I am becoming quite into making beautiful boards that are simple, easy to make, and totally impressive. Maybe it’s borderline obsessing now, but I won’t apologize for it because snacking, grazing, and eating to my heart’s content all afternoon is the best way to enjoy food, isn’t it?!
This fresh fruit board is perfect to serve for brunch or dessert with its fresh sweetness. Why not start with a savory breakfast charcuterie board and enjoy this for dessert afterward? Or serve it alongside a chocolate dessert board and have the best of both worlds?!
So let’s create this elevated fruit platter and impress your friends and family!
What is a fruit charcuterie board?
Alright friends, we have discussed what a charcuterie board is before, and while this fruit board doesn’t contain any meat…and is technically not a charcuterie board per se, it’s a fun take on the classic appetizer.
This fruit board is essentially a platter of various fruits, fruit dips, and cheeses if you’d like. It’s totally customizable and easily adjusted to match the seasons. There is no one way to make a fruit tray, but let’s walk through some tips and tricks for making the most beautiful board you can.
Is it cheaper to make your own fruit tray?
First, let’s cover this big question…is it actually cheaper to make your own fruit tray rather than to buy one from the store?
I am willing to bet in most cases, yes, it is much more budget-friendly to make your own fruit tray rather than buying one, for a few reasons.
First, whole fresh fruit is generally cheaper than buying pre-cut fruit at the store, because you are the one who has to prepare it.
Most fruit is easy to prepare, and with a little preparation, you will enjoy the trade-off of saving some money.
It’s also more cost-effective because you can decide what goes on the tray, which means you’ll for sure enjoy the fruit. You can also guarantee it’s ripe, none of it will go to waste, and you can use what you have at home already to fill in any missing gaps. That’s a win-win for reducing food waste in my book!
Pro tip: shop the sales and visit more budget-friendly stores like ALDI to make your DIY fruit board even more affordable.
Suggested Ingredients for a Fruit Board
Here is a basic outline for what to include on your own fruit board. As with any board, you’ll create, always feel free to mix and match the ingredients both for what you have on hand, and what is available to you.
That is the beauty of homemade boards…the flexibility!
What Type of Fruit to Use
Let’s start with the most obvious ingredient…the fruit!
This is the star of the show, bringing color and freshness to the entire board. You can use any variety of fruit, the one thing to keep in mind is that using different sizes and shapes is ideal so that the board has visual interest and lines.
I have bolded the fruits I have on my board as pictured.
- Berries: a blend of any and all berries is always a good idea. I highly recommend at least having strawberries (is it everyone’s favorite, or just me?! …and they are the best with the dip), but blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also winners.
- Other tropical fruits such as dragonfruit, lychee, papaya, pomegranate, and more!
- Apple slices
- Melons: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
Obviously, the list could go on and on. I recommend seeing what’s in season (which will be cheaper, too!) and going from there.
Include a Fruit Dip
If the fruit is the star of the show, then this mascarpone fruit dip is its leading co-star. It’s absolutely luxurious and creamy – perfect for dipping in your favorite fruits or drizzling on top.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s so easy to make in less than 5 minutes. While any fruit dip will suffice, I really recommend you give this one a try.
Add in Some Cheese
It’s wonderful how well fruit and cheese go together…so while cheese could be an unexpected addition to some fruit trays, it’s definitely worth considering, especially depending on when you’ll be serving the board.
When adding cheese to a *mostly* fruit tray, I like to go with sweeter, creamier cheese. A triple cream brie is wonderful and pairs well with many fruits. Cheddar and manchego are delicious options for a more savory twist, gouda is always delicious, and fresh mozzarella balls or pearls, or burrata, are a good mild, creamy cheese to add.
Keep in mind, if you want to keep the board vegetarian friendly, ensure the cheese is vegetarian, too!
As desired, these are also great to mix things up on a fruit board:
- Nuts – think almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- Chocolate because why not! Or try an espresso ganache dip.
- Fresh Mint
- Crackers, especially if serving several kinds of cheese, like on a cheeseboard
How to Make a Fruit Board
1. Place the largest items on the tray.
With any type of charcuterie board, the first step is to place the largest items on the tray. In this case, I recommend placing any bowls you’ll be using for the fruit dip, honey, and any other additions you may have.
If using one bowl, place it in the middle of the tray. For more than one, you can place them off-set or in a triangle formation to make the design most visually appealing.
You’ll see here that the cheese was my additional “third big item”, making it the corner of the triangle with the two other bowls.
2. Add the next largest fruit items.
This would include large wedges of melon or pineapple, or any sliced fruit like apples, mangos, kiwi halves, or bunches of grapes. Again, no pressure as there is no wrong way to do this!
3. Fill in the gaps.
Keep adding fruit in the spaces, working your way from largest to smallest. Typically I will finish with smaller berries like raspberries and blueberries because they can be added on top of other fruit and fit perfectly in those little spaces that need something.
Now is the time to add any loose nuts, too, or dried fruit that would benefit from having its own space, or filling in smaller spaces.
Tips for a DIY Fruit Board
- Extra bowls? No problem! If you have additional bowls or items that won’t necessarily fit on the board, you can absolutely set out other items around the board, or create a smaller, separate tray.
- Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces that can either be easily grabbed (think wedges of melon) or picked up with a toothpick or small fork.
- Place similar colors across from each other on the board, or combine complementary colors to make it visually appealing. For example, blueberries within strawberries to break up the reds, or place mango and pineapple across from each other to mingle the yellow tones throughout.
- Serving Size:
- You can make a larger fruit board for a party that serves many, or a smaller more intimate board for fewer people.
- I recommend at least a variety of 5 fruits for a group of 4 so that there is enough variety.
Serving Board Recommendations
A fruit board can be served on any large food-safe board you have. I love using round boards because I find they are the easiest to get to all parts of the board from any angle.
Rectangle boards are good too, to spread items out along a table, and will work especially well to place items in multiple locations throughout the board. For example, if you are serving a larger crowd you can place the same fruit in several locations on a large rectangle board.
Make-Ahead and Storage
- The dip can be made 1 day in advance; I wouldn’t recommend any further out so it’s as fresh as can be.
- Wash and prepare fruits ahead of time and store them in individual containers in the fridge until ready to assemble the board.
- Do not prepare fruits that have a tendency to brown until ready to serve. This would be apples, bananas, avocados, etc.
- Berries do best if they are washed immediately before serving, otherwise, they will spoil much quicker.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You could also wrap the entire board if you’ll enjoy it within the day, however, if storing longer I would recommend placing the fruits in their own containers for best keeping.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe How to Make a Fresh Fruit Board
A Selection of 5-7 Fruits (or more!)
- Wash and prepare the fruit, cutting them into bite-sized pieces or finger-food-sized portions (like wedges of melons).
- Place your larger anchor items like the fruit dip and honey in bowls, and cheese, if using, on the board. If using more than one bowl for items, place them evenly on the board in a triangle shape, or along an S shape, for the most visually appealing layout.
- Garnish with fresh mint or place smaller berries around and serve. Continue adding items to the board as they're enjoyed; don't try to fit everything on at once if your board isn't big enough.
- Servings: you can absolutely customize this board to fit the number of people who will be enjoying it. Make it larger or smaller as needed.
- Board Ideas: see the full post above for additional ideas for fruits to add and other goodies!
- Make-Ahead: you can prepare the fruit that won’t brown ahead of time and store them in individual containers in the fridge until ready to serve. The fruit dip can be made a day in advance, too.
- Mascarpone Dip shown in the photos is the whipped version; the photo of the strawberry dipping is in the non-whipped version. See that post for more details.