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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What potluck recipes would you suggest?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) May 8th, 2011

I’m looking for something in between taking 3 hours and lots of money, and simply buying a bag of Doritos for a class potluck I have. We have to give presentations for our final, and we’re supposed to bring food (yay!). I would totally do some chili-lime pistachios, but pistachios are freaking expensive! There’ll be 30 people in one class, 45ish in another.

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9 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’ve been taking broccoli salad to things at work and tennis and people seem to like it. Easy,
Broccoli florets from 2 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bag Craisins
2 bags bacon pieces (NOT bacos, but the real bacon looking stuff)
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar

Mix together dressing ingredients in advance, and let sit in the refrigerator. Layer broccoli, onion, craisins and bacon in a bowl. Add dressing before serving. Serves 12. Transports well.

Pele's avatar

Make brownies

JLeslie's avatar

First, remember not to cook meal size portions for 30 if everyone is bringing food, there will be way too much food in the end. Are people signing up for main dish, side, or dessert?

Stuffed shells or some other baked pasta
Pasta salad
Mini kabobs
Stuffed mushrooms
Cheese crecent rolls
Roasted veggies
Scalloped potatoes

marinelife's avatar

You just have to make a regular size serving of food—not enough for everyone there. Your pistachios sound very good.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@JLeslie No, it’s just us having fun during our finals. Not quite as big as an actual dinner.

@marinelife They are, it’s just that one bag of pistachios cost me $14.

@Pele As delightful as it would be to see people talk about King John and Isabella of France right after eating a brownie ::ahem::, probably not something I want to do.

Kardamom's avatar

I have a few go-to recipes for potlucks. I love to cook, but if it’s too time consuming or complicated or expensive, or won’t travel easily, I won’t make it. So these should work for you.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanutbutter Dressing I substitute broccoli for the asparagus and I use Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu only with the Teriyaki flavor instead. I’ve used both soba (buckwheat) and somen (lighter colored) noodles. I prefer the somen noodles, and they’re not so scary for the timid eaters. I would double this recipe for the size of your group.

I also make an Italian pasta salad. Get one of those double packs of cheese tortellini from Costco (in the deli section, not dried) and cook according to package directions, then drain and rinse with ice water to stop the cooking. Then pour some or all of a jar of Costco pesto sauce over the tortellini, mix well to coat, but be gentle so as not to break open the tortellinis. Mix in some fresh broccoli florets (about 1 and ½ to 2 cups) and a pint container of grape tomatoes (I slice them each in half to release the flavor) and about a cup of cubed mozzarella cheese. You can get all of this stuff at Costco.

You can also make a big batch of Tabouli by starting with one of the boxed mixes such as Casbah but you may need to use 2 boxes for a crowd. Just prepare it according to the directions on the box and when all the liquid is absorbed and you fluff it with a fork, add a cup or 2 of finely chopped parsley, a pint of grape tomatoes (cut in half) and if you want, you can add about a cup of crumbled feta cheese.

If you have the time and desire to make some fresh (don’t need to be cooked) kebabs, get some of those wooden skewers and load them up with a piece of fresh pineapple, a square of that Trader Joe’s tofu (shown in the first recipe above) a grape tomato and a marinated mushroom. These are really fun, easy to assemble and look very dramatic layed out on a platter, especially if you lay them out on a layer of lettuce. And because they don’t have any meat, you can let them sit out for awhile, even getting to room temperature.

And this is one of my favorites, Raw Kale Salad With Root Veggies This recipe is super easy and tastes remarkably delicious (even though it might sound scary to meat eaters, but my meat eating relatives loved it) I didn’t bother to bake the nuts myself, I just used a package of Trader Joe’s Sweet Spicy Pecans I’ve made this recipe with beets, turnips and rutabagas and carrots. Rutabagas and beets are the best. But instead of using red beets (which make a bloody mess in your kitchen) use the Golden beets instead.

The other thing that I have done is to have a platter of different kinds of cheeses (usually 4) that are different colors, textures and tastes, from mild to fresh to sharp. Then put a basket of bread, like slices from a long skinny baguette) next to it. I usually cut up some of the cheese into cube, but leave part of the original piece next to the pile so you can see what it looks like (for presentation’s sake) and then make sure to have some knives or spreaders. This Cheese Tasting Platter is always a huge hit. I found this really neat large plastic platter at Big Lots that had 5 different separated sections and a lid that snapped on over the whole thing. Here is a similar platter that you can find at Smart and Final. I was able to do all the prep work at home and the platter fit in my collapsible cooler.

And last, but not least, you can do a similar Savory Platter (or mixed bowl) with fresh mozzarella balls (the ones that are the size of an olive and can be purchased at Trader Joe’s or Costco) and at least 2 kinds of olives (big green ones stuffed with garlic or almonds, and Kalamata olives) and marinated mushrooms and hunks of Kosher dill pickles. I’ve done this in a big bowl, mixed together, and then set out a container of toothpicks for grabbing. This dish is so easy and people seem to love it.

Blueroses's avatar

I like to do an hors d’oeuvre: spread a slice of ham with softened cream cheese and roll up a spear of pickled asparagus inside of it. Cut each one into halves or thirds.

You can use leaves of butter lettuce or romaine for a vegetarian version too, but the ham is tastier.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Green bell peppers sliced lengthwise broiled with sausages cut at an angle so they aren’t round slices but oblong instead. Make a thin gravy spiced with black pepper, fresh crushed garlic and some capers sprinkled in. Serve alongside a pan of al dente long tube noodles tossed in olive oil. Take a container of cheese shreds people can sprinkle if they like. $15.

Bow tie pasta cooked al dente tossed with olive oil, chopped sun dried tomato, chopped asparagus spears, cracked black pepper, slices of string cheese sticks, little chunks of crumbled feta, minced fresh dill fern. Buy a bag/package of skinless boneless chicken breasts, broil them in the oven and then cut into strips you set overnight in a toss sauce of crushed garlic, key lime juice and olive oil. Serve them in a pan beside the salad for people who want to add some protein into their salads. Seve a bowl/bag/pan of baby spinach leaves for those who want to make a bed for their salad mix. $20

Enchilada casserole:
Big bag of tortillas chips
Big can of Enchilada sauce
Small can of sliced black olives
Bag of shredded colby/jack cheese
1 diced sauteed onion
Pour the chips into a lasagna pan, pour the sauce over to cover the chips, cheese shreds get mixed in, sprinkle with onions and bake for 40 minutes.
Set out a bowl of ground beef crumbles mixed with chopped green onions, a small container of sour cream and a container of diced tomatoes. $15.

jasonwiese55's avatar


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