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Apr 7, 2009 08:34 PM

Pitch-in/Potluck Cold Entree Suggestions?

Hello all,

I am on the list to bring an entree (or a side, I suppose) to what people in my new town call a pitch-in, but which I would call a potluck. It's a lunch thing among co-workers, and I just don't have any idea what to do.

Here's the main problem: there is nothing to warm food with except a small microwave, and I don't currently have a working crockpot/slow cooker, so I need something that I can make the night before and serve cold or at room temp. (There is plenty of fridge space.)

I rarely make cold food, and I just don't have any ideas off of the top of my head. A nice salad of some sort is all I've been able to come up with (pear, walnut, feta, balsamic; whatever), and even then I'm not thrilled about that, as I'd rather make something more interesting. Cold entrees just aren't my forte.

I will be cooking for non-Chow types, so I'm probably not looking for anything too esoteric, but good food is good food and I'd like to bring something in I can be proud of.

Any suggestions?


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  1. Potlucks are not my favorite. . .

    Some room temperature entrees:
    - quiche (cliche but really good if made entirely from scratch)
    - tart (muchroom/fontina, leek/onion)
    - salmon mousse or pate served with breads and crudite
    - terrine (vegetable, roast pepper, asparagus/egg, salmon/cod, chicken/pork)
    - rolled sandwiches

    Hope this helps. Good luck and good eating!

    1 Reply
    1. re: alwayscooking

      Much appreciated! That's certainly a good start. (Why didn't I think of quiche?!) I've never actually done a potluck before, although I've participated in numerous holiday-related feasts where I coordinated with a couple other people to get the meal on the table. I wish had gotten to the signup sheet in time to snag a dessert slot. :P

    2. tortellini salad with red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, red onion, some chunks of real pepperoni (not thin slices), some chunks of mozzarella, artichokes, black olives, an italian-oregano vinaigrette. look here for inspiration and variations.

      1. sesame chicken wings are good at room temperature. for all that, so are sesame, peanut butter noodles.
        cold shrimp? chilled salmon with horseradish sauce?
        sliced pork tenderloin with a couple of good sauces is a nice room temperature dish, too.

        1. a great turkey or chix cole slaw with more vegies added in. This is close to mine, although I like to add those ramen noodles and almonds (toasted) for crunch:

          1. I think that a roasted beef or pork tenderloin sliced really thin is BETTER cold than hot. It loses that mushy over-tenderized thing some tenderloins have. I'm thinking cold beef tenderloin on arugula salad, with some kind of balsamic vinaigrette? Super-simple, but adventurous enough for non-foodie-types, I think.