Covered Dish Ideas for Your Potluck or Reunion

When trying to come up with covered dish ideas for your potluck or reunion, steer clear of foods such as deviled eggs, potato salad and desserts unless your host expressly asked you to bring these items. There is usually an overabundance of these no-brainer covered dishes at any given large group gathering. The next time you need to take a covered dish to a potluck or reunion, think outside of the box.

Here are a few covered dish ideas to get your mind off the obvious options an on to the creative or unique ideas. Depending on how far you need to travel with a covered dish, you may need to make the dish at home or prepare it once you arrive. Most of these ideas work for either situation.

  • Take a pickle tray. Include sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, pickled watermelon rind, green and black olives, etc.
  • Share your homemade relish. I like to make a large pot of blackeyed peas and take a couple of jars of my pear relish. The peas take very little time to make and the relish makes the peas extra special.
  • Buttermilk or drop biscuits add country cooking flair, especially if you also take a few jars of your homemade jelly or preserves.This is especially meaningful at a family reunion if you use Grandma’s recipe and share it with your relatives as well.
  • Tomato, Avocado and Mango salsa is a cool, tasty option. Of course, you could also prepare homemade tomato salsa. Take blue corn chips as an alternative to other chips.
  • Prepare a diabetic-friendly dessert, making sure you label it. Most people won’t think to do this except those with diabetes. The same can be done for people who are lactose intolerant and those who need gluten-free foods.
  • Prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This might seem like a silly suggestion but there are usually picky toddlers and kids to contend with. If you make a plate of PB & J sandwiches, you can bet moms will appreciate you thinking of their little picky eaters.
  • Cut up in-season fresh fruit. Place pieces on a large platter and make a delicious dip using an 8-ounce box of softened cream cheese and two 7-ounce jars of marshmallow fluff. Nearly everyone loves fresh fruit so it is unlikely you will have to take any home with you.
  • Tossed green salads are another covered dish you might want to consider preparing. Salads don’t require as much diligence in keeping them cold so they are often a good option especially if the weather is warm. Of course, if you do take a salad, it would be best to purchase non-mayonnaise type dressings.
  • Corn on the cob is something many people enjoy. You can purchase a dozen ears of corn, break them in half and have enough for several people. Be sure to leave the corn in a small amount of hot water in the pan and wrap the pan with newspaper and a towel to keep them warm. Try not to forget the butter for the corn.
  • Baked beans usually go over well at potlucks and reunions. You may want to prepare two dishes of baked beans – one pan made with bacon and one without for those who don’t eat pork.
  • A pasta salad would also be a welcome addition to your potluck or reunion. There are many different pasta salad recipes to choose from. Look around and try to find something that hasn’t been prepared in the past.
  • Homemade ice cream is a great treat. Take a large electric ice cream maker with several different ice cream bases and have them chilled and ready to put in the maker when everyone is ready for it. Make some ice cream ahead of time and freeze.

These covered dish ideas for your potluck or reunion will help you show your friends and family how much you care. By using creative country cooking covered dishes, you can help them stay healthy and bring back fond memories. Now, all you need to do is get the covered dish to your destination. For tips on how to do that, see our post on traveling with food.

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