Work-do’s. Social get-togethers. Special events. Wherever there’s a special occasion to celebrate, make sure party platters are on the guest list. There’s one to catch every eye!
Party platters are inexpensive and easy to assemble, so they make for ideal party munchies! But, let’s face it, from cooking dishes to mixing cocktails to tidying up before and after, being a host is no small feat.
Relax. We’ve got you covered with some of the best party platter ideas that’ll impress the socks off your guests without working you to the bone. From cheese boards to chocolate to chips and dips, these no-fuss platters are worth celebrating.
Cheese and meat board
The classic meat and cheese board. It’s hard to go wrong. You do need to pay close attention to the pairings. After all, you want your boards to be a mix of textures and flavours that match. Swiss cheese and prosciutto, Monterey Jack and ground beef, and gouda and salami are classics that spring to mind. Decorate them with different nuts like pistachios or spiced almonds as well as whatever fruit is in season.
Melon and prosciutto platte
What list of party platter ideas would be complete without this one? The ever-popular meat and fruit platter adds colour and juiciness to a simple plate. Finish it off with fresh herbs and chopped pistachios. And, if you fancy a tipple, these two pair wonderfully with a crisp white wine or rosé.
Melon and prosciutto platte
Meat or cheese? Hummus or veggies? Bread or fruit? It’s so difficult to choose between them so rather have the lot. This party platter uses a bit of everything, from berries and nuts to olives and dips, to cheese and meat, and even fresh bread on the side. That way everyone’s happy. PS Stick to lighter cheeses like feta and mozzarella, so all the parts blend together well.
Vegetarian mezze platter
Not everyone eats meat, so you need something to wow the vegetarians too. Mezze platters are great for spreading nutrition and love. They’re packed with healthy fats, protein, fibre, and fresh produce. They are also a perfect complement to your meat platters, and it’ll earn you compliments too! Go for hummus and tzatziki paired with toasted pita wedges and sliced and crunchy vegetables. Leftovers? You’ve just earned yourself a Greek salad.
Dessert cheese platter
Here’s another one of those party platter ideas that doesn’t make you choose. The dessert cheese platter offers fruit slices, chocolate, and a few simple spreads, so you don’t have to commit to one flavour.
Garnish your party platters like a true artist.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The food you choose for your party platter ideas need glorious garnishing to match!
Sometimes, orderliness is best. Choose one food as a garnish and create a neat platter that doesn't distract from the meats or cheeses. Bed your main bites down atop parsley, lettuce leaves, shredded kale, or watercress. Let the greens peek out from the edges of the platter, or style them into lines to separate one type of meat or cheese from another. Cherry tomatoes and olives on top of the greens make for that dash of colour.
Go here and there.
Just as neat has its place, so does culinary chaos! Arrange your garnishes randomly over the top of your cheeses and meats to give your platter a more casual feel. You can also choose to have a centrepiece, such as a tomato carved into a flower, then scatter other tasty morsels around, like sweet peppers, olives with toothpicks, and herbs like basil, coriander, or parsley.
Go for the nibbles.
Garnishes are, by their nature, edible. There’s no doubt though that some are more appetizing than others. Your guests probably won't go for the lettuce you've lined the platter with, but they will certainly be enticed by these garnishes: apple slices, crunchy fried onions, and grapes, the eternal fruit of the gods!
Go with condiments.
You can’t have sandwich platters without condiments. So, because they’re essential, give them their proper due. Use crystal bowls and silver spoons to show off the mayonnaise, mustards, and barbecue sauce. Fill matching salad dressing bottles with olive oil, flavoured vinegars, or salad dressings. And don’t forget the salt and pepper shakers!
A few last thoughts on how to bring your party platter ideas to life.
Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Chafing dishes, which are traditionally reserved for hot foods, can work equally as well keeping food cold by putting ice in the bottom and the sandwich platters on top of the ice.
Another note: Don't make your platters too far in advance. You don’t want the food to spoil, and you want the flavours to be at their peak. And what would a party be without the clean up after? Don’t stress. Rely on Finish’s full range of cleaning detergents to make light work of restoring your platters and dishes to their glory days!