November 23, 2019
Who doesn’t love potluck parties? Whether you’re heading to the community potluck or one at the office, or just a lunch or dinner with pals, potlucks are a great way for everyone to gather, bring their favourite foods, and enjoy some time together, without one person doing all the work. If you’ve got a dish that everyone always asks you to bring, great! If you need a bit of inspiration this season—or some ideas to make your potluck preparation quick and easy—we’re here to help!
If you haven’t got much time to prep and cook for the potluck, then there’s no harm in shopping for some frozen foods. A frozen shrimp ring is a crowd pleaser that you can pull from the freezer, and thaw in short order—and that everyone loves.
If you’re tasked with bringing a hot food to the potluck, you can pick up frozen mini meatballs. Just fry them up or bake in the oven while you’re getting ready, mix with some marinara or bolognese sauce and garnish with grated cheese. Add toothpicks for easy serving and enjoy.
Your friends will be impressed if you bring mini burgers or sliders to the potluck. But who has time to cook so many burgers for a large crowd? Get frozen mini burger patties, and buns from the bakery and make yummy and effortless bites for the party. Don’t forget some small containers with classic and fancy burger toppings, and you’ve just created a mini slider bar!
Pasta and Salads
Pasta and salads are great to bring to any potluck lunch or dinner. They are not only easy to make but very manageable to bring and don’t make much mess. Toss seasonal fruits or veggies with nuts and lemony dressings to make a quick and refreshing salad. Add roasted chickpeas or seeds for a healthy crunch to your salads.
A baked pasta dish is easy to assemble, or even make in advance, and can often be kept reasonably warm during the meal.
Add a New Twist on Casserole
Casseroles are classic potluck dishes. You can make casseroles with nearly any flavor combination or any ingredients, from a pasta or noodle bake to a veggie dish too.
Make a casserole loaded with green beans and nuts and an easy sauce from concentrated soup. You can also make other classic types of casseroles like taco casserole or tuna casserole with tender egg noodles. Or create this Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash, which is essentially casserole inside an edible dish!
Rice also makes a nice casserole too. Our Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries is a beautiful and festive option and a nice vegetarian offering.
Want to cook outside the box? Try a dessert casserole. There are many ideas for desert casseroles where store-bought cakes like pound cake, fruit, pudding and whip cream or Cool Whip can save you hours in the kitchen. Making a simple Chocolate Bark is an easy and fun treat too. This recipe is simple and quick and you can even break it up and put it in little holiday bags so potluck guests can have a take-home treat.
With all the focus on main dishes, hopefully someone brings some smaller appie-style bites. Dips are great, and a holiday favourite is a beer cheese dip, which is very easy to prepare and is packed with dressings and shredded cheese. Beer cheese dip is perfect when paired with pretzels or any crunchy snack. Pro tip: choose from among one of the many great local craft beer options when buying your ingredients.
Save time by picking up store-made dips!
No time to make your own? You can pick up all kinds of store made dips at Calgary Co-op like fresh salsa, and mango salsa, handmade guacamole, creamy hummus or avocado hummus, guac-kale-mole, fruit dip and black bean dip. Find these tasty concoctions in the produce department.
How about a cheese fondue? Many fondue pots have little burners to keep the cheese melty and warm, and all you need to do is spread some bread cubes, pretzels or even whole button mushrooms around it with skewers for dipping. Try this warm and oh-so-tasty recipe for Authentic Three Cheese Fondue from the Co-op blog.
We hope you’re inspired to have some fun with your holiday potluck assignment. Don’t forget to bring your contribution in a foil container or recyclable or compostable bowl so you don’t need to worry about washing up—or recovering a lost dish.
For anyone who’s ever spent an afternoon baking with their parents or grandparents, you know those times create special memories.
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