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Thanksgiving Appetizer Crudite Turkey

Turkey is king for Thanksgiving in the USA, so if you're bringing the crudite veggie tray appetizer, why not get creative and arrange those fresh, raw vegetables to resemble a proud turkey.

It's easy and fun - even the kids can help make this vegetable tray that looks like a turkey.

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Veggie platter Thanksgiving turkey food craft

How to Make a Crazy Crudite Turkey Raw Veggie Tray

This is an easy to make fresh vegetable appetizer that's always a crowd pleaser in our family. The kids like to help with the prep and the arrangement, and also with the eating.

You'll need a large round serving tray or platter, a few toothpics, and your choice of fresh vegetables to create the turkey body and tail "feathers."

Here's a list of the vegetables I used to build my turkey appetizer arrangement.

  • 1 small summer squash, split lengthwise for the turkey head and neck. Cut the unused piece into slices or rounds and add to to the body or tail areas as fill in.
  • 1 small piece red sweet pepper, fresh or roasted/jar pack for wattle.
  • Lettuce leaves - romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, baby spinach, baby kale.
  • Brocolli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots about 4 inches long
  • Celery sticks, split and cut into 4 inch lengths - save 2 for the legs
  • Asparagus tips, blanched and chilled
  • Green beans, blanched and chilled
  • Sweet peppers, various colors. I used red, orange and yellow, cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Olive slices or a grape cut in half (for the eyes)
  • Pickles or cucumber slices (rounds)

You can use whatever size tray or platter you have that's suitable for the number of guests you're feeding, or have fun and make two with different types of fresh raw vegetables!

I used an 18 inch plastic serving tray similar to these round serving platters available at Amazon to hold my Thanksgiving turkey vegetable tray. I put the dips (dressings) into several small bowls arranged around the platter

To set up my veggie turkey app tray, I used an inexpensive plastic food service tray from Sam's. If you have a nice, round glass serving platter or cake plate, that might work. Or you can buy a big foil roasting tray/baking sheet that's not too deep and use that.

  1. Wash all the veggies and cut to size.
  2. Start the base of the arrangement by laying out the lettuce along the top half of the tray edge in a fan shape, to form the tail.
  3. Add a second fan shape, alternating the carrots, celery, green beans and brocolli, as the next layer of feathers.
  4. Place the squash head and neck into position and fill in around and above with peppers and tomatoes.
  5. Create the turkey breast and sides from cauliflower florets, cucumber slices or pickle rounds.
  6. When the turkey design is all nice and full, split the lower third of two celery sticks into three "toes" and place these little legs at the bottom of the turkey tray.
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