Halloween graze board

Graze boards are appetizers that double as decor, making gorgeous centerpieces for gatherings from birthday parties to Thanksgiving. Turn a pretty serving idea into something sinister but stunning, and you’ve got a Halloween graze board. It’s a creepy, captivating serving idea for a grown-up Halloween party.

The basic idea is the same—take a carving board, cheese board or other decorative, food-safe tray, and layer it up with cheese, crackers, fruit, veggie, dips, or other antipasti. But for a Halloween graze board that’s as creepy as it is captivating, you’ll want to choose dark, moody fall fruit and then make sure the board is infested with “spiders.”

Here’s how to do it:

Pick a Color Palette
For our Halloween graze board, we went dark and deep: Purples and greens (in the grapes, kiwi, and and the dill dip); blood red (in the blood oranges, chorizo slices, and the pomegranate); and black (in the blackberries, black licorice, prunes, and blackberry jam). We also worked in white (in the decorative gourds and the cheeses)—the better to show off our “spiders” and “ants.”

Start Big
As with any graze board, you’ll want to set your big items down first. Start with the cheeses. We chose cheese that looked inherently creepy: Blue cheese covered in veins, and balls of mozzarella which we grouped together to look like brains. We worked in a few white-rind cheeses that would show off the “spiders.” This is also the time to add any sliced meat, like our chorizo.
Next, place the decorative gourds and small white bowls of jams, marmalades or dips, like our blackberry jam and green dill dip. At this point, also add crackers, pita, toast points or whatever bread you’re using.

Fill in with Fruit
Look for fresh or dried fruit or vegetables that fit the color scheme or are inherently creepy. We chose:

  • Purple and green grapes
  • Kiwi berries
  • Blackberries or blueberries
  • Dates and prunes
  • Blood oranges (even the name is creepy!)
  • Pomegranates (they’re the food of the Underworld in Greek mythology)
  • Figs (slice them open and they’re fruit that spills its guts)
  • Cauliflower (they look like tiny brains)

Add Creepy Extras
Once your board is built, it’s time to accessorize to add an ick factor.

We stuck cocktail picks with ants on the end into the blue cheese, added candy eyeballs into the jam and dip so that it appears to stare at you as you pick your appetizers, then brought in spiders, two different ways. You can:

Drop clean plastic spiders on cheese, gourds, crackers, or large pieces of fruit—just steer clear of grapes or berries, as you don’t want anyone tossing a plastic toy in their mouth accidentally

Make a large spider on top of a white wheel of cheese: Set down a prune as its body, then add eight black-licorice legs.

Don’t Forget Dessert!
Round out the board with some sweet-but-scary stuff: Wheels of black licorice and spiderweb-frosted cupcakes (for the how to on spinning that web, click here).

Halloween Graze Board: Add "Eyes" and "Spiders"

What You Need

  • Mixed fruits (blood oranges, pomegranates, blackberries, kiwi, purple and green grapes)
  • Dips and jams of your choice
  • Dried plums
  • Cauliflower
  • Black licorice wheels
  • Marcona almonds
  • Mixed cheeses (we used blue cheese, brie, bocconcini, and Manchego)
  • Crackers
  • Small white pumpkins
  • Candy eyes
  • Plastic spiders

Halloween Graze Board How-To

Step One (Optional): For extra creepiness, turn bocconcini mozzarella balls into a “spider egg” Take a small, 5-inch bowl and line it with saran wrap, then add one layer of bocconcini all around the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover that layer with more saran wrap, place another, smaller bowl inside, press it down, and wrap the whole thing tightly so that the smaller bowl is flattening down the bocconcini. Put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, then remove the wrapping, lift out the smaller bowl, and drain any any liquid that has been pressed out of the bocconcini. The cheese will be pressed flat against the remaining bowl. Fill the cavity left by the smaller bowl with softened cream cheese, rewrap the plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Then, take out the bowl, turn it around and flip out the “spider egg” formed by the connected, flattened bocconcini.

Step Two: Build your board. Arrange small wheels of cheese, bocconcini brain, sliced chorizo, bowls of dips, and decorative gourds, then fill in with crackers, nuts, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables.

Candy Eyeballs for a Halloween Graze Board

Step Three: Add some “scary” details: Scatter plastic spiders, stick ant cocktail picks into cheese. Place candy eyes in dips.

Decorate Your Halloween Graze Board with Spiders

Step Four: Create a large spider by cutting black licorice into eight “legs,” placing a date body on a wheel of cheese, and arranging the spider legs around it.

Step Five: Finish with any candy or sweets, like our licorice wheels and spiderweb cupcakes

Click on these links for advice on how to put together graze boards for occasions from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.