Party Platter Ideas:
Ideas for Party Food Trays and Dishes
When you entertain at home --or anywhere!-- some creative party platter ideas can be really helpful. Because party trays are wonderful.... an inexpensive and easy way to put together something that looks like you slaved all day. And they're a ton of fun to eat.
Having said that, you may or may not want to go with "classic" party tray ideas like cheese and meat, especially depending on the time of year (cheese and meat do not stand up to hot summer days overly well), and on your expected company (particularly if they are vegetarians!).
The first step in coming up with more creative party platter ideas? Take a look at your space, your theme, the weather/season, and your guest list. Ticking off these boxes will really help you to design a party platter accordingly.
For a little more help with your party tray ideas, when you're done here you might want to check out Party Planning Ideas central, including:
The Dipping Party Platter
You can get really creative with dips be it a crab dip
for fresh veggies, a shallot and blue cheese dip
for chips, a jalapeño popper dip
for bread or tortilla chips, or a bourbon and mustard dip for mini sausages. Dipping platters really cater to the flavor lovers in your party.
Another fun party platter idea is giving your guests one specific dipping theme with a bit of a twist. For example, you might have stone ground mustard, honey mustard, Champagne mustard, raspberry mustard etc. (of course, hopefully your guests all LOVE mustard!). A third option for the dipping platter that's very popular is Fondue. Here is an incredibly simple beer dip you can try:
16 ounces tasty cheese (aged cheddar is nice)
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
3 tbsp. crumbled bacon
1 can pale ale
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
Instructions: 1. Mix all your ingredients and place them in the pot. Heat over medium-low, stirring regularly until the cheese melts and has mixed thoroughly with the ale. This is great with bread sticks!
Tip on Setting up a Party Dip Platter: Dipping party platters are a lot of fun, and always go over well. But you have to remember that it will take people a little bit of time to assemble a plate of their favorite dippers, dips, etc. So, make sure you have other platters in different locations so this food station doesn't get backed up!
Fruit Platter for a Party
Fruit is one of my favorite party platter ideas-- it makes a wonderful healthy-choice platter that is pretty durable no matter the weather. Fresh grapes, strawberries, raspberries, apple and pear slices and pineapple are all great starters. But don't overlook something a little more exotic like mango or papaya.
For an exotic fruit tray, layer pieces of Mango with bright red maraschino cherries, banana slices, and kiwi for a really festive offering that's as nice to look at as it is to eat. If your fruit is part of your "dipping platter" definitely have some melted chocolate!
Check this page for some more fun tips on setting up your buffet table and fruit trays beautifully.
Party Sandwich Platter
Sandwiches make great party platter ideas! There are so many varieties of breads that you can really have a lot of fun with this. Many stores now carry different types of flat breads too, which expands your potential flavor options, and lets you add wonderful wraps to your trays. Here are some combination ideas:
This is just the very beginning of the different things you can do with a homemade sandwich tray for a party. Check here for a ton of ideas for make-your-own sandwich stations, fun variety platters, and more.
Finger Food Party Platter
A third winner in our list of the best party platter ideas is, of course, finger food. This is a particularly good notion when you're hosting a buffet party
because people can grab and go. There are so many options in finger food that you're sure to come up with a combination that will suit every palate. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Think that sounds like a nice-sized list? Well, you'll find a ton more party tray ideas for different finger foods right here... complete with recipes!
Antipasti Party Platter
Yes, antipasti is essentially a meat-and-cheese party tray, but with a wonderful Italian twist. This sort of party tray is simple to put together, but looks elegant and impressive-- and tastes divine.
You can check here for directions on making your own antipasti platter. But remember, YOU get to choose the ingredients. If there's a particular meat or cheese or vegetable you'd like, play around with the components of you platter-- have fun with it.
This even lends itself well to a vegetarian antipasti platter idea for a party-- simply use cheeses and veggies in place of the meats.
Homemade Finger Food Dessert Platter
I'm betting you're going over the idea of a platter of homemade finger-desserts for a party and thinking... "that's a TON of trouble." But it's really not. There are a lot of homemade chocolates, bites, and snacks that are simple to make (and, even better, simple to make ahead of time) that, all together, make a wonderful dessert party platter idea.
You can find some great recipes for finger food desserts for your platter right here at Divine Dinner Party. Some of my favorite easy ones to put together on a dessert tray are:
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