Thanksgiving Turkey-Shaped Cheese Platter Appetizer Recipe

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What could be a better Thanksgiving appetizer than a turkey-shaped cheese platter?  See how quickly this turkey will be dismantled and only crumbs left :)

Turkey Shaped Cheese Platter - Easy Thanksgiving Appetizer!

This delicious turkey cheese platter is made out of Cheddar and Swiss cheese slices, salami and Ritz crackers!  Such simple ingredients become remarkable with just a little creativity :)  People love stuff like that, and everyone will stampede to take a piece of that turkey!  This easy turkey cheese tray will be gone before any fancy appetizers!

I also have a recipe for turkey fruit tray that uses the same logic to arrange fruits in a shape of a Thanksgiving turkey!  So the question of the day is: turkey cheese platter or turkey fruit platter?  I say go for both :)  On Thanksgiving, there can never be too much turkey!

Feel free to use different types of cheese and crackers – you can really be creative with this turkey!  Maybe you can even make a combination of fruit and cheese platter by alternative the layers of cheese and salami with layers of grapes – yum yum!

This genius turkey cheese platter is super easy to make, it only took me 10 minutes!  If you make this cheese tray in advance, make sure you carefully wrap it with multiple layers of plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator, otherwise the salami and cheese will dry out.  The finished turkey is about 16 inches wide by 13 inches deep, so you need a large plate, tray or cheese board to assemble and serve this (at least 16 inches in diameter).

Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Platter Appetizer Idea

How To Make Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Platter Step By Step

Step 1: Make Turkey Head and Body

Cut out the shapes for the turkey head, body and legs out of cheddar cheese and arrange on the bottom of a large platter as shown on the picture.  Use the chocolate chips, raisins or peppercorns for the eyes, and a piece of Swiss cheese for the turkey beak.

How To Make Thanksgiving Cheese Platter

Step 2: Arrange A Layer Of Salami

Add a layer of salami around the turkey as shown on the picture below.  Salami slices should overlap and partially go under the turkey (just lift the edges of the turkey body cheese slices and place the edges of salami under them).

Making Thanksgiving Cheese Tray

Step 3: Add A Layer Of Swiss Cheese

In the same manner as the step above, add a layer of Swiss cheese slices around the turkey.

How To Make Turkey Cheese Platter

Step 4: Add Another Layer Of Salami

Now is the time for another delicious layer of overlapping circle salami slices!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Plate Recipe

Step 5: Add A Layer Of Cheddar Cheese

Now it’s time for the yellow Cheddar cheese slices!  Arrange them in the same way as other layers around the turkey.

Thanksgiving Cheese And Salami Platter Shaped Like A Turkey

Step 6: Add A Layer Of Ritz Crackers

Add a layer of Ritz crackers under the turkey, making them partially go under the cheddar cheese slices.

Turkey Cheese Platter

Step 7: Add A Final Layer Of Ritz Crackers

Turkey Cheese Tray Appetizer For Thanksgiving

Yay!  Your picture-perfect turkey-shaped cheese platter is ready!  Now if you’d like, add some silly creative final touch :)  I added a turkey beard made out of salami – I think it makes the turkey even cuter :)

Thanksgiving Turkey Shaped Cheese Tray Appetizer Recipe

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Thanksgiving Turkey-Shaped Cheese Platter Appetizer

This awesome cheese platter is shaped like a Thanksgiving turkey :) The turkey head and body is made out of cheese, and the feathers are made out of the alternating layers of cheese, salami and crackers! This is a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings


  • 6 oz Ritz crackers
  • 3 oz Swiss cheese slices
  • 5 oz Cheddar cheese slices
  • 4 oz Salami slices
  • 2 chocolate chips


  • Prepare a large plate or a tray, at least 16 inches in diameter.
  • Cut out the turkey head, body and feet from the cheddar cheese slice and arrange on the bottom of the tray as shown on the picture. Add the chocolate chips for the eyes. Cut out the small triangle for the beak out of the Swiss cheese and add to the turkey head. Cut out of the small stripe for the beard from the salami slice and add to the turkey head.
  • If your cheese slices are large size, cut them into quarters.
  • Arrange the Salami slices around the turkey head and body as shown on the picture. The Salami slices should partially go under the turkey and should overlap each other.
  • Arrange the Swiss cheese slices in an overlapping manner around the turkey, and have them partially go under the Salami slices as shown on the picture.
  • Arrange another layer of Salami slices to go partially under the Swiss slices and overlap each other.
  • Arrange the Cheddar cheese slices around Salami, to go partially under the Salami slices and overlap each other.
  • Arrange the Ritz crackers around the Cheddar cheese slices, putting them partially under the Cheddar cheese as shown on the picture.
  • Arrange the 2nd overlapping layer of Ritz crackers around the turkey.


If refrigerating for later, wrap the turkey cheese platter in a plastic wrap to prevent salami and cheese from drying out.
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