4 Secrets to Having the Best Dish at Your Potluck

Deep down, every home cook secretly hopes that their dish will be the first one gobbled up. Our Community Cooks serve up their tricks for creating the best potluck dish.

Everyone loves a potluck gathering—and for good reason. A potluck is a smorgasbord of delicious savory dishes and indulgent homemade treats. Full of creativity and flavor, they reflect the care and skill of the home cooks who made them. And while few may be willing to admit it aloud, the truth is that every home cook wants their creation to be the star of the potluck—so popular that every last crumb is cleaned from the dish. The Taste of Home Community Cooks helped us pull together these secrets to creating the best potluck dish every single time.

Secret #1: Choose crowd-pleasing ingredients.

Let’s face it, what people love most about potlucks is the comfort food. And for Community Cook Becky Carver that means “cheese, cheese and more cheese!” Try rich dishes like a Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole or Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. Fellow Community Cook Lisa Varner says, “Bacon makes everything better!” Smoky, salty bacon is a comfort food staple. Add bacon to potluck recipes like casseroles and pasta dishes, and even crumbled on top of frosted cupcakes! For something new, try this savory Pull-Apart Bacon Bread.

These bacon-y appetizers are gonna go fast.
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Secret #2: Do your homework.

You might make the best lasagna in town, but if five other lasagnas are coming to the party it will be hard to make an impression. So do some friendly research to find out what fellow invitees are planning to bring. Based on what the field looks like, try to choose a dish that stands out from the bunch. Perhaps it will be a fresh Broccoli Salad in a sea of slow cooker sides. Or a warm pan of sweet French Toast Casserole that stands out from muffins and bagels at a breakfast potluck.

Try these game-changing potluck sides.
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Secret #3: Keep it simple.

Community Cooks Susan Seymour and Dawn Lowenstein agree that convenience is what they look for first and foremost in a potluck dish. That makes a casserole the perfect bet. Try easy recipes that use convenient ingredients, like this Taco Salad Casserole or Pizza Pasta Casserole. It’ll be a cinch to pull together, and guests will be clamoring for the recipe!

Meet your new favorite casseroles.
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