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8 Easy Potluck Recipes for the Last-Minute Chef in All of Us

by
author image Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a chef, nutritionist, recipe developer, media personality and award-winning cookbook author. She’s a culinary instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and frequent contributor to Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Her newest book is the second edition of "The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook."

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8 Easy Potluck Recipes for the Last-Minute Chef in All of Us
Jackie Newgent

Partaking in a potluck but don’t know what to make? Take your pick from these eight crowd-pleasers. All of the recipes serve 10 or more guests. Plus, they can be prepped in advance and take just about five minutes to make. You’ll love how little effort is needed to whip up these impressive dishes. Every one of them is easily portable too. And the cherry on top is that each recipe has significant health benefits and will tantalize everyone’s taste buds. Let the feasting begin!

1. Layered Hummus Dip
Jackie Newgent

1 LAYERED HUMMUS DIP

Store-bought hummus is so commonplace at parties that it may elicit some “ho-hums.” But this enticing layered hummus dip will definitely impress your guests. Simply layer hummus, red onion, cucumber and grape tomatoes in a serving dish. Top with a touch of cayenne pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh parsley. Then, after your guests have demolished this recipe, proudly announce that it was vegan, loaded with fiber and helped them all to meet their veggie quota for the day!

Related: 5-Minute Layered Hummus Dip Recipe

2. Easy Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Bake
Jackie Newgent

2 EASY CHEESY BROCCOLI-RICE BAKE

Side dishes are often afterthoughts. And, let’s face it; they can be kind of boring. Not this time! Sure, you’ll start with plain brown rice. But it’s taken to another level when combined with broccoli florets, organic creamy broccoli soup, sharp cheddar cheese and fresh chives. It’s a modern twist on an old-fashioned casserole. Plus, it’s so quick to fix when using precooked or leftover rice. No oven is required because this dish is designed for the microwave. You’ll boost your intake of nonstarchy veggies and whole grains with each spoonful of this vegetarian bake.

Related: 5-Minute Easy Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Bake Recipe

3. Italian “Submarine” Party Pinwheels
Jackie Newgent

3 ITALIAN “SUBMARINE” PARTY PINWHEELS

It’s always fun to sink a big ol’ Italian sub -- into your belly! But it’s far from ideal when you need something a little lighter on the calories. That’s where these pinwheels come into play. You’ll get a delicious bite in each perfectly portioned wrap. Simply spread whole-grain tortillas with a mixture of Neufchatel and white balsamic vinegar. Then layer on organic ham, baby arugula, red onion, pepperoncini and fresh oregano, roll it all up and slice into sections. This makes a refined appetizer that your guests won’t be able to resist!

Related: 5-Minute Italian “Submarine” Party Pinwheels Recipe

4. Asian-Inspired Coleslaw
Jackie Newgent

4 ASIAN-INSPIRED COLESLAW

Many people consider coleslaw to be a traditional, richly dressed side for southern fried chicken. But if you showed up to a potluck with this version, oh how wrong they’d be! It’s full of nontraditional Asian appeal and even better paired with lighter fare, such as grilled chicken or roasted turkey. The dressing bursts with flavor from coconut nectar, peanut butter, rice vinegar and soy sauce. It’s also packed with nutritional goodness too. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that contains glucosinolates, which helps with cancer prevention.

Related: 5-Minute Asian-Inspired Coleslaw Recipe

5. Gnocchi Alla Checca
Jackie Newgent

5 GNOCCHI ALLA CHECCA

Pasta alla checca is a delightful Italian pasta dish made with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, garlic and olive oil. It’s often prepared with spaghetti. But it’s so comforting -- and quick to prepare -- when prepared with gnocchi. In this recipe you’ll boil gnocchi (which takes all of three minutes!), then drain it and toss with halved cherry tomatoes, bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls), minced garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves and sea salt. Or you can make most of it in advance, chill and reheat. Either way, it’s a scrumptious way to fuel up with complex carbs for your active lifestyle.

Related: 5-Minute Gnocchi Alla Checca Recipe

6. Spicy Vegetarian Mexican Bake
Jackie Newgent

6 SPICY VEGETARIAN MEXICAN BAKE

Move over lasagna! Here’s a lasagna-style dish full of Mexican appeal and plant-forward flair. It’s got that “wow” factor and takes just minutes to make. Here’s what you’ll layer: corn tortillas, black beans, pico de gallo, corn, salsa verde and pepper jack cheese. Then melt it all together and garnish with cilantro. You’re sure to get repeat requests for this delicious dish. And if your body could talk, it’d certainly ask for more because of the dish’s fiber, protein, calcium and other nutritional benefits.

Related: 5-Minute Spicy Vegetarian Mexican Bake Recipe

7. Cranberry Chicken Salad Sliders
Jackie Newgent

7 CRANBERRY CHICKEN SALAD SLIDERS

What can you do with cranberry sauce other than serve it as a classic condiment on the Thanksgiving table? Plenty, including pairing it with this chicken salad sandwich. Sometimes chicken salad contains fruit, including grapes or raisins. For this version you’ll simply smear whole-berry cranberry sauce onto whole-grain slider rolls. Then, you’ll sprinkle with heart-friendly pistachios and stuff with an easy homemade chicken salad made with rotisserie chicken breast. Serving a slider-size version keeps calories in check. Grab one before they’re gone!

Related: 5-Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Sliders Recipe

8. “Sneaky” Chocolate Sauce With Seasonal Fruit
Jackie Newgent

8 “SNEAKY” CHOCOLATE SAUCE WITH SEASONAL FRUIT

Cocoa contains heart-healthy polyphenols. But when you indulge in a chocolate candy bar, those potential benefits can be wiped out due to not-so-good-for-you ingredients the bar may also contain. But this is one treat where taste meets nutrition. Create a decadent sauce by heating together dark chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, plain unsweetened almond milk and pure vanilla extra. Then puree the sauce with chickpeas for extra creaminess, fiber, protein and folate. Serve the sauce with a side of fresh fruit. Your heart and palate will be thankful.

Related: 5-Minute “Sneaky” Chocolate Sauce With Seasonal Fruit Recipe

What Do YOU Think?
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have a favorite dish that you always prepare for potlucks or other parties? Which of these recipes would you try? We’d love to hear any potluck party tips you may have! Share them with us in the comments section below.

Related: Easy 2-Minute Dessert Recipes to Make for the Holidays

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