What’s Your Go-to Potluck? 10 Cookbook Authors Share Their Must-Bring Dish

By Dina El Nabli | November 12, 2015

Do you have a go-to potluck? A dish that pleases a crowd and is easy to make? Mine at the moment is Ella Woodward’s Brazil Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta. Made with broccoli, peas, zucchini, arugula and basil, it’s got plenty of green goodness. Avocado gives it a creamy texture that makes it a hit with my kids, who like it sans nuts. 

We asked some of our favorite cookbook authors and bloggers what they love to bring to potlucks to help make this season of holiday gatherings a little easier. Check out the recipes they shared and get inspired to try something new at your next dinner party.

Orecchiette with Sautéed Artichoke Hearts, Broccoli, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Photo by John Kernick

Orecchiette with Sautéed Artichoke Hearts, Broccoli, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
"This is a favorite recipe of all our families; it appeals to everyone, adults and kids alike. We love how there is an almost equal ratio of greens to pasta in this dish. The sun-dried tomatoes add a delightful sweet tanginess, and the red pepper flakes, a hint of spice.

This is our go-to potluck dish because it’s quick to prepare, simple to double or triple the recipe to feed a large group, and so easy transport. This dish is delicious either hot or served at room temperature and the fact that it’s vegetarian makes it a great contribution to any potluck."
--Corky, Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan, The Pollan Family Table


Avocado, Orange and Daikon Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette recipe by Terry Walters
Photo by Julie Bidwell Photography

Avocado, Orange and Daikon Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
“Everyone enjoys a salad at a pot luck, especially when it’s a show stopper like this one! I never have to worry about anyone else bringing something similar. It’s perfect for any occasion, including holiday parties, and it’s as delicious and refreshing as it is beautiful.” --Terry Walters, Eat Clean, Live Well


Freekeh With Kale, Butternut Squash, and Smoked Salt
Photo by Staci Valentine

Freekeh With Kale, Butternut Squash, and Smoked Salt
"This freekeh recipe can be made ahead, is eye-catching, travels well and can be re-heated or served room-temperature (and stays food-safe).  Plus, it's easy to take a spoonful and leave the platter or bowl looking pretty for the next person in line." --Amelia Saltsman, The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen 


lemon pound cake by Edd Kimber
Photo by Laura Edwards

Lemon Pound Cake
"Pound cake is one of those mainstay recipes that is always appreciated and always goes down well. It also makes the perfect potluck dessert as it isn't delicate or likely to be damaged in transit. Depending on how perfect you want it, I would transport the cake naked, sans glaze, and finish when you arrive. If you want to turn the humble cake into more of a dessert then maybe serve sliced, with fresh berries, a little sorbet or maybe some whipped cream, whichever you way you serve it you'll end up with a delicious and easy to put together dessert." --Edd Kimber, Patisserie Made Simple: From Macarons to Millefeuille and more


dal recipe by Meera Sodha
Photo by David Loftus

Daily Dal
"My mum's dal recipe is foolproof, delicious and flavor-packed. What makes it perfect for potluck is that it goes with so many other things and can be eaten with rice, bread or as a soup, just by itself." -- Meera Sodha, Made In India


mushroom lasagna
Photo by Lisa Linder

Mushroom Lasagna
"This delicious mushroom-packed lasagna is always a crowd-pleaser--even the meat eaters love it because it's just so rich and savory. And, of course it's always handy to have a veggie option on hand because these days there is pretty much always a vegetarian at any gathering (and they don't want to eat salad all the time!). It also re-heats like a dream (and the leftovers taste scrumptious the next day too)." --Sasha Wilkins,  Friends Food Family: Essential Recipes, Tips and Secrets for the Modern Hostess, from Liberty London Girl 


sangria recipe by Kelis
Photo by David Loftus

Kelis’s Sangria
Grammy-nominated music artist and chef Kelis Rogers, better known as Kelis, always serves a sangria when entertaining. She makes a red verison with strawberries, black grapes, and oranges or a white one with white wine and thick slices of citrus fruits. "Who doesn’t love a sangria! It makes everything feel a little festive." -- Kelis, My Life on a Plate


queso verde dip recipe by Hope Comerford
Fair Winds Press, 2015

Queso Verde
"With 5 simple ingredients, you will have a creamy, cheesy, delicious dip everyone at your potluck will love!" --Hope Comerford, The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker


Soy Curl Mac 'n Cheese recipe by JL Fields
Fair Winds Press, 2015

Soy Curl Mac 'n Cheese 
"This is my go-to potluck dish. Non-vegans love it because the soy curls are like chicken, vegans love it because it's such a cheesy non-cheese dish, and you'll love it because it's fast and easy!" --JL Fields, Vegan Pressure Cooking 


roasted cauliflower kale bowl recipe by Amie Valpone
Photo by Amie Valpone

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Bowl  
This potluck "always pleases a crowd, plus it's easy to make. The tahini lemon drizzle and golden raisins add the perfect sweet and savory touch to this tender and satisfying dish. It's a lovely side dish that can be served anytime of the year." --Amie Valpone, Eating Clean

When you don’t have time to cook and need to work with what you have, try Amelia Saltsman’s go-to potluck in a pinch. “I quickly assemble a beautiful seasonal platter of things I have on hand--hard boiled eggs, cheeses, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and/or condiments, and bread,” Saltsman told ediblefeast. “You'd be surprised how many oohs and ahs a platter like this gets. It's so much more appealing than take-out from a foil container. In fact, that's probably my number one tip--show you care enough to use a pretty baking dish or serving platter or bowl, especially during the holiday season.”

What's your go-to potluck? Tell us on our Facebook page.