Whether planning a Thanksgiving gathering for four or 40 people, deciding what to serve can be a daunting task. Emmi Roth, a leading producer of specialty cheese, can help make holiday meal planning easy with five simple ways to elevate Thanksgiving dishes with cheese.

1) Start with a Cheeseboard

A fall-inspired cheeseboard is a great way to wow guests the minute they step through the door. It’s also simple and easy to prepare and won’t require any oven time on the oven’s busiest day of the year. To assemble, choose three to five different cheeses that offer a mix of sweet, spicy and mild flavors. For example, Roth Prairie Sunset®, a slightly sweet approachable cheese with a beautiful orange hue, Roth Sriracha Gouda, a spicy Dutch-style gouda made with Sriracha chili sauce and rubbed with crushed red peppers, and Roth Butterkäse, a melt-in-your mouth buttery and delicate cheese, provide an excellent array of options and flavor profiles for guests to choose from. Next, add pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, fresh apples, pumpkin spice crackers and a few sprigs of rosemary to give the board even more texture, fall flavor and color.

2) Craft the Perfect First Bite

Appetizers set the course for the meal. Try Endive Bites with Roth Buttermilk Blue® Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Fig Jam for an elegant appetizer that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Fall Greens Stuffed Mushrooms, made with fresh parsley, red onion and nutty Roth Grand Cru® cheese is another simple starter guaranteed to be devoured while the turkey takes its time in the oven.

3) Serve Flavorful Sides

A robust selection of side dishes are also a must, especially during the holidays. Guests will enjoy this recipe for rich and creamy Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, Sunflower Seeds and Gruyére. Here, cauliflower is sautéed with shallots and cayenne pepper then tossed with Emmi Gruyére for a filling side with a hint of spice. For a fall twist on a classic that can easily be prepped a day or two in advance, try  Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with cubes of butternut squash, Dutch-style Roth Van Gogh® Gouda and creamy Roth Havarti. Finally, a Harvest Couscous Salad with Buttermilk Blue® Cheese is a quick and easy side dish that’s full of flavor with couscous, crunchy almonds, sweet dried cranberries, butternut squash, and creamy blue cheese crumbles all tossed in a maple vinaigrette.

4) Dish out Decadent Desserts

For a unique sweet ending to dinner, try Fig Flatbread En Croute. This dish offers a sweet spin on flatbread made with fig preserves, puff pastry and plenty of Roth Grand Cru®, a world-champion cheese made in Wisconsin. Tired of traditional apple pie and cheddar? Try Apple Berry Crisp made with apples and seasonal berries, oats and plenty of Roth Prairie Sunset®, a versatile cheese that is a flavorful blend of cheddar and gouda.

5) Savor Your Leftovers

The main meal may be over, but Turkey Pot Pies are a quick and easy way to enjoy leftovers. Simply combine turkey, leftover vegetables and gravy into a small baking dish, then top with mashed potatoes and a hearty helping of nutty Roth Grand Cru® alpine-style cheese. Turkey, Apple and Smoked Gouda Panini’s are also a great way to make use of leftovers. Natural Smoked Roth Van Gogh® Gouda is the perfect complement to a slice of roast turkey, and with exceptional melting properties, even better when added to a panini.

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