The recipe for a perfect graduation party is visually stunning boards filled with abundant and beautiful nibbles. These grab-what-you-want appetizer platters are a great choice for a graduation party because they can accommodate a large crowd. Young guests will be drawn to the vibrant colors and the overflowing displays of food (Instagram gold!). Plus, all that gorgeous food also happens to be good for you, making it more satisfying than bowls of chips and snack mixes.
These boards look impressive but they are actually very easy to assemble once you let your creativity run free. They are so pretty that you will get "oohs and ahhs," yet they are "self serve" so you can enjoy the party! (Do make sure to have extra ingredients on hand to fill in the platters as needed.)
To begin, pick a theme for each board you want to create—such as charcuterie, fruit and/or crudités with dip.
You will need an assortment of cheeses, deli meats, fruits, vegetables, dips, nuts, olives, herbs, crackers, cookies and chocolate. When choosing your food, pick out a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
Choose large pretty boards or platters in a variety of materials like wood, marble or ceramic. Rectangular or oval shapes work particularly well to display the food. Grab a couple of small, pretty bowls for things that can't go directly on the board, such as dip and melted chocolate, or for "runaway" foods like nuts and olives.
Start by placing blocks of color and all of your largest ingredients first, such as wedges of cheese or a certain color fruit. Then fill in around each one, playing with rows, swirls and color to give them an organic, rustic feeling. Fill up all the space and avoid empty areas by placing small items, such as blueberries, olives or herbs, into them, and add rows all the way up to the edge of the trays. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so remember it doesn't have to be perfect. Just have fun and be creative!
Everybody loves cheese, so this is a popular one! Make sure you have an extra stash to replace each cheese as it gets low.
Dips are fun, and here is where you can play with a variety of beautiful crunchy vegetables in unique shapes and colors. (Have plenty of extra dip on hand in the fridge.)
Related: Must-Try Healthy Dip Recipes
There is always room for dessert! Fruit makes it healthy and colorful, while chocolate dip makes it extra delicious and fun!
Make a nice arrangement of your boards on a long table with plenty of plates, napkins and utensils for guests to take from the boards to enjoy. You can make as many boards as you need according to the number of people you expect. If you have a lot of boards, you may want to play around with some being higher than others. Garden-picked flowers here and there will add a nice touch. Just have fun, be creative and keep it all fresh and colorful.