Potluck Party Guide
Everybody Loves A Potluck!
Personally, I think all parties should be potluck!
It's fun for all, guarantees variety, and best of all, it makes having more parties, more often, more affordable, for everyone!
I come from a very large family, we had over 300 people at our last family reunion. When you come from a really big family, potluck is the only way to go. We do potluck for everything from baby showers, to funerals, and every other event in between.
As a little girl I would help my Grandma make food for all the family parties. By the time I was a teen, I had a dozen of my own specialty potluck recipes. As the mother of 3 son's I've made sure my boys can cook & participate by bringing their own "dish to share" for family & work potlucks. Now I will share with you some of the tips and tricks I have learned over the years, along with some of my best potluck recipes!
The Kiddie Pool Trick
Potluck Tips & Tricks!
This very old photo is of our last family reunion, but note the small kiddie pool full of ice on the picnic table.
This is a fantastic way to keep cold foods cold during outdoor potlucks, especially on hot summer days!
You can also use long plastic containers, like the ones used to store clothing under the bed. I like those, because they are long, shallow and can run the length of a picnic table, making it easy for people to get to the food.
Keeping It Cool! - Inflatable Fiesta Cooler
I love this cooler! It's festive and just screams party fun!
Perfect Table Buffet Cooler!
This is the type of storage container I use for big parties. You can fit a lot of cold salads and stuff in one of these filled with ice. I love that it's long and not too wide, it takes up only one side of a picnic table, so you can put other foods on the other side.
The Following Recipes May be Hazardous to Your Waisteline!
I am a firm believer in, life is too short to eat flavorless food. If you are watching your weight, please do not take it out on the recipes, don't substitute low-fat ingredients. If you really want to lose weight, eat less of the good tasting food, but don't take out the fat...because...
The Flavor is in the Fat!
This recipe is great for dinner parties or fancy affairs.
1 large can Salmon
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Pinch of salt & white pepper
Â¼ Cup chopped parsley
Â½ Cup chopped green onion
Â½ tsp. Liquid smoke (optional)
1/3 Cup slivered almonds
1.) Set aside Almonds and half of the parsley & green onions.
2.) Mix all other ingredients until well blended.
3.) Spoon into plastic wrap lined bowl and chill at least 1 hour.
4.) Flip onto serving plate and top with almonds & remaining parsley & green onions.
Serve with crackers & lemon slices.
Be Creative! - Baseball Glove Chips & Dip Server
Displaying your "dish to share" in a creative way, can make you the star of any potluck!
Radio Flyer Wagons - Liven Up Any Party!
Put small wagons right on the table filled with chips or cookies, fill the large wagons with ice for a fun party cooler!
Parmesan Chicken Wings
We make these every year for the Christmas potluck
2 lbs. Chicken wings
Â¾ Cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. Flour
Â½ tsp. Paprika
Â¼ tsp. Salt
Â¼ Cup milk
1.) Cut wings at joints & discard tips.
2.) Combine cheese, flour & seasonings in plastic bag.
3.) Dip wings in milk and add several wings at a time to bag and shake to coat.
4.) Place coated wings on a jellyroll pan and drizzle margarine over chicken.
5.) Bake at 400Â° for 30-35 minutes.
3 Tray Buffet Server - Great For Any Size Party!
This warming tray is smaller and excellent for family events, birthays, holidays and sport parties.
Best Taco Dip
This one will get you a lot of party invitations!
1 lb. ground beef (turkey or chicken can be substituted)
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
1 onion, chopped
16 oz. Sour cream
1 pkg. Ranch dip mix
Â½ Cup Western dressing
Â½ cup Salsa
1 Cup shredded lettuce
Â¾ Cup shredded cheddar
Â¼ Cup chopped tomato
Â¼ cup finely chopped, olives, red onion, cucumbers & jalapenos
1.) Brown ground beef with chopped onion & taco seasoning, drain off fat. Spread meat evenly on foil pizza pan.
2.) Mix salsa & salad dressing together, spread over meat.
3.) Mix sour cream & ranch dip mix, spread over salsa mixture.
4.) Top with lettuce, cheese & veggies. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
*** Don't forget to bring along a bag of tortilla chips
Potluck Fun!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Christmas Crab Dip
A Yummy Treat All Year Long
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can crabmeat, drained
1 bottle chili sauce
Dash of garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1.) Mix together cream cheese, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, salt & pepper until well blended. Then spread mixture in the bottom of a pie pan.
2.) Spread chili sauce over cream cheese mixture.
3) Sprinkle crabmeat over chili sauce and chill overnight.
Serve with Ritz crackers.
Use Disposable Trays & Pans - Potluck Tips & Tricks
I use disposable cake pans and serving trays whenever I'm going to a potluck where I may not stay until the end of the party. This way I can just leave it there and not worry about having to get my container back. When I use disposables, I try to find decorative ones, or add decorative touches to make the food stand out from the crowd.
Festive Disposable Party Trays
These trays are so much fun! With all the pretty picks, it makes your disposable tray look extra special!
You can also make mini egg rolls with won ton wraps
1 pkg. Cole slaw cabbage
1 minced onion
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of pepper
1 Cup minced meat of choice
1 pkg. Egg roll wraps
1.) On large breadboard re-chop cabbage mix to make tiny pieces.
2.) In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except wraps.
3.) In a large Pot bring Â¼-1/2 cup of water to a boil, Dump cabbage mixture in pot, cover, turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes.
4.) Drain any excess liquid off cabbage mixture and then fill & roll egg roll wraps. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Serve with rice & a variety of Asian sauces.
Doing a Potluck Theme Party can be a really fun and easy way to throw a party. Themes work great for things like beach, Italian, Luau, Mexican or Asian theme parties. Just put on the invitation for everyone to bring a dish to share that fits into the theme.
Honorable Mention winner of Better Homes & Gardens Time tested Recipes Contest.
1 large can frozen pineapple-orange juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
Â½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. soy sauce, divided
1 tsp. cayenne
1 Cup brown sugar
6-8 Pork shoulder steaks or 8-12 chicken pieces
1.) Combine Â¼ of juice concentrate, garlic, 1 tsp. soy sauce, Â½ tsp. cayenne and about 2 Tbsp. water in a large zip-lock bag and mix well. Add pork and shake, refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.
2.) Combine remaining juice concentrate, 1 tsp. soy sauce, Â½ tsp. cayenne, brown sugar and just enough water to moisten in a small bowl. Cook pork on hot grill basting with sauce during last half an hour of cooking time.
Grilling On The Go!
A small tapletop grill can be easy to transport to picnics and outdoor parties.
Disposable grills can be great for fun foods like kabobs!
These are easy & yummy for any fiesta!
1 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
1 large can Hormel chili with beans
1 Cup chopped onions
1 pkg. Corn tortillas
1 lb. shredded mozzarella
1 lb. shredded cheddar
1.) Brown hamburger with Â½ of onions and taco seasoning, drain fat.
2.) Add chili, remaining onions, Â½ of the cheese & Â½ a chili can of water & mix well.
3.) Fill tortillas with scoops of meat mixture & roll, placing side by side in a cake pan. Pour remaining chili mixture over enchiladas and sprinkle top with remaining cheese & bake at 350Â° for 30-40 minutes.
Potluck Tips & Tricks
Easy Potluck Ideas
Party trays are an easy way to contribute to a potluck party. Most grocery stores sell pre-made party trays.
* Party trays are perfect to people who don't have the time or the ability to cook something up.
* Veggies, sliced meats, cheese or fruit trays are always welcome at any party.
* Sandwich trays are easy to make and can be a fun way to get kids involved in helping make food for the party.
* You can make a quick easy dessert tray by visiting the local bakery and getting a variety of cookies, cupcakes and bars.
* Condiment trays are easy and always welcome. Make tray with a selection of pickles & olives, nuts & candy or even a variety of dips.
* Get creative and make combo trays, meats & cheese, cheese & fruit, or veggies and olives all go nicely together.
* Shrimp trays are always easy and impressive as a dish to share.
Best Baked Bean Casserole
This is my most requested recipe
1 lb. bacon
1 lb. Hamburger
1 roll Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
2-3 large cans Bush's Baked beans
1 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Â¼ tsp. cayenne
Dash of ground cloves
1 tsp. garlic powder
Â½ tsp. oregano
1 whole 2 pound bag of brown sugar (really, trust me on this, I know it sounds like a lot, but this really is what makes or breaks this recipe)
1.) Cut bacon in 1-inch squares and fry crispy and set aside. Brown hamburger & sausage in bacon grease, drain fat and put into a large pot with all ingredients except bacon.
2.) Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes, add bacon and simmer 5 more minutes.
Can be put in a crock-pot for parties.
Invest In A Good Slow Cooker
This slow cooker is so cool! It's a slow cooker that can be used as a crock pot, but the cooking pot can be removed from the base and used separately in the oven as a roaster or on the stove-top as a big pot.
Also the base of this cooker can be used as a griddle, That really works, how cool is that. Also it comes with the nifty carrying case for potlucks!
Peanut Butter Spice Cookies
Crispy and spicy...makes peanut butter cookies even better!
1 Cup butter or margarine
1 Cup peanut butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2Â½ Cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1.) Cream together all wet ingredients then dump all dry ingredients on top of wet and then mix together by hand until dough no longer sticks to fingers.
2.) Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in cinnamon, ginger & sugar mixture. Set balls on a cookie sheet and press down with fork. Bake at 350Â° for 12-15 minutes.
Makes 5-dozen cookies.
Gift Baskets filled with goodies are perfect for those of us who just don't have time to bake!
Everyone Loves Cookies!
Aunt Mary's Famous Chicken Salad
This salad is amazing!
1 box of large pasta rings
1 whole chicken
1 Cup green grapes
1 Cup red grapes
20 oz. Can of pineapple tidbits
1 short cup of thinly sliced celery
1 Cup slivered almonds
1 Cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp. Sugar
Â½ tsp. mustard
Â½ tsp. salt
Onion salt to taste
1.) Boil whole chicken with some onion, whole peppercorns, parsley, salt, celery tops and chicken base. This also leaves you with a nice broth to freeze for gravies and such.
2.) Cool chicken and then cut into bite size pieces.
3.) SautÃ© almonds in butter until browned, set aside.
4.) Cut grapes in half, grapes must be sweet or salad will be ruined. If needed sweeten grapes in sugar.
5.) Drain pineapple well.
6.) Combine Miracle Whip, sugar, mustard, salt & onion salt in large bowl.
7.) Add all other ingredients and chill 3-4 hours before serving.
Make & Take Food Carriers. - Insulated Food Carrier
These are a great investment & make bring hot or cold food to parties a breeze.
Double Decker Food Carrier - Keeps food hot or cold!
Potluck Tuna Salad
The green olives are what makes this salad so good!
2 Large cans tuna in oil, drained
2 boxes tiny ring noodles, cooked & cooled
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 jar, stuffed green olives, sliced
1 jar dill relish
5 celery stalks, diced
1 cup frozen peas
Â½ tsp. garlic powder
10 radishes, halved & sliced
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped or flakes
2 Cups Miracle Whip
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. celery seed
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1.) Slice & dice veggies while noodles cook; mix all ingredients together in a large container. Cover & refrigerate overnight. Peas will thaw by serving time.