6 Impressive Potluck Dishes Anyone Can Make

Dana Zucker

by | Updated: March 20th, 2018 | Read time: 5 minutes

School’s almost out, which means end-of-year celebration notices are flying home in the kids’ folders. Sports awards ceremonies, classroom parties, graduation get togethers””whatever the occasion, chances are you’ll be invited to least one potluck, which means you get to pick a dish, any dish, to share with your kids’ friends and their families.  Rather than  bringing in  yet another iceberg lettuce salad or box of processed supermarket cookies, why not impress the crowd with something creative?

Get great prices on organic nori sheets at Vitacost. Click here to order.

These recipes are easy to make and always well received–plus, I love knowing my family has a healthy option when there are no other dishes available to meet their needs.

Nori-Cone Rolled Salads
One of my all-time favorite potluck sides, rolled salads can be filled in seconds and are easy to eat””no utensils required!

Makes 12 rolls

6 nori sheets
1-1/2 cups cooked organic sushi rice (or rice of choice)
Gluten-free soy sauce
Assorted veggies, sliced in long thin strips (my favorites: cucumbers, carrots, avocado, sprouts or micro greens, romaine lettuce, pickled onions)
Optional: tofu, chicken, shrimp, crushed cashews

1. Cut nori sheets in half so they’re long and thin.
2. Place one end of a nori strip in your palm; add 1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp. rice and press down until your palm is full.
3. Add veggies and optional proteins, angling toward top corner.
4. Dip fingers of your free hand in water. Starting at bottom corner, roll diagonally to make a cone. Run wet finger along nori edge as you roll so it sticks together.
5. Serve with soy sauce.


No time to peel, core and chop pineapple? Use Native Forest Organic Pineapple Slices Instead.

Grilled Romaine & Pineapple Salad

Serves 12 +

4 heads romaine lettuce, sliced lengthwise into quarters
2 pineapples, peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths
Lime juice
Cilantro, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Lightly brush romaine sections and pineapple spears with olive oil.
2. Grill over medium heat, turning until grill marks appear.
3. Place romaine quarters open side up on serving platter; place a pineapple spear on top.
4. Secure with toothpicks for transport, or cut into quarters and serve as a kebob.
5. Sprinkle with olive oil, cilantro, lime juice and a little salt and pepper.


Toss in a few cans of Crown Prince albacore tuna for added protein.
Toss in a few cans of Crown Prince albacore tuna for added protein.

Spring Greens Pasta Salad

Serves 12+

2 lbs.  whole wheat pasta
2 pounds baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 bag of frozen peas
Optional: blanched asparagus or veggies of choice
Optional: 2-3 cans tuna or poached salmon
2 packets organic ranch dressing mix*
1-1/2 cup milk
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Prepare dressing according to package directions.*
3. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well to combine.

*Homemade dressing option: Mix together 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, 1 cup mayo, 1 cup plain yogurt. In food processor, chop: 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 Tbsp. chives, 1 tsp celery seed, 1/4 cup lemon juice  and salt and pepper to taste. Combine with mayo mixture.


Rich coconut milk is combined with silken tofu and honey (or agave, for a vegan version) to make this delectable cream.

Peaches & Cream Cups
“˜Tis the season for fresh peaches! I divide this dessert into small paper cups to make it easy to grab and go.

Serves 12+

1-1/2 lbs. silken tofu
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup agave or honey (adjust to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla or 3 tsp. fresh chopped mint (Tip: Add 1 fork-smashed banana for banana cream flavor!)
12 fresh peaches, sliced and sprinkled with raw sugar (if desired)
Optional: fresh mint, blueberries

1. Add all ingredients except peaches to food processor; blend (do not over mix). Add additional agave/honey to taste.
2. In each cup, repeat layers: scoop of sliced peaches, scoop of tofu cream.
3. Top with mint sprigs or a few blueberries.

Tip: If you want to get fancy, try this recipe with grilled halved peaches!


Be sure to use quick-cooking oats in this recipe. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cookie Bars
Bar  cookies are the way to go when it comes to pot lucks””just mix, pour, bake and serve. No waiting for sheet after sheet of cookies to bake.

Serves 24+

3 cups quick rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup coconut oil or coconut manna (up to an additional 1/2 cup may be needed)
1/2 cup honey (or agave, for vegan version)
1 tsp.  ground ginger or grated fresh ginger
4 cups of a combination of strawberries and rhubarb (or strawberries and peaches)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar and coconut oil until crumbly. Press half of mixture into a parchment paper-lined 9″x13″ pan and bake for 25 minutes.
2. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Spread fruit mixture over baked base. Top with remaining oat mixture; press down lightly. Bake an additional 35 minutes until bubbly and golden.
3. Cut into bars. (Optional topping: Combine 1/3 cup orange juice with 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar. Drizzle over cooled bars.)


A layer of hazelnut spread is hiding under all that fresh fruit! Click here to try Justin’s Natural Chcolate Hazelnut Butter.

Fruit Pizza
This dessert is easy to make and fun for kids to help make. I make my own crust with the recipe below, but if you’re a hurry you can use a whole wheat frozen crust, rolled out and baked..

Serves 12+

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. honey or for vegan use agave
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 jar of   hazelnut spread
Fresh fruit of choice, washed and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and honey. Using the back of a wooden spoon, work in coconut oil. Add enough orange juice to form a manageable dough (the consistency of pastry dough). Tip: You can also complete this step using your food processor.
2. Work dough into ball and wrap with plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
3. Roll dough to desired size and shape, making sure it fit baking sheet of choice. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden.
4. Spread hazelnut layer on cooled crust.
5. Place berries on pizza (let the kids help!).

Tip #1: Try this homemade spread instead of the hazelnut spread. In your food processor, combine 1 lb. silken tofu, ¼ cup coconut milk or orange juice, ¼ cup powdered sugar (or agave or honey), 1 tsp. cinnamon. Chill for 30 minutes and spread on crust.

Tip #2: Make fruit tortillas with the above spreads/fruit, along with a slice of banana (cut lengthwise) for an even easier pick-up-and-go dessert!