16 Serving Vessels to Make Your Fall Special Occasions Lovely (and a Little Less Weird)

Lauren Joseph
·3 mins read

Each Thanksgiving, I make a kale salad and a spiced orange cake, both big enough for 40 or so family members. This year, I think there's a solid chance that instead of making two pans of sheet cake, I'll be making something a bit smaller…maybe even just a skillet cookie in my smallest cast iron.

But tiny Thanksgivings—or weeknight dinners, even—won't deter me from a lovely serving dish. I've made nightly use of my favorite East Fork serving bowl this summer, which is aptly called the Weeknight Serving Bowl (it's out of stock, but you can await the rerelease here), and once a week when it's taco night, I line up the finished tacos on a little oval platter, like the ones below, rimmed by lime wedges. My theory is, if you're going to go to the trouble to cook, why not get all the kudos for plating, too? Yes, there are definitely times this fall where ‘dinner’ will be yogurt and granola or leftovers eaten from the glass-lock container. But for the days when you want a little festivity or elegance at the table, there's a serving dish for that.

Bread Vessels

Whether tonight's bread is pita, tortillas, or loaves of sourdough, you'll appreciate something to keep it warm—and within easy reach. A classic basket lined with a pretty, clean dish towel always works, but I also love these washable paper bags from Uashmama, which, when purchased through Food52, come with a terra cotta plate. Just warm up the terra cotta, pop it in the bottom of the bag, and then fill with bread.

Uashmama Bread Warmer

$32.00, Food52

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Bess Bread Basket

$28.00, Anthropologie

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Provence Linen Hand Towels, Set of 2

$29.00, Amazon

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Handwoven Rwandan Sweetgrass Basket

$30.00, Etsy

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Roomy Wood Salad Bowls

A salad bowl should be huge, lightweight, and hard to break—acacia, cherry, ash, oak—whatever your preference, a roomy wood bowl is the way to go. These do tend to be on the pricey side, but unlike ceramics, I think a wood bowl just gets better and better with age.

Farmhouse Pottery Ash Wood Salad Bowl

$295.00, Food52

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Acacia Wood Serving Bowl

$90.00, West Elm

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Modestly Sized Platters

A serving platter may conjure up images of passed canapés at corporate events: wide lipped, massive, always white. These are not those. These platters are roomy enough for little doughy snacks, a row of tacos, a few cheeses, or cut fruit—but not so big that you'll have nowhere to store them, or will only whip them out for truly large crowds. Oh: and they don't scream 1994, either.

Vietri Campagna Mucca Oval Serving Tray

$86.00, Wayfair

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Oval Serving Platter

$24.00, One Kings Lane

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Splatter Platter

$27.00, Amazon

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White Rimmed Platter

$20.00, World Market

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French Porcelain Caractère Oval Platter

$62.00, Food52

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Blue Pheasant Platter

$38.00, Anthropologie

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Shallow Serving Dishes

The beauty of a shallow bowl with a wide base is it works for all textures: vegetables can have a little room, and halved potatoes, laden with toppings, aren't at risk of smushing. And some of these do double duty by going from oven to table.

Jungalow Terracotta Bowl

$40.00, Jungalow

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Charcoal And Ivory Alvaro Serving Bowl

$20.00, World Market

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Oven-Safe Wilder Serving Bowl

$30.00, Crate & Barrel

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Dansk Roaster

$70.00, Amazon

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Originally Appeared on Epicurious