How to Prepare a Deli Platter

Excite your guests with a hearty deli platter loaded with meats and cheeses and stacked high with bright colorful vegetables. Provide delicious attractive food for your guests and guarantee the success of the event. Preparing a deli platter requires patience and some sense of symmetry. It doesn't require a great deal of artistic inclination to prepare the platter. Make the platter by following the pattern of indentations on the tray that guides you as to where the meat, cheese and vegetables are placed. The food itself is the decoration for the platter and is sure to please hungry guests.

Things You'll Need

  • Party platter
  • Sliced meats
  • Sliced cheeses
  • Empty bowl
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Paper towels
  • Red grapes
  • Green grapes
  • Cooking shears
  • Baby carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sweet gherkins


    • 1

      Choose an 18-inch round platter in the color and style you prefer from a party store or restaurant supply outlet. Select a platter that is divided into six wedge-shaped compartments with a round indentation in the center. These compartments are where the different meats, cheeses and other foods are placed.

    • 2

      Select 1-lb. packages of quality presliced baked ham, roast beef and roasted turkey breast, Swiss cheese, aged cheddar and Havarti cheese from the meat department of the supermarket. The slices should be the standard thickness of sandwich-sliced luncheon meat.

    • 3

      Open all six packages of meat and cheese and place the party platter next to them on the table. Place an empty bowl into the circle in the middle of the platter to save the space and make certain it is not covered up as the meat and cheese is arranged on the platter.

    • 4

      Wash a head of leaf lettuce, cut off the stem and separate the head into leafs. Pat them dry with paper towels. Place a large leaf on the back of each wedge in the party platter so that it covers the back of the wedge and drapes over the edge approximately 1/2 inch.

    • 5

      Fold each slice of baked ham over one time and continue until the package is empty. Arrange the ham in the first compartment of the party platter by laying a folded slice in the upper right hand corner of the compartment and then laying another slice halfway over it shingle style. Continue laying the ham slices shingle style following the outline of the wedge until the wedge is full.

    • 6

      Continue to the next wedge and repeat the same process with the Swiss cheese which goes well with ham. Follow with roast beef then aged cheddar and finish with roasted turkey breast then Havarti cheese.

    • 7

      Arrange three large leafs of table lettuce in the center of the platter in such a way that each leaf extends over the meat and cheese by approximately 1 inch.

    • 8

      Wash one large bunch of red grapes and green grapes. Cut off any unsightly stems with a pair of cooking shears and arrange them attractively side by side in the center of the platter.

    • 9

      Place a ridge of baby carrots between the sliced ham and Swiss cheese. Place a ridge of grape tomatoes between the Swiss cheese and roast beef. Next, lay a ridge of sweet gherkin pickles, drained and patted dry with paper towels, between the roast beef and aged cheddar.

    • 10

      Continue alternating these three rows of vegetables between each meat and cheese until each item is separated in a decorative manner with edible decor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have a variety of sandwich breads, mustard and mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes and lettuce available for sandwich-making.
  • Don't forget disposable plates, eating utensils and napkins.
  • Provide enough trash cans so guests can throw away their plates, etc.
  • The foods on the deli platter are not cooked after preparing the platter and before serving it. It is critical to wash the cutting board, utensils and work area, before and after preparation, with warm soapy water and then sanitize with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. Wipe the work area and allow it to air-dry. Immerse the cutting board and utensils and allow them to air-dry.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

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