Looking for a way to keep hungry kids happy while you prepare Thanksgiving dinner? Feed them! Set this Thanksgiving turkey veggie tray, inspired by Skip To My Lou, on the table and let them gobble it up.
Getting your kids—even the picky eaters—to scarf down vegetables is easy when the veggies are masquerading as a turkey. Though your kiddos may wrinkle their noses at a mundane plate of carrots and celery, they will go wild when they see a colorful array of vegetables dressed up as a bird. The cup of ranch dressing will make their delicious and nutritious holiday appetizer even more irresistible. You may even find the hungry adults sneaking off with some of the turkey veggies too.
Made with an assortment of bell peppers, celery and carrot sticks, English cucumber slices, fresh broccoli florets, and raisins, this healthy edible caricature of a turkey is also a fun food activity for the kids. Prep the veggies, give them directions and let them play with their food while you’re making the rest of the Thanksgiving meal.
This Thanksgiving appetizer is a time-saver. A big bonus to this holiday veggie tray is that there’s no cooking required. Every element in this dish is straight off the cutting board. Best yet, you can pre-cut the vegetables up to three days in advance and keep them refrigerated until Thanksgiving. You can also assemble the whole veggie tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to three days.
Note: If you’re going to refrigerate the finished turkey, don’t put the turkey head in the ranch dressing until you’re ready to serve because it will sink into the dip. You don’t want to end up with a headless turkey!
Place a bowl of ranch dressing on the serving platter
You’ll need a large round serving platter and a small bowl for this recipe. Fill the bowl with 1 cup ranch dressing. Set the bowl at the bottom end of the platter. This bowl will eventually serve as the neck and head of the turkey.
Arrange the vegetables to form the tail feathers of the turkey
Place the celery sticks in a circular pattern around the outer edge of the platter until about two-thirds of the outer edge of the platter is covered. Arrange the carrot sticks in a circular pattern overlapping the celery sticks. Set the red bell pepper slices on the bottom of the carrot sticks, slightly overlapping the edges of the carrot sticks.
Add cucumbers and broccoli to make the body of the turkey
Arrange the cucumber slices in a circular pattern underneath the red bell pepper slices. Place the broccoli florets in a circular pattern under the cucumber slices, filling up the space between the cucumber and the bowl.
Make the head of the turkey
Slice off the bumpy bottom of the orange bell pepper. Place the small pieces of the yellow bell pepper and the red bell pepper on the orange bell pepper to resemble a nose and beak. Secure with a toothpick. Set the two raisins on the orange bell pepper, securing with toothpicks, to make the eyes of the turkey.
Set the head of the turkey in the bowl of ranch dressing
Place the orange bell pepper bottom-side-down in the bowl of ranch to finish the head of the turkey.
Make turkey feet
Slice the remaining small carrot in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife to carve the two pieces into the shape of turkey feet. Arrange the carrot feet at the bottom of the bowl. Serve now or refrigerate until ready to serve.