Do holiday gatherings even count if there’s not a veggie-loaded party platter in sight? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s only fitting that you master the art of crudités—and luckily, one nutritionist has every tip you need in order to please your crowd.
Keri Glassman, the registered dietitian behind Nutritious Life, visited Well+Good’s headquarters to teach a masterclass in how to create an epic healthy holiday snacking feast. Turns out, platters are a quick and easy option for get-togethers.
“Party platters are great for any occasion,” Glassman says. “You can customize them for any party size, guest restriction or allergy, and taste. And they’re super easy and fun to put together.”
Ready to create a platter that’s perfect for your next party? Here’s exactly how it’s done.
Here are 5 things you need to know about creating a crowd-pleasing party platter.
1. Get veggies—and lots of ’em
You can’t really go wrong with the vegetables you use for your platter, but Glassman says there are three key things to remember: flavor, texture, and color. Not only will your platter look pretty, but your guests will get a whole bunch of nutrients while enjoying it.
2. Use cheese as the cornerstone of the platter
Glassman puts cheese in three different places on the board, as visual anchors of sorts. She recommends selecting one fromage variety from four different categories: firm, soft, aged, and blue. Her go-tos? For firm or aged, Parmesan reigns supreme, as it lasts a long time in the fridge (and also has super-low levels of lactose). And for soft, she’s a fan of chèvre.
3. Add some crackers, nuts, and dried fruit
To add a little je ne sais quoi to the dish, place some crackers, a bowl of mixed nuts, and unsweetened dried fruit on the platter. The crackers and cheese go hand in hand, and nuts are a tasty, savory option for guests to add to their plate.
4. Go crazy with dip
When it comes to choosing the ultimate dip for your party platter, it’s hard to beat Glassman’s favorite option, made from beets, Greek yogurt, and dill. It’s bright, pretty, and perfectly accompanies all your fave veggies.
5. Layer, layer, layer
To make sure you feed everyone at your party, Glassman recommends using the layering technique. Stack up your veggies around the crackers, cheese, and nuts so there’s lots to munch on for everyone in attendance. Now, get chopping to prep this colorful feast.