DIY grazing boxes (COVID-friendly appetizer or easy holiday gift)

Sharing my tips on making DIY grazing boxes; they’re like mini cheese boards in a box! This is a perfect COVID-friendly appetizer idea or a nice surprise for something you love. <3

Hi friends! How’s the week going so far? I’m so happy you liked yesterday’s workout – please let me know if you give it a try!

Since I’m officially in the holiday spirit, I wanted to share a fun appetizer idea if you’re planning for Thanksgiving next week or holiday celebrations. Usually in situations like this, I would just make an enormous cheese board for family and friends to share. Since we’re being more cognizant of individual servings/sharing, I thought it would be cool to make individual grazing boxes. It’s like a mini cheese board in a box! Not only is this perfect for holiday entertaining during these strange times, but would also be fun for a movie night, picnic at the park, or a switch-up from cookie boxes as gifts during the holidays.

DIY grazing boxes! A cute and easy covid-friendly appetizer or holiday gift. Get the details here:

DIY grazing boxes (COVID-friendly appetizer or easy holiday gift)

Cheese board in a box

This DIY grazing boxes are super easy to put together and you can customize them depending on preferences and what you find at the market. For example, I love non-dairy cheese and will always include them in my cheese boards, but that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. 😉 These little beauties are portable, can be made in advance, and are pretty dang awesome with a glass of your favorite wine. Since I made extras to take photos for the blog, I had so much fun surprising some friends with grazing boxes and a bottle of wine.

DIY grazing boxes! A cute and easy covid-friendly appetizer or holiday gift. Get the details here:

*Note: if you wanted to make them even smaller, you could put them in little Mason jars. JAR-ceuterie is a thing, and I’m so here for it.

How to make a cheese board

I feel like they can be intimidating because there are so many beautiful cheese boards out there, but my top tip is to make these often. You’ll get the hang out of how certain ingredients go together, how you like to plate or stack various options. Make sure to have a mix of meats, cheeses (different textures and at least one *fun* or different cheese), and different textures and flavor profiles.

DIY grazing boxes! A cute and easy covid-friendly appetizer or holiday gift. Get the details here:

* = from Trader Joe’s

My favorite cheese board ingredients

Meats: salami, sopressata, prosciutto, pepperoni

Cheeses: *Unexpected cheddar, Midnight Moon cheese, brie, parmesan, smoked gouda, *blueberry goat cheese, *caramelized onion cheddar, mozzarella

Briney: kalamata olives, green olives, castelvetrano olives, cornichons, olive tapenade, Dijon mustard

Salty: marcona almonds (the rosemary ones from Trader Joe’s are amazing), sun-dried tomatoes, grilled marinated artichokes, pistachios

Sweet: sliced apples, berries, persimmon, pear, grapes, pomegranates, hot and sweet pepper jelly, raspberry preserves, honeycomb, dried apricots, figs, medjool dates, chocolate chips, kiwi

Crunchy: nuts or trail mix, butter crackers, cheese sticks, *raisin rosemary crisps, flatbread, *Everything but the Bagel crackers, savory round crackers, crispbread

Extra touches: sprigs of fresh herbs (mint, rosemary, and thyme are lovely), pomegranate arils, super thin dried citrus slices, or edible flowers

To make my full-sized cheese board, I make piles of each ingredient, starting with the meat and cheeses. I fill in the empty spots with the remaining ingredients in piles so it looks neat. Finally, I add any finishing touches for aesthetics. For these boxes, I did the same thing!

DIY grazing boxes! A cute and easy covid-friendly appetizer or holiday gift. Get the details here:

It was REALLY tempting to use a ton of ingredients like I usually do, but the boxes were small and I didn’t want it to be too busy. In the end I decided on salami, pepperoni sticks, different crackers, raspberries, garlic-stuffed olives, cornichons, blueberry goat cheese, Unexpected cheddar, Chardonnay cheese, dried orange zest cranberries, and honeycomb.

I tied them up with a little twine, cinnamon stick and rosemary, and boom. Cute, portable, grazing boxes!

(Note: we had one left over and it was just as great the next day!! I just wouldn’t put the crackers next to anything that would make them soggy if you’re going to make these in advance, or just add the crackers right before serving.)

I used these 6×6 boxes from Amazon, but might try making some in 8×8 boxes and use tiny plastic cups for the dips and sauces instead of the glass or wooden bowls I use for full-sized boards.

So, tell me friends: What are you making for Thanksgiving this year? Any edible gifts you love to make for others? We always make different cookies, but might be doing more of these grazing boxes and wine instead. 🙂



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  1. Pamela Talley on November 19, 2020 at 9:27 am

    We just went to “Level Red” so no in-person Thanksgiving (or Christmas) for us.

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2020 at 9:36 am

      Ugh, I’m sorry 🙁

  2. Linda on November 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    What a great idea… I’m going to enjoy surprising friends and neighbors with these beautiful little boxes of yummies!
    I like to give homemade treats but only if it’s something I’d enjoy being gifted myself. My mind is racing with ideas to make each box personal for each recipient.
    Thank you for the great idea.

    • Fitnessista on November 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      ahh i love that! they’ll love them 🙂

  3. Jenny on November 19, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Love this!

    • Fitnessista on November 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      thank you!

  4. Katie on November 19, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    That is such a great idea! We are essentially under another stay at home order (and we haven’t seen anyone indoors anyway), but this is a great idea for an outdoor distanced holiday gathering. Also, I love that LV crossbody!

    • Fitnessista on November 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      thank you so much!!

  5. adrianna on November 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    gina this is genius!! love love love this idea!
    heading to my parents to celebrate with them and my siblings. very excited to see everyone and like that it’s just us tbh <3

  6. Stephanie on November 24, 2020 at 8:34 am

    I love this idea! We throw a Christmas party every year for our friends and I’ve been so sad that I can’t do it this year. We all have kids so it’s the one time a year we all get babysitters, I decorate the house and make a large charcuterie board and we play games. I bought the girls a bible study and was trying to figure out what I could add to it and surprise them with a porch drop off. This is perfect! Thanks!

  7. Isabella on December 19, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Oh such a great idea!!! Yours look fantastic and so fancy with the little twigs.. Will definitely give these a try! <3

  8. Holly on February 2, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    I’m thinking of doing this for my sons elementary teachers for valentines! Love this

    • Fitnessista on February 2, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      oh i love that idea!!

  9. Tiffney on June 2, 2021 at 12:46 am

    I love this idea and want to make these for my wedding for appetizers. How far in advance do you think I can make these boxes without the meat and chesses going bad? I was thinking about individually packaging the crackers too so that they stay fresh longer rather then having them in the box. Thank you 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm

      hmmmmm i wouldn’t make them more than a couple of days out so they don’t get soggy. i didn’t do this in the post but i would line them with parchment paper next time, too! Super smart about the crackers — i would add them as close to the last minute as possible! This would make an awesome wedding appetizer! Congrats – I’m excited for you 🙂

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