HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What's your potluck dish?

Will Owen's recent post got me thinking:

What's your potluck dish? The one thing that you bring for everyone to share, whether it's a new group who've never tried your food or a familiar group who actually requests you cook that thing you always bring.

In my house, it's chinese chicken salad, but my wife makes it. Apparently, she makes the best chinese chicken salad in the world. People are disappointed when she doesn't make chinese chicken salad. Funny thing is, I'm not a huge fan -- in general -- of chinese chicken salad. I'm not big on the flavor of the sesame oil in the dressing and I can take or leave raw cabbage. (I like cole slaw and cabbage on a fish taco, I just don't love it). But I'm told it's great chinese chicken salad. I do like it, I just don't love the dish -- generally speaking.

I'm I'm doing the cooking, I bring chili. I make good chile and I show up with the pot I cooked it in.

I have an old boss -- a former boss, actually, she's not old -- who can't cook so she brings boiled edamame.

What's yours?

(If this is a home cooking thread, my bad. I thought that board was for recipes and I'm not including any here. If you want her chinese chicken salad recipe, I'll get it and post it there.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Chicken Mole Enchiladas... It reheats well and is 'exotic' enough to garner raves... :)


    3 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      care to post a recipe to the home cooking board? Enchiladas have been something I've been promising myself to add to my repertoire for years, and mole--well, there's just something about mole, isn't there?

      1. re: Pei

        I already actually have! :) In true 'feed the masses' fashion, I use a Pre-Made Mole Paste (Although in all honesty, I use the one from Guelagetza or one from El Mercadito in East L.A. before resorting to Dona Maria, but in a pinch, La Dona will do just fine...)


      2. re: Dommy

        Do you use corn tortillas? Do you doctor the jarred mole sauces in any way? Good accompaniments to serve with it? What goes in the enchladas besides chix? I seem to be fishing for the recipe. I guess I'm asking you to post on HC when you get time.

      3. Greens with sausage. It's easy to do and appeals to all but vegetarians. I just bring it in a crockpot to keep it warm.

        Sometimes a fruit salad or salmon salad.


        1. I'm cheap w/my time if it's for co-workers, so I'll make a salad (either caprese or pasta).

          For family, however, I'll take the time to make either cream puffs or a strawberry roll cake.

          1. Bean salad!! Okay, not every time...potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs for cold stuff. Green chile quiche for warm. I showed up at a hippie party one time with a big batch of linguini and pesto, and it was the kids who cleaned it out! If we're being fancy, and I'm in the mood, I love to do a layered paté, or a cold poached salmon done up all cute with gelatin-stiffened mayonnaise and lemon scales. Making party food is really the only time I do that kind of thing.

            1. For a savory dish I make hot spicy eggplant. For sweet, I'm usually asked for key lime pie.

              1. My pot luck staple is baklava. I can assemble it quite fast, but it always wows folks. They think I've been slaving over it for hours. Also, it's a sweet that I OD'd on years ago -- so I'm never tempted to sample it and I can always get rid of any leftovers. There are plenty of takers.

                And, yes, PaulF, I *would* like your wife's chinese chicken salad recipe --either here or in "home cooking".

                1 Reply
                1. re: TerryG

                  I will ask her and post it as soon as possible ...

                2. Macaroni Salad from THE STORE COOKBOOK...always a major home run.

                  Chicken Pot Pie made in a huge dish and topped with Biscuits or pre-baked Puff Pastry squares. Apple Crisp made in a huge dish as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Fleur

                    Any chance of posting a paraphrase of the Macaroni Salad recipe? I'm always looking for new pasta salad recipes.

                    My current favourite potluck dish is Grilled Zucchini, Asiago and Tortellini Salad.


                    1. re: Fleur

                      Are you referring to the Cold Ziti Salad in The Store Cookbook? If so what are you using for the "2 packets G. Washington brown boullion powder?"

                    2. I have a few.

                      One, saved only for family events or those where I know it will be appreciated, is a wakame (seaweed) salad with sesame dresing. There are never leftovers.

                      When I don't have much time, tortilla pinwheels. Use big flour tortillas (various flavours), cover with a spread, add thinly sliced fillings, roll up, slice into bite-size pieces.

                      In the winter, "Mexican lasagna" - basically vegetarian burrito fillings layered between tortillas in a casserole dish. In the summer, curried rice salad.

                      And for dessert, my standbys are a fruit tray with chocolate-yogurt dip; and homemade donuts (only around the holidays, when I make a big batch).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: piccola

                        When you have a chance, please post your wakame salad on Home Cooking. I love the stuff! TIA

                        1. re: piccola

                          I'd love to have the recipe for your chocolate-yogurt dip! Could you post it on Home Cooking sometime?

                          1. re: piccola

                            For the mex pizza - corn or flour tortillas?

                          2. It really depends on who is attending. I love making pates and terrines and general charcuterie, but that is labor intensive and if it is something that will be looked upon with suspicion I resort to desserts. Also deviled eggs are always well recieved, people don't know why they like them so much but my special ingredient is no mayo, unsalted butter instead.

                            1. Hummus and tzaziki are always a big hit.
                              Three-tomato bruchetta.
                              Roasted corn and black bean salad.
                              Almond cake.
                              Mini cheesecakes (thanks, mom!)
                              Vegan chocolate cake.

                              1. A pasta salad with tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, parmesan, oregano, olive oil, and sweetened rice vinegar (so good!)...

                                Or my new couscous salad with tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, pearl onions, currants, lime juice, olive oil, and sweetened rice wine vinegar.

                                1. Blue Cheese salad. Here is the basic recipe

                                  Lettuce or your choice. Spinach and argula are also options

                                  Chopped apple

                                  Some time of toasted or candied nuts

                                  some time of dried fruit, the last time I made it I used dried cherries

                                  blue cheese and blue cheese dress

                                  I usually assemble at home but don't mix and toss in the dressing until I set up the dish.

                                  For a warm dish, I make meatball in the crockpot. The secret is in the sauce and it's a secret sauce (well, it actually not really a secret, I just look at all of the seasonings I currently have at a home an improv from there, but I do add a healthy portion of Chinese Garlic Hot Sauce and that is the secret).

                                  1. Folks-

                                    PaulF is asking what you like to prepare for potlucks, he is not soliciting recipes here (which would be off topic for this board). Please do post your favorite pot luck dishes here, but, please, post any recipes on the Home Cooking board.


                                    1. During the summer months, I get countless requests for my Pasta Salad.

                                      It consists of pasta, green olives, baby cucumbers, red onions and feta cheese with a roasted red pepper and balsamic dressing.

                                      In the colder months, I bring my homemade cabbage rolls or perogies. They are labor-intensive so not too many people make them anymore.

                                      1. I get different requests, depending on the host(s) of the party. I'll pretty much make anything if someone is craving something specific. I rarely do desserts. Here are some of the most requested...

                                        Meatloaf - It's a manly meatloaf w/ bacon and Tabasco and just a touch of sweetness for the ladies. Hold the ketchup! Someone requested ketchup once (before tasting) and got a lesson in tasting it first from all the other guests.

                                        Baked Salmon - mmmmm...flavored with tamirind and topped with panko crumbs.. yumm

                                        Macaroni Salad - i don't know.. it's just been the hot request this summer.

                                        Fried Chicken - juicy meat and crunchy goodness. ya can't hear anything but the tasty crunch while eating.

                                        Red Velvet Cake - it's really the only dessert i bring to potlucks. the cream cheese frosting is luscious and sweet.

                                        1. Spicy Southwestern-style Chicken Chili Ole and if it's summer, then my amazing spicy red onion dip (which vanishes by the bucketload)!


                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: TexasToast

                                            Would you please post these recipes?
                                            They sound wonderful!

                                            1. re: niki rothman

                                              I don't think I can post the Chili recipe on here. I could put in on the Home Cooking Board (though I've made it so many times, it's more instinctive so I'll have to "think about it" or I'll leave bits out).

                                              As for the red onion dip, I can't post that one, or I'll get in trouble.


                                          2. Did your wife post her chinese chicken salad recipe? Is so, which one is it?

                                            1. Black Bean, Corn, and Salsa Dip with tortilla chips... this always goes over well regardless if the people are Chowhounds or not!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                That reminds me of the famous Lime-Tequila Salsa that Janet Hardy made at Ronnies (RIP). She'd never tell me the recipe, but I could tell it was black beans, corn, red pepper, tequila, lime, cilantro, red onion, and some other stuff.


                                              2. Coq au Vin or Chaucruite(sp)(kraut with pork)Garnie. My friends ask for my Key Lime cheesecake in the summer.

                                                1. Yeah. . .I went to a church holiday potluck (I was a church employee, not a member) and was asked to bring stuffing (among several others who did the same, so we'd have enough).

                                                  Out of the 4-6 people who brought stuffing, mine got devoured the most.

                                                  My secret? Pure unadulterated. . .Stove Top. ;-)

                                                  1. Falafel-crusted chicken drumettes.
                                                    Just shake the drumettes in a bag of falafel mix and bake. No one ever guesses what it is. Nicely spicy and good at room temp. or reheated on a grill. Super-easy, too. I once spent all day making Coq au Vin and no one over the age of 60 would touch it. (About half the quests!) The coq part had them worried.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Glencora

                                                      What a great idea! I've got some fellafel mix ready to go! What temp for the chix, and how long?

                                                      1. re: niki rothman

                                                        I shouldn't post it here, but 475 for ten minutes, turn over, and about fifteen minutes more. But you didn't hear it from me.

                                                    2. Broccoli, cheese and orzo casserole. It's very homey, and everyone loves it! Plus it's veg.

                                                        1. I like bringing a big batch of freshly made salsa w/ semi-homemade spiced corn tortilla chips (I buy the corn tortilla rounds, then cut/spice/bake them). It travels well, obviously, and I'm always amazed at how many people have never had fresh salsa. Their reaction to it is always beyond pleased.

                                                          1. Chopped Salad with Balsamic Vin that I make with 4 diff. nut oils, and I use a lot of grated Parm-Regg.

                                                            Potato and Mushroom Duxelle Gratin

                                                            Deviled Eggs, I use wasabi in mine

                                                            5 cheese stuffed Shells with Marinara

                                                            Braised "candied" beets with chevre,

                                                            Baked Mac n Cheese, I like caramelize shallots and lots of cayenne, I use 3 different cheeses, in a custard base.

                                                            Crock pot spinach and artichoke dip.

                                                            my homemade toffee with hazelnuts and almonds

                                                            1. If I have the time, German Potato Salad using my Mom's recipe which she learned from a German neighbor as kid. The secret beyond decent mustand and mayo - pickle juice in place of vinegar and a little bacon fat added when you add in the mayo.

                                                              1. i'm always asked to bring my fresh and chunky guacamole - lots of red onions for a kick and generous on thelime and garlic.

                                                                friends also love when i bring curry shrimp skewers with cilantro and garlic. very easy to make and delicious at room temperature too.

                                                                1. I've recently became Larb obsessed and now think Larb maybe the perfect dish for any ocassion, especially potluck. It is like a less liquidy, more exotic, and healthier version of chili. Cheap to make. Easy to make in large batches. And delicious.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mielimato

                                                                    Larb sounds good, but could be a bit "hot" for some people. What meat do you find goes over best? Beef, chicken, pork, and duck are what I typically see at restaurants.

                                                                    1. re: Jefferson

                                                                      For potluck, I generally use chicken because it is the least "offensive" meat and I think it works well. I like pork too. The important thing is to cook it in small batches in really hot oil so that the meat browns instead of boils in the liquid.

                                                                      What do you mean by "hot." You mean spicy? I tend not to make mine as spicy and contrasting in flavors as the authentic Thai version which uses a lot of chilies, a lot of lime and a lot of cane sugar. I prefer a more milder version with less sugar, less chilies but a lot of fresh mint, parsely, and/or Thai basil. The reason I love larb is that I like the constrast between crisp cooked meat and crunchy lettuce and fresh herbs.

                                                                      Plus, it is low carb too! Good luck!

                                                                  2. Dolmas - grape leaves stuffed with lamb, rice and spices. Serve with tahini sauce.
                                                                    Lentil/tomato salad - surprisingly light and refreshing.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                                                      I would LOVE to have these recipes! As I'm sure would the home cooking board readers.

                                                                    2. Stirred vanilla custard, made with part condensed milk for richness, either with fruit (bananas or blueberries) or raspberrie jelly roll cake.

                                                                      tomato salad made with paper thin sliced onions and fresh basil

                                                                      1. Kasha varnishkas! Most Jews no longer make it and most of the goyim have never tasted it. It's buckwheat groats cooked with fried onions, and egg, then mixed with bow tie noodles. Chicken fat (schmaltz) used to figure prominently but I substitute butter). Delish! It even workds for those ubiquitous vegetarian pot lucks.

                                                                        1. A lemon potato salad with cashews and kalamata olives from John Ash's cookbook.

                                                                          1. shrimp or crab ceviche w/ toasted, peppered tortilla.

                                                                            1. blue cheese, egg, and bacon potato salad

                                                                              also get a lot of requests for my homemade BBQ sauces to accompany whatever is getting cooked on the grill

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Biggie

                                                                                How about posting this wonderful sauce for all on home cooking board?
                                                                                Thanx Biggie!

                                                                              2. I am always asked to bring the same two things, and their are NEVER leftovers. Blueberry buckle, and blondies.

                                                                                The recipes are from the Home and Garden cookbook of all places :)

                                                                                1. For Paul F. (OP) Please DO post that Chinese chix salad recipe on HC.

                                                                                  1. I love to cook and so I see a potluck as an opportunity to try out a new recipe.. I tend to favor casseroles or appetizers for potlucks because most people are lazy and bring store-bought salads. If a salad is requested, I'll bring my famous chicken-flavored rice salad (w/artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, etc). My tortilla roll-ups are also requested often, but I like to try new things, so recently I made a curried-chicken pie/dip as an app. For casseroles, Mexican is always easy.