HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What to Bring to a "Pot Luck" Lunch?

Normally I wouldn't have any problem coming up with an idea for a dish to bring to a pot luck lunch. But there's a restriction in that we're trying to avoid using foods in the nightshade family. That includes tomatoes, peppers of any type, white potatoes and eggplant. I've got a couple of ideas, but I'm hoping for inspiration here. Does anyone have a good suggestion for a portable dish? It's okay if it needs to be reheated or kept chilled until serving time. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Meat or vegetable? Main or dessert? Other restrictions? Number of people?

    2 Replies
    1. re: alwayscooking

      At this point it can be for any course. No other restrictions. Eight people.

      1. re: CindyJ

        Chicken adobo - holds/reheats well
        Roast chicken - hot or cold
        Wild rice with cranberries, apples and walnuts
        Chicken satay
        Lobster mac and cheese
        Asian chicken meatballs
        Dim sum
        Cous cous salad
        An elegant green salad and an herb vinaiarette - add some shrimp/chicken
        Modified waldorf salad - pears, walnuts, celery in fage

        What are the others bringing?

    2. I made a millet casserole with butternut squash. I think it meets your requirements- millet, butternut squash, dried cranberries, thyme, and chicken broth (I used no-chicken). It can be cooked most of the way and then finished off in the host's oven.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17

        This sounds delicious. I've eaten, but never cooked millet. Ca you give me a little more info about the prep. for this dish?

        1. re: CindyJ

          Sure! I found the recipe online but I'm not sure where exactly. It was really easy to prepare and my husband's famiy loved it. Everyone took leftovers for lunch the next day and said it tasted great room temp.

          Spread about 3/4 cup uncooked millet in a casserole dish- you can toast it with a bit of olive oil in a skillet if you want. I used a deep white ceramic dish- about 9x13.

          Peel and cut a large butternut squash into chunks and put that on top of the millet. Add a few handfuls of dried cranberries. On top of that set a few sprigs of fresh thyme- remove before serving.

          When you're ready to cook it, add about two cups of broth- used "no chicken." Bake at 375 or 400 (depends if anything else is in the oven) for about 45 minutes. Take out the casserole, sprinkle a handful or two of shelled sunflower seeds over the top. If it looks dry or there's not much liquid left, add more broth. Cook for about 15 or 20 more minutes, until the squash is soft. Total, I used about the whole container of broth.

          If you're making it for the potluck- prepare it up until adding the sunflower seeds. At the host's home, add the seeds and more broth, and bake until reheated and cooked through.

          1. re: cheesecake17

            That sounds delicious, and oh-so-healthy! Thanks!

      2. Dried Cherry Orzo salad with fresh basil, mozzerella and you can leave the grape tomatoes out and use mushrooms. Balsamic Vinegar and Oilve Oil and pinon nuts. It is a room temperature or cold salad. Good either way.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          These ideas are all getting me hungry. Pinon nuts -- is that the same as pine nuts?

          1. re: CindyJ

            yes mam, or use any nut that you like.

        2. Broccoli and pasta. When I was a kid, my mom made it as broccoli and elbows, but choose your shape. Steam broccoli separately, saute garlic & oil, add butter and grated cheese (pecorino or your cheese of choice) on top. The trick is to save a little of the pasta water and add back to the broccoli, garlic/oil and cooked pasta as a whole. Often even better on reheat than initial serving, so it'd be great to make ahead and enjoy the extra deliciousness at the pot luck. HA! That's my first time to use the big D word in a sentence. ;)

          2 Replies
          1. re: kattyeyes

            Kattyeyes-- would this have to be baked after it's prepared?

            1. re: CindyJ

              Hiya! Nope, just heated up. We've never baked it.

          2. Quiche! Beautiful high springform made quiche. Bacon or proscuitto, grilled leeks, mushrooms, aspargus, different to die for cheeses like-creamy fontina, cheddar, and monterey, and much much more. A very spectacular and beautiful quiche.
            Keep it in the springform pan, then place it on a cake pedestal under glass. Very nice.

            1. Ham-stuffed shells or manicotti with Swiss sauce.

              2 Replies
              1. re: nemo

                Do you mean a Swiss cheese sauce? Or is there a "Swiss Sauce"?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Swiss cheese sauce. Sorry for the confusion.

              2. I would do a small dish of stuffed potato halves Sweet potatoes (I assume those are ok). Bake, cut in half and spoon the potato out. Mix the potato with ground turkey, wild mushrooms, onions and herbs, and egg and top with some bacon and shredded cheese, I like gruyere. Bake ahead. These can easily be reheated in an oven or a micro just fine.

                I also love stuffed zuchinni which I stuff with a ground chorizzo stuffing, other veggies and cheese. I use small ones and then slice in half, hollow and stuff. Bake ahead and just rehat (micro is fine)

                I sweet corn chowder. Serve in cups, It is easy, take in a crock pot.

                A simple baked pasta with mushrooms and fennel, some gruyere and fresh spinach. Baked and creamy with a little cream. Simple. Reheat. Oven preferred, but micro will work.

                A salad with arugula baby bibb lettuce, roasted onions, mushrooms, some fresh thin sliced cucumber, some fresh apples and cranberries then tossed with a warm sweet vinaigrette and then top with gorgonzola. All you would need is to reheat the vinegar in the micro for just a couple of minutes toss and serve. I like some fresh Parm crisps on top which are really cool.

                Turkey meatballs in a nice spicy asian sauce, slow cooked and simple to prepare. Just will simmer until ready. Easy to serve and quick.

                How about a marinated roasted vegetable salad. Roast ahead and toss with marinade and served chilled. Add in some large fresh croutons as a semi panzanella salad with some nice fresh cubes of mozarella.

                5 Replies
                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Suddenly I'm feeling overwhelmed with outstanding ideas. A question about the Asian sauce for the turkey meatballs .. just what kind of a sauce would you make? Would you brown the meatballs and then cook them in the sauce?

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    It is sort of a sweet spicy. Let me look it up and get back may be a few minutes. I'm home but have a conference call. Get back with that as soon as I can. It is nothing hard.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Able to access my recipe file at home
                      This makes 2 lbs worth, depends on how big you make the meatballs 20-30.

                      1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
                      1/2 lb ground spicy sausage, casing removed
                      NOTE: You can use all turkey which is fine
                      1 medium onion fine minced or grated which I prefer. Just a fine mince is needed
                      3 roasted red bell peppers diced
                      1 egg
                      2 tablespoons soy sauce
                      1 slice of bread soaked in milk and squeezed
                      1 tablespoon dried parsley
                      Salt and pepper

                      1 jar or 1 cup plum preserves (right next to strawberry jam)
                      1 cup brown sugar
                      3/4 cup pineapple juice
                      1 cup rice vinegar (key)
                      1-2 tablespoons soy depending on taste. I like 1.
                      1 teaspoons ground ginger
                      1 tablespoon soy

                      At the end I use a little of the broth mixed with some cornstarch to thicken for a sauce which is great. Just 1-2 tablespoons is plenty. This is very good.

                      I mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and form and then chill on a sheet pan in the refrigerator. It just helps firm them up. I saute till lightly brown on each side and then add to the crock pot. Add the sauce and cook 1-2 hrs on high until everything is cooked and bubbly. Simple but very very good. You can do it on a stove too. Just reheat in micro or on stove. Either way works good. A nice sauce.

                      ME ... I add some red pepper flakes for a spice, just me. Same thing basically. I add the sauce. Good and very flavorful.

                    2. re: kchurchill5

                      The OP would have to check the ingredients in the chorizo-stuffed zucchini, because the zucchini are relatives to eggplant (but don't know about the nightshade part), and the chorizo may contain dried peppers that would create problems. Sounds delish; just may not be a good choice for this particular occasion.

                      1. re: weezycom

                        true, you can use ground turkey too but not as good, but true on the eggplant part, FYI from what I read, zuchinni is not a nightshade, but no worries. Still good for another time

                    3. This is a take on one of our favorites. Crunchy and delicious Vietnamese Chicken Salad


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Candy

                        Yum, that sounds so good--especially since it's getting warmer. I'm saving that one. Thanks! :)

                      2. Macaroni & cheese (maybe with cubed ham in it as well), Spinach Cabrini, and Pulled Pork were the first things I thought of.

                        1. America's Test Kitchen four cheese lasagna (http://www.americastestkitchen.com/lo... recipe is free if you register)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Super Salad

                            That looks DELICIOUS - I'm adding it to my file right now!

                          2. cheese strata... layer bread,cheese; mix up eggs and milk with a little s&p and dry mustard for flavor, pour over cassarole, leave overnight in fridge so bread soaks up "custard" bake in the morning; sorry i don't have more specific quantities; can include cooked ham or sausage, if desired

                            1. I never bring home any leftovers with a crockpot full of sliced kielbasa heated in either souerkraut, or sweet & sour red cabbage. Just put them together & heat & eat!! Have had a lot of people say this tastes just like something my Grandma used to make. The men especially go nuts for it, dunno why.