What is a good dish to bring to a picnic potluck?

My husband and I are invited to a couple’s picnic potluck lunch next weekend. What is a good dish to make? Keep in mind, we will be out in the sun all afternoon, so I don’t want the food to go bad. What should we take?


  1. rob lou says:

    Baked beans…they can do well as there is very little to go bad and they are cooked to death (smile)……or you can ask them what they would like you to bring also…..so as you won’t bring the 50th bowl of potato salad……..

  2. esmerelda says:

    Take a Greek Pasta salad – it’s oil and vinegar based and you won’t have to worry about any mayo going bad.


    1 lb pasta, (rotini, farfalle, or shells) cooked to minimum time and cooled (don’t rinse!)
    ½ large red onion, chopped
    1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
    1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
    Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
    Sprinkle of salt, to taste
    ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
    ½ Cup red wine vinegar
    1 lemon, juiced
    1 small can sliced black olives
    1 & ½ clamshells of red pear or cherry tomatoes cut in half
    1 bell pepper, chopped (I prefer orange or yellow for the color, otherwise red. You can use green, but the others are sweeter.)
    1 large cucumber, seeds scooped out and discarded, chopped
    1 block (6 or 8 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
    1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

    In a LARGE bowl, mix together onion, garlic, herbs, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and let sit for about 20 minutes. Add the pasta and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. If salad seems too dry, add a bit more oil and vinegar.

    Other things you can add: chopped asparagus (steamed & cooled), chopped broccoli (steamed and cooled or raw), (this may absorb some of the oil & vinegar, so you may need to add more), chopped zucchini, chopped summer squash, canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, fresh, chopped spinach, thinly sliced pepperoni.

  3. baked beans, the more they cook the better they taste, perfect for sitting in the sun.

  4. a nice fruit tray or veg. tray with appropriate dips……..or slaw with a vinegarette dressing or a tray of pickles, olives, etc…….

  5. :)greenkiwi says:

    ive been to many pot luck events and i always see
    -chips and dip
    -mini sandwhiches
    -pasta salad
    -7 layer dip with torilla chips

  6. Twistedtweedy says:

    Lots and Lots of iced down fruit as watermelon, grapes, all other melons, apples and the like. Kids love this stuff cold and it is so good and refreshing. In a zip lock bag, add some cheeses and drop down in the cooler. Fruits and cheeses go great with potlucks and sun!

  7. sandypaws says:

    I like to make my “bean casserole” & it’s always a hit.

    Take & brown 2lbs of hamburger with chopped onions & drain well. Pour into lightly greased casserole dish & add 2 big cans of Bush’s baked beans. Cover with strips of applewood smoked bacon & bake @ 325 for about 45 minutes. This keeps well in the heat for several hours.

    You also could do a cold cucumber salad made with sliced cucumbers, sliced videlia onions, white vinegar, sugar & mustard seeds. Let marinate overnight before serving……

  8. jumby75 says:

    I think the greatest and easiest summer dish is a recipe I got from Ina Garten. It’s a pasta dish and can be made ahead, refrigerated and left out for awhile without going bad. You simply can’t go wrong with this recipe and people love it. Makes quite a bit too. Also, I tend to add just a little more garlic and I cook mine till it’s a little crunchy like bacon. I also add a little more lemon juice to the sauce. It’s great. The only thing I omit is the lemon slices at the end. Great for garnish, but not needed. Good luck and enjoy!

    1 tablespoon good olive oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
    2 cups heavy cream
    3 lemons
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound dried fusilli pasta (corkscrew) or bow tie works
    1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

    Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve.

  9. Sugar Pie says:

    Brownie Pie

    6 Tbsp.(3/4 stick) unsalted butter
    3 1/4 cups (20 oz)semisweet chocolate chips
    3 extra-large eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts
    2 to 3 Tbsp. heavy cream

    Grease and flour a 9-inch tart or pie pan Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

    Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.

    Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart.

    –Ina Garten

    Honey Lime Fruit Toss

    1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained, reserve juice
    1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
    1 kiwi, peeled, halved, and sliced
    1 cup quartered strawberries
    1 large banana, sliced
    ¼ tsp. grated lime peel
    2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    1 Tbsp. honey

    Gently stir fruit in large bowl. In small bowl, combine lime peel, lime juice, and honey to make dressing. Pour dressing over fruit and toss. Chill until ready to serve.

    –DOLE cookbook

    Asian Noodle Salad

    1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
    1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
    1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
    1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
    1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
    1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
    1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
    1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
    3 sliced scallions
    3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
    ½-1 bunch chopped cilantro
    1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet
    Juice of 1 lime
    8 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons sesame oil
    6 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
    2 cloves chopped garlic
    2 hot peppers or jalapeños, chopped

    Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.

    *Dressing keeps up to three days before serving

    Blue Salad

    8 cups mixed greens
    1 carton fresh blueberries
    1 pkg. blue cheese
    1 cup walnut pieces
    1/4 cup purple onion

    3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
    1 clove garlic minced

    Whisk together dressing ingredients and then toss with salad. Makes 6-8 servings.

    Sensation Salad
    From Vic’s Chophouse

    1/2 to 3/4 lb. of finely ground Peccorino Romano cheese
    1 pt. olive oil
    Juice of 3 lemons
    4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    6 cloves of garlic pressed with pulp and all juice
    Very cold iceberg lettuce, romaine and mixed baby greens

    Blend all ingredients together by hand. Toss greens together to mix well. Add dressing and toss gently to coat each leaf of greens. Salt and pepper (fresh ground) to taste. Serve on cold plates. This dressing will keep in refrigerator for an extremely long time.

    –The Advocate

  10. Chef B ♥ says:

    I’d bring a Pasta Salad, if it is gonna be out in the sun, it is better to stick with a pasta salad instead of potato or any other salad because with the potato salad you can use Zesty Italian Dressing, which wont be as bad as salads using Mayo out in the sun.

    You could also bring fresh sliced watermelon and cantalope.. both are usually hits at our picnics.

    And, Deviled Eggs always go qucik.. so there’s 3 ideas for you.

  11. callaway says:

    I’d probably go with a 7 layer bean dip and wrap it with tin foil and chill it in an ice chest with cold packs around the perimiter of the ice box. let the pyrex dish you make it in also sit on top of ice. It’ll be so good. watch people compliment you.

  12. barbwire says:

    Anything that can be eaten cold. Just pack it in an ice chest or cooler, so it won’t spoil before you’re ready to eat. You can also bring beverages in the cooler.

  13. pattsywattsy says:

    1/2 lb. ground beef1/2 lb. bacon
    1 chopped onion
    Brown in skillet and drain excess grease.

    16 oz. can Red Kidney Beans (drained)
    24 oz. can Pork & Beans (drained)
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup Catsup
    2 TBLS. Molasses
    1/2 tsp. dry mustard

    Mix Thoroughly !
    Cook in a crock pot until…hot…hot…hot!
    Note: After cooked….still good…for picnic….might put in an aluminum pan with a lid….no mess…let someone take home left-overs (if any).

    1 lb. can French style green beans
    1 lb. can small peas
    1 lb. can white corn
    1 – 4oz. jar pimento (chopped)
    1 cup shopped onion
    1 cup chopped celery
    1 cup chopped green pepper
    1 cup sugar (I used artificial sweetener)
    2/3 cup vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
    1/2 cup cooking oil
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. pepper

    1.)Pour green beans, peas, corn & pimento in a colander to drain over a
    large bowl. Discard 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
    2.)Put veggies in a large bowl and fold in onions, celery and green
    3.)Mix together thoroughly the remaining ingredients and toss with
    4.)Cover and let sit over night in refrigerator. (The longer it marinates the better.)

    Find more quick – simple – E-Z – few ingredient….recipes…at E-Z Cookin’ group:


    Lots of interesting ‘stuff’ in files & links…come join & check it out.

    Pat in Indiana….


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