For those looking for a new spin on holiday entertaining this season, La Brea Bakery is sharing how to take charcuterie boards to the next level in the form of grazing boards.

Chef Jonathan Davis of La Brea Bakery recommends the following elements for a no-cook, ready to eat grazing board, complete with bite-sized treats, dips and sauces:

  • Use colors and textures – Add vibrant color to your table with fresh fruits and vegetables; add texture with creamy yogurt or dips, nuts or crunchy granola.
  • Rely on easy proteins – Layer thin slices of cheese, ham and salami on a plate for palate-pleasing protein that can be eaten solo or made into a sandwich. Try smoked salmon and cream cheese with capers. Include hard-boiled eggs if your event is earlier in the day.
  • Serve bread fresh-out-of-the-oven – Lure guests into the kitchen with the aroma of fresh take-and-bake breads, like turmeric sunflower rolls, sliced multigrain bread or a more traditional French baguette.
  • Add something sweet – Save the desserts for later while adding a touch of sweetness with cranberry walnut loaf, La Brea Bakery’s most popular seasonal bread.
  • Choose fun themes – Arrange elements in a seasonal shape to play into your party theme.
  • Choose your surface – Use a large flat piece, such as a baking tray, platter or cutting board, then artfully layer, arrange and pile it on.
  • Thrift visually interesting containers – Find fun, mismatched bowls or other containers to add dimension and color to your board.

“People are pressed for time during the holidays,” says Chef Davis. “Whether it’s trying to connect with friends and family or to prepare meals. Grazing boards offer a new way to entertain that’s simple, elegant and extremely versatile. It limits preparation time and puts the focus on flavors.”