Ultimate Guide to Creating a Beautiful Brunch Grazing Platter (2023)

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A grazing platter is such a fun and easy way to serve food and they work for almost any occasion! We give you the steps, a plan and loads of ideas so you can create your own beautiful grazing board.

We absolutely love this brunch platter we created in honor of Mother’s Day brunch, but it would be fabulous for any brunch event you are having.

We always do a Mother’s Day brunch in our family and often that used to involve Debbie and I cooking up a storm and not really being able to relax. But this brunch grazing platter is a game changer!

It makes Mother’s Day brunch, or any brunch event, so easy to host and even lets us relax and have a cocktail or two!

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What is a Grazing Platter?

Grazing platters are (usually) large boards or trays brimming with all kinds of food where people can help themselves or “graze” slowly, trying a little bit of everything on the platter.

They are often styled to give the appearance of abundance and show off the beauty of the food and they are often shown off as a beautiful centerpiece for the food at an event.

Make Entertaining Easy

Grazing platters are fabulous for feeding guests at events and parties and they make feeding your guests really easy! This is why we love them:

  • You can do most or all of the prep ahead of time before guests arrive and then there’s no cooking to do while your event is happening.
  • Grazing boards encourage guests to mingle, try a whole bunch of different foods, and they can be a great conversation starter!
  • They are visually beautiful and they give a party or event that wow factor that people will be talking about after the event is over.
  • This style of eating is very casual and laid back so it gives that feeling to a party which makes guests comfortable.
  • Guests help themselves so the host isn’t running around serving everyone.
  • Best of all: with all the work to set up a grazing platter done before an event, the host gets to enjoy the event too, have a few cocktails and relax!
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6 Easy Steps to Creating a Brunch Grazing Platter

Here are a few easy steps to help you plan and create a brunch grazing platter:

  1. Figure out what you are going to put all your food on. A table, a cutting board, will you need more than one, where will you place your grazing board, etc… See below for some ideas.
  2. Choose the main focus of your breakfast platter. Our’s was waffles and bacon. (See below for some other ideas)
  3. What other brunch items do you want to include? Things like muffins, croissants, bagels, bacon, scones, and fruit. Items that compliment your main dish and are also easy to prepare or purchase.
  4. Choose some other items that you want to include? Things like toppings, sauces, other condiments, and garnishes.
  5. Figure out how you will arrange it on the platter. Do you need bowls? Small plates? Serving utensils?
  6. Create your plan of attack for cooking the things you need to cook and buying the things you need to buy. Make a grocery list and also make a plan for making the food. Will you make it ahead of time or the day off and reheat?

Brunch Event Plan of Attack:

This is our basic plan to cover off step number 6 above.

Two days before: make my menu plan, grocery list, get out my board and serving dishes and make a list of things I need for serving.

Day before: go grocery shopping, go shopping for any items I need for setting up my brunch board, purchase any bakery items I might need OR enlist my husband to go get them first thing in the morning on the day of (if the bakery is open).

Morning of: set up my bunch board and arrange the serving dishes and bowls I need, get out all the items I don’t have to cook so they are ready. Arrange items on the board that can be done, keeping in mind where the cooked items will go. Just before guests arrive, I cook items that need cooking and finish arranging my board as guests are arriving.

I don’t mind finishing up as guests are arriving because when the grazing board is ready, my job is done and I can relax.

PRO TIP: I always make a separate note in my phone and go through this list in my head and write down everything I need and how I will get everything done.

Entertaining becomes almost effortless when you have a plan! (I said almost lol! )

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Mother’s Day Brunch Board Ideas

These are the items that we included on our brunch platter:

  • tender waffles cut into sticks
  • crispy bacon
  • farmer sausage
  • delicious flaky croissants
  • blueberry scones
  • a pile of whipped cream
  • fruit: blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
  • maple syrup and honey with honeycomb

We made the waffles, bacon, and whipped cream, but we purchased the other baked goods from a local bakery that makes the best croissants and scones!

Here are some other ideas you might want to use for your own brunch or breakfast platter:

  • create a breakfast sandwich bar
  • serve chicken and waffles with a bunch of toppings
  • make a fruit, yogurt and granola bar
  • serve oatmeal with a whole bunch of toppings

And a list of items you might want to include on your brunch platter:

  • pancakes
  • french toast!
  • cinnamon rolls
  • coffee cake
  • boiled eggs or scrambled eggs
  • roasted potatoes
  • avocado
  • bagels, sourdough bread, brioche
  • strudels or other pastries
  • banana bread
  • muffins of any kind
  • scones and cream
  • donuts!
  • other condiments like: butter, jams, jellies, preserves, honey, maple syrup, whipped cream, cream cheese, clotted cream, mustards
  • cured meats
  • cheese!
  • crackers of any kind
  • seasonal fruit

There are a TON of other options you can include that I haven’t even thought of yet. Go buck wild!

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Awesome Platters to Check Out

Here are some items that might help you plan and style your own grazing platter:

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This large platter has sides and handles which we love! It also comes in different sizes and colors.

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We love this rustic looking round wood platter with handles. It would suit a more casual themed grazing platter.

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Gotta love this live edge long rectangle wooden platter. It has style and class but it can still be casual too.

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A slate board is especially great for a grazing board with cheeses and meats.

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This marble board looks a lot like the one we used for our grazing board. We love how a white background really makes the colors of food pop.

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These are great little serving bowls of different sizes that can help you server anything that needs to be contained.

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These small bowls are perfect for serving condiments and dips. Small enough to be placed around the board in various spots without being overly in the way of your main food.

Grazing Board Styling Tips

Styling Rules: the rule is there are no rules!

Use your imagination! Choose flavors that you like and arrange them in a way that’s visually appealing to you and you are golden! That said, here are a couple things to keep in mind that might give you a little help:

  • Decide on a theme – color, ingredients, etc…
  • Make sure your platter is the right size, but your food can spill over onto the table and that often looks very pretty too.
  • Start with the larger items and arrange those first. Then use the smaller items to fill in the gaps.
  • Use fresh, high quality ingredients.
  • Include a variety of textures and flavors.
  • Play with height, especially if you have are creating full grazing table with a few different platters. Upside down bowls, cake stands and such make great props for creating different heights.
  • Flowers, fresh herbs, an greenery can add to the drama and beauty of your grazing platter.
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Brunch Isn’t Complete Without Drinks

We recommend setting up a separate area close by for drinks. We also recommend making making large batches of the cocktail you are serving so you can make them ahead of time and relax when your guests arrive. And share a drink together!

We often recommend serving mimosas or sangria for brunch, but go ahead and check out some of our other pitcher cocktails for ideas. We’ve got some great ones like:

  • sparkling bees knees
  • planters punch
  • hibiscus lemonade sangria
  • blood orange mojitos!

Other Brunch Recipes

  • simple breakfast skillet
  • peach and bacon dutch baby
  • the easiest eggs benedict ever
  • 30 min breakfast tarts

If you’ve used this guide to create your own brunch grazing platter then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

We love to see your creations! Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of your grazing platter on INSTAGRAM.

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Beautiful Brunch Grazing Platter

Grazing platters are such a fun way to eat and they work for almost any occasion! We give you the steps, a plan and loads of ideas so you can create an amazing grazing board for any occasion.

5 from 1 vote

Print Pin Rate

Course: Brunch

Cuisine: Canadian

Keyword: brunch board, brunch grazing platter, grazing platter, Mothers Day Brunch

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8

Author: Julie & Debbie

Ingredients

GRAZING PLATTER ITEMS

  • waffles
  • bacon
  • farmer sausage
  • croissants
  • blueberry scones
  • whipped cream
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • maple syrup
  • honey with honeycomb

Instructions

PLAN YOUR GRAZING PLATTER

  • Figure out what you are going to put all your food on. A table, a cutting board, will you need more than one, where will you place your grazing board, etc… See below for some ideas.

  • Choose the main focus of your breakfast platter. Our’s was waffles and bacon. (See below for some other ideas)

  • What other brunch items do you want to include? Things like muffins, croissants, bagels, bacon, scones, and fruit. Items that compliment your main dish and are also easy to prepare or purchase.

  • Choose some other items that you want to include? Things like toppings, sauces, other condiments, and garnishes.

  • Figure out how you will arrange it on the platter. Do you need bowls? Small plates? Serving utensils?

  • Create your plan of attack for cooking the things you need to cook and buying the things you need to buy. Make a grocery list and also make a plan for making the food. Will you make it ahead of time or the day off and reheat?

STYLE YOUR GRAZING PLATTER

  • Decide on a theme – color, ingredients, etc…

  • Make sure your platter is the right size, but your food can spill over onto the table and that often looks very pretty too.

  • Start with the larger items and arrange those first. Then use the smaller items to fill in the gaps.

  • Use fresh, high quality ingredients and include a variety of textures and flavors.

  • Play with height, especially if you have are creating full grazing table with a few different platters. Upside down bowls, cake stands and such make great props for creating different heights.

  • Flowers, fresh herbs, an greenery can add to the drama and beauty of your grazing platter.

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