What to Bring to a Potluck (if You Don’t Cook)

In everyone’s life, there comes a time when you transition from being a child with few responsibilities to an adult with many. And one hallmark of this transitional time is a person’s first potluck invitation. Other adults are trusting you to bring enough food to feed 10 or more other people and, no, it can’t just be the leftovers in your fridge or the frozen meals your mom sent you home with the last time you visited (thanks, mom). You need to prove to these people that you don’t just look and smell like an adult, you function like one, too. And whether you actually do function like an adult or not (life is hard guys, I get it), here are some things you could bring to the potluck that will trick them into believing you have your life together.

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Lipton French Onion Dip

This one is always a winner. The recipe? Mix this powder with one container of sour cream, et voila—an instant, tasty dip that you technically “made” from scratch. This stuff goes well with veggies, potato chips, a spoon, you name it. Former staff writer Danny Palumbo called this dip’s flavor “powerful and delicious,” with a “creamy, cheese-like consistency to it once you mix in the proper amount of sour cream.” Ugh, it’s just so good. Bring a bowl of this with some chopped-up dippin’ veggies and tasty salted potato chips and people will be askin’ for your recipe. I guarantee it.

Related: Best Dip Mixes: Ranch Mix, French Onion Mix & Beyond

On the Border Café Style Tortilla Chips

There are few tortilla chips that come close to the On the Border brand. Staff writer Jordan Myrick said these chips are “sturdy without being too thick,” and have, “a mild corn flavor that makes them feel homemade rather than mass-produced.” These almost have a fresh-out-of-the-fryer oily taste to them previously only available in chips at actual restaurants. Heck, people might even think you made these yourself if you take them out of the bag before bringing them. Plus it’s so easy to bring a store-bought salsa and guac to go with them, and the chips are a great thickness and salt level for dipping. This is an easy-peasy chips solution to your potluck problem.

Related: Best Tortilla Chips: 7 Best Tortilla Chips for Dipping in Anything

TJ’s Parmesan Pastry Pups

Hey, whaddya know! It’s my buddy TJ’s with a frozen appetizer you just have to toss in the oven. Can you manage that? I think you can, you burgeoning adult, you. Plus these are absolutely divine and will make people believe you are a pastry whiz instead of a harbinger of culinary chaos. Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart called the flavor of these “outrageous” and “decadent,” and noted that the “juicy mini hot dogs and buttery puff pastry combine to create a delicious, greasy slurry, and the parm on top gives them even more savory flavor.” Ugh, I am salivating. Like a pup. For these pastry pups. And so too will your fellow potluckers.

Related: Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Appetizers: 7 to Pick Up for Your Next Party

Paper Plates and a Sparkling Personality

Hey, it happens.

Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for a glorious chocolate chip cookie that tastes so much like homemade you could dump these on a plate all decorative-like and no one would be the wiser? Tate’s, baby. Danny described these cookies as “crumbly, buttery, crispy, and delicious,” as well as “absolutely stuffed with chocolate.” Plus, these have some caramelization on the bottom that makes them taste literally just like homemade. Danny even called them “the best chocolate chip cookie hands down.” And I can’t argue with that.

Related: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies: We Tasted 27, but These 6 Are in a Different League

Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

If you’re going to bring cookies to the potluck, why not bring some ice cream to go with them? And if you are going to being ice cream, why not bring the Sporked crew’s favorite ice cream, Vanilla Bean Häagen-Dazs? Also, vanilla is consistently in the top three most popular ice cream flavors in the U.S. so of all the flavors you could pick, statistically, this one will please a lot of people. Jordan described this ice cream as “incredible. Like, it’s the absolutely perfect and most delicious vanilla ice cream you can imagine.” This ice cream may be vanilla, but it’s anything but vanilla (if you catch my drift).

Related: Best Ice Cream: 10 Best Ice Creams from Our Taste Tests

La Brea Take and Bake French Dinner Rolls

What’s this? A bready side dish that was ~technically~ baked by you? Why indeed it is. These are Sporked’s favorite dinner rolls—and they are soon to be your potluck pals’, too. They are warm from the oven (because you bake them yourself), plus, Danny describes these as having a “crusty exterior” which “encases a delightfully fluffy and warm center.” What could be better than warm, crusty bread? Danny called these a “restaurant quality, chewy, savory, yeasty French roll.” And if that won’t impress your potluckin’ friendos, I don’t know what will.

Related: Best Dinner Rolls: The 6 Best for Your Thanksgiving Feast


About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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