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A Mezze Platter is a tasty and fun way to try a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes. This colorful and flavorful spread offers a wide range of healthy and delicious options that can be customized to suit your preferences. With a combination of dips, veggies, cheese, olives, and more, a mezze platter is a perfect choice for entertaining guests or enjoying a light and satisfying meal on your own.
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love building a Middle Eastern mezze platter
- Lebanese mezze board ideas
- How to build a Mediterranean mezze platter
- Tips for making the best mezz
- Popular substitutions & additions
- What to serve after a mezze board
- How to store leftover mezze platter items
- Frequently asked questions
- More Middle Eastern Appetizer recipes:
- Mezze Platter Recipe
In Lebanon, mezze or mezza is an important part of a meal, especially when dining at restaurants. It’s a small plate idea where you serve multiple appetizers where everyone shares different flavors and textures.
We will usually start off with a few cold mezzas, such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh, followed by hot mezzas like falafel, kibbeh, and cheese rolls. The main course is all about grilled meats and veggies.
Why you’ll love building a Middle Eastern mezze platter
- Perfect for parties. You can showcase a wide variety of food that everyone can graze on. The entire experience of sharing and tasting the various mezzas is such a great way to connect and bond with others over delicious food.
- Try something new. Mezze platters are a great way to try diverse dishes, making exploring new flavors and ingredients easier. For instance, you might try a Middle Eastern dip like muhammara, which features roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses for a sweet and savory flavor.
- Great way to use leftovers. You can incorporate any leftover dips, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other small bites to create a delicious and varied spread.
Lebanese mezze board ideas
- Tabbouleh Salad: Make a small batch of my Lebanese-style tabbouleh, or you can try a variation such as my Kale Tabbouleh Salad or Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad. If you make the full batch, save any leftovers to enjoy during the week.
- Hummus: Homemade hummus is easy to make and uses the freshest ingredients but requires some time to prepare the chickpeas. Soak them ahead of time to whip up a batch quickly, or use store-bought.
- Baba Ghanoush: Roasting the eggplant for baba ghanoush is the most time-consuming part; otherwise, everything is just tossed into a food processor. Because you likely won’t need a whole batch, it’s great for leftovers, or you can halve the recipe instead. Check your nearby Middle Eastern markets for premade baba ghanoush if you prefer not to make it from scratch.
- Marinated olives: The perfect salty addition!
- Feta cheese: Cut the feta into small cubes.
- Vegetables: You can use whatever vegetables you prefer, but for a classic Mediterranean spread, I use Persian cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, and radishes.
- For garnish and serving: Arabic-style pita chips are perfect for dipping. Add a dash of paprika and oil to the hummus, chopped mint and oil to baba ghanoush, some za’atar for the feta blocks, and freshly cracked black pepper for the vegetables.
How to build a Mediterranean mezze platter
- Prepare your dips and add them to small bowls. Arrange them across your platter, cutting board, or whatever you decide to use to display your mezze platter items.
- Choose a few smaller bowls to add the cubed feta and olives and add them to the board.
- All those veggies you sliced and quartered are perfect for filling in the empty space. Get creative and arrange them throughout the mezze board. You can add the same veggie to different areas for easy dipping.
- Finish setting up your beautiful display or fresh vegetables and Lebanese-style dips with garnishes such as olive oil, lemon wedges, and spices.
Tips for making the best mezz
- Use only cold ingredients. In Lebanon, we usually serve a cold mezze (or mezza, as we call it) filled with something like the one pictured here, followed by a warm mezze that usually includes Kibbeh Balls, Cheese Rolls, and Spinach Pies.
- Keep the crackers, pita chips, or bread aside. Because the vegetables can release liquid, serving the dippers on a separate plate or platter is best. If you want to serve it all together, make sure to divide everything into smaller bowls.
- Use parchment paper to line the platter. I like that the parchment paper can absorb moisture from the vegetables but also makes for easier cleanup.
- Garnish galore!! What makes the mezze platter look so appetizing is all the garnishes. So add the lemon wedges, sprinkle that zaatar, drizzle all the olive oil, and scatter all the mint leaves.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Add Labneh
- Add Muhammara
- Try three colors of hummus. Avocado, roasted red pepper, or white bean.
- Add Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Creamy Feta Dip
- Lebanese Toum
- Cheese Manakeesh
What to serve after a mezze board
A cold mezze platter is a great starter to a main course, but it can also be combined with a warm mezze, making it a meal in itself. If serving as an appetizer, then choose a few classic Lebanese recipes ideas for a main course and sides:
- Mediterranean chicken or beef kabobs
- Beef Kafta
- Chicken Shawarma
- Shish Tawook
- Batata Harra spicy potatoes
- Tahini Salad
How to store leftover mezze platter items
Storing leftovers will depend on how long they were left at room temperature and are still fresh. If they were kept chilled, then store them as needed; otherwise, it may be best to toss them. Store any leftover dips in airtight containers and the vegetables, cheese, and olives in separate bags or containers in the fridge.
How long will leftovers last in the fridge?
While they are best enjoyed fresh, they should all last another 1-2 days in the fridge but use your best judgment.
Can I freeze recipes from a mezze sharing board?
I do not recommend freezing any of the ingredients or dips as they will lose their texture and flavor after freezing.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, many items on a mezze platter, such as hummus and some other dips or marinated vegetables, can be made ahead of time. However, items like pita bread or falafel are best served fresh. Storing the items properly is important to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage.
Yes, many items on a mezze platter can be repurposed for other meals or snacks. For example, leftover hummus can be used as a spread on sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables. Leftover pita bread and veggies can be toasted and used as croutons for salads or soup.
Yes, of course. Storebought dips are a great way to test a recipe to see if you like it before making your own and when you want to display a mezze platter but are short on time.
You can either go for the dips and sides in this mezze platter or other delicious recipes recommended earlier. Regardless of your choices, putting together a spread of appetizers is an immensely gratifying way to relish Lebanese-style cuisine in one go. Choose your preferred dips and sides, pair them with colorful veggies and chips for dipping, and enjoy sharing them.
More Middle Eastern Appetizer recipes:
- Hummus and Avocado Dip
- Hummus with Ground Beef
- Rakakat (crispy cheese rolls)
- Lebanese Meat Pies
- Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- Lebanese Kibbeh Balls
- Stuffed Dates
- Zaatar Spring Rolls
- Spinach Pies
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- Place the tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush and olives into small bowls and place the bowls on a large platter or charcuterie board. Arrange the cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes.
- Serve cold or at room temperature with warm pita for dipping.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.