37 Great Ways to Serve Cheese

Cheese is the perfect appetizer, whether a lovely wedge of aged cheddar paired with apples or something more elaborate such as a dips, spreads, and tortas.

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    Triple-Cheese Torta

    Flaunting festive colors and flavors, this appetizer gains distinct personality from a choice of two toppers.

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    Peppered Herb Cheese Ball

    This make-ahead herb cheese ball, made with cream cheese, goat cheese, and fresh herbs, makes a great gift. Freeze them to have on hand for company.

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    Cheese Pedestal

    Full-flavor cheeses such as cheddar and Stilton taste best at room temperature. When serving cheese as part of a dessert buffet, allow 1 ounce of cheese per serving.

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    Creamy Goat Cheese Ornaments

    Like the charming little ornaments that adorn the tree, each bite-size appetizer is unique. Red sweet pepper, green cilantro, and toasty brown pumpkin seeds create the designs.

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    Cheese, Pears & Mustard-Laced Apple Butter

    Replace the traditional cheese assortment with just one cheese so guests can really focus on its unique character. Partner it with fresh pears and a crock of homemade mustard apple butter to spread on the cheese and pears.

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    Chevre and Tomato Spread

    Goat cheese, or chevre, with its intense flavor, is a delightful complement to dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Together, they make an ideal spread for entertaining or everyday snacking.

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    Dry Jack Cheesecake with Pears and Crostini

    A savory cheesecake made from cream, Gruyere, and dry Jack cheeses and served with pears and crostini is a festive way to start any gathering.

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    Parmesan-Artichoke Crostini Spread

    Cheesy and addictive, this Parmesan-Artichoke spread features Italian parsley, also called flat-leaf parsley. The herb has a milder flavor than the curly-leaf variety.

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    Fresh Tarragon Yogurt Cheese

    Use Fresh Tarragon Yogurt Cheese to top grilled meats or to spread on a toasted bagel.

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    Avocado-Feta Salsa

    A great new twist on everyone's favorite -- salsa. Adding avocado and feta to a tomato-based salsa gives the dip a richer taste.

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    White Cheddar Shortbread Sandwiches

    White Cheddar Shortbread Sandwiches have scrumptious onion marmalade inside.

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    Feta-Fruit Appetizer

    Feta-Fruit Appetizer makes a stunning presentation of the classic fruit-and-cheese duo. A melon baller or plain teaspoon will work to hollow out the cheese; work gingerly to keep the sides from crumbling.

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    Low-Fat Blue Cheese Spread

    Blue cheese spread is great paired with celery sticks and apple and pear slices.

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    Wrap-and-Roll Basil Pinwheels

    Make these appetizers yourself or put out the fixings of Boursin, basil, roasted sweet peppers, and thinly sliced meats -- then have everyone create their own snacks. Use plain, whole wheat, or colorful spinach or tomato tortillas to wrap up these unique bundles of flavor.

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    Cheese Crisps with Creme Fraiche and Caviar

    These tiny lacy cups filled with creme fraiche and caviar are simply melted cheese. Not just any cheese, though. The success of these distinctive nibbles comes in using real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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    Olive Cheese Ball

    Standing the test of time, this delightful combo of cream cheese, blue cheese, ripe olives, and walnuts still makes a terrific nibble for modern-day parties.

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    Fruit Pate

    Sweet fruits, salty prosciutto, and crunchy nuts meld lusciously with mascarpone cheese. An ideal complement to this fruit pate would be light, fruity white or rose wines.

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    Chili Nut Honey with Cheese

    Toasted walnuts, sweet clover honey, hot red pepper, and soft aromatic cheese blend seamlessly in this spicy and savory spread.

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    Pesto-Provolone Terrine

    Cream cheese, pesto, and provolone -- yum! People will think you spent scads of time on this. Surprise! Fifteen minutes and you've got a winner.

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    Fruited Cheese Log

    The base of this sweet and savory appetizer is cream cheese and Monterey Jack spiked with a little orange juice, then studded with dried apricots, raisins, and dates and rolled in almonds. Be inventive -- use whatever your favorite dried fruits are.

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    Marinated Feta

    For your next appetizer platter, marinate cubes of feta cheese in herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice.

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    Tricolor Peppercorn Cheese Ball

    Enjoy this creamy blend of cream cheese, caraway seed, chives, and dillweed rolled in a combination of pink, green, and black peppercorns.

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    Crostini with Olives and Feta Spread

    Thin baguette slices are topped with feta cheese spread, tomatoes, and olives. It's one of those recipes that is better than the sum of its parts.

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    Lahvosh Slices

    Bite-sized spiral sandwiches of artichoke, pimiento, prosciutto, and provolone are both colorful and delicious.

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    Salsa and Cheese Dip

    A swirl of fresh herbs and green onion add a vivid flavor to this chunky dip of sour cream, a bit of salsa, and chunks of queso fresco -- a white, crumbly Mexican cheese. To scoop up the dip, you'll need a sturdy chip.

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    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

    Think of this as spreadable pumpkin cheesecake. Spread it on everything from mini bagels to gingersnap cookies.

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    Cheddar Crackers

    A great make-ahead appetizer. The dough for these crisp Cheddar Crackers can be made in advance and frozen up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then simply slice, bake, and cool.

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    Roasted Pepper Roll-Ups

    These irresistible morsels are easy to make -- just spread tortillas with the light and luscious cheese-and-pepper filling, add fresh basil or spinach, and roll.

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    Smoked Cheese Squares

    Three cheeses -- mozzarella, smoked Gouda, and smoked cheddar -- provide a pleasant backdrop for the sweet onion and date topping.

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    Smoky Cheese Ball

    A blend of smoked cheese and cream cheese is mixed with a dash of steak sauce, then rolled in toasted pecans, giving this appetizer a full-flavored taste.

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    Salmon in Phyllo Cups

    Cheddar and cream cheese blend with salmon and dillweed to fill these crisp pastry cups.

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    Herbed Feta Spread

    Two cheeses -- one a mild flavor, the other strong -- make a perfect pairing that's ready to enjoy in 10 minutes. Serve as an appetizer with dippers or spread on dinner rolls.

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    Perky Pistachio Torta

    A great make-ahead treat! This torta of basil-pistachio pesto with alternating layers of cream cheese is both colorful and delicious.

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    Festive Cheese Tortas

    A wonderful way to present a classic trio of cheese, pesto, and tomatoes.

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    Polenta-Cheese Circles

    Slice refrigerated polenta, top with shredded cheese, and add whatever toppings strike your fancy. Serve these savory circles with forks.

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    Herbed Feta Cheesecake

    This savory cheesecake says "party" with a Greek accent. Make the cheesecake up to 24 hours ahead, then cut it into thin wedges and let guests serve themselves.

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    Sweet Pepper Bruschetta

    This nibble from Tuscany, one of the most traditional versions of bruschetta, is also one of the quickest to assemble.

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