Whether you're having a family meal or hosting a group, serving dishes always come in handy. Think through the phases of a meal to figure out what types of dishes may be needed. There're the beverages, appetizer, salad, main entree, side dishes, dessert, and various condiments. There are serving dishes designed for each one of these courses.
If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of serving dishes, don't fret. To help you better understand these kitchen accessories, we compiled a list of 20 types of serving dishes that you should know. Follow along to find out more about these dishes!
1. Fruit Bowl
A fruit bowl is meant for keeping and displaying fruit. There are multiple kinds of fruit serving bowls: the first kind is one that holds the whole fruit on the countertop and the second kind is one in which you'd put prepared fruit and place it on the table.
Having fresh fruit readily available in your kitchen is a good way to have healthy snacks. Cleaning the bowl each week ensures that the fruit stays clean and fresh.
Wooden Fruit Bowl
Stainless Steel Bowl
2. Butter Dish
A butter dish is a rectangular or round dish with a lid. It's great for storing butter, whether it's in the fridge or sitting on the table. The lid protects the butter from getting contaminated. These dishes are typically made out of ceramic, glass, or plastic. Butter dishes also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles.
Le Creuset Butter Crock
Glass Butter Dish
3. Salad Bowl
A salad bowl is a staple serving dish for the kitchen. It can be used for all kinds of salads like lettuce, fruit, and pasta. It's commonly made as a relatively large, rounded bowl with slanted sides. There should be enough room in the bowl to be able to toss the contents with dressing without spilling.
Salad bowls can be made in a variety of materials including glass, ceramic, wood, plastic, and stainless steel.
Acacia Wood Bowl
Glass Salad Bowl
Platters are large flat dishes that can be used for serving a variety of food items. Common platter shapes include rectangular, round, square, or oval. It can be made out of plastic, metal, ceramic, or wood. Metal platters are known for holding temperature well. Sizes also vary- larger platter sizes are more typical. You can find platters with all kinds of fun patterns and colors.
Whether you want to serve up meat entrees or yummy desserts, the platter is a great option.
Kristina Serving Platter
Porcelain Oval Platter
A salver is a tray, typically made from silver (or sterling silver), that's used for more formal occasions. It originally didn't have handles. Historically, a salver was used to serve royalty. So, if you're in charge of the next holiday family get together, consider using a salver. It can also be made out of other metals and glass.
Compotes are serving dishes that have a footed base with a stem that houses a bowl. It was traditionally used for serving compote, a sweet French culinary dish. They have since been used for making various desserts. There are many variations of this dish such as size, shape, style, and color. They truly are a work of art.
Flower Compote Bowl
A tureen is a serving dish used for foods like soup and stew. The dish is large and deep with cast handles and a domed lid. Silver soup tureens used to be popular amongst wealthy families. Since then, the unique look of the tureen has made them a kitchen favorite amongst some. It certainly is an elegant way to serve soup.
Tureen Serving Set
Spode Blue Italian Tureen
A pitcher is a beverage necessity. It's always nice to have a full pitcher on the table during mealtimes. Fill it with water, tea, lemonade, or any other beverage you wish to serve. Pitchers can be made out of plastic, various metals, ceramic, or glass. They come in lots of different sizes, colors, and shapes, ensuring you'll find the perfect one for your needs.
80-Ounce Glass Pitcher
Confetti Rock Pitcher
A casserole dish is fit for both cooking and serving. That's what's so great about this serving dish! Make your casserole, then serve it right out of the same thing. No need to dirty more dishes than necessary. A typical casserole dish measures 9 inches by 13 inches, but can also be found in other sizes. Most casserole dishes are made out of ceramic, glass, or nonstick aluminum. Some casserole dishes are decorative, adding a fun touch to your table.
10. Chip And Dip Set
Serving chips and dip has never been so easy. There are now serving trays that accommodate all your needs. These sets come in all kinds of styles, shapes, and sizes. Whether it's made from wood, plastic, ceramic, or metal, you're sure to find the perfect chip and dip set.
Acacia Wood Serving Bowl
2 Tier Chip And Dip Set
11. Vegetable Tray
A vegetable tray is suitable for putting out vegetables and dip for snacking. These trays may be circular, rectangular, or have divided serving dishes as a whole. Trays with divided sections make it easy to separate out your vegetables and keep the tray organized. Vegetable trays may be made out of ceramic, porcelain, wood, plastic, various metals, wood, or any combination of those materials.
Porcelain Vegetable Tray
Elegant Vegetable Tray
12. Cheese Board
Cheese boards are truly an all-purpose board. They have become an increasingly popular appetizer, full of all kinds of yummy snack foods. Cheese, olives, nuts, crackers, meats, and fresh and dried fruits are lovely cheese board companions.
Use different shapes of boards as well as materials like wood, slate, or marble. The rich colors and textures of these materials complement the food items well.
Bamboo Cheese Board
Slate Cheese Board
13. Gravy Boat
This boat-shaped serving dish is ideal for serving gravy or other sauce. Whether you're eating an informal meal or a formal feast, a gravy boat is always a great addition to the table. These serving dishes can be made of ceramic, plastic, porcelain, glass, or metal. You can pick a gravy boat style depending on the level of formality you wish to have.
Porcelain Gravy Boat
Crystal Gravy Boat
14. Divided Dip Tray
Divided dip trays ensure that you can enjoy a variety of finger foods and dips. Divided dip trays work great for both casual and formal dining scenarios. Divided dip trays can have a wide variety of compartments, you only have to search for the one that works best for you.
These serving trays can be made from porcelain, ceramic, glass, wood, plastic, or even metal. There are lots of styles available!
3 Compartment Dip Bowls
Porcelain Divided Serving Platter
15. Chafing Dish
A chafing dish is the ideal serving dish for buffets and other large meals. It's a portable container that uses indirect heat from chafing fuel. It heats the shallow metal pan full of water which subsequently heats up the pan of food above it.
It should be noted that a chafing dish doesn't cook food, but rather keeps it warm. These dishes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles.
16. Serving Bowls (Various Sizes)
Serving bowls are dishes used to present or serve the finished product to your guests. They come in numerous different sizes, so you can find the perfect serving bowl to serve up some fruit, salad, or pasta. A good set of serving bowls is the cornerstone of a great kitchen.
Set Of 3 Ceramic Serving Bowls
White Ceramic Serving Bowls
Creamer containers are a kitchen essential for coffee drinkers. These small containers hold coffee creamer, and they have a small and convenient lip that allows you to pour the perfect splash into your morning coffee. Since these containers are small, it's a good idea to have several on hand if you plan on entertaining multiple people.
5-Ounce Stainless Steel Creamers
2-Ounce Mini Cow Creamer
18. Beverage Pot
A beverage pot is most often used to serve hot or cold drinks such as coffee or iced tea. Since these pots are used to serve beverages that are temperature specific, they are well-insulated. Some can keep beverages hot or cold for quite some time. Some also have a seal near the spout to prevent scalding hot coffee from leaking.
Double Walled Thermal Pot
1-L Insulated Beverage Pot
19. Nut Bowl
A nut bowl is the perfect serving bowl for keeping some nuts handy for a snack. Nut bowls are perfect to keep on the counter or coffee table for guests to snack on. They are generally small and decorative, so you can choose the style that best suits your kitchen and decorative taste.
Ceramic Squirrel Nut Bowl
Mango Wood Nut Bowl
20. Salt And Pepper
No meal is complete without a little dusting of salt and pepper. Some shakers only dispense ground salt and pepper, and others have a built-in grinder to grind up fresh salt and peppercorn. In addition to their utility, salt and pepper shakers can serve as unique decorative accent pieces in your kitchen.
Stainless Steel Salt And Pepper Grinders
Before you go, check out these other great kitchen guides: