This Mezze Platter Ideas post is a roundup of our favourite easy mezze platter recipes in one place. We show you how to build a mezze platter with a few tasty hot and cold dishes. Producing a mezze platter might look a bit daunting to start with, but once you break it down you realise it’s just a different way of serving food.
In this post we share with you our mezze platter ideas, showing you just how easy it is to plant your own mezze dinner party at home. Whether catering for a quiet family dinner for 4 or a larger group of diners, the principals are the same. Lots of small plates that everyone can help themselves to a little of.
What is mezze?
Mezze is a style of dining originating in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East. Whilst there is some similarity with Spanish Tapas, a mezze very often means an entire meal, rather than a few appetisers.
Mezze combines hot and cold, vegetable and meat based dishes placed in the centre of the table and shared. Mezze is a very sociable way of dining with everyone helping themselves to a little of everything.
What food is in a meze?
Meze contains a variety of small plates that usually include warm flatbreads or pita bread; dips like hummus and baba ganoush; falafel; olives; cheeses; salads and vegetables.
For a larger dinner gathering this can also include cold cuts, warm meat based dishes and bowls of spiced rice and couscous.
How many courses are in a meze?
Meze does not have a traditional starter, main and dessert set up that we think about when planning dinner. Instead a number of smaller plates are placed on the table.
These usually start with smaller cold dishes like olives and salad dishes. Further dishes are added to at regular intervals. Working up to the hot dishes like kebabs, warm vegetable dishes and couscous.
Top 5 tips for hosting a mezze dinner party:
As with most things, a little planning goes a long way to help. Allowing you to come up with the right amount of food for everyone. Here are some hints and tips:
- Once you know how many people are eating you can plan the menu. Think realistically about numbers, for example if serving hot kebabs allow one per person as this will be more than enough with the rest of the food on the table.
- Balance the menu, you don’t want too many heavier dishes. Instead focus on the lighter dishes like dips and salads and only add a few heavier hot dishes.
- Plan your menu to ensure most dishes can be prepared in advance. For example, make the dips the day before, and marinate any meats so they are ready to cook once your guests arrive. Advanced planning means you can enjoy dinner too.
- Always check for any allergies and food intolerance before you finalise any menu. It is better to know up front so you can avoid wasting food, or worse have one of your diners going hungry!
- After working out what you’re cooking, make a shopping list for the week. Shopping lists keeps you focused, you buy what’s on it and that usually ends up saving you money.
How to build a mezze platter?
Start with some warm pittas or flatbreads, together with a large bowl of mixed olives and 3-4 dips. I’d suggest a hummus and some baba ganoush. I also add a yogurt based dip to drizzle over meats and salads.
Next look at some cold salads and vegetable dishes, including a selection of olives. Again I would look at 3-4 different dishes along with some raw veggies to dip into hummus. You may also wish to add some cold cut meats and salamis.
Finally consider the any hot dishes that you want to serve. These may include grilled meats and some warm rice or couscous based dishes.
Our favorite Mezze platter ideas:
Below are some of my favourite mezze platter ideas, including cold and hot dishes. These dishes can be served on their own or in a group of appetisers. Or grouped together as part of larger mezze style dinner.
Mezze style flatbreads:
First up is the bread! No mezze platter is complete without some warm flatbreads to dip into hummus and any other dips you are serving.
No mezze platter is complete without warm flatbreads. Our Easy Yogurt Flatbreads are quick and easy to make with regular self raising flour, no yeast added, so they can be ready and on the table in no time.
For something a little different why not try our Potato Galette with Crispy Bread Base. The bread base is topped with thinly sliced potatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and some dried herbs before being baked in the oven. The bread can be served warm from the oven with a scattering of freshly chopped herbs and a little more olive oil.
Mezze style dips:
Popular on any mezze menu are a selection of dips which almost always comprise of baba ganoush; hummus and some form of yogurt based dip or sauce.
No mezze platter is complete without our Easy Baba Ganoush. This vegan appetiser is make with cooked aubergine (eggplant), tahini, toasted cumin seeds, lemon juice, garlic and some freshly chopped parsley. This luxurious dip has a wonderful silky and creamy texture, perfect to serve with some warm toasted pitta bread.
Our Simple Hummus is a great recipe and one we’ve both made for years. This creamy hummus is very traditional. We use dried chickpeas which we soak overnight and cook up the next day. This is a favourite dish and would always appear on a meze platter in our own homes.
For a really easy and tasty dip try our Roasted Carrot Hummus. The carrots are first roasted in the oven before being blitzed together with tahini, lemon and a touch of toasted cumin. A delicious dip with some warm pittas or crunchy veg.
Beetroot Hummus is easy to prepare but looks amazing on any mezze platter – just look at the colour! Simply roast beetroot, add some simple flavouring and blitz to smooth for a deliciously colourful dip.
This Lemon & Tahini Yogurt Dressing (Shawarma Sauce) could not be any easier to make and transforms any dish you add it to. Serve it drizzled over roasted vegetables and meats to really amp up the flavour.
Vegetable mezze dishes:
When it comes to my favourite mezze platter ideas I will always include olives and some sliced vegetable crudites. I also include marinated or pickled veggies and salads if I’m feeding larger numbers.
Sharing salads & vegetable dishes:
This Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi & Herb Dressing is a great make ahead salad. Grill the vegetables and halloumi earlier in the day and store in the fridge. I like to make the salad dressing just before serving, it’s super simple and means the fresh herbs are at their vibrant best.
One of my favourite salads has to be this Spicy Chickpea Salad with Harissa Dressing. This fresh tasting salad is quick to prepare using simple ingredients from the fridge and a can of chickpeas.
Our Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip makes a perfect sharing platter, serve it with crunchy vegetables and toasted pitta or flatbreads. This 5-ingredient dip is super simple to make too and has a wonderful smooth and creamy texture.
Preserved vegetable dishes:
Always popular on our blog is our Italian Marinated Aubergine. Aubergine is grilled to give a delicious charred flavour, then added to a herb flavoured oil. This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy aubergine, however you can use the same method with courgettes and peppers too.
Pickled vegetables add a great touch of sourness to any easy mezze platter. This Quick Courgette & Shallot Pickle well beforehand and stored in the fridge until you need it.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes are simple to make and a great addition to a mezze sharing platter. The tomatoes roasted low and slow in the oven with garlic and oregano, before being added to a jar with olive oil and fresh thyme leaves.
Hot meat based mezze dishes:
Our Easy Chicken Shawarma Kebab are packed full of flavour and the ideal addition to any easy mezze platter. The chicken can be marinated in the spiced yogurt the day before then grilled just before you are ready to eat. Serve with some warm Easy Yogurt Flatbreads and our Shawarma Sauce to really pack a flavour punch.
Lemon & Paprika Chicken Kebabs are really quick and easy to prepare. The marinade contains only a few simple ingredients, namely lemon, garlic, paprika and some olive oil. They can be cooked on the barbecue or under the grill at home, whichever is easiest.
My Ras el Hanout Chicken with Spicy Couscous features regularly on my families dinner plan as it is a dish we all love. The chicken is marinated in some ras el hanout seasoning before being grilled and served with a deliciously spicy couscous. A scattering of pomegranate seeds is added for crunch.
Chicken Pilaf is a delicious and simple dinner dish. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and warm spices then combined with rice, nuts, fresh herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew is flavoured with rose harissa, ras el hanout spice, fennel and cumin. This vegetarian chickpea stew is perfect served with a spoon of thick Greek yogurt, or topped with a poached egg.