Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

For an easy, unexpected, and fun take on Thanksgiving dinner, consider single-serving, individual Thanksgiving mini graze boards. They give everyone their own private buffet, whether you’re having a Friendsgiving, fall picnic, cocktail party, or just a more casual get-together. After all, there’s no rule that Thanksgiving has to be a multi-course sit-down dinner!

A mini graze board is an opportunity for each guest to try a variety of things, without having to reach across the table. They’re also a great solution if you don’t have a dining table that fits everyone and are doing more of a cocktail-party-style Thanksgiving. And since you can set up the graze board before anyone arrives, you can enjoy hanging out with your friends and family instead of running back and forth to the kitchen! This makes them a genius option for any party or gathering, not just Thanksgiving.

To assemble graze boards, start with a single-serving piece. We used small cutting boards, but trays or large plates would work as well. Then, top each with food—and utensils if needed—so that each guest gets a sampling of everything. Finally add a label with each guest’s name; you can download our template, which reads “I’m thankful for__________” or make your own. This will keep everyone from mixing up each other’s boards, and also reminds the people you love how grateful you are to have them in your life. (Our template also comes in a tented version so you can use them at placecards if you’re sitting down to dinner.)

A graze board can be savory—like the one with charcuterie, cheese, or vegetables here. Or it can be sweet like the one with two different slices of pie, a chocolate turkey, cookies, and fruit. You can even combine sweet and savory on one board, so that it’s a complete, individual meal. Whether you’re going sweet or savory—or both!—aim for finger foods that don’t require utensils. (Or, try to limit yourselves to food that can be eaten with a fork but no knife.) Opt for a mix of textures and avoid very strong, polarizing flavors such as bleu or other stinky cheeses.

And if you just can’t imagine Thanksgiving without turkey and mashed potatoes, serve graze boards as appetizers and dessert, and just sit for the main course!

However you use graze boards, they’re guaranteed to make dinner more relaxed and clean up easier—which can help you keep an attitude of gratitude at Thanksgiving or at any other holiday or gathering your hosting. And if you don’t feel like cooking on a weeknight dinner, graze boards are a fun, unexpected way to serve snacks or leftovers instead!

What You’ll Need

How-To

Step 1 Set your “menu” for each graze board and stock up on items. For our savory boards, we chose sliced orange and yellow peppers, dried sausage, prosciutto, gouda, parmesan, and fruit and nut bread. For the sweet, there was a slice each of pumpkin and apple pie, meringues, leaf-shaped butter cookies, candied ginger, dried apricot, and a chocolate turkey.

Step 2 Download I’m Thankful For label templates, print, cut out, and write a guest’s names on each card.

Step 3 Arrange the food on your graze board, and add the label. Mini graze boards are served!