How to arrange a meat & cheese tray

Updated February 21, 2017

Meat and cheese trays are made in less than 45 minutes and are an attractive and satisfying appetizer for the guests at a party. Meat and cheese trays are made of a variety of different cold cuts. While caterers and supermarkets sell party trays, it is to your advantage to make your own in order to save money and exercise creativity. Some factors to consider are the amount of food needed; the number of women or children; whether alcohol is served; and whether the party occurs at a regular mealtime or not.

Find a large platter, approximately 16 inches in diameter, although the platter can be almost any size or shape. Party trays are inexpensive and available at party stores.

Figure approximately 113 to 142gr. of combined meat and cheese for each guest. While some people will eat more, some will eat much less or not at all. Children and women eat less, alcohol stimulates the appetite and people are hungrier at regular meal times. Larger slices of meat and cheese increase what is consumed.

Use thin, even slices: meats such as ham, turkey and roast beef and popular cheeses like Swiss, cheddar and a flavoured cheese such as hot pepper.

Divide the platter into six equal sections. Roll the sliced meats into tubes and stack each type of meat into every other section. Place the sliced cheese in layers in the empty alternating sections.

Decorate the meat and cheese tray by attractively placing sprigs of parsley with cherry tomatoes and small dill gherkin pickles on top of the meat and cheese. Large bunches of red and green grapes placed in the centre of the tray make it more attractive and give the guests more to enjoy.


Make certain to have a variety of crackers as well as bread and condiments for sandwiches. Use only fresh, quality products.


Wash your hands thoroughly and sterilise cutting tools and cutting boards in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Prevent contamination by serving forks and tongs available so guests don't use their hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Large platter
  • Cold cuts
  • Parsley
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Gherkin pickles
  • Grapes
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About the Author

Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.