If you are like me, you have a lot of great ideas for Thanksgiving dishes and centerpieces but lack the time to actually make any of them. Am I right?
That’s where this incredibly easy turkey vegetable tray recipe comes in. In just minutes, you can have a beautiful and edible Thanksgiving centerpiece that’s delicious & packed full of nutrition. And since it looks so fun, it’s an easy way to get your little turkeys excited to eat more vegetables too (something I am very thankful for!)
How to make a Turkey Vegetable Tray
When it comes to making a turkey vegetable tray for Thanksgiving, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. I will admit that I had some big ideas at first. A standing turkey with a robust vegetable tail…..which I quickly realized was NOT going to work unless I had some serious food art skills, which I lack… you get the idea.
With three little kids and trying to work from home, simple is the key word over here. Which is why I came up with the easiest Thanksgiving food art idea possible. The ‘laying flat’ turkey vegetable tray. You can make it in minutes and it is easy to transport if you are taking your turkey on the go to a family member’s house.
To make a turkey vegetable tray, you just need a few items:
- A round tray or platter (I used a pizza tray like this one)
- A variety of colorful sliced vegetables (if you really want to save time, use pre-sliced and pre-washed veggies from the store or just use a mandoline to slice them quickly at home)
- And either vegetable dip or a large mushroom to create the turkey head. You can even use pre-filled ranch dip cups to make the head to save time & make for an easy clean up.
- And then my favorite….edible eyeballs. I keep this variety of assorted edible eyeball sizes on hand for pretty much all my food art recipes.
Turkey Vegetable Tray for Thanksgiving
- 1 Round tray or platter
- 1 cup carrot sticks
- 1 cup bell peppers sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 large white mushroom
- Place large white mushroom at base of tray.
- Layer sliced vegetables out from dressing to create a 'tail'
- Top large mushroom with two edible eyeballs and a small slice of bell pepper to create a beak.
- Serve chilled.
How to Assemble a Thanksgiving Food Art Turkey Vegetable Tray
Although there really isn’t a ‘right way’ when it comes to food art, since you can take creative liberties with whatever you make, I think the most attractive turkey vegetable tray is made when you work in alternating colors based on the vegetables you have chosen.
To create this Thanksgiving turkey vegetable tray, I started by placing the ‘head’ of the turkey at the base of the tray and slowly building the ‘tail’ out from behind it. To balance the colors, I made the first layer of the turkey tail with carrot sticks, which really ‘pop’ next to the light color of the mushroom or ranch dressing ‘head.’
For the next layer, I used sliced mushrooms, followed by a variety of multicolored sliced bell peppers. To round out the tail, I used slices of broccoli to give the tail a fluffy, ‘feathered’ look.
And that’s it. It really couldn’t get easier. In a few minutes, you have an adorable turkey vegetable tray for Thanksgiving Day and your guests will love it!
If you will be transporting your turkey, I highly recommend using wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap (I use the this one for the best hold) so it doesn’t fall apart or shift when being moved.
And if you are looking for an easy dessert idea for the big day too, check out my Turkey Fruit Platter food art for Thanksgiving Day using skewers. It’s just as easy and just as delicious.