Thomas the Tank Engine Vegetable Trains ♥

Thomas the Tank Engine Vegetable Trains ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Hosting a Thomas the Tank Engine theme party? Here's a fun addition to kids' birthday parties and family gatherings with a train theme, colorful and healthy! It's just bell-pepper train "cars" with cucumber "wheels" filled with fresh vegetable "cargo". It's easy to make and great fun for a buffet table centerpiece! graphic button small size size 10

So exactly what is it with little boys and trains? And for that matter, big boys grown men and trains? Twin grandsons are eight now so Thomas the Tank Engine has lost some of its allure. What hasn't, however, is the daily challenge of assembling wooden train tracks that cross the living room floor and then u-turn into a bedroom and under the beds. At Christmas, their PopPop (aka The Man With the Hands) built a two-level train platform with several loop-di-loops that dominated the living room for weeks. Young to old, we gathered round the platform, mesmerized by the tiny battery-charged trains circling round and round, holding our breaths each time "Percy" first faltered then chug-chug-chugged his way up a steep mountain track.

And what is it with me and vegetables? :-) I borrowed a few extra wood train tracks to assemble railroad cars from bell peppers and cucumber slices, then stuffed the train cars with other vegetables. Twas fun! Thanks to my sister Adanna for the inspiration!


Hands-on time: 60 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves a few to many

Large cutting board or another flat surface
Wood tracks, borrowed from a set like this
Decorative elements

For CARS – bell peppers, preferably multi-color, round and full
For WHEELS – Persian cucumbers or another "wheel" sized cucumber or zucchini
For CARGO – carrots, celery, pepper strips, etc.

EXTRA STUFF Get everything together, arranging the train tracks on the cutting first. Place the peppers on the tracks to estimate the number of peppers, to make sure that the curve is open enough for the peppers to make the turn. You may end up shortening or lengthening the track. This can be done ahead of time.

CARS An hour or so before serving, place the peppers on their sides, then cut off the top third, leaving the stem intact. Remove any membranes and seeds inside.

WHEELS For each car, slice a cucumber to form four wheels and attach with toothpicks, angling the toothpicks upward from the inside, this leaves the most room inside the pepper for vegetables and also attaches the cucumbers more securely.

CARGO Arrange the peppers end to end on the tracks, then fill with "cargo".

MAKE-AHEAD Best made at the last minute, just before putting serving, since the edges of bell peppers and cucumber both turn a little soft/slimy sitting out.

Do allow yourself some time to assemble the trains, you get better as you go along. You might even want a practice run with a car or two.
Persian cucumbers are more dense/less watery than English cucumbers. I see them in well-stocked grocery stores now, Trader Joe's also carries them.
More train ideas, people are so creative!

Still Hungry?


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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2017

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Two levels?! That's impressive. Back when I was a kid, everyone had Lionel trains. Well, every boy, at least. Aren't as popular these days, alas. Anyway, this is very inventive. Kids of every age would love these! :-) --John

  2. Alanna! You've totally outdone yourself! This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Still love your blog after all these years, thanks!

  3. This is GOLD for those of us who a. have train-loving toddlers, and b. have zero crafty bones in their body. This is adorable AND something I can actually do! Thanks so much for this!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna