Creative Twists on Potluck Favorites

Here’s another possible headline for this post: “How to Win at Potluck.” There’s no question bringing a dish to a potluck meal can be stressful – your food is going to be judged by a lot of people, and you likely have no idea what your competition is. But bringing the best dish to a potluck dinner is a great way to gain instant credibility with a new group of people.

With this in mind, I’ve pulled together four recipes that will call attention to your food – in a good way. These are all favorite potluck dishes, with just a little twist. (Click on the photos or the links below for each recipe.) All of these recipes serve 8-10 people.

Instead of salsa and guacamole, bring edamame dip. This dip is very versatile and insanely easy to make (5 minutes, tops). It has a unique mix of tangy and sweet that always surprises people. I’ve had to withhold more edamame dip at parties because I was afraid the guests liked the dip so much they wouldn’t have room left for other food.

Instead of traditional potato salad, bring German potato salad. The common criticism of potato salad, of course, is that it spoils easily, thanks to the mayonnaise. The solution? Make a different potato salad! German potato salad is meant to be served warm. Leaving it out in the sun all afternoon is doing it a favor. This really is the best potato salad ever – I swear I’m not speaking in hyperbole! The salad is light, and the sweet and sour dressing tingles on your tongue.

Instead of watermelon fruit salad, bring watermelon and tomato salad. Watermelon is another summer classic, and a must-have item at any potluck. Make watermelon more interesting by putting it in a savory salad. This salad has three variations – make one, or make them all!

Instead of regular macaroni and cheese, bring southwestern macaroni and cheese. This is a great dish to bring to a potluck because it’s a main dish that travels easily and is something to eat that isn’t barbeque. It has original flavors while still keeping enough qualities of traditional mac and cheese. This mac and cheese isn’t that spicy, either. It just has a deep variety of flavors.

Have a great long weekend full of eating. I hope one of these dishes helps you bring home the unofficial award of Best Potluck Contribution.

  • Lydia

    I was full of good intentions to try these potluck dishes when you published them last year. They all sound delicious. I have a whole summer ahead of me to try them this year. 

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