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.
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!
Table of Contents
Relish Tray Ingredients
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Love This Recipe?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.