This guide on how to make a vegetable tray is great for parties and holiday celebrations! Use fresh, colorful veggies and flavorful dips to create a crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer in only 20 minutes!
Hey guys! I’m back with this guide on how to make a vegetable tray. Here you’ll find all my tips and tricks to make an awesome, not-so-boring vegetable platter that will be perfect for your next potluck, party, or holiday gathering.
Veggie trays always make an appearance at any of my family get-togethers. And for good reason!! They are super easy to make, usually have something that everyone will like, and don’t have to break the bank. If you don’t have veggies around, I also have a post on how to make a fruit tray that’s just as great for a party.
Why you’ll love making a veggie tray:
- You can make it special! Veggie trays are commonly served at parties and potlucks, but they are usually the standard store-bought platters. Make your tray stand out by using unique or seasonal veggies and serving dips beyond the standard ranch.
- It is usually cheaper to make your own veggie tray than to buy one at the store. Of course it depends on the specific vegetables you choose and the quantity, but by shopping what’s in season and on sale you can make it economical.
- Anyone can make a eye-pleasing, stomach-satisfying vegetable tray. Even if you’ve never done it before. Use my tips for success and you’re bound to have a great outcome.
This tray is very versatile. The recipe is written for the vegetables I used, but you can easily change out the veggies for anything that you prefer. Some of my go-to vegetables for a veggie tray are rainbow carrots, zucchini, summer squash, snap peas, bell peppers, green onions, heirloom cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, radishes, and English cucumbers.
How to make a vegetable tray:
Learning how to make a veggie tray comes down to just a few steps.
STEP 1: Make or buy your dips the day before and store in the refrigerator.
STEP 2: Wash and dry your vegetables.
STEP 3: Cut any large vegetables into small pieces.
STEP 4: Arrange the platter. This can be done a few hours before the party or the day before.
Tips for making a veggie tray:
- Shop the vegetables that are in season or on sale to make the bill a little cheaper.
- Pick a colorful variety of veggies (think the rainbow) and choose the ones that look the best. You eat with your eyes first.
- Don’t buy the vegetables too early. You want them to be as fresh as possible, so buy them one or two days ahead at most. Veggies are a little more forgiving than fruit, but if you buy them further in advance be sure to store them well. This article from the Kitchn gives great tips on how to store your vegetables.
- Offer a standard dip (like this homemade buttermilk ranch), but also offer something off the beaten path. This helps spice things up a bit. I also highly recommend having at least one homemade dip. See my list of dip ideas in the FAQ section below.
- Make homemade dips a day in advance. This saves you time the day of and allows the dips to maximize in flavor.
- Try adding a non-vegetable item to the platter. I added garlic naan, but you can also try crunch breadsticks, toasted baguette, pretzel chips, olives, or pickles.
- Pick your platter. Use a pretty white dish, a sheet pan, or a holiday themed tray depending on the occasion.
- Arrange in any way that is appealing to the eye. I like to start with placing the dips on the tray first. Then I group the veggies around the dip and fill in any gaps with the naan. If you are arranging the day before, leave the bread off until just before serving.
Think about 5 pieces of vegetables per person (so 50-60 pieces for 10-12 guests). Have about 3 tablespoons of dip per person (so about 1 3/4 – 2 cups for 10-12 guests). For non-vegetable items like naan or pretzels, have about 2 per person (so 20-24 pieces for 10-12 guests).
You can use whatever veggies you would like. Some common ones are carrots, zucchini, baby tomatoes, snap peas, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, radish, celery, summer squash, and green onions.
A classic dip would be this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. For other fun options, try southwest ranch, hummus, onion dip, spinach dip, garlic and herb dip, or a dill spread.
Yes, you can make the tray the day before. Leave any non-vegetable items off the tray (such as naan, pretzels, etc.), then wrap the tray tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Add the remaining items before serving. You can also prep all the veggies and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, then arrange the platter a few hours before serving.
Make sure to start with super fresh vegetable. Once the tray is arranged, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to keep the veggies from drying out. Vegetable trays are best served within 24 hours for the most fresh results.
Other great recipes:
- How to Make a Fruit Tray
- How to Make a Cheese Board
- Make Your Own Bruschetta Bar
- Cheese Breadsticks
- Individual Seven Layer Cups
- Homemade Guacamole
This guide on how to make a vegetable tray is great for parties and holiday celebrations! Use fresh, colorful veggies and flavorful dips to create a crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer in just 20 minutes!
- Rainbow carrots
- Summer squash
- Snap peas
- Bell peppers
- Green onions
- Heirloom cherry tomatoes
- Broccoli florets
- English cucumbers
- Dips: Homemade ranch dressing, hummus, or dips of choice.
Make or buy all your dips the day before. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Prep all your vegetables the day before your party. Wash and dry, then cut large veggies into small pieces. Store in air-tight container or arrange platter.
Arrange platter. If arranging the day before, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Can also arrange on a platter and cover well.
- Tips and tricks: Be sure to read the entire post for tips to make this an awesome veggie tray.
- Vegetable substitutions: This recipe is written for the vegetables I used, but feel free to change out any veggie for something else.
- How much to make: Think about 5 pieces of vegetables per person (so 50-60 pieces for 10-12 guests). Have about 3 tablespoons of dip per person (so about 1 3/4 – 2 cups for 10-12 guests). For non-vegetable items like naan or pretzels, have about 2 per person (so 20-24 pieces for 10-12 guests).
- Make ahead: Make vegetable trays up to a day before. Leave any non-vegetable items off the tray (such as naan, pretzels, etc.), then wrap the tray tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Add the remaining items before serving.
- Leftover veggies: Use leftovers in stir fry, omelets, casseroles, or soup.