In case you haven’t looked at your calendar lately, it’s potluck and picnic season. And if you’re anything like me, you want to take something wonderful to share, come home with an empty dish and requests for the recipe.
Here are several ideas for potluck-friendly side dishes that are quick, easy and travel well. Even better, they’ve been crowd-tested to rave reviews.
Creamy Cole Slaw
This cole slaw recipe shines when it accompanies grilled meats, chicken or fish. Just to be on the safe side, you might want to double the recipe. That’s how good it is.
1 16-ounce bag cole slaw mix
2 tablespoons diced onion
2/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Combine the cole slaw mix and onion in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and poppy seeds; blend thoroughly. Pour dressing mixture over cole slaw mix and toss to coat. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Serves: 8.
Even confirmed broccoli haters in the crowd won’t be able to pass on this one. Just watch them come back for seconds, until the bowl is completely empty.
10 slices bacon
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sunflower seeds
Cook, drain and cool the bacon. Crumble and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, toss salad with crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds. Serves: 6.
Ultimate Baked Beans
You could open a couple of cans of baked beans and be done with it, or you can put in a little more effort and arrive bearing baked beans that will literally disappear before your very eyes! Be sure to put aside a serving for yourself just in case you get stuck at the end of the line.
8 ounces bacon
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 12-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 15.5-ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-ounce cans baked beans with pork
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar, packed
Cook, cool and crumble the bacon. Drain bacon grease. Using the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion over medium heat, stirring until the meat is no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain. Transfer the ground beef mixture to a slow cooker. Add the pinto beans, butter beans, baked beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup and brown sugar to the ground beef mixture; stir to blend well. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high. Top with crumbled bacon just before serving. Serves: 6.
Southwest Cheesecake Dessert
This sinfully simple dessert might remind you of Sopapillas, which are a kind of yummy fried pastry you’ll find served in New Mexico and parts of South America. This recipe is baked in a pan instead of fried.
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups white sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 8-ounce cans crescent rolls
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough. Use a rolling pin to shape into two 9 x 13-inch rectangles, creating one rectangle from each of the cans of dough. Press one piece into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly into the baking dish. Cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough.
Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over the cheesecake along with the almonds. Bake until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting. Serves: 12.
Are you planning on making any of these recipes, or do you have any other tips? Let me me know in the comments section here.
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