Frugal Family Feast: Marinated Checkerboard Cheese

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Feeding a hungry team for the big game? Check out this fabulous recipe from our Frugal Family Feast series that’s sure to satisfy for less than $15.

Watching big sporting events stirs up super-sized hunger. So get your game plan ready to tackle your ravenous crowd. This week’s Frugal Family Feast brings a twist on a regular cheese plate that will be a touchdown for your fans and your wallet. It’s an easy, make-ahead platter, for less than $15.

In a dish that is as beautiful as it is delicious, Chef Chad Thilborger, author of “Whole Heap of Goodness,” shared his recipe for Marinated Checkerboard Cheese with Money Talks News Founder Stacy Johnson. In just minutes, you mix up a flavor-filled marinade, chop some cheese, arrange, marinate, and refrigerate. Check out this video and read on for the recipe.

As you’ve just seen, the marinade beautifully seasons the cheese, giving it delectable dimension. It makes for a great appetizer for any crowd, from sports fans to wine enthusiasts. Your guests will think you spent hours preparing this marinated checkerboard masterpiece, but it’s super fast. It’ll definitely become a regular in your party food lineup.

The little squares of cheese can go a long way, depending on the size of your serving dish, so be prepared to make extra plates. Chef Chad tells us many people have a lot of these ingredients at home, and you can pick them up for less than $15 at your local grocery store.


Marinated Checkerboard Cheese – courtesy of Chef Chad Thilborger


½ cup very good olive oil – I LOVE a good Greek olive oil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

1-2 ounce jar pimentos

3 tablespoons green onions chopped fine

3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped fine

4 cloves of garlic chopped fine

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¾ teaspoon basil chopped fine

Mix all above ingredients well with a wire whisk and set aside.

1-8 ounce block cream cheese

1-8 ounce block sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese


Cut blocks of cheese in half lengthwise.  Then cut cheeses into equal sized blocks.  I usually get about 6 to 8 across each block. Arrange cheese cubes onto serving plate alternating cheeses. Whisk mixture again and pour over the top of the cheese. Place dish in refrigerator overnight and serve the following day.

When you try it, go to our Facebook page and tell us how you like it!

Stacy Johnson

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Read Next: 9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to Retire

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