What side dish would you bring ...

pammyfayDecember 21, 2012

... to a dinnertime office potluck?

The company I work for is 24/7, and I usually work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (I'm not of the faith so I'm more than happy to work in place of others who want to be with their families and go to church). We do potlucks at work on the big holidays.

Last year I brought mixed vegetables. Boring. (Others thought so, too, I think, cuz more than half remained.)

One year I brought mashed potatoes. OK. But a lot of work.

There are some very good bakers on the staff, so I'm not about to try to rise to their standards. (I could get a regular bakery pie and bring ice cream, I guess.)

Suggestions for a side dish that I couldn't possibly ruin?
There are microwaves and an oven to heat up things, but I'd rather not have to do that.

Main course is taken care of, tho I have no idea what that will be. (Most meats that people bring in, I don't eat.)

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Do you have a refrigerator? Cranberry gelatin salad (I have a recipe if you want it.) I have a very easy hot fruit salad...Just a can of pineapple chunks, canned peach slices, fresh cranberries, brown sugar and tapioca granules will give you that recipe, too if you would like. Spinach, strawberry salad, with poppy seed dressing. Just a few suggestions off the top of my head. Let me know if you are interested in any of these recipes.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:22AM
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I love the corn pudding recipes using a can of cream corn, a can of regular corn, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, and 1 cup sour cream. You can look it up by Googling it.

I first made it last Thanksgiving when Glenda said it was so good, and the family likes to have it at the holidays now. So I made it last Christmas and this Thanksgiving too. I am doing 2 Christmas meals this year, and will serve it again with the ham at our 2nd one on the 26th. It bakes in a square pan and since mine is pyrex, it would warm up just fine in the microwave for a minute or two.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:26AM
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How about some soup, stew or chili? Scalloped potatoes with or w/o ham? Pasta salad? Potato salad? Coleslaw? Wild rice dish or Spanish rice.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:30AM
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there is a really good quick casserole too-hash brown potatoes(frozen kind)can of cream soup of your choice(I use broccoli)sour cream,grated cheddar cheese,s&p-mix altogether,bake @ 350 for an hour or so-guaranteed to go over well

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:48AM
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We call it corn casserole. Easy peasy & delish! I've made it for 2 pot lucks this month. It's always a hit.

1 can whole kernel yellow corn, drained
1 can cream style yellow corn
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 stick butter, melted
Mix all together and pour into large, lightly oiled casserole dish. Bake at 350 F for 55 to 60 minutes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corn Casserole

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:52AM
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I work in an office and the one food item that is always wolfed down is 7 layer dip with chips. My workplace is about 1/2 men 1/2 women.

Vegetables and fancy salads - don't waste your energy.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 5:43AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If you think that nashed potatoes are too much work, I wouldn't have any idea about what to suggest! Since you don't want to have to reheat anything, either....I'm stumped!

My husband's place of work has a few pot lucks throughout the year and they are always overloaded with desserts. The veggies and salads I've made have always been inhaled.

A favorite was my 'lumpy potatoes', unpeeled and unwhipped....just mashed with milk, butter, and cream cheese. Robert claims that they scraped the molecules from the casserole dish, lol.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:22AM
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FlamingO in AR

A cold salad would be perfect. I took this to a pot luck earlier this month, a double batch, and I brought home maybe a cup of it. Bodacious Broccoli Salad. It's delicious. Broccoli, cheese, onion, bacon...... yum! I'm going to serve it for Christmas dinner, too, as I can make it ahead.

It's pretty, too, very festive looking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bodacious Broccoli Salad

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:51AM
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This is always a hit. I don't care for the marshmallows in it, but should have when I took it to a funeral, so it would have made more. Bowl was empty in no time. (Thanks, Daisy, for the recipe!)

Cranberry Salad

1 package cranberries
1 large package of the small marshmallows
1 pint whipping cream, whipped*
2 cups sugar
2 cans crushed pineapple (13 -15oz), drained
1 cup nuts, cut fine

Grind berries (they grind better if frozen - I use the blender to do this). Mix in the sugar and let stand 2 hours or overnight.

Add pineapple, marshmallows, whipped cream and nuts.

Cover and chill for 2 hours or longer.

This makes a large amount. It freezes well and leftovers will keep up to a year in the freezer.

*You can use a large tub of whipped topping like Cool Whip but the whipping cream makes a huge difference in taste.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:49AM
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How about one of those wonderful pineapple casseroles? Although they are better warm.

If you want no work, just buy a big tray of vegetables and dip from the grocery store.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:58AM
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I have made this recipe for 15 years or more and it always gets rave reviews.

(a Southern Living recipe)

1/4 C. sugar
3 T. A.P. flour
2 teas. baking powder
1 1/2 teas. salt
6 large eggs
2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. butter, melted
6 C. fresh corn (about 12 ears)*

Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream and butter. Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in corn. Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 5 minutes.

*If using frozen corn (I always do) be sure it is totally thawed before you try to mix it into the rest of the ingredients. (Don't ask me how I know)


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:03AM
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I'd do one of the corn pudding's and use your slow cooker. I do it all the time and comes out great. The recipe I use has frozen corn and canned cream of corn and instead of sour cream it uses egg substitute. Usually about 4 hours on low and your good. I remove the cover a bit the last hour so it crisps up a bit on top. Very good and very easy. You can just pack up the slow cooker and plug it in when you get there.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Pammy, I think either Georgysmom's fruit salad or the cranberry salad would be wonderful and go with whatever kind of main dish. Yum--I gotta make that cranberry salad!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:34AM
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a cold salad of some kind would be good. I like fruit
salad. But how about just a plate full of bite sized fruit.
I LOVe that.

Also, you could make mini muffins if you have mini muffin pans. Regular sized ones would be good too. They don't have to be complicated flavors. Or how about biscuits, rolls.

Garlic bread?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:37AM
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I, too, was hard pressed to come up with some ideas when you said mashed potatoes was a lot of work and I gather you really don't like to cook. This is the perfect recipe for you:

Hot Fruit Salad

2 large cans pineapple chunks, drained
2 large cans peach slices, drained
2 Cups fresh cranberries
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T. Instant tapioca granules

Mix together in 9 x 13 and bake 350 about 20 minutes. Just till heated through and cranberries begin to pop. Great with ham or turkey, Can reheat in micro.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Oh, Georgysmom, that sounds REALLY good!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Really easy and always a hit: Bunches of seedless grapes (green, red, black) and some crackers and good cheddar.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:55AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

You want easy I can give you easy. Go to the grocery store, pick up a couple bags of coleslaw mix, it's where you find the bagged salads, you can get regular or the broccoli slaw mix. Next pick up a jar of coleslaw dressing, the Maries brand is usually refrigerated and there near the salads, other brands are with the regular salad dressing. I like to throw in some raisins or dried cranberries so pick up some of those.

Pour all of your ingredients into your serving bowl mix it up really well cover put in fridge, this can be done the day before, keep cold till served.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:42AM
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If there is going to be ham or turkey, I always bring dressing. No one ever brought this at any of our club dinners so I started doing it as a way to make the dinner even more special and it is so easy to make. People now look for my dressing and "expect" it to be there.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Onion pie can be served warm or cold

1 (9-inch) frozen ready-to-bake pie shell, thawed
3 tablespoon butter
3 sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pie shell 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden; set aside.

In a medium skillet over high heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and saute 2 to 4 additional minutes, or until tender. Place in pie shell.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, dry mustard, salt, and pepper; mix well and pour over onions. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until sides and crust are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into wedges and serve.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:01PM
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I had this at a potluck last week and it was a huge hit.

Grape Salsa
Fresh Grape Salsa

1-1/2 lb. Red Seedless Grapes, halved Can use red and green, if they are large quarter the grapes, to fit more nicely on the crackers
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Agave syrup (I used honey)
1 bunch fresh mint,very finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, very finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and chill for one hour or overnight.
Can be served with toasted baguette slices and goat cheese or Brie.
Even frito scoops
The gals at my table, today, ate it like a salad.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:08PM
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This year for Thanksgiving dinner I made this salad. It was a success, and appreciated because of some vegetarians who were there.

Petit Pois Salad

I pound frozen tiny peas, raw
1/3 cup chopped celery or water chestnuts
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
3 dill pickles, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp prepared mustard
half a teaspoon of hot sauce
Parmesan cheese, optional

Combine first 6 ingredients. Combine rest of ingredients and blend the two mixtures. Garnish with parsley. Cheese may be mixed with the peas. If so, use 3 Tbls. or sprinkle on each serving. Attractive served in a tomato shell.

I took it in a clear glass bowl, with an ice pack underneath to keep it fresh and crisp.

Couldn't be easier.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Something to cook in my crockpot is a great idea! I've never had a corn pudding before, so I'm gonna web-surf to see what they look like.

I like the slaw/cranberries ideas, too.

(My lack of cooking skills/interest stems from my mom. Before I was out of the house, I never knew that other people made spaghetti sauce from scratch!)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Alaska cole slaw
5 cups shredded cabbage **I buy the preshredded plain, no carrots, etc at WalMart
1/2 cups almond slivers, toasted
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup celery, diced**don't use
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper **don't use

This is the creamy dressing I used and it works great:

mix 1/2 c mayo with 2 Tbl cider vinegar **I used white wine vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste Pour over coleslaw right before serving and toss JUST TO COAT

Combine cabbage, almonds, cranberries, celery, green onions, and green pepper in a large plastic bowl with a snap-on lid.
Combine all dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour dressing over slaw just before serving. Stir well

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Thanks, Glenda, for posting that recipe! I know I printed it out a while ago but didn't remember that.

Approx. how many would your recipe serve?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:50PM
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And thank you all for your suggestions!

About the corn puddings: Does the consistency come out more dry than liquidy? Or does it just depend on how long you cook it?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:52PM
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The corn pudding sets after baking, so it's not dry or runny. You just spoon out the servings.

The AK coleslaw??? servings???

8 or more depending on how much they serve themselves.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:02PM
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When I cook my corn pudding in the slow cooker it turns out light and airy, not runny or solid. It's almost got a custard texture to it. It's always a hit. Unfortuneately I'm at work and don't have the recipe on me. I can post it later if interested. The recipe calls for it to be baked but because I usually have 30-40 family members at a time I must use my crock pots as much as possible and this works well in it. The egg substitute instead of sour cream or eggs makes the difference.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Pammyfay~~~~I am Jackie Fay;)I do not like to cook and I am a lazy butt~~~so I would bring fancy breads or rolls fixed in a nice basket. Bring real butter it can set out and a few fancy or good jams;) If it were me I would find something that they all liked, hopefully it would be the rolls and that is what I would bring every year~~like a signature potluck item~~~~easy peasy;)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:37PM
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I sometimes take coleslaw, like Glenda's recipe or make my own. Just cabbage and I like the bottled dressing by Wish Bone or if you can find the dry mix usually in the areas where the lettuce is sold, that is good.
I also put it in a disposal aluminium small roasting pan so I don't have to worry about my dishes.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Corn casserole. I always add chopped onion to mine, Yummy and oh so easy.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:07PM
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This is the corn casserole I have used.

Corn casserole
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:15PM
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I made this for my nieces baby shower in Sept.
It made a ton!

Ina Garten's Panzenella
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule,(I used a large loaf of French Bread) cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)and doubled the vinaigrette.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:22PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Another thing that is super easy and extremely good and can be done in a crockpot or in the oven, we call them oh holy balls, I didn't create the name! Some one that was eating them and loved them shouted that out and well it stuck!

1 bag of frozen Italian meatballs (these are fully cooked)
1 jar of ragu creamy cheddar sauce find it with the regular spaghetti sauces, if they don't have it you can use jar of cheese whiz but the ragu is better.
1cup of grated colby jack cheese.

put all ingredients in a baking dish mix really well put in the oven at about 350 for 45mins or so till cheese is melted melted and bubbly if you want you can take the cover off a few minutes in the oven to let it get golden but don't burn it!

If you prefer the crockpot same directions just put it all in the crockpot turn on high for 45mins - 1hr then lower temp to keep warm and gooey.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Hash brown casserole is always good. I usually bring desserts.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 5:49PM
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When I have to bring a dish to a gathering and am feeling lazy, I head over to the Walmart Deli and buy whatever looks good that day - never had any complaints!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:04AM
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what about cheesy potatoes? (google) basically southern style frozen hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup and about a ton of cheese...

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Glenda's slaw makes at least 8 servings--probably 12 or more for a pot luck where there is a lot of food! I makes a big bowlful.

Georgysmom, that fruit salad is on my "try" list. It sounds so, so good!

This is more of an appetizer, but it's super easy and tasty.

Crockpot Pig Appetizers

2 lb. hot dogs, cut into three pieces
1 lb. sliced bacon, cut into three pieces
1 c. brown sugar

Wrap bacon slices around the hot dogs; secure with toothpicks. Place one layer in the bottom of the crockpot and sprnkle generously with brown sugar. Repeat until all the hot dog pieces have been used, ending up with more brown sugar on top. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hourse or on high for 3-4 hours. Makes 60.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Patti, it is good. I'm making it for Christmas day. For you I would cut the recipe in half. I doubled it for Tammy because she was bringing it for a crowd. Just cook it until the cranberries begin to pop. If you cook too long, it's just as good but not as pretty......and it couldn't be easier. I love it with ham. A little sweet, a little tart.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:00AM
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I take a pea salad that is a little different than Sue-Va.'s.

It is frozen peas, bacon, chopped celery, chopped purple onion, peanuts. Dress it with mayo thinned with Italian dressing.

I call it Pea Salad for those who don't like pea salad (me).

I don't like peanuts either, so I use chopped walnuts.

It is super easy. You don't cook the peas. Mix it up frozen....you can use those packages of real bacon bits that you find on the aisle alongside the dressings. (Don't use fake bacon...unless you are vegetarian). One bag per bag of peas. I usually use two. Couple of ribs of celery, and enough chopped purple onion to make it look nice. However much of the peanuts or walnuts you want to add.

I have never had any left over and always people want the recipe.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:17AM
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If you want a fantastic salad recipe, try the Lohmann's Steakhouse champagne Salad. I can post it if you are interested. I think I got the recipe from here or the Cooking forum. It has nuts, bananas, crushed pineapple, cream cheese, frozen strawberries, and cool whip. Very good!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:12PM
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