12 Great Dishes for a Potluck Party Slideshow
June 28, 2011
Appetizers: Cold Zucchini Soup
When you think of soup, something hot likely comes to mind. But whether it’s warm out or you’re potlucking in a place where there is no stove (like a park or beach), a cool, vegetable-based soup is a great dish to bring along to the party.
Appetizers: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
What isn’t good wrapped in salty prosciutto? Start with fresh asparagus, steamed until just cooked. Wrap each spear with a slice of thin prosciutto, leaving room at the stem to make picking one up with your fingers easy. Don’t like prosciutto? Try one of these other combinations.
Main Dishes: Pulled Pork
Braised dishes are great to serve at potlucks as they can be made in advance and usually taste better the next day. But your amazing short ribs recipe might fall short of your expectations since they’re best served warmed in their sauce. Pulled pork, however? Perfect. Plus, when a variety of toppings and sides are offered, your potluck party can turn into a customize-your-own pulled pork sandwich fiesta.
Main Dishes: Baked Mexican Chicken Meatballs
Mexico meets Italy in this casserole-like dish that can be prepared in advance and heated for five minutes, just before serving, to melt the cheese topping. And be sure to have crusty bread on hand to mop up the delicious sauce.
Main Dishes: Sweet Potato and Chard Casserole
For vegetarians headed to a potluck, instead of worrying about whether there will be something for you to nosh on, tell the host you’d like to bring a vegetable dish hearty enough to enjoy for your meal but that others will enjoy alongside their meat or chicken. After all, every host wants all their guests to be happy and well-fed.
Main Dishes: Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This Asian-inspired dish is easy to assemble and is better when left overnight so the flavors have a chance to blend together and mellow. Let the salad come to room temperature at the party, then garnish it with sesame seeds before serving.
Sides: Potato Salad
It’s perfect for a picnic — and a potluck. This is no traditional potato salad, made with fresh spring onions and blue potatoes tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing, but as it’s mayo-free, it’s a good dish for a potluck party set outdoors.
Sides: Vegetable Tian
Getting your fill of vegetables at a potluck can sometimes be a challenge with certain crowds. But thanks to its crispy coating of baked cheese, a big baking pan of this layered side dish just might turn that steamed broccoli-hating husband of yours into a (cheese-covered) baked-vegetable-lover.
Sides: A Big Green Salad
When packed properly, those tender leaves of lettuce from your garden really do make for a good start for a healthy potluck dish. Place your clean greens in a plastic produce bag with a paper towel and keep them in the fridge until you leave.
Then pack up whatever garnishes you want to toss in (try roasted tomatoes, fresh cut basil, gorgonzola, avocado, and caramelized onions) with the greens in separate containers and the dressing in a glass jar. When it’s time to serve the salad, toss it all together with a dash of dressing and you’ve got a fresh treat to add to the buffet.
Dessert: Ricotta Cake
When asked to bring a cake to a potluck, often people will think of something layered, maybe with chocolate. But a cheesecake? Wow your fellow guests with this recipe that is full-flavored but far from rich and heavy — it also tastes even better a day or two after it’s made.
Dessert: Cherry-Almond Clafoutis
Individually portioned sweets like brownies and cookies are another potluck party mainstay. But making a dessert that easily serves a group of 12 need not be labor-intensive. This fruit-studded baked custard is simple to make, plus it tastes best at room temperature.