Dinnerware & Serveware

Dinnerware and Serving Dishes

If you have a set of dinnerware for everyday use or china for special occasions, it is not complete without a serving dish or two. When you are having guests over for a meal, a well-placed dish, either a patterned dish that matches your dinnerware or a white ceramic dish, completes your table setting. Learn more about the types of serving dishes so that you can pinpoint what you need to put on a fabulous spread.

What are some types of serving dishes?

Servers are designed for specific uses with particular types of food. A platter and a large bowl are the basic serveware add-ons for many sets of dishes. The platter may be oval, square, or rectangular while the large bowl is round or oval. If your dishes have a decorative pattern, serveware in the same series will match. You could also pair white serving dishes with your dinnerware, if you prefer. More inclusive sets of dishes, especially fine china, offer options such as:

  • A gravy boat
  • A soup tureen
  • Bread plates
  • A lidded casserole
  • Salt and pepper shakers
How many large bowls do you need?

Serving bowls come in sizes that range from one-ounce ramekins to three-gallon punch bowls. For everyday and occasional entertaining purposes, you should have the following bowls on hand:

  • At least one wide bowl for pasta.
  • One large wooden salad bowl.
  • Covered vegetable bowls.
  • One medium bowl and one large serving bowl.
How should you store serving dishes?

You probably do not use all of your serving dishes on a daily basis, so it is important to have some clever storage solutions to keep them safe if they are simply nested with the rest of your dishes.

  • Plates and platters: Store upright in a plate rack fitted to a dedicated cupboard.
  • Bowls: Display decorative pieces on high shelves, and place others in a cupboard or china cabinet; avoiding nesting the bowls whenever possible.
  • Oddly shaped pieces: Store in cupboard cubbies with one item per space.
How can you keep serving dishes warm?

If you have insulated ceramic serving dishes, simply warm them up in an oven set to low or with boiling water before placing your hot food in them, popping on the lids, and taking them to the table. If you have non-insulated serving bowls and platters and your oven is already occupied, try some other strategies:

  • Re-warming in the microwave before bringing the food to the table.
  • Keeping small dishes in a toaster over set on 150-200 degrees F.
  • Putting them in your gas grill set on low.
  • Keeping mashed potatoes, soup, or stuffing in a crock pot on the warm setting and using the crock to serve.