The ten: Always present potluck dishes

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Savoury edition

Bean salad
This go-to dish is simple and tasty, a great addition to any spread, usually can be thrown together quickly, before church with the ingredients in the cupboard.

Seven-layered dip
A great dip is perfect on a potluck table. Carrot sticks, cucumber, celery, corn chips all lift with the right dip. This dip is the king of dips, usually with a Mexican theme (refried beans, guac, salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, spring onion).

Potato salad
This staple dish is also simple. If you’re lucky enough to be lunching with Cook Islanders, you may be treated to a pink variety which has added beetroot. It’s not only more fun but tastes great! Eggs optional. A variation is curried potatoes.

Club sandwiches
cheese and gherkin, egg and lettuce, a number of combinations can work well but the key thing is to have at least three layers, then you know you’ve made it.

Nut loaf
Now this one might be polarising. It is found at every potluck but may not be favoured by many. Certain to be healthy, may not be tasty, this dish ranges from cardboard to please can I have some more. 

Aunty Ethel’s lasagne
You know the one. The perfect mix of cheese, sauce and pasta, not filled with undercooked or pesky vegetables. Lasagne is a go-to at any potluck and sometimes there are more than one, but there is always a superior one.

Vegetarian chow-mein (stir fry)
Noodles, vegetables, tofu. Simple yet tasty and can bring spice and flavour to any lunch. Many varieties and combinations but always good.

Mystery patties
A versatile and tasty morsel, these round rissoles can be oat, rice, gluten or casserole mince based (or a combination). Occasionally they’re bland and fall flat but most often a winner. And, like the nut loaf, it’s always hard to tell what they’re made of and how they’ll taste. You’ve just got to dive in. 

A staple throughout the Pacific, you could replace taro with green bananas, cassava, kumara or breadfruit but you need a starch that goes with everything, cooked in coconut cream. A must-have dish. Count yourself doubly blessed if you also get taro leaves and coconut cream (palusami) to go with it.

Something overly cheesy
Not squarely in the health message but always there to tempt the unwary. Might be a potato bake or some other concoction, but you know you’ll pay for this dish later.

What is your go-to dish? Did it make the list? What did we miss? Tell us at

Picture of Jarrod Stackelroth

Jarrod Stackelroth

Editor - Adventist Record, Signs of the Times
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