5 Perfect Potluck Dishes

Potluck party
Flickr photo by theogeo
The season of the potluck is upon us -- Memorial Day barbecues, pool parties, baseball team celebrations, and more. And due to the recession, more and more people are asking guests to bring dishes.

I love potlucks, both because I love to cook but also because I get such great ideas from other people. Here are my five favorite potluck dishes that have delivered lots of good feedback over the years.


1. Curried Chicken Salad. A friend of mine brought this to a girls' weekend years ago. We all went crazy for it, and I've been making it ever since. I love the mix of the smoky curry with the sweet grapes.

2. Tomato Pie. Tomatoes and summer are synonymous for me, so any way I can think to use them, I do. There are a great variety of recipes you can use. Here's one that incorporates a kale pesto (nutrition bonus!); and this is a great, more traditional recipe for tomato pie.

3. Garlic Potato Salad. No cookout would be complete without potato salad, but I'm not a fan of the versions with pickle relish and eggs. I like a really simple, but very garlicky version, like this recipe.

4. Ricotta Cake. I haven't actually made this, but ever since Brianne posted this recipe on The Stir earlier this week, I've been dying to try it. Since there's no frosting, it would be great for an outdoor event, since it wouldn't melt.

5. Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Couscous. I don't have a link for this one, and I have no recollection of where I got it, but it's been in my recipe file for years and I make it all the time. It's an excellent side dish or a vegetarian entree.


  • 2 cups diced tomato
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cool, and toss with tomato mixture.

Your turn -- what are your favorite dishes to bring to a potluck?

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