Most likely there will be a pasta dish, a veggie tray, rolls, and some kind of creamy dip- think outside the box to really wow your friends & family! Start by thinking about the past potlucks you have been to. What were the cliches that were there, and what did you feel like was missing? This should help get the creative juices flowing on what to make.
Look at what is in season
Shopping seasonally for produce not only supports local farmers, but it ensures that your produce is fresh and nutrient dense since it has a shorter transit time from farm to the store, to your home! This will give you a great starting point for what to make if you are stuck. For example, if brussels sprouts are in season, you can buy a big stalk at your local market and make caramelized brussels, a shredded brussels salad, crispy air fried brussels, and more!
Think about the setting
It is important to think about the setting and audience of the potluck. Will it be inside or outside, and during what season? Are there going to be a lot of children there, or will the palates be more developed? For Spring and Summer gatherings, you may want to lean more towards a cold refreshing dish that guests will enjoy on a warm sunny day outdoors such as a coleslaw, southwest salad, or fresh fruit plate. For Fall and Winter, you may want to look into bringing a warm, cozy comfort food such as a winter squash casserole or hearty soup or stew, packed with lots of flavor and spice. Remember to cover your dish properly with secure lids or wraps to prevent leaking, contamination, or spilling during travel or serving!
- TIP: Consider grabbing some food protector nets to prevent bugs and pests from bothering your dish! –https://food52.com/shop/products/1173-outdoor-net-food-cover?sku=13538
Don’t forget the small things
If the host already has a lot of main dishes, offer to bring a salad, appetizer, or even drinks! Here are some of our favorite unique ideas:
Crispy Cauliflower Bites
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce
- ½ cup gluten free flour of choice
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat the oven to 425 degrees F
- In a mixing bowl, add the oil, hot sauce, flour, water, and spices. This will be your batter.
- Dunk each cauliflower floret into the batter to coat. Shake off excess batter, and then place on the baking sheet.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- TIP: You can cut 10 minutes off the time, and finish them in an air fryer for a crispier texture!
Eggplant and Tomato Dip
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, quartered
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Pinch of sea salt + pepper
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Fresh Parsley to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment or coat with oil
- Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil over the eggplant and pepper and place on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
- Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then add to a high powered blender or food processor. Process on high with oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic until smooth texture is achieved.
- Add in parsley as desired and add as a garnish on top
- Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies, or spread on your toast or meat/fish.
Moscow Mule Mocktail (serves 2)
- 8 oz. Low Sugar Ginger Beer (we like Zevia’s: https://www.zevia.com/collections/mixers/products/ginger-beer-mixer)
- 1-2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
- 12 oz. sparkling or mineral water
- 1 cup crushed Ice
- Fresh mint leaves, as desired
- Place the ice in 2 moscow mules. Add the sparkling water to each and then divide the ginger beer in each mule evenly.
- Add in the lime juice and a few mint leaves and stir.
- Place mint and lime slices on top for garnish.