Grazing Platter that will have you sorted for easy entertaining! To make it convenient for you, I have included a grazing platter shopping list!
Entertaining can be fun and easy with some killer recipes up your sleeve!
From our Coconut Prawns to our 8 Egg Pavlova, party season will be smooth sailing. Or what about the bomb diggity of bread bowl dips like our vegetarian spinach dip or our best ever melted cheese to stick a cracker into.
This grazing platter is easy, delicious and impressive. A little thought and consideration needs to go into the planning of your ingredients and from there we are hitting a home run!
Entertaining platters can be the life of the party! From cured meats to cheeses with bite!
What is a Grazing Platter?
A Grazing Platter is one of the best things since sliced bread.
Regularly seen at parties and events. They contain a spread of ingredients that people can pick at.
Known for their popularity and crowd pleasing ability, they are an easy way to feed a crowd and don't have to be expensive!
Party platters can be small, for a romantic night for 2. They can be larger to feed a family or a full table to please a crowd.
Grazing platters work as they are versatile and unique, catered towards diet restrictions and presented in a manner that screams 'eat me!'.
The trick is to offer variety through texture, colour and taste!
You definitely need a shopping list when you are making a grazing platter as there is so many little bits and pieces that you don't want to forget anything.
To make it easy for you, I have one at the end of the post, that you can print.
What do you put on a Grazing Platter?
Grazing platters often have meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, olives and dips.
There is no set 'right' and 'wrong' so much with these bad boys, more so 'best tips and tricks' to make your grazing platter the bomb diggity.
To get you brainstorming and show you how it is done, I have taken a photo of all of the ingredients I used to make this platter so it is broken down for you.
Ingredients that you see in the photos for my grazing board are:
- blue cheese
- wasabi cheese
- chilli cheese
- water crackers
- crackers (different version to above, thicker)
- salami (hot)
- ham (mild, contrasts with the above)
- olives (chilli)
- basil pesto dip
- cherry tomatoes
- dried apricots
Think contrasting flavours and textures. For example the salami is HOT, so I use MILD ham.
What do you put on a grazing platter for nibbles?
The thing about grazing platters is that people want to nibble away at it. It is not a sit down, knife and fork kindof dish. People want to stand beside it, devour it with their eyes initially and then start by picking a piece off the plate. No one will dive in straight away, it is always about the 1st few bites that get people hooked.
For this reason, it is good to have some little bits and pieces that can be picked at easily.
Nuts, dried chickpeas, wasabi peas, rice crackers are all good ideas. I have gone for olives, apricots and artichokes. These 'toothpick' type nibbles are the best ones to place in small bowls.
People will start by picking at the platter before they want to do the hard work like cutting the cheese or layering a cracker with chutney and cheese.
Keep this in mind in your planning as you need to think 'small food' and 'big food' to create a successful grazing platter.
The recipe can be broken down into 16 easy steps. They are shown in the photo below so you can follow easily.
How do you make a good cheese platter (follow these steps!):
- Plate bowls 1st, start with the biggest, ie artichokes (shown in photo 1)
- Olives (shown in photo 2)
- Dip (shown in photo 3)
- Chutney (shown in photo 4)
- Start placing your cheeses close to the edge for easy access (shown in photo 5)
- Place them at opposite ends of the platter, chilli cheese (shown in photo 6)
- Add celery sticks (shown in photo 7)
- As well as carrot sticks (shown in photo 8)
- Place grapes onto the platter (shown in photo 9)
- Add thin crackers (shown in photo 10)
- As well as cherry tomatoes (shown in photo 11)
- Add the 3rd and final cheese (bite sizes) (shown in photo 11)
- Fold salami and plate around edge of platter (shown in photo 13)
- Add thick crackers (shown in photo 14)
- Fold and place ham (shown in photo 15)
- Add dried apricots (shown in photo 16)
*Note try to minimize big open spaces on your platter. It looks better to have 'more' rather than 'less'. But you can always use a smaller platter or spread things out, you don't have to break the bank for this recipe!
This entertaining platter is SO FUN to make!! Not to mention its impressive appearance.
From the steps above there are 4 that I want to bring your attention to.
This Charcuterie platter has 4 essential steps
In the photo of recipe steps above, I have highlighted 4 steps that I want to talk about in a bit more detail.
They have red font in the photo above and are shown here.
The points that I want to make here and why I am drawing your attention to them is to do with the contrast in taste and texture. We have light, thin water crackers, they contrast with the thicker jatz type crackers.
We have HOT SALAMI to contrast with the mild ham. This will mean you are catering to different tastes and textures, therefore providing variety to all!
Food Platter Ideas:
For some more ideas about taste and texture, have a look at my Pinterest board for Grazing Platters.
Other ingredient options are:
- cream cheese
- beetroot dip
- feta cheese
- kalamata olives
- black olives
- bread sticks
- anything you can think of!
Grazing Platter quick info:
About the recipe:
- there is both hot and mild tastes in the ingredients
- choose dips that have contrasting textures ie creamy, smooth or chunky
- there is a variety of fruit, meats and cheese on the platter
- choose cheeses that are different from each other
FAQs about Grazing Platter
- You don't have to have these exact ingredients
- Cutting the veggies is the 'hardest' part of the recipe
- You can prepare this in advance, keep the crackers till last so they don't go stale
- The cheese needs to plated so that it can be cut easily
Your quick questions answered:
- The platter will take approx 15 mins to bring together
- It is best served COLD
- My platter is 33 cm
- This is a SUPER EASY recipe
This is what I have learnt:
- buy package ham (deli ham might be too messy/shredded)
- put any oily type nibbles in bowls (eg olives, artichokes)
- have some 'spare' ingredients in case your platter is too big and has gaps
- place a little spoon in the chutney, it more scoopable than spreadable
Appetizer recipes (that will make the party rock!)
Entertaining is super fun and doesn't have to by tricky with a few tricks up your sleeve.
Here are a few more recipes for further inspiration:
- Baked Stuffed Mushrooms (how good are mushrooms!!)
- Coconut Prawns (with 2 different dipping sauces)
- Baked Chicken Meatballs (with homemade satay sauce)
- Mini Quiches (12 different ways)
- Baked Brie with garlic
It will be hard to be a favourite nibble from the platter! There are so many yummy ingredients that just want to jump off the plate and into your mouth!!
- 100 grams Hungarian Salami Hot
- 100 grams Shaved Leg Ham Note 1
- 100 grams chilli cheddar cheese Note 2
- 200 grams blue cheese Note 3
- 130 grams chilli olives Note 4
- 100 grams peach, mango, apricot chutney Note 5
- 280 grams artichokes Note 6
- 100 grams water crackers Note 7
- 100 grams round butter crackers Note 8
- Start by adding your most pick-able ingredients to small bowls Note 10
- Plate the ingredients 1 by 1 in flat layers around the bowls.
- Follow this by your cheeses and meats.
- Add your fruit and vegetables, crackers. Extra cheese, salami and apricots
- Serve with toothpicks, cheese knives and small forks.
- Note 1 It does make a difference which area of the store you get your ham from. It is usually available both in the deli section and the fridge section. I recommend getting it from the fridge section. The reason for this is that it is cut very well and looks presentable on the platter. Deli ham can be a bit hit and miss. It is fine for many purposes and can be cheaper as you can get smaller portion sizes, however, you might get home and discovered it is shredded and not in nice slices like the package ham. It is definitely something to be aware of for this recipe.
- Note 2 Your cheese doesn't have to be exactly the same one as mine. Choose a round one at this point as your blue cheese is most likely to be a wedge shape.
- Note 3 This relates to the point above. Try and get this in a wedge shape so that your different cheese have different shapes to them for visual contrast on the platter.
- Note 4 If you are not a fan of chilli, go for plain or stuffed green olives. I like the chilli ones and admit I once even ate one of the floor that I dropped at my friends place!! (They are that good).
- Note 5 The Importance here is not so much the flavour of the chutney, but the colour. Go for a red or orange colour as we want diverse pops of colour across our platter. Orange is a good one to use at this point.
- Note 6 go for thin crackers here as they contrast with the thicker other type of cracker we are using.
- Note 7 We want a different type of cracker to our water style one. So for this one choose a thicker, more yellow cracker. I like to use either of these types topz or jatz.
- Note 8 I assume you won't have the exact same bowls or platter dimensions as me. The way to think about it, use the bowls you have to hold some of the most 'toothpick' type ingredients. I chose my olives and artichokes to begin with. The dips obviously need to go in bowls, fill them up for the dipping! Plate the bigger bowls 1st, then the smaller ones.
I have put my heart and soul on the plate to share this recipe with you! It is my intention that you can follow and create your own amazing grazing platter to be loved by your guests, be they family, friends or all of the above.
It will be super tempting to wait until everything is on the plate for the eating to begin. My favourite aspect of the platter has to be the chilli olives. I admit (without too much embarrassment) that once whilst eating some at a friends place, I dropped one on the deck floor (oh no!) But they are so good, I applied the 5 second rule, picked it up and kept eating!!
Grazing Platters are fun and so entertaining.
I wanted to do the hard work for you which is why I included a free printable shopping list, so you can have everything you need and make this platter easily (its below)!
I am here, you know that, I am sure. You are in your kitchen, I am in mine, we are almost in the same place at the same time!
Be sure to sing out to me if you have questions or aren't sure about something, I've got you and you've got this platter!
Grazing Platter Shopping List (printable)
P.S As promised here is a handy grazing platter shopping list, so you can print it and take it to the shops with you!