Your ONE-STOP Cheese Board Shopping Guide

This post contains collections of products that I personally recommend so you can get your board on. It may contain affiliate links

Want to steal the show at your next gathering?  Impress all your friends & family with an epic cheese board!

While my ideal cheese board is a compilation of items from just about every market in LA, ain’t nobody got time to run from store-to-store over the holidays.  So, in the interest of being festive AND efficient, I’ve made a one-stop shopping list of items from tried-and-true, Trader Joe’s below. And, if you’re looking for a list per budget, try my $65 Trader Joe’s Board and my $35 Trader Joe’s Board.

The Best Trader Joe’s Cheese

Platters should ideally have 3-4 cheeses; a mix of hard and soft.

UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR- The best Cheddar at TJ’s. Sharp, while still being buttery and sweet.  Crumble it up and people will go wild over this.  An alternative is Kerrygold Dubliner Cheddar, however, it’s not been as fresh the last few times I’ve been to Trader Joes.

BRIE– A cheese board staple.  Double or Triple cream…the creamier the better. Try to pick one of the more symmetrical slices (for looks) and garnish with a sprig of rosemary on top. The French Brie (two photos down) is my favorite; it can get a little messy and less pretty on the board, but it tastes amazing.

AGED GOUDA: My favorites are the TJ’s 1000 Day Gouda and Old Amsterdam.  Smokey, sweet and great compliment to holiday beers.  Make sure you cut off the hard rind (it’s thicker than most), then cut into chunks and make “rustic crumbles” from that. 

BOURSIN– This is hands-down the best bang for your buck. Put it in a ramekin with a rosemary garnish. NOTE: The photo up top has Manchego on it (also a good addition), but Boursin would be my choice for the holidays 🙂

Trader Joe’s Charcuterie Options

THIN CUT SALAME– These are perfect for creating “salami flowers” on your platter.  Full tutorial coming soon, but I’m the meantime, fold the salami piece in half and then half again to create a 1/4 circle and wedge a bunch together in between cheese and crackers on your platter.

SALAME SECCHI: If the “salami flowers” sound like too much work, grab these guys and cut them into  slices.  They look particularly pretty and rustic on a board.

Trader Joe’s Fruit Recommendations

GRAPES- Cheese board staple.  The best are the Thomcord variety, but are only really in season from summer until end of fall, so pick whatever batch looks best.  Green, Red, or the multi-pack from TJ’s.

RASPBERRIES– Nice addition for color and texture.  Blackberries can work too, but give them a “taste test” to ensure they’re not bitter before you buy them (TJ’s blackberries are hit or miss). NOTE: blueberries are pretty small and don’t have the same impact on the plate so skip those.

Favorite Trader Joe’s Veggies

Guests always appreciate having some healthy options on the plate.  

CUCUMBER– Get the Persian variety and slice uniformly.

LES PETITES CARROTS–  These look much fancier than baby carrots.  They’re colorful (purple, yellow, white & orange) and people love them. Some of the carrots in this pack can be thick, so feel free to slice in half length-wise, so you can more servings out of each package. If you don’t have access to these, simply cut some regular carrots in thin slices.

Trader Joe’s Nuts

MARCONA ALMONDS WITH ROSEMARY– Guarantee at least one guest will spend the rest of the evening raving about these delicious Spanish-style almonds. TJ’s has both the rosemary and truffle variety; guests generally prefer the rosemary, but it varies.  NOTE: Pistachios, Candied Pecans or Walnuts are also a great additions, but these are all you need for a simplified platter.

The Best Trader Joe’s Crackers

FIG & OLIVE CRISPS– These are the best.  For a seasonal twist, they have a pumpkin version in fall and a cranberry version in winter.

SAVORY THINS– Good gluten-free option for guests.

Don’t Forget the Accoutrements

OLIVES– I prefer castelvetrano olives, but those are not available at Trader Joes.  This variety is a good secondary option.

ROSEMARY– No platter is complete without some greenery for garnish.  I use the herb all year long, but it’s particularly festive over the holidays.

HONEY– perfect sweet compliment to cheese and crackers.  Get this awesome honey dipper from Sur La Table and you’ll be using the BOOMERANG function on Instagram all night long.

DRIED PERSIMMONS: Great for colorful garnish with a unique look and sweet taste. Unfortunately, they are only in stock only half the year in Trader Joe’s, so snag them before July comes around.

DRIED ORANGE SLICES: as an alternative to the Persimmons (when they go out of stock). Truth be told, I personally don’t think they taste as great, but I’ve heard that many of you LOVE them. Plus they sure look pretty, which is what matters most to me 😉

DRIED BERRY MEDLEY– A sweet treat to sprinkle on the cheese board. The dried strawberries in this package are the crowd favorite!!

Show me your boards!

There you have it!! A guide to all the best cheese board fixings from your local Trader Joe’s. I can’t wait to see you put these tips to use! Be sure to tag @AintTooProudToMeg in your pics and use the #AintTooProudToCheese Hashtag 🙂  Nothing makes me happier than seeing your boards in action.  Speaking of, here’s an @ainttooproudtomeg-inspired board from one of my IG friends, @honeyofalife. Note that I am unable to see if you are a private account.

Now what?

Lastly, if you’re just starting out with Cheese Boarding and looking for the best type of beginner boards and utensils, look no further than my BEGINNERS KIT. Choose one of the wood boards and then gather accessories like a set of cheese knives, wooden spoons & cheese bags. You can also in the SHOP THIS POST below.

And, if you’re looking for shopping lists from other stores, check out my Whole Food’s Cheese List.

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Leave a Comment

9 Comments

  1. Jayne Haratsis wrote:

    Just started following you & I think you’re amazing!!!

    Posted 12.18.19 Reply
    • quinn.meg wrote:

      Thank you so much!!! Really appreciate you following along 🙂

      Posted 2.24.20 Reply
  2. Michele wrote:

    Thank you for taking your time to show, explain and dazzle with your incredible boards!

    Posted 12.21.19 Reply
    • quinn.meg wrote:

      Thank you very much! I’m so happy to hear that it’s helpful!

      Posted 2.24.20 Reply
  3. Mindy Eppley wrote:

    Love your website!

    Posted 2.10.20 Reply
    • quinn.meg wrote:

      Thank you so much! I’m so happy it’s helpful!

      Posted 2.24.20 Reply
  4. Amanda wrote:

    Trader Joe’s cheeses are literally to die for! Adding all of these to my next haul!

    ~ XOXO, Amanda
    http://www.blondeoutofwater.com

    Posted 7.24.20 Reply
  5. Theresa wrote:

    Oh I love all the tips and tricks. I kept seeing oranges on peoples birds and didn’t know how they got them so perfect looking! TJ’s of course!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  6. Angeles wrote:

    Very helpful! Looking forward to making my board!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply