A French Cheese Platter Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
5m 8-10

A beautiful cheese platter is a thing of beauty. Given that I adore most cheeses, I don’t think there is much one can do wrong when putting together one of these platters. However, if you want to get a bit fussy about it, then there are a few simple rules that you should keep in mind. I have written here my thoughts and some generally accepted guidelines to help you craft a cheese platter that suits your tastes and will also wow your guests.

As I am living in France, my cheese platter is made up of French cheeses. I understand that you may not be able to find some of these cheeses. Use the guidelines below when visiting your local cheese shop or supermarket to find your own selection of local cheeses available to you.



  • 1 wheel of epoisses
  • 1 heart of neufchâtel
  • 1 log of sainte maure de touraine
  • 1 wedge St. Agur blue cheese
  • 1 wedge mimolette
  • dried apricots, dates and figs
  • fresh red and/or green grapes
  • walnuts
  • small dollop of fig or black cherry jam (for hard cheese)
  • fresh sage (or other herbs) for garnish


When planning a cheese platter, it is important to ensure that you have a selection of cheeses from which your guests can choose.

First you want a selection of textures. A platter made up of all hard mountain cheeses is…well…boring. Don’t do that. Just as a platter of all soft brie-like cheeses would seem a bit bland (and this is coming from someone who can never get enough brie!). Good rule of thumb is to choose one brie, one hard, one goat’s cheese and one blue. Then perhaps throw another of your favorites in there for good measure.

You also want a selection of cheeses made from different kinds of milk. People seem to be a lot more savvy these days and know whether a cheese is goat’s milk or cow’s milk. Here is France we also get a lot of sheep’s milk cheese. A nice mixture of these kinds of cheeses will help naturally diversify what your platter looks like.

Finally, you want the platter to look appealing. For me that means a mixture of shapes and colors. I know I am spoiled here in France with the variety of beautiful cheeses. However, if you take a good look at the cheese case in your supermarket or at your local deli, you will be able to spot a nice variety of cheeses from the US as well (e.g., sharp orange cheddar, white crumbly goat’s cheese log, herb-flecked round of boursin, square of havarti).

Once you have your cheese selected, it is time to fill in the gaps with some other tasty treats that complement cheese. Some great options are fresh fruit like red or green grapes, dried fruits such as apricots, dates or figs and then depending on the cheeses you serve, a small dollop of a fig or black cherry jam can be a treat – particularly with hard cheeses such as manchego or a French basque cheese like ossau-iraty.

Last touch that doesn’t cost much (or anything if you grow herbs) is some fresh greenery such as bay leaves or in this recipe I used sage leaves. The pop of color and freshness helps the platter stand out.

Don’t forget a basket of crackers or fresh baguette slices on the side.

Here is a video of how I made my own cheese platter:

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