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Wondering what to eat with crackers? Cheese, of course! Crackers are the silent heroes of all my cheese boards–after all, what’s charcuterie without the vehicle for all your cheese, meat, and toppings? Plus you know how I feel about making my own–between crostini (like my Burrata and Strawberry Crostini, Olive Tapenade and Brie Crostini, and Roasted Grape Crostini) and these amazing Parmesan Crisps, you will never see me serve a board without crackers, even if I only put them on the side. Just because I reserve valuable board real estate for the far more colorful fixins doesn’t mean I think any less of my beloved crackers.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about my favorite crackers, so I’m going to tell you! But I’m also going to share with you some of my favorite cracker techniques and hacks.
When I do save room for crackers on my boards, I don’t just throw them anywhere…I place them around some of the board’s round central pieces, like wheels of cheese and ramekins full of accoutrements. The key is to arrange the crackers in a fan-like shape. I usually do a half circle, but if there’s room you can go all the way around!
Go For a Side Plate
Like I said before, I save my prime real estate for the more exciting looking stuff, but that doesn’t mean that crackers get the short end of the stick. Get them their own plate, bowl or basket! Even if I include crackers on a board, there’s never enough room for the amount I need, so I almost always have a cracker plate.
It takes two
I always make sure I have at least two crackers for every board. One should be more robust and flavorful and complement the plainer cheeses, and one should be a simple cracker that pairs well with the more complex cheeses that carry their own strong flavors.
Crackers don’t have to be plain water crackers all the time! I like to switch up shapes almost as much as I like to switch up flavors. When I’m serving something super Italian, I often add breadsticks (and sometimes I even turn them into prosciutto “lollipops” seen here and here). When I’m serving something super saucy or that might be too heavy for a cracker, like this Antipasti Board, I make crostini. You’ll also see a lot of Valley Lahvosh shaped crackers on my holiday-themed boards (think Stars for 4th of July, Trees for Christmas, and Hearts for Valentine’s Day), and I often include gluten free and/or low carb crackers, like rice crackers from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or my homemade Parmesan Crisps
Cracker Tips Video
What Crackers are Best With What Cheese?
Remember, to avoid flavor clashes, the stronger the cheese the milder the cracker, and vice versa! Here are some of my favorites:
- Aged cheeses (like Parmigiano Reggiano, Gouda, and Manchego) → Multigrain and/or whole wheat crackers, seeded crackers, flatbreads, olive oil crackers
- Triple cream and soft rind cheeses (like brie, camembert, and Comté) → water crackers, fruited crackers, crostini
- Stinky cheeses (like blue and limburger) → sweet and/or fruited crackers, wafer crackers, croccantini
- Sharp cheeses (like cheddar) → club crackers, Ritz, or anything buttery!
- Goat and sheep cheeses (like chevre, Humboldt Fog, and roquefort) → fruited crackers, herby crackers
- Herbed cheeses (like Boursin and havarti dill) → flatbreads, wafer crackers, olive oil crackers
My Go-To Line-Up
I love getting creative with crackers, but over the years of cheese boarding I have also come to find that there are some crackers you just can’t beat. Here are my standbys from some of my favorite brands and stores:
Trader Joe’s Finds
- fig & olive
- Rice crackers (GF)
Whole Foods Finds
- Raincoast crisps (I love rosemary and cranberry hazelnut)
- La Panzanella
Grocery Store Classics
Show Me Your Boards!
I hope this post inspires you to create delicious cheese boards. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the beautiful spreads and snacks you create from my tips. If you make something inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttooproudtomeg so I can see and share!
And, If you liked this recipe, please rate and review.