How to Make a Deli Platter

A deli platter, often called an antipasto platter (from the Italian phrase "before the meal") is an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre. The deli platter can even be the main dish itself. Buns or hard rolls served alongside the deli platter allow guests the option of creating sandwiches from the meats and cheeses on the platter, but aren't required. On average, plan for each guest to eat 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of the deli platter, so 3 pounds of meats and cheeses would serve approximately nine people.

Things You'll Need

  • Large round serving platter
  • One head of iceberg lettuce
  • Assorted cold cuts, such as roast beef, turkey and ham, cut into sandwich-sized slices
  • Assorted cheeses cut into small slices or wedges
  • Other food items, such as mushrooms, olives, peperoncini,and artichoke hearts
  • Olives, grapes, or radishes for center garnish
  • Toothpicks (optional)


  1. Prepare the Tray

    • 1

      Pull the lettuce from the head and wash it, drying it completely in a spinner and blotting with paper towels. Lay the pieces of lettuce over the tray in a single layer.

    • 2

      Roll each of the pieces of the meat into a cylinder and lay them on the outer edge of the platter in sections, or alternating the different meats in a pattern.

    • 3

      Create colorful rows of cheese on the inner edge of the platter, in sections by type or in a pattern.

    • 4

      Take a thinly sliced cheese like provolone and create ruffles out of the cheese slices. Place these in a small circle at the center of the platter. Cover all but the edges of the cheese with grapes, olives or radishes to create a festive center to the platter. Sprinkle other items such as artichoke hearts around the platter on top of the meats and cheeses, if desired.

    • 5

      Keep a small cup of toothpicks nearby, if desired, so that guests can spear the meats and cheeses without putting their hands in the platter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deli meat shouldn't be left out of the refrigerator for long. After two hours, refrigerate the remaining cold cuts or throw them away.
Related Searches


  • "Deli Trays Around the World With Nora Mitchell: An Instructional Guide to Deli Tray Making"; Nora Mitchell; 1990.
  • "Arranging Food Beautifully: Tray and Steam Table Art" Susan E. Mitchell; 1999.
  • Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images

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