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Home >> Potluck Cooking

 Menu Ideas & Planning
Menu Ideas & Planning

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Helpful Potluck Hints

Here are some tips to help:


  1. Make sure to keep cold food in the refrigerator until just before you leave. Contact your host to ensure they have enough room in their refrigerator. Potluck Recipes

  2. Use a cooler filled with ice or freezer packs to keep food cold during the trip and while at the event.

  3. Place cold salads, appetizers and desserts in serving bowls set inside a large pan filled with ice.

  4. If refrigeration is simply not possible, allow foods to remain at room temperature for no more than 4 hours in total (Donít forget that includes transportation time!)


  1. Prepare hot foods ahead of time at home, cool, then refrigerate. Reheat when you arrive at the potluck. Always reheat foods to an internal temperature of 165įF.

  2. Choose recipes that can be prepared and served from a slow-cooker. Contact the host to make sure there are electrical outlets nearby and plug it in as soon as you arrive. Pack an extension cord just in case!

  3. Before arriving, inform your host if you need to use the oven, microwave or stovetop to heat your dish. Try a Make & Freeze Recipe; they allow you to bring a frozen item and reheat it when you arrive!

  4. If hot foods must remain at room temperature, discard anything thatís been left out for more than 4 hours total.


  1. Use a return address label to identify any pans or utensils that you bring to the potluck. This will ensure you get them back!

  2. If you are hosting a potluck, consider using a sign-up sheet so guests can let others know what they will bring and avoid any duplications.

  3. Remember that most people will take small portions in order to sample more dishes. So, a recipe that makes 4 servings may be enough to feed 8 people.

  4. Consider investing in a chafing dish or hot plate if you enjoy hosting or attending potlucks and parties.

Presentation Pointers

  1. Have serving platters washed and ready for each of your guests' dishes. You want to make their dish feel like part of the party!

  2. Make sure everyone is on the same page ahead of time. Remember to assign different categories to each guest so that there aren't too many desserts, appetizers, or what have you.

  3. Provide take home containers for your guests to take home leftovers, or have them use the containers they brought. Letting them bring some of the food home will reward them for bringing something.

Extra note: If you are bringing a dish to a potluck, use a casserole dish or a Tupperware container to transport your dish.  Make sure it's sealed tight and won't be a mess when you get to your destination.

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