Feed a Party: Best Dishes for Potlucks and other Get-Togethers

By Bridgette Mabuto

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I love a good party. Birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, Christmas, New Years, it really doesn’t matter. If there’s a celebration to be had, I will throw a party.

Back in my younger years (like four years ago), when I hosted a party, I would do all the cooking myself. I once spent 48 hours prepping all this food for an Indian style buffet, which ended up being cancelled because the area flooded. That was my breaking point.

From that day on, I was all about the potluck life. I make a dish or two, and everyone else brings a dish, so we’re even stevens. Less stress for everyone.

Also, more food for everyone.

If you don’t know what to bring to your next potluck, check out the list below for ideas.

Appetizers:

Devilled Eggs

Devilled Eggs

Devilled Eggs

This doesn’t work for every potluck, because devilled eggs don’t work for every person. I, for example, am not an egg person. However, the rest of my family eats these things up, so somehow they always end up at our potlucks.

Ingredients

6 Eggs

¼ Cup Mayonnaise

1 Teaspoon White Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Black Pepper

Paprika

Directions

Boil eggs.

Rinse boiled eggs with cold water.

Peel eggs under running water, then dry gently with paper towel.

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks.

Mash yolks and mix with mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and black pepper.

Use teaspoons to refill egg halves.

Sprinkle with paprika

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip is always a hit at parties and potlucks. It’s cheesy and warm. You can eat it with pita or garlic bread or chips. So versatile and delicious. I’m not saying my best friend and I ate an entire pan of this one lonely New Year’s Eve, but I’m not not saying it!

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella, Shredded

½ Cup Parmesan, Shredded

10 Ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, Thawed

14 Ounces Artichoke Hearts, Drained and Chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

8 Ounces Cream Cheese

2/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/3 Cup Mayonnaise

Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leaving out ¼ cup parmesan and ¼ cup mozzarella, mix the rest of the ingredients until well blended.

Pour ingredients into casserole dish.

Cover with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Don’t eat it all at once. Trust me.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Fine, I’ll put a salad. I didn’t say it would be a healthy salad, but it’s a salad.

Ingredients

1 ¼ Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cubed

3 Eggs

1/3 Onion, Diced

½ Celery, Diced

2 Tablespoons Relish

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 ½ Teaspoon Hot Sauce

1 Cup Mayonnaise

2 Scallions, Sliced

Salt

Black Pepper

Directions

Rinse cubed potatoes in cold water until the water no longer turns murky.

Cook potatoes until tender and fork can poke them.

Drain and arrange potatoes on cookie sheet to cool.

Boil and peel eggs, then chop them.

Combine onion, celery, relish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add potatoes, eggs, and scallions.

Season to taste.

Main Dishes

Macaroni and Cheese

I’m not even going to put a recipe here. If you want mac and cheese dishes, go check out my post here. It has everything you need to know about mac and cheesy goodness. Also, it’s the best thing you can bring to any potluck.

Baked Crispy BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken

So, I’m a vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind to the most popular dishes at potluck. But, making chicken for a crowd can be a bit of a hassle. Unless you use this recipe. It’s super easy and fast, plus it’s delicious. Or so I’ve been told.

Ingredients

10 Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks, Bone In, Skin On

2 ½ Cups BBQ Sauce of Choice

Salt, Black Pepper, and Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cover chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Bake skin side down for 25 minutes on baking sheet.

Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread BBQ sauce on chicken with brush.

Flip chicken and coat that side.

Bake for 7 minutes.

Remove from oven and baste again, flipping chicken over and basting that side, too.

Bake for 7 minutes.

Remove from oven and baste again, flipping chicken over and basting that side, too.

Bake for 7 minutes or until slightly blackened and fully cooked.

Serve warm.

Rigate Caprese Pasta

Pasta is a go-to dish for potlucks. It’s cheap, easy to make, and very versatile. This is one of my favorite recipes for a potluck pasta dish because it’s so bright and the basil leaves gives it a fresh look. Plus, it’s cheesy and we all know how I feel about cheese.

Ingredients

1 Pound Rigate Pasta

1 ½ Cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

¼ Cup Whole Milk

4 Ounces Fresh Mini Mozzarella Balls

1 Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Tablespoon Butter

Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Drain, but keep it in the pot with a little water.

Heat olive oil in a pan.

Sautee tomatoes and tomato paste.

Stir in milk, stirring until well mixed.

Add pasta to pan.

Add mozzarella and butter.

Cover pan until cheese melts and butter melts.

Remove from heat.

Stir in basil leaves.

Serve warm.

Desserts:

Tres Leches

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Tres Leches

This is my go-to cake for potlucks. I never come home with leftovers. In fact, I’ve had this cake requested for bachelorette parties and birthdays. It’s that good. However, word to the wise, don’t take it to a pool party. I know, I know, the phrase ‘three milks’ should have been a dead give-away, but I make mistakes.

Don’t judge.

Ingredients

Sponge Cake

6 Eggs, Separated

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

2 Cups Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

½ Cup Whole Milk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Tres Leches Mix

14 Ounces Evaporated Milk

12 Ounces Sweeten Condensed Milk

1 Cup Heavy Cream

Topping

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

½ Cup Sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease 9×13 baking pan.

Separate eggs and place egg whites in a mixing bowl.

Mix egg whites with electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Don’t over beat.

In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until the color pales and thickens slightly.

Add milk to the yolk and sugar mix.

Sift flour and baking powder into the yolk and sugar mix and mix until smooth.

Fold egg whites into the rest of the mix until combined.

Pour into pan

Bake for 30 minutes or until light brown.

Place tres leches mix into a blender and whizz until well combined.

Remove cake from oven and poke it full of holes with a cake tester, fork, or chopstick.

Pour tres leches mix over the cake and cool until room temperature.

Cover cake and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Whip cream until slightly thick, then add sugar.

Whip cream and sugar until thick.

Spread on cool cake.

Options: I love to serve this cake with fresh peaches or mangoes. It makes it so good and the tartness of the fruit really mixes well with the sweetness of the cake.

Also, sometimes I add a little extra sweetened condensed milk to the tres leches mix.

I said don’t judge me!