Skip the meat and think fresh grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie boards! These samplers not only look far more vibrant than a standard platter of salami and Swiss, but they also will keep you hydrated and cool. Grill peaches, pineapple, figs, and other sweet produce items, then use them as the star of these showy cheese and fruit charcuterie boards.
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When you think of a grilling menu, chances are, saucy racks of ribs, bacon-topped burgers, or well-dressed hot dogs come to mind. Or if you're vegetarian, perhaps sizzling plant-based burgers, buttery corn on the cob, or other gorgeous grilled vegetables. But this summer, we're all about grilled fruit—and in particular, grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie boards. Inspired by some creative food bloggers who are sharing their own variations on the summery grilled fruit charcuterie board theme, we're already firing up our grills to assemble one of these low-fuss platters for our next al fresco gathering. 

Read on to learn the best fruits to grill and perfect cheese pairings, plus score some assembly inspiration from some Instagram-trending grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie board ideas.

The Best Fruits to Grill

You might be surprised by all of your options for grilled fruit! Of course, sturdy planks of large fruits work well, but smaller, more tender fruits are also good to grill once you place them on skewers. 

As long as the fresh fruit is fairly firm and not overripe, you should be good to grill. Consider these options for your grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie board: 

  • Peach wedges or halves
  • Nectarine wedges or halves 
  • Watermelon cubes or "steaks"
  • Honeydew melon cubes or "steaks"
  • Cantaloupe cubes or "steaks"
  • Cored pineapple slices or cubes
  • Banana halves
  • Fig halves
  • Berries on skewers
  • Cherries on skewers
  • Tomato wedges or slices, or cherry tomatoes on skewers
  • Avocado wedges or halves

It's important to start with a clean grill when grilling fruit. Not only will this prevent grime and gunk from sticking to your food, but it will also remove any savory flavors hanging around from the last time you grilled beef, pork, chicken, or seafood.

Heat your grill to medium-high for 10 minutes, then scrape off any debris and lightly oil the grates. Allow the fruit to grill for a few minutes so the surface sears, then using a set of tongs ($11, Target), gently try to loosen the fruit to check for doneness. If it doesn't release easily, let the fruit grill on that side for a minute or two longer. Once golden brown, flip and cook until both sides are evenly grilled.

Cheeses to Pair With Your Grilled Fruit Charcuterie Board 

As explained in our ultimate guide for how to make a cheese board, the best boards include a variety of flavors (from mild to strong) and textures (from soft-ripened to hard). Try at least one of each of these types of cheeses:

  • Hard cheese: Gruyère, cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego
  • Soft cheese: Brie, goat, Camembert, mozzarella, burrata, Port du Salut
  • Blue cheese: Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort

Similar to pairing wine and cheese, no hard and fast rules dictate what grilled fruit goes well with what cheese. Sample and snack your way through a variety of combinations to find your favorites—if you enjoy the two together, that's a good fruit charcuterie board pairing.

How to Assemble a Grilled Fruit and Cheese Charcuterie Board

For large grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie boards, we generally swing for a lazy Susan ($40, Target) so it can easily be rotated for all to savor any side. A large board with handles ($20, Walmart) can also come in handy if you're planning to transport the fruit and cheese charcuterie board from outdoors to indoors or vice versa, or from the grill to the patio table or potluck spread.

Gather your selected cheeses, grilled fruits, and your board or serving vessel of choice, and now it's time to unleash your creativity! 

Flavor Fiesta

We're already planning to follow the lead of Muy Bueno Cooking and her Grilled Fruit Cheese Board. With flour tortillas, quince paste ($12.95 for 14 ounces, Amazon), and fresh herbs, this grilled fruit and cheese charcuterie board serves up some south of the border flair.

Brunch Board

How sweet is this brunch-friendly Grilled Fruit Summer Cheese Board from The Kitcheneer? The low-fuss format and honey-drizzled mascarpone really caught our eyes.

Slider-Style

This savory grilled fruit charcuterie board from Half-Baked Harvest is making all of our wildest summer dinner dreams a reality. Roasted Caprese Burrata Sliders?! Sign us up.

Garden Bounty

If you're hosting a large crowd, it will be tough to top a piled-high Grilled Fruit Vegetable Charcuterie Board like this one from Reluctant Entertainer. With a mix of grilled fruits, grilled vegetables, jams, dips, cheese, meat and more, this is a true snack meal. (For more ideas along these lines, you can preorder Reluctant Entertainer's forthcoming book: Big Boards for Families ($27, Amazon.)

No matter how you decorate it or what elements you choose, it's a great idea to add a fruit and cheese charcuterie board to your next summer menu.

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