, for instance, when each piece can be cut smaller, making it a nice snackable size for adding to a cheese and cracker combo.

If you’re offering fewer cheeses to be more budget-conscious, you can fill in the spaces around the cheese on the board with a variety of crackers, nuts, olives, dried fruit, mustard, and bread.

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Ina Garten’s charcuterie cheese board is a bit more structured

By comparison, Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten follows some basic rules when creating a cheese board. She’s appeared on talk shows to show how she assembles a charcuterie board, as well as given pointers on her show about her winning charcuterie formula.

If you like a few more rules around assembling a cheese board, follow Garten’s lead. Begin by laying down some green leaves as a base, then gather three or four cheeses of varying shapes, tastes, and textures and scatter them around the board. Place a bunch of grapes at the center for height.

Then add some dried and fresh fruits, crackers, and something extra, like spiced nuts or a fig compote to be used as a spread.

Joanna Gaines’ twist on a cheese board — a dessert board

An assortment of goodies on a board isn’t just for appetizers — Gaines shared a wonderful dessert board idea on the Magnolia blog.

The blog post showed how to assemble the board with a variety of cookies, candied pecans, peppermint bark, candy canes, lollipops, and other candies, as well as biscotti, marshmallows, and chocolate-covered pretzels, among other treats.

Gaines explained how to create the board by placing between one and three bowls for candy to create anchor areas and then fanning other items around the dessert board.

She recommended laying the cookies and other dessert items slightly overlapping but not overcrowding. She then fills in any gaps with smaller cookies and candies. Items that don’t fit can be placed in cups next to the board.