Nothing says celebration like a veggies tray with plenty of delicious vegetables and festive dips. Veggie trays, also called a crudités platter or veggie platter, can be easy, fun and beautiful to make. Follow along or check out the recipe card that will make your party preparations less stressful.
Why This Crudités Platter Is a Great Choice
The best thing about making a veggies tray is that there is no shortage of creative ways to make them. If you’re getting ready for a party or headed to a potluck, this is an easy way to contribute something that looks special and delicious without spending too much time or effort. Everyone loves a veggie tray.
Veggie trays are one of the easiest ways to make a healthy appetizer look more appealing. You don't need to feel intimidated by the endless, beautiful charcuterie trays that are all over social media. Making an inviting crudités platter or veggie tray can be easier than you think.
For all of your vegetarian friends, a veggies tray is an ideal appetizer to have. When serving a veggies tray for a vegetarian diet, make sure the dips you make also are vegetarian. No matter what the reason, I always like to label the dips so everyone knows what they are.
Vegetable Tray Ideas
A classic veggies tray includes an assortment of fresh vegetables and dips. The following are the best veggies for a veggies tray for people who like variety and want a festive and colorful display. You don't need to chose all of these. Choose the veggies you like and those that look the best at the grocery store or market.
- Carrot sticks: cut into 4- by ½- by ½-inch sticks. Wash only if using baby carrots.
- Celery sticks: cut into 4 inch lengths.
- Broccoli: cut into bite-size florets.
- Cauliflower: cut into bite-size florets.
- Cucumbers: unpeeled and sliced crosswise.
- Bell Peppers: cored, seeded and sliced lengthwise.
- Cherry tomatoes: check for no soft spots.
- Snow Peas or Snap Peas: without blemishes and any strings removed.
- Radishes: can be left whole or cut into shapes.
- Asparagus: snap off the tough ends and reserve the ends for making stocks or discard.
An assortment of dips make this easy veggies tray complete. Some of our favorites include:
- Buttermilk Ranch Dip - included in the recipe card
- Hummus with Roasted Garlic
- Green Goddess Dip
- Mediterranean Beet Dip with Feta
- Smoked Salmon Dip
- Tzatziki Dip
- Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
- Creamy Artichoke and Feta Dip
- The key to a good vegetable platter is to make sure that there is a balance of textures and flavors. It's also important to include an assortment of colors to make it beautiful and appetizing.
- When you head to the grocery store or farmer's market, select the best looking vegetables that you can find. Carrots and celery are easy. But other choices such as cucumbers, snap peas or asparagus may not be in season or look the freshest for your veggies tray. Replace any on your list with veggies that are in season and look delicious.
- Make your veggie selections based on taste, color, texture and variety.
- If you are lucky enough to find different color varieties of carrots, cauliflower or tomatoes, add a few of those to your mix. Just don't overdo it. We want a pleasing palate of colors but not overwhelming.
- Use a platter or board that is large enough for your quantities. If you are transporting the tray, veggie tray containers with lids are readily available.
- If using a porous material such as wood or a large area such as a marble counter for your veggies tray, line the surface with parchment paper. Then use large dark leaves from Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, or collard greens to cover the parchment paper.
- If your veggie platter tray has sections for the vegetables, you are all set to start arranging.
How Early Can You Make a Veggies Tray
- Carrots and celery sticks can be peeled, trimmed and cut into sticks 2 days in advance. Refrigerate them, covered in ice water, in a tightly sealed container.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and others that need washing and trimming can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.
- Decorative rose cut radishes should be cleaned and placed in cold water for up to an hour to make the cut shapes form.
- Dips can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. Follow the recipe instructions for the minimum chilling time so you maximize the flavors.
- Assemble the veggies and dips up to 30 minutes before serving.
How Much Do You Need
- For a party with hors d'oeuvres or finger foods only, count on serving 4 to 6 pieces per person per hour. This amount assumes that you are serving other appetizers along with the crudité platter.
- For a happy hour preceding a larger meal, 6 to 8 appetizers in total is a safe number.
- For a game day party which could easily last 3 or more hours, I have found that guests keep coming back to snack on veggies throughout the game. Often after serving wings or sliders during the game, veggies seem to be a continue to be something good to munch on.
- About 4 to 6 ounces of veggies per person works, if you are serving other appetizers
- Err on the side of more. Leftover vegetables are an easy thing to use up later either as a snack or as an addition to soups or stock.
- For dips, I suggest one type of dip for a small veggie tray or 3 dips for a larger one serving 12 or more.
How To Arrange a Crudités Platter
- Prepare the serving platter or surface. If using a porous material such as wood or an overly large surface such as a marble countertop, line the surface with parchment paper. Then use large dark leaves from Swiss Chard, Chinese cabbage, or collard greens to cover the parchment paper. If using veggie platter tray that has sections for the vegetables, you are all set to start arranging.
- Place your bowls of dips on the platter (or surface) first. I like to spread them out in a triangular pattern. But you can also cluster them together, if you prefer. Then start placing your veggies outward from the dip bowls.
- Keep similar vegetables together. Scattering vegetables all over the veggies tray looks haphazard and not as appealing.
- Start with a bright color, such as carrots, and form them into a circle or oblong shape on the veggies tray.
- Add a contrasting color next to the bright color. Continue alternating and arranging all the remaining vegetables in this way.
- You may also want to add a slight scattering of fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill, in a couple of places around your veggies tray.
- Place small tongs around and in the vegetables and small spoons in the dips.
Get ready to start the party with your favorite appetizers.
The Best Party Veggies Tray (Crudités Platter) with Dip
Buttermilk Ranch Dip
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup buttermilk approximately
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablepoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves only, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Hot sauce
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 4 inch sticks
- 1 pound celery stalks, cut into 4 inch sticks
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- ½ pound radishes, ends trimmed
- Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Buttermilk Ranch Dip
- Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, ¼ cup buttermilk, chives, vinegar, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, parsley, garlic and 4 dashes of hot sauce to a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add additional buttermilk, pulsing, until desired consistency is reached. Season with additional hot sauce and salt to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
- Spoon the dip into 3 bowls and place the bowls on the serving platter.
- Arrange the vegetables around the bowls of dip, keeping the same types of vegetables together.
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley.