Nothing makes me happier than walking into a party and seeing a gorgeous grazing board. Whether it’s cheese-centric, inspired by the season, or supports a “desserts-first” mentality—it’s always exciting. Anything served up on a board feels warm and inviting, and always makes a great conversation starter. I love observing which ingredients guests end up obsessing over, whether it’s a delicious dip or a new favorite cheese. And the good news: there’s always an abundance of ingredients begging you to grab seconds.
Throughout the holiday season, I’ll be sharing some of my go-to entertaining boards (did you catch my dips and crudites board?). Each is designed around a different theme, letting you serve an entire evening’s worth of meals, all on a board. Next up: a rustic, but elegant bruschetta board that’s sure to wow every guest.
How to Build Your Bruschetta Board
It’s a well-known truth: we all love bread. As much as American food culture has tried to demonize it over the years, it will always have its comeback. And as far as boards go, what better way to set a strong foundation than with our favorite carb of all? The additional accouterments are just the delicious icing on the cake. A bruschetta board is an easy, elevated appetizer for the holidays.
I follow a formula to simplify this board and all the possible topping combinations that you could come up with.
- Savory crostini. Toppings options are endless, but I like to make sure that I have at least one savory option that could act as both an appetizer and also a full happy hour meal if needed.
- Slightly sweet crostini. While I draw the line at dessert crostini, having a sweeter crostini that celebrates the season’s best fruit adds some flavor variation to the board.
- The fun pieces. Think of these things as fillers that add a bit of abundance to your board. They might not necessarily be a part of your crostini combinations, but sometimes guests want to get creative or just have stand-alone ingredients to snack on.
Following this formula for choosing your veggies ensures you have a strong variety of textures and flavors to elevate this board for the holiday season.
Bruschetta Combinations to Choose From
With these guidelines, I then choose from a few combinations to build my bruschetta board. Some of the ingredients can cross-pollinate and work for both a sweet and savory bruschetta, but use what you have on hand. Think about ingredients that are easy enough to serve in bowls or on the board, and that guests can easily assemble themselves.
Savory Bruschetta Options
For this board, I turned to creamy burrata, roasted tomatoes, and pesto. Especially in the winter when tomatoes are out of season, this is an easy way to boost their flavor. Other savory combinations I love:
- Boursin or flavored goat cheese, roasted vegetables, and pesto
- Cream cheese, smoked salmon, and dill
- Brie and caramelized onions
- Horseradish mustard and steak
- Ricotta, fig, and prosciutto
- Go gluten-free with sweet potato crostini
Sweet Bruschetta Options
When I think of special and sweet crostini, I go for palate-refreshers more so than leaning toward dessert. For this board, I went with brie cheese, fall pears, honeycomb, and pomegranate. Here are a few other sweet combinations to try:
- Brie, apple, and caramelized pecans
- Goat cheese, cranberry sauce or chutney, and pistachios
- Ricotta, fig, and honeycomb
- Blue cheese, pears, and honey
- Brie, persimmons, and pomegranate
- Whipped feta, figs, and thyme
- Goat cheese, caramelized grapes, and balsamic
Bruschetta Board Add-Ons
To make this bruschetta board feel fuller, I like to utilize bite-sized snacks that might also work on the above sweet and savory crostini options.
- Cornichons. These are great for a pickled bite to a savory crostini,
- Nuts. Pecans, pistachios, or Marcona almonds can also be a stand-alone snack. They also add a crunchy bite to either sweet or savory crostini.
- Crackers and bread. I like a combination of both. A fresh baguette is great, but I find they can run stale fast. Crunchy baguette slices can be bought ahead of time but have a lighter crunch to them than a cracker. Including crackers is great for someone who may just want a slice of cheese on a crisp cracker. I like both seedy crackers and a good classic plain cracker.
Assembly Tips and Tricks
A few simple tips to style an impressive bruschetta board that’s sure to satisfy any crowd.
- Utilize small bowls and plates. We all know that a board dinner means easy clean-up, but smaller bowls and plates also ensure that you can guide guests with flavor combinations in an easy-to-visualize way. I like to group cheeses and fruits together on a plate that can be served together in one corner to help anchor the board, and smaller bowls with the accompanying toppings. Filler ingredients like crackers, nuts, and other fruits, can go in several places on a board to help add abundance and texture while filling out the board.
- Choose fruits that last. Nothing is less appetizing than fruits that have turned brown or aren’t at their peak on a board. To ensure cut fruits (apples, pears, etc.) stay fresh and pretty, add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey to keep them looking fresher on the board longer.
Be sure to share your favorite crostini combinations with us in the comments!