80 Winter Potluck Recipes

It's your time to shine with these wintry potluck recipes.

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Christmas Meatballs

Cranberry sauce and brown sugar create a tangy glaze for moist meatballs that are good Christmas appetizers or Christmas dinner ideas. We love them so much, I prepare them year-round. —Joyce Bentley, Redlands, California

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Fresh Cranberry Punch

One of the best things about holiday cooking is the aromas that drift through the whole house! To me, it wouldn't be Christmas without the tang of oranges, cinnamon and cloves in the air-just what you'll smell as this fresh cranberry punch is simmering. To get the brightest red color in your punch, be sure to pick out the reddest of the fresh berries as you clean them.
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Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

The topping on my sister-in-law's peach cobbler was so delicious that I asked for the recipe; then I decided to use that to top a cookie I developed with the flavors of baklava. My adult son tried one and immediately ate two more—which is unusual for him! It's a good recipe to mix up the night before and bake fresh the next day for company. —Sharon Eshelman, Harrington, Delaware
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Six-Bean Chili

When it's cold and frosty outside, this meatless chili is sure to warm you up. It's packed with fiber, protein and flavor. Serve it with sliced avocado, or add shredded cheese, corn tortilla chips or a side of your favorite cornbread. —Liz Bellville, Tonasket, Washington
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Sausage Dip

This warm sausage dip is a family-favorite snack on cool days. The meat-lovers in your family will especially love this country-style appetizer. —Susie Wingert, Panama, Iowa
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Spicy Mixed Nuts

Cumin and chili powder give extra oomph to the classic homemade nut mix. It's a smart solution for holiday snacking and gift giving. —Delores Hill, Helena, Montana
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Beefy Sweet Potato Soup

I hate being cold, but one of the best remedies for that is warm soup. I took my mother’s water-based vegetable soup recipe and worked with it to make the flavors richer. The meat and veggies in this dish are the perfect cure for a cold night and a hungry family. —Lisa Cooper, Leander, Texas
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Parmesan-Bacon Bubble Bread

When I needed to put some leftover bread dough to good use, I started with a recipe I often use for bubble bread and substituted savory ingredients for the sweet. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Tomato-Goat Cheese Spread

A good friend shared this recipe with me. It is super easy and so delicious. Guests will love it! It's best served with crackers that aren't strongly seasoned. —Linda Alexander, Madison, Wisconsin
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Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

This Italian classic takes on a distinctive Latin American flourish with the addition of chorizo. The sausage adds an extra kick and awesome flavor to a dish that's already a favorite. —Crystal McDuffy, Fairfax, Virginia.
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Stollen Butter Rolls

My family members enjoy my stollen so much and say it’s just too good to be served only on holidays. I created this buttery, less-sweet dinner roll version. —Mindy White, Nashville, Tennessee
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Chocolate Chip & Pecan Meringue Bars

I've had recipes for chocolate chip cookies and pecan meringues in my collection for a number of years—and I combined them to make these bars! They're a lovely addition to any holiday cookie tray. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Italian Mushrooms

For big family gatherings, I love to make these mushrooms—everyone always wants to know what the secret ingredient is! They’re a star as a side dish, and leftovers go well with steaks or a roast. —Becky Schmitz, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

It's hard to resist these adorable deviled trees on our buffet table. The avocado filling has pepperoncini and cilantro for extra zip. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah
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Sausage and Kraut Buns

This recipe has become a regular at our church potlucks. Let's just say I'm in trouble if I show up at a get-together and they don't appear! For a fun dinner spin, try these sausage and kraut sandwiches over mashed potatoes. —Patsy Unruh, Perryton, Texas
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Slow-Cooker Marinated Mushrooms

Here's a healthy and delicious addition to any buffet spread. Mushrooms and pearl onions seasoned with herbs, balsamic vinegar and red wine are terrific on their own or alongside a tenderloin roast. —Courtney Wilson, Fresno, California
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Blood Orange Avocado Salad

My refreshing side salad is such a nice addition to our calorie-loaded Thanksgiving dinner. Use regular oranges if you can't find blood oranges. Finely chopped walnuts work well in place of the pomegranate seeds, too. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Snowy Mountain Cookies

I was so excited to bake these with my mom after coming home from studying abroad in Germany. They remind me of the Swabian Alps I could see from my room there. Be careful not to overheat the white chocolate; it’ll lose that attractive shine. —Stephanie Bouley, North Smithfield, Rhode Island
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Grandma's Pecan Rum Bars

My grandmother handed down the recipe for these gooey bars that we all love. The candied cherries are a must. —Deborah Pennington, Falkville, Alabama
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Beef and Bean Taco Chili

This chili recipe is a lifesaver when I'm cooking on the fly. It's loaded with convenience ingredients, but you can pile on the veggies if you're in the mood for a fresh crunch. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Greek Olive Tapenade

Welcome to an olive lover’s dream. Mix olives with freshly minced garlic, parsley and a few drizzles of olive oil to have the ultimate in Mediterranean bliss. —Lisa Sojka, Rockport, Maine
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Ugly Sweater Cookies

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ugly Sweater Cookies is how cute they are. Try these classic gingerbreads on for size. —Christy Thelen, Kellogg, Iowa
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Perfect Four-Cheese Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorites, and this is the recipe I’ve been making since I was a teenager. It’s a tantalizing combo of pasta, meat sauce, cheese and more cheese that really lives up to its name! —Lauren Delaney-Wallace, Glen Carbon, Illinois
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Smoked Pimiento Cheese Crostini

Pimiento cheese has long been a favorite in our family, so these bite-sized appetizers are a treat! I add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to give them a little kick. Caramelized onions create another layer of flavor. You can make the cheese and onions three to five days in advance; they store well. If you need to save time, you can use premade jalapeno pimiento cheese. —Caitlyn Bunch, Trenton, Georgia
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Mini Fruitcakes

Fruitcake always looked so festive to me but I did not like the hard citron fruit so I came up with my own recipe using dried fruits and nuts. I place these in Christmas themed petit fours paper cups and give them to neighbors and friends along with the many other cookies and candies I bake. These keep well in the freezer in an airtight container. Just thaw to room temperature and they taste fresh baked and moist. —Lisa McDermith, Highland, California
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Spiced Rum and Pear Cake

The flavors in this cake really make it stand out as a special-occasion dessert. With raisins, fresh sweet pear chunks, rich spices, crunchy walnuts and rum, it's a fine finale for your holiday spread. If you don't cook with alcohol, try substituting apple juice for the rum—it will still be delicious! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Chile Tamale Pie

This crowd-pleasing potluck dish packs a little heat, a little sweet and a big-time authentic southwestern flavor. There is no substitute for freshly ground chiles. A small food processor on high speed may be used to grind the chiles and cumin, or use a dedicated coffee grinder for fresh spices. It’s a terrific $15 investment for fresh spices anytime—and your palate will thank you! —Ralph Stamm, Dayton, Ohio
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Chicken and Lentil Chili

I like to make a simple, hearty slow-cooked recipe at least once a week. You can mix this up the night before and throw it into the crock on your way out the door. Use hotter tomatoes and chiles or salsa if you like more zing. —Laurie Stout-Letz, Bountiful, Utah
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Crunchy Bacon Blue Cheese Red Pepper Brussels Sprouts

This is my family's absolute favorite dish on my holiday table. What's not to love with the mixed aroma of garlic, onions, bacon, and blue cheese floating through your home? —Jana Gooding, Carlsbad, California
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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I created this dish after my father had triple bypass surgery. He loves comfort food, and I wanted him to be able to enjoy a rich and tasty dish like mac & cheese without all the fat and butter. It's also a smart way to sneak in some veggies for children. —Megan Schwartz, New York, New York
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Chocolate-Covered Pomegranate Seeds

I dunk pomegranate seeds in chocolate to get these easy little treats friends and family love. —Jim Javorsky, Havre de Grace, Maryland
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Frosted Butter Rum Brickle Bites

The rum, real butter and toffee bits made these cookies my husband’s new favorite. If you’d like them less sweet, skip the frosting and sprinkle the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. —Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan
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Oyster Cheese Appetizer Log

When you say "holiday tradition" around our house, this appetizer comes to mind immediately. Every winter, I make lots of cheese logs and freeze them for when I'm expecting company or need to take food to someone's home. The blend of smoked oysters, chili powder, nuts and cream cheese tastes good-even people who don't like oysters may enjoy this interesting appetizer. —William Tracy, Jerseyville, Illinois
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Classic Swedish Meatballs

I'm a "Svenska flicka" (Swedish girl) from northwest Iowa, where many Swedes settled at the turn of the century. This recipe was given to me by a Swedish friend. It's obviously a 20th century version of a 19th century favorite, since back then they didn't have bouillon cubes or evaporated milk! I think you'll agree that these modern-day "Kottbullar" are very tasty. —Emily Gould, Hawarden, Iowa
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Favorite Company Casserole

My guests like this casserole even if they don't usually like all the ingredients in it! For instance, people who don't care for broccoli don't mind it in this dish. And I like the way it's so easy to make and serve when company comes. —Suzann Verdun, Lisle, Illinois
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Icebox Rolls

I remember my mom making these rolls almost every Saturday so they'd be ready to bake on Sunday for company or someone just dropping by. Although they take a little time to prepare, they're really not all that difficult to make. And there's nothing in the stores that can compare to them! —Jean Fox, Welch, Minnesota
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Chocolate Pound Cake

You'll find that this cake goes well with ice cream, but it's also delicate enough to serve in small pieces with tea. —Ann Perry, Sierra Vista, Arizona
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Old-World Ricotta Cheesecake

I reconstructed this dessert based on an old recipe that had been in the family for years but was never written down. The subtle cinnamon flavor of the zwieback crust and the dense texture of the ricotta cheese are reminiscent of the cheesecake I enjoyed as a child. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Classic Chocolate Cake

If you need to learn how to make chocolate cake from scratch, this easy homemade chocolate cake recipe is a perfect place to start. It appeared on a can of Hershey's cocoa way back in 1943. I tried it, my boys liked it, and I've been making it ever since. —Betty Follas, Morgan Hill, California
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Creamy Sweet Potatoes

I took my mother's delicious sweet potato casserole and gave it a new twist by adding the tempting taste of orange—a fruit very abundant in our state. The flavors are wonderful together and make this dish a family favorite. —Norma Poole, Auburndale, Florida
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Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Impress dinner guests with this delightfully different take on traditional cranberry sauce. The nuts add a tasty crunch. —Dorothy Angley, Carver, Massachusetts
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Coconut Fruitcake

A neighbor gave me this recipe when we first moved to this small town, saying it dated back to the 1800s and everybody in the area made it. I soon discovered why when I took a taste...and I'm not a fruitcake fan! —Lorraine Groh, Ferryville, Wisconsin
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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Apple Slab Pie

Apple slab pie is a terrific contribution to a covered-dish supper, picnic or potluck. It’s baked in a large 15x10 baking pan so it’s easy to make and tote, too. But be prepared—people always ask for a copy of the recipe! —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Dip

This fun dip recipe uses ingredients that I always have in the fridge, so it's easy to throw together on short notice. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Carrot Fruitcake

Even those who don't care for fruitcake love this special holiday dessert. It's a fun way to dress up that old favorite, carrot cake. Try it—your friends and family will agree. —Ann Parden, Chunchula, Alabama
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Poppy Seed Cheese Bread

This easy-to-make bread goes well with a salad luncheon or a casserole dinner. But I especially like to serve it with spaghetti and pasta dishes. The cheese topping is its crowning glory! —Elaine Mundt, Detroit, Michigan
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Homemade Eggnog

Once, I asked my mother how to make eggnog, and she showed me this recipe. After just one taste, folks will know this homemade holiday drink came from the kitchen, not from the store. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Apple Cider

There's no last-minute rush before the party when you simmer this slow-cooker apple cider. It has all the tantalizing flavors of fall. —Alpha Wilson, Roswell, New Mexico
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Sloppy Joe Stew

This old-fashioned stew has a slightly sweet taste from the addition of canned corn. You can make the stew ahead of time and reheat it for a quick meal later on. - Clair Long, Destrehan, Louisiana
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Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it's my husband's favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho
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Mallow-Topped Sweet Potatoes

My grandmother always served this sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving. The puffy marshmallow topping gives the dish a festive look, and spices enhance the sweet potato flavor. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Potluck Enchilada Meatballs

This is a twist on the ordinary potluck meatballs. These are easy, inexpensive and a hit for any occasion. —Terina, Lewis, Decatur, Illinois
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Bacon-Colby Lasagna

My grandmother added bacon to her cheesy lasagna—something she borrowed from carbonara-style pasta. I learned so much by her side. —Cathy McCartney, Davenport, Iowa
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Eggplant Sausage Casserole

If you want your kids to happily eat their eggplant, serve it in this lovely layered casserole. Our whole family enjoys it. Always a popular potluck item, it's a great company dish, as well. —Carol Mieske, Red Bluff, California
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Nantucket Cranberry Tart

While everyone is enjoying a bountiful meal, this eye-catching tart can be baking to perfection in the oven. The pretty holiday dessert calls for very few ingredients, and it's a snap to assemble. —Jackie Zack, Riverside, Connecticut
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Spicy Goulash

Ground cumin, chili powder and a can of Mexican diced tomatoes jazz up my goulash recipe. Even the elbow macaroni is prepared in the slow cooker. —Melissa Polk, West Lafayette, Indiana
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Hot Holiday Cider

This slightly tart apple cider is perfect for a holiday open house. It fills the room with a wonderful aroma. —Cindy Tobin, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Kahlua Fudge

This five-ingredient recipe makes serving up treats easy and scrumptious. —Laura Hanks, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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Bacon Walnut Bread with Honey Butter

My savory walnut bread filled with bacon bits and blue cheese dressing is complemented by the sweetness of honey-flavored butter. Cut yourself a thick slice, slather on the butter and enjoy!—Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
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Roasted Butternut Squash Panzanella

Squash was a hard sell with my family until I paired it with pumpkin seeds, cranberries and horseradish. Now they love it! —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Easy Chili Verde

I love chili verde. I order it whenever I can at restaurants, and figured out how to make an easy, tasty version at home. People have the option to eat the chili verde with a fork or in tortillas with a variety of toppings such as cheese, cilantro, minced onions or lime wedges. There are never leftovers at my house. —Julie Rowland, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Sicilian Mac & Cheese

To give our mac and cheese a Sicilian touch, we mix sausage, basil and fennel with three cheeses for an incredibly comforting casserole. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California
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Pizza Monkey Bread

I cannot throw a party without making this recipe. It's fast and easy, and my kids love it. —Courtney Wilson, Fresno, California
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Marty's Bean Burger Chili

My husband and I met while working the dinner shift at a homeless shelter that served my chili. I’ve revised the chili using bean veggie burgers. —Marty Nickerson, Ellington, Connecticut
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Red Velvet Spritz Cookies

I had never come across a red velvet spritz recipe, so I decided to create one. The hint of cocoa makes these taste like red velvet cake. Add peppermint flavoring for a little extra kick. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Slow-Cooked Cranberry Hot Wings

Cranberry wings remind me of all the wonderful celebrations and parties we've had through the years. My daughter’s friends can’t get enough of these wings. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Cheesy Snack Mix

Our love for Mexican food inspired me to make party mix with taco seasoning. The flavor is so mild that it's even kid friendly. —Elizabeth Wynne, Aztec, New Mexico
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Little Pigs in a Hammock

Pigs in a blanket aren’t just for kids! Dijon and Camembert transform this children’s favorite into a version that’s perfect for grown-ups. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Apple Maple Pecan Salad

A well-made salad has good taste and pleasing crunch. This one with cabbage, apples and pecans gets high marks in both, with extra points for color contrast. —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

When I bake this for my family, any leftovers are always gone by morning. In the night, people sneak downstairs for a little snack! Stir in broccoli, asparagus or peas if you've got 'em. —Colleen Trenholm, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
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Apple Cider Pulled Pork

For potlucks and tailgates, we slow-cook pork with cider, onions and spices. These tangy sliders make a winning barbecue plate with sweet potato fries. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Trail Mix Slices

With big handfuls of dried apricots and cherries, almonds and pistachios, we make dozens of treats you can take anywhere.—Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey
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Nacho Tots

This is an easy, versatile party appetizer that everyone loves. If you can't find chorizo, ground beef or ground chicken are wonderful, too. Top with anything you like! —Connie Krupp, Racine, Wisconsin
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Spicy Butterscotch Wings

We love big-time-spicy chicken wings. I do a caramel sauce to balance the heat, but you could also glaze the wings with melted brown sugar. —Aaron Salazar, Westminster, Colorado
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Dilly Cheese Ball

My whole family devours this herby cheese spread—even my son, the chef. Serve it with your favorite crackers. —Jane Vince, London, Ontario
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Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

These grain-free, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks are made with vegetables instead of flour. Serve them with your favorite marinara sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Sausage and Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

I learned about corn bread dressing while living in the south for a few years. I decided to combine it with a few of my favorite stuffing ingredients to give it my own spin. —James Schend, Food Editor, Taste of Home
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Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

I created this dip for my daughter's pizza-themed birthday party. It was an instant hit and I've continued to take it along to other gatherings. Everyone loves it! —Stephanie Gates, Waterloo, Iowa
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Chili Queso Dip

I’ve had this recipe for more than 42 years and have updated it from time to time. This is an easy party favorite, and everyone loves the taquito dippers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Rashanda Cobbins
Rashanda is a former food editor for Taste of Home. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.