OWN

6 Potluck Recipes You Haven't Tried Before -- But Need To

The trick to nonboring party food? Dips, sides, appetizers and desserts that are slightly familiar yet have a significant "wow" factor, too.

By Lynn Andriani

  • The Game-Changing Potato Salad
    A potato salad that's meant to be served at room temperature already has our vote. The fact that it includes salty, smoky por
    Asa Dahlgren
    A potato salad that's meant to be served at room temperature already has our vote. The fact that it includes salty, smoky pork belly and sweet, fresh cherries only seals the deal. And there's one more reason we're seriously smitten with this unusual, delicious side from Lisa Lemke's new book The Summer Table: You can make it in just 30 minutes. Get the recipe: Warm Potato Salad with Pork Belly and Cherries
  • A Reinvented Mediterranean Classic
    Store-bought, frozen puff pastry forms the basis for some of the best party appetizers ever (hello, <a href="http://www.oprah
    Asa Dahlgren
    Store-bought, frozen puff pastry forms the basis for some of the best party appetizers ever (hello, pigs in a blanket). Here's one use for the crowd-pleasing ingredient we hadn't seen before, though: as the base for a Greek-inspired bite that involves feta cheese, kalamata olives and lemon zest. You can serve these puffs, which also appear in Lemke's book, warm or cold; either way, they're great with a glass of wine. Get the recipe: Olive Puffs with Feta
  • Reason No. 692 To Love Bacon
    Bacon and guacamole are two foods that people tend to get really excited about -- so, when you place this brilliant dip, whic
    Erin Kunkel/Weldon Owen
    Bacon and guacamole are two foods that people tend to get really excited about -- so, when you place this brilliant dip, which combines both, on the buffet table, be ready for a stampede. The recipe, which appears in Classic Recipes for Modern People, by Max and Eli Sussman, also features roasted jalapenos, onions, garlic and tomatillos, which give the spread an extra rich and smoky flavor. Get the recipe: Bacon-Guacamole Salsa Verde Dip
  • The No-Lettuce French Salad
    Salade nicoise is a traditional French dish that usually incorporates tuna, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs
    Erin Kunkel/Weldon Owen
    Salade nicoise is a traditional French dish that usually incorporates tuna, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and olives -- ingredients that have a tres bien way of holding up, even when you dress them in a Dijon vinaigrette ahead of time, making the salad ideal for parties. This rendition, from the Sussmans, also includes radishes, cucumbers and golden beets, which are equally hearty and bring this main course salad to the next level. Get the recipe: Detroit Greek Salad
  • A Brand New Way To Do Sour Cream And Onion Dip
    This over-the-top accompaniment for ridged potato chips from <em>Classic Recipes for Modern People</em> proves that sometimes
    Erin Kunkel/Weldon Owen
    This over-the-top accompaniment for ridged potato chips from Classic Recipes for Modern People proves that sometimes, more is more. The dip starts with the basics -- sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder -- yet goes way beyond the predictable workhorses, incorporating buttermilk, fresh dill and chives, sweet Spanish paprika and crumbled blue cheese, so it delivers a perfect mash-up of sweet and salty tastes. The piece de resistance is a garnish of fried shallots. Get the recipe: Ultra Mega Dip
  • The Dessert Squares That'll Take You Away
    We love a lemon bar as much as the next potluck-goer, but the idea of swapping in mango for citrus is difficult to resist. Sp
    Asa Dahlgren
    We love a lemon bar as much as the next potluck-goer, but the idea of swapping in mango for citrus is difficult to resist. Sprinkle the squares with a coconut topping, and we think we may have just met our new favorite dessert. Another perk to these sweets from The Summer Table: You can make them with frozen mango, if you can't find fresh. Get the recipe: Mango Squares with Coconut Topping

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart
    Chances are you have everything you need to make this any-time-of-day tart in your kitchen already. Keeping the dish in its r
    Maria Robledo
    Chances are you have everything you need to make this any-time-of-day tart in your kitchen already. Keeping the dish in its removable-bottom pan during travel ensures the pastry shell won't break; just don't forget to bring the pan home when you leave the party. Get the recipe: Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart
  • Smoky Black Bean Dip
    This versatile dip -- which goes with tortilla or pita chips, on top of nachos or in quesadillas -- will keep for two days in
    John Kernick
    This versatile dip -- which goes with tortilla or pita chips, on top of nachos or in quesadillas -- will keep for two days in the refrigerator. In fact, letting it sit will help the spices (coriander and cumin) flavor the puree more deeply. Get the recipe: Smoky Black Bean Dip
  • Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad with Chickpeas and Couscous
    The best olives for this salad are the big, meaty green ones you can find in Middle Eastern markets. They have pits, but a go
    Jeanne Kelley
    The best olives for this salad are the big, meaty green ones you can find in Middle Eastern markets. They have pits, but a good whack with the side of a chef's knife makes them easy to remove. You can serve this dish warm, chilled or at room temperature. Get the recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad with Chickpeas and Couscous
  • Killer Quinoa Salad
    Quinoa, dried cranberries, dried apricots, avocados, green onions and toasted slivered almonds come together to make an ideal
    Colin Erricson
    Quinoa, dried cranberries, dried apricots, avocados, green onions and toasted slivered almonds come together to make an ideal side for grilled chicken or pork. It can sit out on the buffet table for a little longer than most dishes, since it doesn't contain any ingredients that will spoil quickly. Get the recipe: Killer Quinoa Salad
  • Lentil Ratatouille
    Cutting the eggplant, zucchini and carrots into larger pieces (about an inch square) will ensure they don't become mushy as t
    Colin Erricson
    Cutting the eggplant, zucchini and carrots into larger pieces (about an inch square) will ensure they don't become mushy as they sit, and the salad will benefit from their crunch. Get the recipe: Lentil Ratatouille
  • Chickpea Plov
    In the former Soviet republics and Russia, plov (also known as pilaf) is a hearty one-pot rice dish. This version omits the l
    Leah Lizarondo
    In the former Soviet republics and Russia, plov (also known as pilaf) is a hearty one-pot rice dish. This version omits the lamb and relies on chickpeas for protein, making it a perfect vegetarian entrée. Get the recipe: Chickpea Plov
  • Garden Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches
    Although all these sandwiches contain the same lemon-white wine vinegar tuna salad, their breads are different. Have a little
    Colin Erricson
    Although all these sandwiches contain the same lemon-white wine vinegar tuna salad, their breads are different. Have a little fun and arrange them in a checkerboard pattern to keep people guessing. Get the recipe: Garden Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches
  • Shrimp-and-Avocado Sushi Rolls
    Using store-bought tortillas as extra wrappers around the seaweed is the trick to turning this Japanese favorite into an easy
    Colin Erricson
    Using store-bought tortillas as extra wrappers around the seaweed is the trick to turning this Japanese favorite into an easy potluck dish. A simple, homemade wasabi mayonnaise offers a nice contrast to the crunchy cucumber. Get the recipe: Shrimp-and-Avocado Sushi Rolls
  • Chicken Divan Crepes with Gruyère
    This take on the well-known chicken-and-broccoli casserole is perfect for a large group, since each portion comes wrapped in
    Thinkstock
    This take on the well-known chicken-and-broccoli casserole is perfect for a large group, since each portion comes wrapped in its own crepe. Get the recipe: Chicken Divan Crepes with Gruyère
  • Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro
    Ground turkey breast, low-carb tortillas, fat-free black bean dip and reduced-fat cheeses keep this usually calorie-laden, on
    Ground turkey breast, low-carb tortillas, fat-free black bean dip and reduced-fat cheeses keep this usually calorie-laden, one-dish meal healthy (so guests will have more room for guacamole and chips). Get the recipe: /www.oprah.com/food/Cheesy-Turkey-Enchiladas-with-Tomatillo-Salsa-and-Cilantro>Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro
  • Macaroni and Many Cheeses
    You can make the cheese sauce for this crowd-pleasing classic up to two days ahead of time and reheat it. Using a small pasta
    You can make the cheese sauce for this crowd-pleasing classic up to two days ahead of time and reheat it. Using a small pasta, like elbows, will make it easier to spoon out onto plates. Get the recipe: Macaroni and Many Cheeses
  • Pineapple-Cajeta Empanadas
    Chef Marcela Valladolid likes to make these pockets for potlucks because they don't require serving utensils and are easy to
    Thinkstock
    Chef Marcela Valladolid likes to make these pockets for potlucks because they don't require serving utensils and are easy to transport. Similar to dulce de leche, cajeta is available in some Latin markets, or you can substitute caramel sauce. The empanadas are a sweet addition to a brunch buffet, or you can even serve them as dessert. Get the recipe: Pineapple-Cajeta Empanadas
  • Sunny Lemon Cake
    Bright and tangy, this cake will appeal to adults and children. Once frosted, it will keep in the refrigerator, loosely wrapp
    Colin Erricson
    Bright and tangy, this cake will appeal to adults and children. Once frosted, it will keep in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in foil or waxed paper, for up to three days. Get the recipe: Sunny Lemon Cake
  • Banana Pudding
    This traditional Southern dessert actually improves with age, so be sure to let it sit for at least four hours (or as long as
    Tina Rupp
    This traditional Southern dessert actually improves with age, so be sure to let it sit for at least four hours (or as long as overnight) before serving. This version from Maya Angelou includes all the classic ingredients. Get the recipe: Banana Pudding
CONVERSATIONS