How to Build an Epic (and Easy) Snack Dinner
This post has been sponsored by Cracker Barrel Cheese. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
At least once every couple of weeks, we enjoy a leisurely snack dinner instead of toiling away in the kitchen to put something on the table after a long day. If you’re not familiar with a snack dinner, it’s the incredibly delicious, fun concept of combining snacks to create an informal, pick-as-you-go dinner.
Now, there’s a fine line between simply eating popcorn for dinner (whether by mistake or not!) and planning a snack dinner. In our house, snack dinner is well thought-out—a balanced combination of the odds and ends in the fridge and pantry. Which is one of the many reasons that I always make sure to pick up a bag or two of Cracker Barrel Cheese Cubes at Shaw’s to have on hand for future snack dinners.
Because of course, every good snack dinner is centered around the cheese course…
Check out more details here and head to your local Shaw’s to purchase today!
If you’ve followed me on Instagram for awhile now, you’ll know that I’m a huge proponent of the snack dinner. We usually end up making snack dinner on busy nights, especially when I’ve spent the day cooking and shooting for clients. It takes the pressure off having to prepare dinner and allows us to spend quality time together, chatting about our day and snacking away.
There’s something just a little romantic and improper about a snack dinner. You’re together, breaking the rules a bit, eating in a communal form from one platter with your hands. Fingers graze as you reach over the other person to dip a carrot or grab a cheese cube. And the levity and joy of a snack dinner provides lots of space for good conversation.
Of all the date nights in (which I’ve talked about here, here, and here), snack dinner might just be the most romantic.
So today, I’m super excited to finally show you how we make an epic and easy snack dinner on the fly!
It all starts with cheese. Of course, you could make a snack dinner without cheese—but why would you?
I love these Cracker Barrel Cheese Cubes because they’re rich and bold and make the everyday less everyday. Basically, they turn a meh, mish-mashed snack dinner platter into something quite special. Which is exactly what you need to treat yourself (and your boo) on a weeknight!
To build your snack dinner, you’ll need a large plate or platter. Add your cheese cubes into the center and surround them with crackers. If I have any ham, prosciutto, or pepperoni, I’ll add that to the plate now.
After that, I take a look at what’s in the fridge and try to build some balance from there. I try to add veggies and hummus for some color and nutrients. And if I have any fruit, that creates a nice counter-flavor to the cheese and charcuterie.
Then, I’ll usually add another fun element—like guacamole or salsa and chips. Since I almost always have an avocado in the refrigerator, I’ll usually mix up a quick guac by mashing the avocado and mixing in a little garlic powder and salsa.
And finally, if I have any small pickles hanging out in the back of the fridge, these will get placed on the board for a bright, briny finishing touch!
Now, sometimes we have a few fruits and veggies in the fridge that will be added to snack dinner, but occasionally we need to do a quick run to the store to round it out and make sure we’re building a balanced meal (… or to make sure that we have enough cheese!).
So, I always make it easy on myself by heading straight to the dairy section at Shaw’s. I grab a couple bags of our favorite Cracker Barrel Cheese Cubes (my favorites are the Aged Reserve Cheddar and Vermont Sharp White Cheddar & Gouda). The cubes make it super easy because once we get home, there’s even less prep/slicing! And Shaw’s makes it super convenient to run in and out since it’s always clean and well-stocked. Make sure to check out the Shaw’s mobile app for extra coupons and saving!
Now it’s your turn. Don’t know what’s for dinner tonight? Pick up some Cracker Barrel Cheese Cubes at Shaw’s and build yourself a delicious snack dinner!
- 2 bags Cracker Barrel Cheese Cubes Extra Sharp Yellow Cheddar, Cheddar Jack, Vermont Sharp White Cheddar & Gouda and Aged Reserve Cheddar cubes all work well here!
- 1-2 charcuterie options prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, etc.
- 3-4 favorite vegetables for dipping carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, radishes
- 1 hummus or other veggie dip of choice
- 2-3 favorite fruits
- Tortilla chips
- Pickles optional
Clean and slice vegetables into snack-size sticks for dipping. Clean fruit and slice if needed.
Using a large board or plate, build your easy dinner snack board by first placing down the cheese cubes and crackers, then rounding out with your bowls of hummus, guacamole, and pickles. Place the vegetables, fruits and other dippers in the empty space. Dig in!