This relish tray is an assortment of olives and fresh and pickled vegetables that makes a light and refreshing appetizer or accompaniment to a meal. Put together an impressive platter in minutes and watch the rave reviews come in!

When I’m entertaining, I find it to be so easy to put out trays and platters of food for people to serve themselves a hearty snack. Some of my favorite appetizer recipes include a cheese board, some make ahead options like caprese skewers and a dish of pesto dip, and a colorful relish tray.

A relish tray filled with pickles, fresh vegetables and marinated veggies.

Every year at Thanksgiving growing up all my relatives would gather at my great uncle’s farm to celebrate the holiday. One of my most vivid food memories from that time was the relish tray that was inevitably on the table. No kid (or adult) can resist finger foods like olives and veggies!

Relish Tray Ingredients

Bowls of olives, fresh veggies, pickles and marinated vegetables.

For this recipe you will need green olives, black olives, marinated mushrooms, marinated artichokes, pickled peppers, fresh carrots and celery, fresh herbs, and any other pickled or marinated vegetables that you desired.

How Do You Make A Relish Tray?

Find a large platter, then arrange the various olives and pickled and fresh vegetables on the tray. You will want to place marinated items in bowls or little mason jars to contain the liquid so that everything does not run together. Add some fresh herbs for garnish. Serve immediately, with mini forks, or cover and refrigerate for later use.

Step by step process shots showing how to put together a relish tray.

Tips For The Perfect Platter

  • I like to choose a variety of flavors, colors and textures for a visually appealing and delicious board.
  • For fresh veggies, I typically go with carrot and celery sticks, although cucumbers, radishes, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes are also nice additions. You can also include blanched green beans or asparagus for an elegant look.
  • Check out your local specialty stores or farmer’s market for unique pickled veggies. I find in my area there are many different local purveyors of these types of products. You can even make your own, like refrigerator pickles or pickled red onions. I also include butter pickles because they were always on my tray growing up. Artichoke hearts are also a great choice.
  • Growing up, there were always classic canned black olives on my family’s relish tray, so I’ve included them here. That being said, you can really use any type of olive you like. Many grocery store delis even have an olive bar these days with a huge selection of different types of olives.

Quick Tip

You can assemble your relish tray up to 8 hours before you plan to serve it. Cover the platter tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate it. Remove it from the fridge about 10-15 minutes before you plan to serve it.

A close up of a relish tray featuring pickles, olives and peppers.

Recipe FAQs

What is on a relish tray?

Relish trays typically contain olives, pickles, fresh vegetables and pickled veggies. They can sometimes contain other items like sliced cheese or a type of cracker.

Why is a relish tray called a relish tray?

The term relish tray goes back to colonial times when trays of various relishes were served as condiments to the meal. In this time, relishes referred to sauces such as corn relish and cranberry relish. The word relish has changed in interpretation over time, and now a modern relish tray is typically not sauce based, and instead is based on olives and vegetables.

What is the difference between a relish tray and a vegetable tray?

A vegetable tray typically consists of sliced raw vegetables served with a dip. A relish tray is primarily pickled or marinated vegetables and does not often involve a dip.

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A relish platter with different types of vegetables and olives.

Recipe Variations

This recipe provides a guide for the quantities of olives and vegetables you will need to serve on your tray. There are so many other items you could potentially add to your tray which are not necessarily traditional, but are always welcome and delicious.

  • Cheese: You can offer some cubes of aged parmesan cheese, cheese spread, a homemade cheese ball or mini mozzarella balls.
  • Protein: Feel free to add some cured meats to your platter such as cubed salami or prosciutto. You can even add an item like, homemade hummus, hard boiled eggs or prosciutto wrapped asparagus!
  • Dips: I sometimes like to offer a dip or two alongside my vegetables. Some great options include veggie dip, or a vinaigrette such as Greek salad dressing or Asian salad dressing.
  • Nuts: Try adding a handful of candied walnuts or candied pecans for a heartier offering.
  • Fruit: While fruit is not traditional, I do find that a nice bunch of grapes or some berries is a great counterpart to the tangy vegetables.

You simply can’t go wrong with a relish tray. It’s easy to make, looks impressive, and is always a hit with guests!

More Appetizer Platter Ideas

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 10 votes

Relish Tray

AuthorSara Welch
A relish tray filled with pickles, fresh vegetables and marinated veggies.
This relish tray is an assortment of olives and fresh and pickled vegetables that makes a light and refreshing appetizer or accompaniment to a meal. Put together an impressive platter in minutes and watch the rave reviews come in!
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh carrot sticks
  • 1/2 cup fresh celery sticks
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles
  • 2 1/2 cups assorted pickled or marinated vegetables
  • fresh herbs for garnish

Instructions 

  • Place the olives and any other wet/marinated items in small bowls.
  • Place the bowls on a large platter. Arrange the fresh and pickled vegetables around the bowls.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Notes

  1. Check out your local specialty stores or farmer’s market for unique pickled veggies. I find in my area there are many different local purveyors of these types of products. You can also find interesting olives at the olive bar of your local grocery store deli.
  2. You can use any pickled or marinated vegetables that you like. Some great options include pickled green beans, pickled pearl onions, pickled beets, canned baby corn, marinated artichokes or pickled peppers.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1930IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am loving everything on this relish tray. It’s so easy to put together and my friends and family will devour all of this in no time.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this idea!! I normally just do a regular cheese plate, but this is a fun twist with a lot more variety! Can’t wait to serve this as an appetizer the next time we have friends over for dinner!

  3. 5 stars
    The variety of pickles, olives, and other tasty treats is outstanding. Each bite is packed with flavor, and the presentation is simply stunning. It’s the perfect addition to any party or gathering.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious; thank you for this fantastic recipe! Very straightforward and easy to make. I will make it again!!