Last Saturday was the first day of fall, so it makes sense that summer picnics are giving way to fall potlucks. We already have few invitations up on the fridge. And on Sunday afternoon, we went to a farm up the road, dish in hand, for the first potluck of the season.
One of the best parts of a potluck is getting to try lots of different things. Our neighbors are very good cooks and in addition to the classic comfort casseroles, there are often many inspired dishes to try. But we’re not just about eating other people’s stuff. We also love it when our recipe goes over well. It’s rewarding to bring home an empty platter or be asked to share the recipe!
So what makes a good potluck recipe? We think, as a general rule of thumb, that a good potluck dish should:
- Be fast and easy to make, maybe even ahead of time
- Be simple to take in the car
- Require little or no fuss for your host at the part
Whatever you bring, make sure you think about how you’re going to get it there before you start cooking. Do you know what dish you’re going to cook it in? Do you have everything you need to transport it safely (hot pads, dish towels, stuff like that)? Bring the utensils you’ll need as well as any condiments, sauces or toppings. And lastly, put your name on the dish and write out what it is, how to reheat it and how to serve it. That will help your host.
Because we still have zucchini coming out of our ears, this time we made mashed potato veggie strata, but below are our three go-to recipes that are always sure to be crowd-pleasers.
This is a fun Mexican-style recipe that’s easy to make and a proven crowd pleaser. We usually make two of this, but we don’t double the recipe: we just assemble it in two separate dishes. We assemble the dish right before the party and then pop one into the microwave when we get there. Sometimes, we use flavored corn chips instead of corn tortillas. And we always bring a few garnishes like hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, diced onion or green onion, salsa; basically, anything you’d add to a taco would be great! Yum.
This dish is really easy to make and looks beautiful when served. Like with the casserole, we prepare this dish in advance, pop the potatoes into a baking pan and cook them at the party. They only take 20 minutes in the oven, so we don’t feel like we’re hogging it. Don’t forget to bring a pretty serving platter. If there are a lot of other dishes at the party, you may want to cut these in half or in thirds so people can save room on their plate to try lots of other things.
This is a fast and easy dish, but people usually appreciate the mouthwatering colors and unique flavors. Another thing we like about it is that you don’t have to serve it warm. We almost like it better at room temperature, which makes it a great choice for a potluck! Sometimes we add bacon crumbles or diced ham. Sometimes we add a bit of fresh tarragon. So don’t feel afraid to experiment a bit.