Putting together a gorgeous vegetable crudite platter is easier than you think. It’s a great way to serve your guests a healthy, budget friendly appetizer that’s low carb too! The key to the perfect veggie tray is using a variety of colors and textures for your vegetable platter and I’m showing you how!
For this recipe you’ll need (these fresh vegetables are suggestions, use what you like best): broccoli, cauliflower florets, radish, green onions, cilantro, olives, Bell pepper in a jumble of colors, jalapeno peppers, cucumber, snow peas, celery Creamy low carb dip recipe cream cheese, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, lime, shredded Mexican blend cheese, cumin, salt, pepper, and canned green chiles.
Table of Contents
What is a crudites platter?
Whether you call them a veggie tray, crudite platter, or vegetable board these easy appetizers appear at almost everyone’s party at one time or another. There’s just so many reasons to love this colorful spread. Crudites are a collection of raw vegetables which can be cut into a variety of bite sized shapes. Generally there is at least one kind of dip available as well.
Just about anyone I’ve ever helped with a crudite platter is nervous about putting one together. Once they’re finished they’re beautiful – the most stressful part is getting started. Oh and by the way? Crudite is pronounced “kr ew-dee-tay” if you were wondering.
However, if you’re from Texas the proper pronunciation is “ka-rew-duh- ay “.
Tips for the Best Vegetable Crudite Platter Ever
Here are some easy tips to help you feel more confident about your appetizer arranging capabilities:
- Choose something with lots of texture for the bottom layer like leafy lettuce.
- Nothing is really off limits, make sure you’re using as wide of a variety of colors as possible. This is a good time to practice “eating the rainbow”.
- Blanching (instructions below) helps green vegetables become a rich, vibrant green.
- Don’t blanch herbs or leafy veggies.
- Use local, seasonal vegetables as much as possible.
- Please use as many different types as possible but for sure at least four or five.
- Serve at least one dip. I like to serve a creamy dip along with a vinaigrette based dip because I’ve seen guests tend to use one or the other.
- Don’t forget you can add nuts, pickled vegetables, and other unexpected foods to your crudite platter.
Choosing the Base for Your Veggie Platter
The base is important. You generally want something very flat or if it’s a bowl, very shallow. Some things to consider:
- Silver serving tray
- Vegetable board that’s made for this specific purpose
- Large wooden cutting board
- Serving platter
- Cookie sheet with foil over it
What is usually on a veggie tray?
You’ll add the dip bowl or bowls first then arrange the vegetables around them. Always start with a layer of curly parsley, leaf lettuce, or some very textured, leafy green for the bottom layer and arrange the leaves so they hang over the sides. Here are some great options:
- Romaine lettuce
- Kale (my favorite because it stays crisp and comes in colors)
- Curly parsley
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard (also a favorite for the same reason as the kale)
Which vegetables are best for a crudites platter?
- Asparagus – steamed until crisp and tender)
- Bell pepper – choose as many colors as you can; orange, green, red, yellow, purple.
- Broccoli – blanch for the best color
- Baby carrots
- Carrots – carrots come in a rainbow of colors these days. Use a nice variety.
- Cauliflower – blanch to help it stay white
- Cucumbers – slice thin
- Green onions
- Jicama (a root vegetable)
- Peppers – my grocer has bags of multicolored small, sweet peppers that work like scoops when cut in half
- Snow peas
- Tomatoes – an heirloom cherry tomato is my favorite. I don’t eat them often because of the carbs but they are a treat for me and always on a crudite platter.
- Anything else you can think of.
How do you make a good veggie tray?
Once you have your vegetables chosen it’s time to think about the “extras”. You want different flavors and textures here. Some of my favorites are:
- Cooked vegetables like beets. Undercook them just a smidge
- Marinated artichoke hearts
- Nuts such as almonds, macadamias, pecans, walnuts; I love smoked almonds on veggie trays!
- Olives – use a variety of different kinds; look in the imported foods section
- Pickled okra
What dips are usually served with a crudite platter?
As mentioned above, I like to have at least two dips when possible. An oil and vinegar based dip with a lot of herbs really lets the flavors of the vegetables come through. At the same time, I love the creamy richness of sour cream and cream cheese based dips. Here are some great low carb ideas:
- BLT dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Chipotle dipping sauce
- Chunky salsa
- Creamy Italian
- Dill pickle dip
- Hummus (a little high in carbs so just watch how much you have)
- Italian dressing
- Mexican Veggie Dip – recipe below
- Spinach artichoke dip
- Thai dipping sauce
- Thai peanut sauce
Need more ideas? 25 Best Low Carb Dips Ever
Assembling the Crudite Board
Now we’re at the fun part – yes really!
You’ve got your base with the leafy vegetables covering it and the dip or dips arranged on it. Your vegetables and other ingredients are waiting their turn. Now you’re going to add the vegetables in a pleasing layout.
I think it’s easiest to put the big things on first then arrange the small things in the spaces that are left. Some of the design depends on whether the base is round, square, or rectangular.
- Put on your longest, biggest vegetables first leaving space in between for other ingredients. So group a bunch of green onions together, leave a space, add a group of purple carrot sticks, leave a space, add a group of celery sticks, leave a space, and so on around the board varying the colors as much as possible.
- Now add the round vegetables like cauliflower pieces, broccoli, cherry tomato, unsliced radishes, mushrooms, etc. Leave spots for the smaller ingredients.
- Step back and look at your handy work. Then rearrange anything that you don’t like.
- Now you’ll add the rest of the ingredients.
- If there’s still spaces use parsley, cilantro, dill, and other herbs to fill in.
- Add a few lemon slices, if you like. Lemon brightens the flavors.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds or pepper and a little of your finishing salt.
- Step back and admire your work!
Crudite Platter FAQs
This recipe is rated EASY
Have questions about crudite platter specifics? I’ve got the answers for you. If you can’t find your answer here just leave your question in the comments section and I’ll get to it as soon as I can.
What are crudites usually served with?
A crudite platter is enough all by itself but you can add low carb crackers and wedges of cheese if you like.
How do you store crudites?
Save time by prepping your veggies a day or two ahead of the party. Here’s how –
- Wash the vegetables.
- Peel if necessary.
- Cut as desired.
- Wrap in damp paper towel and store in a sealed zip top baggie with the air pressed out OR in a vacuum sealed bag if you have a vacuum sealer.
- If you have vegetables left after the party you can store them the same way – but be prepared to use them up as quickly as possible.
- Many of the leftover crudites can be chopped up and added together to make vegetable soup.
How do you blanch vegetables for crudites?
- Prepare a large pot of boiling salted water.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Remove the tough areas of the vegetables.
- Add the vegetables to the boiling water for 1 minute.
- Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water.
Can I cut vegetables ahead of time?
Absolutely! Just cover them with damp paper towels and store in a zip top baggie with the air pressed out.
Should you blanch broccoli for Crudite?
You can. It will make it a little more appetizing and much brighter in color.
More Appetizers from Lowcarb-ology
If you’re having a party you need more than one appetizer, right? Here are some of my low carb favorites!
Creamy low carb dip adds a spicy Tex-Mex flair to the crudite platter
Mexican Veggie Dip Recipe
This creamy, spicy dip is as good on crackers as it is on crudites! Just make sure you let it stand for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Creamy Mexican Dip
- Beat the cream cheese and sour cream together until well blended and smooth.
- Stir in the salsa, chiles, cumin, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the cilantro.
- Blend well.
- Spoon into serving bowl.
- Cut the lime in half and squeeze over the top if desired.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese, cracked pepper, and more cilantro if desired.
- Let stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Part of Meal Plan Monday!