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"Covered dish" suggestions? [moved from Mid Atlantic board]

Fellow chowhounds,

Later this month I have a block party and was asked to bring a covered dish. Any suggestions on what to bring (links to recipes would be awesome.) They're going to have the standard barbecue fare, grilled meats, corn, etc. Looking for a side, not a dessert.


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  1. There is an easy but delicious southwestern type rice casserole that uses monterey jack, sour cream, and poblanos....I am sure that you can find it at that southern living recipe website....www.southernliving.com...That would be an ideal website for your search for a covered dish, whatever you decide to bring...

    1. Easy, versatile, and always disappear - deviled eggs.

      1. We have a block party this weekend that we have to bring something to also. Maybe not the most chowish thing, but Buffalo Chicken Dip always goes over very well at parties. Just google it, tons of recipes out there. Be sure to use canned chicken, it's easier and actually works better in this dish!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rick

          I agree - it's the canned chicken that makes it. I couldn't figure out why my SIL's buffalo chicken dip was always so much better than mine, and it turns out that it's the canned chicken - I always shredded my own cooked chicken breasts.

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            Same thing here jean, the first I though ewww, canned chicken! Figured I'd just shred some chicken breasts, assuming that would have to make it taste better, but boy was I wrong.

            1. re: Rick

              I'm dying here...LOL...to me the only ingredient that somewhat saves this dip as far as "non-junky" is preparing the fresh, boneless chicken breasts yourself!!! So easy to do in a crockpot and they come out very tender and extremely easy to shred this way; plus, you have the broth to use for other meals or you can freeze it for future use. Well, okay, canned chicken if YOU must, but I won't ever.

              1. re: Val

                I was the same way as you Val, but then I had it with the canned chicken and it's better.

                1. re: Rick

                  I'm backing you up on this, Rick! Val, I was shocked to find out that the canned chicken is why 'aunt pattie's' dip was always better than mine. The texture is just more 'dip-like' if that makes any sense.

          2. re: Rick

            A friend of mine uses rotiserrie chicken from the grocery store in hers, and it's excellent.

          3. Baked polenta -cheese & tomato sauce, or do the polenta baked and fried-cut into wedges like a corn bread- , so good.
            Eggplant stacks - instead of doing the whole tray layered, make stacks, you can use grilled eggplant, mutz- epicurious has a nice recipe.
            A fan favorite around here is the spinach dip in a hollowed out round loaf (pumpernickle, whatever) - I use the Knorrs Leek soup and not the veg soup mix, I hate floating peas and carrots in my dip.
            Oh you can never go wrong with pasta salad- not my first choice (I don't care for the mayo kind, I do like it with oil & vinegar type dressing- but I'm weird.)

            1. The Silver Palate's Rice and Vegetable salad is pretty darn good, a bit different, and perfect for a covered dish supper. The name is so humdrum, it doesn't do justice to the salad. It's a rice salad served at room temperature, composed of cooked white rice, very thinly sliced red and green peppers, diced red onion and shallots, peas, black olives (which I always omit) currants or golden raisins, scallions, and fair amount of chopped dill and parsley, tossed together in a red wine-dijon vinaigrette. Whenever I've taken this to dinner parties, people always scarf up all the leftovers to take home themselves. It is so good! You can find the recipe at either of these two links:


              The recipe will yield eight to ten servings, according to the book, however, since it starts with eight cups of cooked rice, I think eight to ten would result in very generous servings, and my experience is 15 or more servings is more like it.

              1. I also vote for deviled eggs. Not many folks make them and they disappear immediately.
                I also like to make a cole slaw with a vinegar dressing. So much better than with mayo. Mine has tumeric in the dressing. Excellent!

                1 Reply
                1. re: NJP

                  I also vote for deviled eggs. The deviled egg platter is always emptied first. And they are the easiest thing to make. Especially now that you can buy the eggs already hardboiled - isn't that beautiful? Perfectly cooked, no green yolks. Try mixing in a littled minced jalapeno and a dash of worcestshire.

                2. Easy Baked Beans (seems like nobody bothers to take the time anymore) I've been bringing these and people just rave about them.

                  EASY BAKED BEANS
                  Source: Better Homes & Gardens

                  Yield: 6 servings

                  4 slices bacon
                  1/2 c chopped onion
                  2 (1-pound) cans pork and beans
                  2 Tbsp. brown sugar
                  1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
                  1 tsp. prepared mustard
                  ¼ cup ketchup

                  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
                  • Cook bacon until crisp; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings.
                  • Crumble bacon.
                  • Cook onion in drippings until tender; add with bacon to beans, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and prepared mustard and ketchup; mix well.
                  • Bake uncovered in 1-1/2 quart casserole for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: laliz

                    I brought baked beans to the last one I went to as well (but made the beans from scratch).

                    1. re: laliz

                      add a green bell pepper~chopped and a canof chyuncked pineapple in uice~drained. It is pretty good.

                    2. If your block party is anything like ours, I suggest bringing some sort of green salad. There always seem to be a lot of mayonnaise based salads (slaw, potato salad) and other fatty sides, but not much that is healthy. A crisp green salad is always welcome.

                      1. I can't believe no one's mentioned some form of potato side yet...i'd vote for three-potato salad, some sort of hashbrown casserole, or even mashed potatoes. It doesn't sound like a super gourmet affair, so I wouldn't go too fancy.

                        1. How about a spiked fruit salad inside a hollowed watermelon?
                          Even if you forgo the light rum or almond liquor fresh fruit is always appreciated.
                          Not a traditional "covered dish" but I enjoy lighter fare when I know there are going to be plenty of choices.

                          1. I've posted this recipe here before, but it's worth repeating. It's healthful and delicious, and it has "bowl-appeal" -- that is, it LOOKS yummy when it's in an attractive bowl on the buffet table.

                            NB: The recipe calls for canned corn, but with corn in season now, I'd substitute fresh, parboiled for a couple of minutes.

                            Black Bean, Corn and Jicama Salad

                            2 15-ounce cans corn niblets
                            2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
                            1 cup 1/3-inch dice peeled jicama
                            ½ cup 1/3-inch dice peeled carrots
                            ½ cup thinly sliced green onions
                            1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
                            2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano

                            4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                            3 tablespoons orange juice
                            1 tablespoon grated lime zest
                            ½ teaspoon ground cumin
                            4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

                            Combine corn, black beans, jicama, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and oregano.

                            Whisk lime juice, orange juice, lime peel, cumin, and olive oil in small bowl. Mix dressing into bean salad. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: CindyJ

                              CindyJ, thank you for posting this recipe. I love jicama and often pass it by because I don't know how to use uniquely in recipes. I love all the combinations in this salad and it's so easy!

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Glad you like the salad, HillJ. It always gets raves, maybe because the jicama makes it a little unusual.

                                BTW, one of the easiest things to do with jicama is to peel and slice it and serve with crudites.

                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  "one of the easiest things to do with jicama is to peel and slice it and serve with crudites."

                                  CindyJ, that's about the only way I've enjoyed jicama which is why I was so happy to see your salad recipe.