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The Daily Meal's Thanksgiving Potluck

The Daily Meal's Thanksgiving Potluck


The Daily Meal staff hosted an early Thanksgiving feast

Jane Bruce

The staff came together and brought in dishes, potluck style.

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with good friends and family and share a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans all smothered in gravy. But what about the people that you work with — your work family? You know, the people that you see every day and spend almost more time with than your own family. The Daily Meal staff hosted an early Thanksgiving feast in our kitchen last Friday — and we stuffed ourselves with all the classic fixings.

From a roast turkey to classic green bean casserole with crispy onions, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and squash, there was plenty to eat and to be thankful for. Drinks were poured and cocktails were mixed, and pie and cheesecake were sliced and eaten. The staff came together and brought in dishes, potluck style, for the whole office to enjoy — and we sure did!

At the end of the meal, the staff felt a greater sense of togetherness, which is important around the holidays. So, this holiday, don’t neglect the people that are closest to you — and sometimes that means the people that you work with.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

For more turkey talk, head over to The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving


"This tasted so good. It's a great meal to make ahead when my kids come to visit."

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"This is everything I've ever wanted in cornbread! So good you can eat it plain for dessert."

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30 Best Thanksgiving Potluck Ideas to Share With All Your Friends

While most everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner, the actual hosting and planning is a little stressful (okay, a lot stressful). Which is why so many people are starting to host potluck-style dinners. The idea is genius: The host focuses on setting the table and preparing the turkey recipes, and guests elect to make and bring all the different Thanksgiving side dishes, the salads, the appetizers, the desserts, cocktails, and anything else necessary to make the feast into the epic event it needs to be.

Of course, throwing a potluck dinner isn't only about practicality and extra downtime. It's also a wonderful time to catch up with friends old and new, and to enjoy a less-formal fall dinner party approach to the holiday season. It's also a great way to try a variety of new dishes that you might not think to make, and to allow everyone the chance to do some giving (and offer some thanks). After all, the season is packed with opportunities for celebration, and given that Christmas and New Year's are around the corner, things are bound to ramp back up again come December. An end-of-fall breather might be just what the doctor ordered. It's also just plain fun to see what Thanksgiving recipes people cook up and bring to the table when you give them the opportunity.

Of course, if your friends and family aren't sure what to make, no problem! Simply send this slide show out along with your invitation, and ask everyone to choose what they want to make. All these dishes are so good, you can't lose!

Let this one be the host's responsibility. (You don't want to try transporting a cooked turkey!) This recipe is not only straightforward, but it balances perfectly between crispy and juicy. Don't forget to whip up the white wine and rosemary gravy to go with it.

Here's a dish you can easily prep ahead. If there's space, you can try broiling the meringue when you arrive, but it doesn't lose much being baked ahead of time.

This is the classic fruit and nut salad you grew up with&mdashbut rethought to appeal to choosy eaters. Guests can select what they love, and leave the rest.

Your guests will appreciate a break from the heavier fare. This cucumber-filled salad (and its tangy red wine vinaigrette) is the delicious solution.

Having a few light-as-air dinner rolls on the table makes any gathering an event. You can make these ahead of time and simply warm them in the oven, or pack them in an insulated bag.

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Brussels sprouts. These get a pop from pickled shallots and toasted hazelnuts&mdashyum!

Potatoes taste good in pretty much any form, but we think they taste out-of-this-world delicious in this gratin filled with Gruyère and Parmesan cheese.

The trick to keeping this deliciously creamy dish its best: pack the crushed saltine topping separately, and then dress it before serving.

A rich sauce with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and a touch of Parmesan elevates this traditional side. For a twist, add chopped sun-dried tomatoes or diced roasted red peppers to the sauce.

We're not one to play favorites, but mashed potatoes are undoubtedly the best part of any Thanksgiving meal. These spuds come together in a slow cooker, making them easier to cart and keep warm.

Give cranberry fans what they really want this Thanksgiving (i.e. more cranberries!) with this easy to carry cinnamon and berry-packed pilaf.

The secret to this flavorful fall salad? A ton of texture. Chopped apple, delicate slivers of Pecorino cheese, and crunchy hazelnuts keep things interesting here.

Filled with caramel and featuring the season's most delicious flavors, your friends won't be able to get enough of these sandwich cookies. They'll look positively lovely sitting on any dessert table.

Crisp bacon meets tart sherry vinegar and sweet honey in this Southern-style dish. Pro tip: Make enough for seconds!

Looking for something impressive, but still simple? These herb-flecked spoon rolls are just the thing.

Not cranberry sauce, but relish! This version gets a spicy kick from scallions while offering zesty, fruity notes from chunks of Granny Smith apple.

This farro-based salad is hearty, but still light enough to accompany turkey, mashed potatoes, and Southern-style casseroles. Toasted hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a sprinkle of blue cheese make it a winner.

Fresh tarragon and crisp butter lettuce keep this roasted carrot salad feeling fresh and light. It's a foolproof option that's guaranteed to please.

This aromatic stuffing takes under an hour to throw together, and the result is downright delicious. Just-picked thyme and flat-leaf parsley brighten things up and add much-needed color.

Serving this easily portable stuffing by the slice may be the smartest idea since the first Friendsgiving.

You just can't have a Southern Thanksgiving without buttery, fresh-from-the-oven cornbread. Add a cast-iron skillet to the mix, and you've got yourself the ultimate rustic side.

This cheesy rice is the perfect cross between risotto and plain rice. A little Velveeta is all you need to bring this ooey-gooey masterpiece to life. Best part? You can bring it in the same pan you cooked it in!

Move aside, pecan pie! This year's dessert of choice is a show-stopping dark chocolate cobbler, which features everything you love about pie and cobbler. while incorporating a few of flavors of s'mores.

Pie is one of the easiest things to make ahead. We love this tart cheddar and sweet apple pairing.

Butter, bourbon, vanilla, and cinnamon come together to make this impossible-to-resist dessert. And you can transport it in the baking tray you cook it in!

Semolina flour and olive oil give the base of this tart serious depth. Don't forget the candied orange zest to top it all off!

Show off your apple picking finds in this stunner of a dessert! Pink Lady apples are the star here, but you can feel free to use whatever you've got on hand.

It's got all the flavors of Thanksgiving you know and love&mdashbut in toffee form. Your fellow guests will be begging you to break them off a piece of this treat! (It's also so easy to transport.)

Sure, they're delicious (and adorable!). But the real reason we're urging you to add these cranberry-apple hand pies to your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving menu is because they're easy to transport.

Here's a dessert that's as pretty as it is easy to transport. You can gift-wrap boxes if you like, or simply bring it in a covered baking pan, cut into squares.


Hawaiian Haystack

The delectable Hawaiian Haystack is probably more accurately described as rice and Chinese vegetables plus pineapple and/or sweet and sour pineapple sauce and/or chopped peanuts and/or soya sauce. And maybe olives and cheese.


14 Phenomenal Thanksgiving Potluck Recipes

If you’re like many folks, you either don’t want to take the time or simply don’t HAVE the time to prepare an huge and involved Thanksgiving feast for your entire extended family. Eliminate some of the tension and worry by making your celebration a potluck! These 14 phenomenal Thanksgiving potluck recipes are a great addition to any meal, whether you are the host or the guest. With this selection, you’ll be able to contribute a delicious dish that’s perfect for fall and Thanksgiving, but makes things easier on your host or hostess.

Easy main dish turkey alternatives are a fun way to put a new spin on Thanksgiving recipes. Plus, who doesn’t love easy casserole recipes? Choose your favorites and get cooking!


Simple Show-Stopping Potluck Ideas

Taking food to a party? Before you hit the road, find out which foods make the perfect to-go potluck dishes.

These potluck show-stoppers are tried-and-true potluck power players! They will fly off of the table and earn you a spot in the Potluck Hall of Fame! Home cooks have tried and tested these recipes at potlucks all across America. Check out the reviews for their tips on preparation and serving. After you&aposve spied your perfect potluck recipe, check below for some prep and transport advice so your dish arrives at the potluck in pristine condition.

Perfect To-Go Potluck Dishes

But first, let&aposs take a quick look at some types of recipes that travel best:

  • Pre-baked casseroles held together with cheese or eggs
  • Slow-cooked dishes that travel in the crock
  • Salads with separate dressing to be mixed in just before serving
  • Pasta salads
  • Savory pies and tarts
  • Dishes frozen ahead of time to be defrosted and/or baked at the destination
  • Dishes that need no reheating

Pro Tip: Before choosing a dish to bring, you might ask the host if she has any requests -- she might need dishes to fill out the spread. Also, find out whether or not there will be space in the oven, stove, or refrigerator.

Potluck Appetizers

"I am continuously asked to bring this dip for parties and family get-togethers," says SUE CASE. "People gather around the platter until it&aposs gone."


"The taste of this lived up to my expectations of just how good it would be. The filling was just the right sweetness and the streusel topping was fantastic. I loved it so much that I have requested it for my birthday too. This is by far my favorite apple pie!"


If your Thanksgiving potluck is going to have loads of guests in a standing-room-only conference room, sweet potato fries are a fun alternative to a classic side dish that will make it super easy for everyone to chow down. Bonus points if you add a maple or marshmallow dipping sauce instead of ketchup to keep in line with the season.

Go a little against the grain for dessert and your coworkers will love you for it. There might be a lot of pies on the conference room table, but you can wow with a pumpkin and pecan cheesecake that combos the best of the best in Thanksgiving desserts. Just don't forget the whipped cream.


11 Dishes That Will Get You Invited Back For Thanksgiving

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving essential, and this homemade version by Miss Robbie Montgomery, star of OWN's Welcome to Sweetie Pie's and author of the new Sweetie Pie's Cookbook, is the stuff of tradition. "My friend Mrs. Strauss told me how to make it, and it's so good," Miss Robbie says. "For almost 20 years I've been giving my Thanksgiving guests jars of it to take home."

For a more sophisticated take on mashed potatoes, try a gratin of sweet and russet potato slices layered in Gruyère, cream and pumpkin puree it's a favorite of Adam and Jackie Sappington, chefs and owners of the Country Cat in Portland, Oregon, and authors of the new cookbook Heartlandia. "I always make it a day ahead so I have more time with everyone on Thanksgiving," says Adam. "Plus, when you give the dried herbs time to bloom overnight, the flavors get even better."

"A soup is a nice first course to get festivities under way, and it doesn't have to be super filling," says chef and O columnist Curtis Stone, whose velvety carrot soup garnished with rich celery root cream and crispy prosciutto showcases fall's earthy vegetables. "We often overlook the appetizer and go straight to the turkey and the gravy and the stuffing. A soup is the perfect add-on people don't often think to make, and this one works hot or cold."

"What I enjoy most about turkey is the super-crispy skin," says Brandon Kida, executive chef at L.A's Hinoki & the Bird, who created these succulent turkey wings. "This way, everyone gets a helping. Plus, it's Thanksgiving and football is on, right?" Coat them with spicy cranberry-habanero sauce or drizzle with sweet maple-sage sauce, and dip in cooling walnut crème fraîche.

Next to all the decadent sides, everyone will appreciate something refreshing, like this sweet-tart salad from Andrew Weil, MD, author of the new cookbook Fast Food, Good Food. "The different colors and textures make it a real eye-catcher," he says. The dressing, which pairs orange juice and zest with a dash of cinnamon, softens the raw Tuscan kale without wilting it—so you can toss it ahead of time.

This pimento cheese and pineapple casserole from chef Sarah Simmons's New York City restaurant Birds & Bubbles is a fancier version of her Aunt Edna's famous dish. "It's got all the things you want—a little salt, a little sweet, a little texture, creaminess," Simmons says. "It's fantastic hot, but I actually prefer it at room temperature. Which is great, because then you don't have to fight for oven space."

Squash doesn't need to be creamy or sweetened to have crowd appeal. Anita Lo, executive chef and owner of the New York City restaurant Annisa, drizzles chunks of kabocha with a sauce inspired by a traditional Mexican mole—a mix of extra-dark chocolate, shallots and garlic, plus warming spices like cumin, cinnamon and star anise. Kabocha makes for easy cooking and eating since its peel is edible, Lo says, and the unexpected topping gives it an addictive twist: "A little bitterness balances the squash's sweet flavor."

Instead of bringing yet another pie, pack a cooler with Amanda Cohen's modern spin on Nanaimo bars, a layered dessert popular in her native Canada. When the chef and owner of the New York City restaurant Dirt Candy first moved to the States, she made this her signature contribution to Thanksgiving gatherings. "Everybody likes the person who brings ice cream," says Cohen.

Score major points this Thanksgiving—or any game day—with these three accompaniments to chef Brandon Kida's crispy beer-roasted turkey wings, his seasonal take on the Buffalo wing. You might also try dipping sweet-potato or barbecue chips in the Cranberry-Habanero Sauce or Walnut Cream, or mixing the Sage Maple Syrup Drizzle into a batch of popcorn.


Watch the video: Potluck Food