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10 Best Dishes to Bring to a Potluck

Posted on by admin | in Housekeeping

Dinner parties are fun and exciting ways to connect with friends, but they can put a real financial strain on the host. In an economy that’s struggling to rebound, potluck dinner parties are becoming quite fashionable as a way to still engage socially without spending a small fortune. These are ten of the best dishes to bring to a potluck, and are relatively simple for even apprentice-level home chefs to execute.

  1. Deviled Eggs – There’s a reason why the deviled egg is a potluck standby. They’re delicious, and shockingly easy to prepare. If you’re planning to supply the deviled eggs for your next potluck engagement, it’s a smart move to spring for a dedicated, molded plate that’s designed to cradle the eggs. Otherwise, transportation of slippery eggs with rounded bottoms can present something of a challenge.
  2. Homemade Salsa – The customization options for a good salsa are almost endless, so it’s easy to put your own spin on this classic appetizer. Just be sure that you spring for tortilla chips to go with your homemade salsa!
  3. Apple Pie – Apple pie is an American classic and a staple dessert for get-togethers year-round. Less experienced pastry chefs may find that it’s significantly easier to opt for pre-made, frozen pie shells than to make their own pie crusts, which is perfectly acceptable. In most cases, no one will ever be able to tell the difference.
  4. Fruit Platter – An artfully arranged fruit platter gives guests something to snack on before the meal is served, and can do double-duty as a dessert option for those that would rather skip richer, more calorie-laden delights.
  5. Shrimp Cocktail – Whether you whip up a batch of your own homemade cocktail sauce or opt for a bottle of the higher-end store-bought variety, shrimp cocktail is sure to be a hit with your fellow guests. Before supplying a shrimp cocktail appetizer, however, it’s best to make sure that no one attending the party has severe shellfish allergies.
  6. Lasagna – A great lasagna is in a class all by itself, but this classic layered dish is actually quite simple to make. It’s also a great vegetarian-friendly potluck option, as the meat is easily substituted with vegetables. You can even eliminate the cheese in favor of a non-dairy, vegan-friendly offering if you feel so inclined.
  7. Potato Salad – For picnic potlucks or cooperative cookouts, potato salad is a staple dish that’s sure to please. There are as many variations on the potato salad recipe as there are cooks to make the dish, so don’t be afraid to express your own culinary vision.
  8. Macaroni and Cheese – While you might want to skip the stuff in the blue box, there’s no hard and fast rule stating that mac and cheese is the sole property of the smaller set. With high quality cheeses and add-in options available, it’s not difficult to dress up a macaroni and cheese dish until it becomes something tailored to more adult palates.
  9. Pasta Salad – Much like potato salad, pasta salad can be customized to a fairly high degree and is relatively simple to make. It’s also a great choice for potlucks meals, as the ingredients are generally inexpensive and can be purchased in party-sized quantities at a bargain.
  10. Baked Beans – Not only are baked beans a versatile dish that can go from barbecues to casual winter gatherings with aplomb, but they’re also a great choice for potlucks due to the fact that they can be made and transported in a slow-cooker.

Preparing a dish that’s completely free of any known allergens and is in accordance with every dietary restriction in the world simply isn’t feasible, but there are substitutions you can make for specific ingredients if you’re aware of a food allergy or restriction a fellow guest has. When you make arrangements with the host regarding what dishes you’ll be bringing, asking about any food allergies or dietary restrictions is a thoughtful and considerate gesture.

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