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 veggie platter for a crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer in only 20 minutes!
Vegetable Tray: Fresh and Fun!
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.
A vibrant veggie tray always makes 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.
You can also make it special! While you’ll often find a veggie tray at parties and potlucks, they’re usually the standard store-bought platters. Make yours stand out by using unique or seasonal veggies and serving dips beyond the standard ranch.
Why You’ll Love Making a Veggie Tray
- So easy to put together
- Beautiful presentation
- Perfect for parties
Key Ingredients to Make a Vegetable Platter
You have the freedom to design your vegetable platter however you like! This recipe is written for the vegetables I used, but you can easily change out the veggies for anything that you prefer. If you’re short on veggie tray ideas, some of my go-to vegetables are:
- RAINBOW CARROTS
- SUMMER SQUASH
- SNAP PEAS
- BELL PEPPERS
- GREEN ONIONS
- HEIRLOOM CHERRY TOMATOES
- BROCCOLI FLORETS
- ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
Instructions to Make a Veggie Platter
Learning how to make a veggie tray comes down to just a few steps.
PREP YOUR DIPS: You can either make or buy your dips. I recommend doing so the day before you plan on serving so that you can store them in the fridge to chill.
PREP YOUR VEGGIES: Make sure to wash and dry your vegetables before getting started.
CUT THE VEGETABLES: Some of the veggies you’ll use won’t need to be cut. But, you should cut any of the larger ones into small pieces.
ARRANGE YOUR VEGGIE PLATTER: This is the fun part! If you don’t have any veggie tray ideas off the top of your head, you can always refer to the photos to see how I arrange mine. You can set up your vegetable platter a few hours before serving — or even the day before.
Tips for Making a Vegetable 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.
- 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 crunchy breadsticks, toasted baguette slices, 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 by 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 veggie tray ideas 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 vegetables. 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 freshest results.
More Appetizers and Snacks To Try
- 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
How To Make A Vegetable Tray
- 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.