Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?! | Taste of Home Community
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Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

Last post Sep 25, 2009 1:49 PM by Cabot . 17 replies.

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  • Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     We are having a family reunion in October at a park. They are serving fried chicken and we are to bring a side dish or dessert. My problem is that we will be out of town that weekend & drive home that morning, so I will not have much time except to grab my dish and head to the park!

    Do you have any recipes that can either be made on Friday & sit in the fridge till Sunday noontime, or be made ahead and frozen (and thaw quickly!) ?!?

    Thank you all very much for your input!!!



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    This would work for you and goes well with most everything!                     


    * Exported from MasterCook *

                               Chinese Wonder Salad

    Recipe By     :
    Serving Size  : 12    Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories    : Dressings                       Pot Lucks
                    Salad                           Side Dish

      Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    --------  ------------  --------------------------------
         2/3           Cup  Sugar, Can Use Less
         3/4           Cup  Rice Wine Vinegar
         1/2      Teaspoon  Soy or Tempura Sauce
      1                Can  Le Suer Peas, Drained
      1                Can  Whole Corn, Drained
      1                Can  Fancy Chinese Vegetables, Drained and
      1                Jar  Pimento Pieces, Drained
      1                Can  French Cut Green Beans, Drained
      1          Small Jar  Sliced Mushrooms, Drained
      1              Large  Vidalia Onion, Skiced in Rings or Slivers
      1                Cup  Diagonally Sliced Celery

    You can add a little sliced green or red peppr for variety - usually do -
    but it's very good without it!!
    Dressing: Mix well and set aside.  Sometimes I heat the vinegar to make
    sure the sugar disolves. Salad: Toss drained vegetables with the dressing
    and refrigerate for several hours.  Keeps well, makes a lot and is a great
    side dish!  pegg




  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    May I add my "two cents" about the Chinese Wonder Salad? It is DELICIOUS!!! Everyone will enjoy it!! I took it to a picnic and it was VERY WELL RECEIVED!!  ENJOY!!!!! Smile

  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    This is another excellent salad recipe - I keep a batch of this made up in the fridge at all times - it's so easy and the longer it marinates the better it gets. 


    Calico Salad

    1 lb. can tiny English peas, drained
    1 lb. can white shoepeg corn, drained
    1 sm. jar diced pimento, drained
    1 c. sweet onion, diced
    1 c. small fresh broccoli flowerets
    1 c. small fresh cauliflower flowerets
    ½ c. celery, finely chopped
    ½ c. sugar
    ¾ c. vinegar ( I use cider vinegar)
    ¼ c. oil (I use olive)
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. black pepper

    In a mixing bowl, combine peas, corn, pimento, onion, broccoli and celery. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool. Pour over veggies and let stand overnight in refrigerator. Will keep for days in refrigerator; improves with age.


    "I'll take my freedom, my guns, my money and my religion and you can keep the "CHANGE" - Hank Williams, Jr.

  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    How about a cake? You can make it before you leave, freeze it, thaw it and frost it before the party. Use can frosting to make it quick. In my experience, cakes don't take too long to thaw but depends on how much time you have.


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  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     Thank you all! The veggie salads sound interesting, but I'd have to leave out the peas! LOL!

    And I thought about freezing a cake, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time to frost it! 

    Any more ideas?!?!



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    Hi Ellen;


    Here are a few of my favorite dishes to take to pot lucks that can be made a few days ahead.  Hope these help you out!



    These can be made 3-4 days ahead,,,they taste better the longer they sit!



    2 1/2-3 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into sticks as for dips
    1 c. sugar
    1/2 c. white or cider vinegar
    1/2 c. vegetable oil
    1 can tomato bisque soup (can also use regular tomato soup)
    1 tsp. prepared mustard
    1 tsp. black pepper
    1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 small green pepper, finely chopped

    Cook carrots until crisp-tender; drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, oil, soup, mustard, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add chopped onion and green pepper, lower heat to simmer and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Pour hot mixture over carrots in a large bowl and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.
    You can make both the salsa and chips long as you store the chips airtight. it's all good!

    2 medium tart apples, chopped (I peel them, but you don't have to)
    1 c. chopped strawberries
    2 medium kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
    1 small orange
    2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    2 Tbsp. apple jelly, melted

    8 flour tortillas (7 or 8 inches) (I've used the regular as well as the 98% fat free ones and the whole wheat, or multigrain ones-all with good results)
    3 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine (I always use the butter spray like the Parkay or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter ones...saves TONS of time!)
    1/4 c. sugar
    2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    For Salsa: In a bowl, combine apples, strawberries and kiwi. Grate rind from orange to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons; squeeze juice from orange. Add peel and juice to apple mixture. Combine brown sugar and apple jelly; stir into apple mixture.

    For Chips: Brush (or spray) tortillas lightly with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. Place in a single layer on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake @ 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Serve with salsa. Yield: 4 cups salsa.
    This is great as a side dish OR is also great with tortilla chips-I like to grab the "scoops" tortilla chips to have with it if using it as an appetizer.  People LOVE this....

    1 (15 1/4 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained (when we have corn on the cob left over-I scrape off the kernels and use them-works fantastic-and is a great way to use the corn up!)
    1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 medium sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
    6 green onions, chopped
    1/2 c. chopped red onion
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3/4 c. Italian salad dressing (can use regular, low fat or fat-free)
    1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
    1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
    3/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
    1/2 tsp. chili powder

    In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. In a small bowl. combine the salad dressing, cilantro, lime juice, hot pepper sauce and chili powder.
    Pour over corn mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 6-8 servings.
    This works as a side dish or a light's yummy!!

    3 c. water
    1 (3 oz.) pkg. orange Jell-O
    1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 (3 oz.) pkg. tapioca pudding mix
    1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
    1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
    1 (8 oz.) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

    In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Whisk in jell-o and pudding mixes. Return to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. Fold in oranges, pineapple and whipped topping. Spoon into a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set. 12-14 servings.

    *I've made this using sugar-free Jell-O, sugar-free instant pudding and fat-free whipped topping and it's wonderful!

  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     Here is something that is a little untraditional but goes over like gangbusters at potlucks.  I've made this SO many times I can't even count.  Plus this would solve your problem of traveling/refrigeration!  This makes two GIANT roasters fulll (I get them at the Dollar Store) and for ease of mixing I dump all the ingredients in a CLEAN UNUSED (lol) trash bag and gently toss until coated!  Also, I put in more/less of the things my family likes such as double the Bugles and only peanuts, etc...   It's very adaptable!  Best of luck!

     As originally posted by Zakons:

    Out Of This World Party Mix

    (Makes a huge amount...could cut recipe in half )

    (1) 12 Ounce Box Crispix Cereal
    (1) 15 Ounce Box Honey Graham Cereal
    (2) 12.25 Ounce Bags Bugles
    (1) Bag Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
    (1) Bag Pretzels
    (2) Cans Mixed Nuts
    (2) .7 Ounce Packages Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
    (2) Bottles Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Oil

    Dump the first six ingredients into a VERY LARGE roaster. Mix the dressing mixes and popping oil in a small bowl. Pour over ingredients. Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
    This makes a huge amount, so you have to have a large roaster to make it in the first place.....or find something large to mix in and use two pans to bake in!
    I presume you could halve the recipe,
  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     Here is an old review I did of a cream puff dessert that I just love!


    Here you go Brenda. It was just a thought to make life a little easier for you! I made this with french vanilla pudding instead of the chocolate as I am not a chocolate fan and I wanted the taste of an original type cream puff. I also didn't use the caramel or almonds. It was quite good and easy and cut very well!
    Cream Puff Dessert (Several different posters for this one!)

    1 cup water
    ½ cup butter (no substitutes)
    1 cup all purpose flour
    4 eggs

    1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
    3-1/2 cups cold milk
    2 packages (3.9oz each) instant chocolate pudding mix

    1 carton (8oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
    ¼ cup milk chocolate ice cream topping
    ¼ cup caramel ice cream topping
    1/3 cup chopped almonds

    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour all at once; stir until smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat/ let stand for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Spread into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and pudding mix until smooth. Spread over puff; refrigerate for 20 minutes. Spread with whipped topping; refrigerate until serving. Drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings; sprinkle with almonds. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Yield: 12 servings.
  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     Hi Ellen.  I made this recently and it was very good, especially for a big crowd.  Just use less sugar, if you don't want it as sweet.  I cut the sugar, to under a cup, I think.


    Can be assembled ahead and then frozen.


    Pork and Beans

    Serves 10 -12

    1/2 lb sliced bacon

    1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced

    1/2 lb ham chunks cut small

    2 large onions, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    4 (16 ounce) cans pork and beans

    1 1/2 cups brown sugar

    2 tablespoons parsley, minced

    2 lemons, juiced

    1/2 cup barbecue sauce

    1/4 cup green onion (optional)

    Preheat oven 350 degrees.

    In large heavy Dutch oven fry bacon; remove and chop coarsley; set aside.

    To the same skillet, add onions and garlic; cook until transparent. 

    Turn off fire.

    Add pork and beans, sausage, ham chunks, brown sugar, parsley, lemon juice, barbeque sauce, reserved cooked bacon and green onions.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper

    Mix well and turn into greased 3 quart casserole dish.

    Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until bubbly.

  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    Ellen,I`ll vouch for this one.It is soo good as written,I don`t even tweak ;)

    Antipasto Pasta Salad

    The addition of 1 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives or 1 cup jarred artichokes, drained and quartered would be good.. Use any curly-shaped pasta for this recipe.

    Serves 6 to 8
    8 ounces sliced pepperoni , cut into 1/4-inch strips 
    8 ounces soppressata  or salami, halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips 
    10 tablespoons red wine vinegar  
    6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise  
    1 jar pepperoncini (12-ounce), drained, (2 tablespoons juice reserved), stemmed, and chopped coarse 
    4 garlic cloves , minced 
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
     Salt and pepper  
    1 pound fusilli  or campanelle 
    1 pound white mushrooms , quartered 
    1 cup shredded provolone cheese , aged 
    12 ounces roasted red peppers , drained, patted dry, and chopped coarse 
    1 cup chopped fresh basil   

    1. Place one paper towel on microwave-safe plate. Arrange pepperoni in single layer on paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and layer sopresatta on towel. Top with another paper towel and microwave on highest power until meat begins to render fat, about 1 minute. Set meat aside.

    2. Whisk 5 tablespoons vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, pepperoncini juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.

    3. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with 1/2 cup dressing and remaining vinegar. Adjust seasonings, spread dressed pasta on rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile, bring remaining dressing to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and cool.

    5. Add meat, provolone, roasted red peppers, chopped pepperoncini, basil, and cooled pasta to mushrooms and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!


    3 pounds cabbage, shredded. (The shredding can be done
    in a food
    or by hand.)
    2 carrots, sliced into disks about 1/4-inch thick
    2 green peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
    2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
    2 large Vidalia onions, sliced (If Vidalia onions are
    available, use
    regular ones.)
    4 t. sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water (Can
    substitute 4
    packages of
    Sweet and Low.)
    3/4 cup of white vinegar
    1/2 cup of canola oil
    About 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    Garlic powder, celery salt, and pepper to taste
    Marinate the above ingredients in the refrigerator.
    This salad
    can last for
    many weeks in the refrigerator.



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    How about



    a platter of quick breads



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

    More great ideas!!! Thank you Carol, Kim, Arlene and Rosie! I really appreciate your input!



  • Re: Please help! Make ahead potluck recipes?!?!

     One more bump?!?!