Are you looking for a cute Christmas appetizer to make your gathering feel more festive? This quick and easy “recipe” for my Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board is adorable enough to take center stage at any holiday party and can easily be adapted to fit your dietary needs and preferences.

Christmas tree shaped cheese platter on a wooden tray kiwi grapes star fruit and cheese surrounded by evergreen branches.

Why I Love This Recipe

O, Christmas Cheese, O, Christmas Cheese, how lovely are thy nibbles! No matter who you’re celebrating the holidays with this year, you can pretty much always count on a good cheese board to keep your guests satisfied.

When it comes to party planning, appetizers are always top of mind. I like to greet my guests with drinks and nibbles as soon as they walk through the door, which is why I’m a big fan of batched cocktails and grazing boards. This particularly adorable rendition of a charcuterie Christmas tree is just what Mrs. Santa ordered.

Aside from being a total crowd-pleaser and the perfect centerpiece for cocktail hour, this Christmas tree cheese board is also:

  • Quick & Easy – You only need about 15 minutes of prep time to make this yummy edible tree. It’s honestly so simple that I usually leave the assembly up to my kiddos.
  • Completely Customizable – Feel free to use your own favorite fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses to make the perfect charcuterie platter for your party. From choosing the colors to fit your decorations to opting for the flavors you know your crew will go crazy for, you have complete control over this party-ready snack tray!
  • Make-Ahead Friendly – So you can join the party right as it starts.

This Christmas, I’ll be simplifying my cheese board and letting my kids make this easy-to-assemble and gorgeous Christmas tree cheese board on a wooden tray.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This tasty charcuterie tree comes together with just a few basic elements. Feel free to pick and choose from the ideas below to create your very own masterpiece!

  • Cheese – Feel free to choose your favorites. I used cheddar, halloumi, and dill havarti. 
  • Fruit & Veggies – The only veggie on this cheese board is a stalk of celery to act as our tree trunk. I also used seedless green, red, and black grapes, green kiwi, yellow star fruit, and fresh cranberries or try sugared cranberries (to act as ornaments). You have full control over what fruits and vegetables you use, so feel free to choose whatever you like best!
  • Nuts – Add some crunch to your cheese plate with the addition of some toasted nuts. Feel free to keep some in their shells for visual interest, but make sure to offer a nut cracker and a discard bowl as needed.
  • Meat – Prosciutto, salami, deli meats, and sliced sausages are all great options. You can also omit them if you prefer to offer up a vegetarian grazing board like the ones in the photos.
  • Greenery – I used cypress sprigs, but any evergreen will work. If you are concerned about allergies, you can easily swap in more fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage.
  • Crackers – Try to use a fun variety of shapes and textures. I like using rough square Triscuits, round buttery Ritz, and oval-shaped slices of soft baguette.

How To Make A Christmas Tree Cheese Board

Making this festive charcuterie Christmas tree is so simple you can even outsource it to friends or family members. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Make The Outline. Place greenery/sprigs in the shape of a tree on a wooden tray, platter, or cutting board to resemble a Christmas tree shape. Place celery at the bottom for the tree trunk.

Step 2: Arrange cheese cubes, grapes, and kiwi in rows on top of the greenery.

Step 3: Garnish with fresh herbs between the fruits and cheeses to create a 3D effect.

Step 4: Fill Out the tree shape by tucking additional greenery sprigs under the ingredients as needed.

Step 4: Decorate using star shapes on top of the ingredients and top top off the tree. Sprinkle with fresh cranberries, if using.

Step 5: Enjoy!

If you’re more of a visual learner, watch this video to see how quickly this Christmas tree cheese platter comes together. Just remember to be creative and have fun!

Christmas Tree Cheese Board with a celery as the trunk and star fruit ornaments.

Optional Variations

There is no shortage of brilliant Christmas charcuterie board ideas out there. Here are a few variations to consider:

  • Vegetarian or Vegan Charcuterie Board – Omit the meat to make your Christmas tree charcuterie vegetarian-friendly. You’re also welcome to stick to just fruits and veggies for a vegan board, or consider using some plant-based cheese if you like.
  • Dessert Charcuterie Board – Dessert and cheese go together like PB&J. Omit the meats and consider adding some mini brownies, star-shaped cookies, and seasonal foil-wrapped candies to round out the Christmas tree look.
  • Breakfast Charcuterie Board – Want a grazing board for while you’re opening presents? Consider using breakfast meats and boiled eggs in place of veggies and cheese. You can also swap in mini pancakes, waffles, bagels, and croissants for the crackers.

Expert Tips

The great thing about building a Christmas charcuterie board is that there are no hard-and-fast rules. This is a time for you to exercise your creativity and have fun. Here are some things to keep in mind as you work:

  • Consider the color scheme. Whether you’re banking on the traditional red, white, and green for your decorations or want to branch out into the rest of the rainbow, grab fruits & veggies that match your look.
  • Plan ahead. Keep prep to a minimum by cutting your fruit, veggies, and cheese ahead of time. You can even assemble the entire Christmas cheese plate, wrap it well, and store it in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Use different shapes. Round grapes, star-shaped starfruit, and square cubes of cheese gives you 3 different looks. You can even cut the fruits and veggies to help give your charcuterie platter some extra visual interest.
  • If you’re feeling crafty, try making your own wooden charcuterie board. You can also just use a large cutting board or a serving platter if you prefer!
Christmas Tree Cheese Board closeup of star fruit sliced with grapes and kiwi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy star fruit?

Star fruit can often be found year-round in the supermarket produce section. If not, then remember: no star fruit? No problem! Use your creativity and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut slices of persimmon, yellow watermelon, other fruits, or even cheese instead.

What are the most popular items on a charcuterie board?

Since taste is subjective, I like to offer snacks that fit the full spectrum of flavors. Have a good balance of savory (cheese, meat) and sweet (fruit, jam), crunchy (crackers, nuts) and soft (cheese, baguette).

What goes on a cheese board first?

I always suggest that you start with a rough outline of the space you’re going to occupy. For something like this Christmas-tree-shaped charcuterie platter, make sure you start by making an outline of a tree.

For more of a traditional grazing board, put your anchors (e.g. large blocks of cheese, halved pieces of fruit) down first, and then fill in the empty spaces with smaller items.

More Seasonal Cheese Board ideas

Love cheese boards and want more ideas? A creative charcuterie board is not only delicious but doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece. Here are a few seasonally-inspired variations featuring this timeless assortment of meats, fresh fruit, and cheeses.

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #muybuenocooking.

Christmas Tree Cheese Board star fruit at top.
Christmas tree shaped cheese platter on a wooden tray kiwi grapes star fruit and cheese surrounded by evergreen branches.

Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board

4.10 (31 ratings)
This cheese board is super simple and festive with all the ingredients assembled to look like a Christmas tree. What is not to love?

Ingredients

  • evergreen or cyrpress sprigs
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound Dill Havarti cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • seedless green, red, and black grapes
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage
  • 1 star fruit slices or persimmon or cheese slices, shaped with a star cookie cutter
  • fresh cranberries

Instructions 

  • Place greenery/sprigs in the shape of a tree on a wooden tray, platter, or cutting board to resemble a Christmas tree shape.
  • Place celery at the bottom for the tree trunk.
  • Arrange cheese cubes, grapes, and kiwi in rows on greenery.
  • Add fresh herbs between.
  • Tuck additional Evergreen sprigs under the ingredients in the shape of a tree, if needed.
  • Add star shapes on top of ingredients and top off the tree.
  • Sprinkle with fresh cranberries, if using.

Video

Notes

  • No star fruit? No problem. Use your creativity and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut slices of persimmon or cheese.
  • Consider the color scheme. Whether you’re banking on the traditional red, white, and green for your decorations or want to branch out into the rest of the rainbow, grab fruits & veggies that match your look.
  • Plan ahead. Keep prep to a minimum by cutting your fruit, veggies, and cheese ahead of time. You can even assemble the entire Christmas cheese plate, wrap it well, and store it in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Use different shapes. Round grapes, star-shaped starfruit, and square cubes of cheese gives you 3 different looks. You can even cut the fruits and veggies to help give your charcuterie platter some extra visual interest.
  • If you’re feeling crafty, try making your own wooden charcuterie board. You can also just use a large cutting board or a serving platter if you prefer!
Calories: 336kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 758mg, Potassium: 332mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 306IU, Vitamin C: 88mg, Calcium: 701mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks / Video by Pure Cinematography
Originally published: December 2018