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After all, who can turn down a potluck? They’re one of the most brilliant forms of socializing. In exchange for cooking one dish, you get to enjoy a giant feast that would cost a fortune otherwise. No two potlucks are ever the same, either, so you’ll never get bored with what’s on the menu.
But as chill as these get-togethers are, with their eclectic mix of platters and casseroles (and that cozy communal vibe many of us crave more than the food itself), there’s an inevitable wave of anxiety that hits as you try to decide what to (literally) bring to the table.
“Choosing a holiday potluck recipe can be such a tricky thing,” said Sarah Bond, food blogger at Live Eat Learn. “You have to consider if the recipe will stay fresh and delicious from when you make it to when it will be eaten. On top of that, you need to consider the possible dietary restrictions of the people attending the potluck.”
Some of the qualities that make the best potluck dishes, Bond added, are ease (will you be working in the kitchen all day?), durability (will the recipe still be fresh when you get to the potluck?) and scale (can you make a lot of it in minimal time to feed many people?).
Oh yeah, and it should also taste delicious to as wide an array of taste buds as possible. (You know, no pressure.)
As for ensuring the dish you bring isn’t the food equivalent of the last kid picked in gym class: “A holiday potluck recipe will be a big hit if it has a lot of flavor and is something unique,” said Bree Sheree, food blogger at Bree’s Vegan Life. “Just bringing a basic green salad won’t get people excited, but if you bring something tasty they’ve never had before, they’ll be very impressed.”
So, what are the go-to dishes that food bloggers always bring to holiday potlucks ― and never leave with leftovers? Here are 12 dishes, from dips to salads to casseroles, that are sure to impress at your next gathering.