Main Dishes

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day potluck dish!  The traditional corned beef and cabbage are combined with onions, butter, and egg noodles to make a hearty, flavorful dish.

You can also make this dish especially easy by buying already cooked corned beef and pre-shredded bags of cabbage.  Double the amount of beef, if you want and, if your budget allows.  The inspiration for this recipe came from The Chew, with variations on the amount of ingredients.


1 lb. cooked corned beef

24 ozs. egg noodles, cooked

Reserved pasta water

2 medium white onions, sliced

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 stick butter

2 T. olive oil

Coarse dijon mustard, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions and save three to four cups of the pasta liquid.  Set noodles aside.

Melt 1/2 stick butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the white onion and cook until soft.  Add the cabbage and cook until soft.  Shred the corned beef and add to the onion cabbage mixture until heated through.

Add the egg noodles and remaining butter.  Cook until the butter is melted.  Add some of the reserved pasta water, as needed.  Keep in mind that the noodles will dry out some, so it’s better to add a little too much pasta water, as opposed to not enough.  (You especially want to add extra water if you’re going to make this dish ahead of time and then reheat before serving.)

Then, add mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.  Cooking until heated through.  Put into a serving bowl and you’re ready for potluck time!


Chipotle Bean Chili

Chipotle Bean Chili

You won’t miss the meat in this chili recipe!  The smokey chipotle peppers and spices combined with beans, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro make this a hearty and healthy chili with just the right amount of heat.  This recipe can also easily be made gluten free.*


28 ozs. diced tomatoes

2 T. vegetable oil

3 medium onions, minced

8 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chili powder

2 T. cumin

1/4 tsp. salt

1 can pinto beans, drained

1 can black beans, drained

2 cans kidney beans, drained

2 chipotle peppers and 3 T. adobo sauce (from can)

4 tsp. sugar

2 cups frozen white corn, thawed

1/2 cup cilantro, minced

Put the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until slightly chunky.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Cook until the onions are soft.

Turn off the heat.  Add the tomatoes and stir well.  Add the tomato and onion mixture to the slow cooker.  Stir in the beans, chipotle, and sugar.

Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Add the corn and cilantro and cook for another five minutes.  Turn the slow cooker on the warm setting and you’re ready for potluck time!  It’s extra good served with sour cream and cornbread on the side.

* Note: Most of the ingredients in this recipe are typically gluten-free, but make sure to double check all of your labels, to be safe!

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic that I often forget about, but it is so good!  The creamy, cheesy noodles combined with peas and tuna make this an especially good potluck dish during the cold months.  Total comfort food!

I cut this recipe off of the back of an egg noodle bag years ago and improvised it.


1 package of wide egg noodles

2 – 10 3/4 oz. cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

12 ozs. of evaporated milk

1 cup sour cream

2 cans of tuna in water, drained and flaked

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions and drain well.

In a medium bowl, blend the soup, milk, sour cream, tuna, peas, onion, salt, and pepper.  Add the noodles and mix well.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13″ casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle mozzarella on the top and bake for 10 minutes more.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Mochi Chicken Nuggets

Mochi Chicken Nuggets

These Mochi Chicken Nuggets are crispy, slightly sweet from the Mochi flour, and have a hint of kick from the Chinese 5 Spice!  They’re a delightful step up from chicken nuggets or fried chicken and are perfect for any potluck.  And you can easily make them gluten-free by using a GF soy sauce*.

This plate of nuggets got devoured so quickly, that I was barely able to take this picture before they were all gone!  Thank you, Brandy, for sharing your Mochi Chicken Nugget recipe!


2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)

1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

4 eggs, beaten

1 stalk green onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced

Chinese 5 Spice

Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients, except the Chinese 5 Spice, and mix well.  Add the chicken chunks and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Deep fry at 350 degrees until brown and crispy.  Drain off excess oil on paper towels.  Dust them with Chinese 5 Spice and keep in a warm oven until it’s potluck time.  If you’re traveling to the potluck, don’t worry.  They’re great when served at room temperature, too!

* Note:  Typically, all of the other ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free, but make sure to double check all of your labels, to be safe!

Shoyu Chicken

Shoyu Chicken

Shoyu Chicken is a staple dish in Hawaiian plate lunches.  It’s easy to make and the flavors are simple, but it is so “Ono”!

I was recently reminded of how much I love Shoyu Chicken and how perfect it is for potlucks when Chelsea made it for a dinner.  It is typically served over rice.  However, you can show up to any potluck with or without the rice, and everyone will still love you for bringing this dish.

Thank you, Chelsea, for sharing this recipe!

Note:  Ingredients are listed per pound of chicken.  You will definitely want to double, triple, or quadruple the qty of ingredients, depending on how much chicken you have.


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup Aloha Shoyu (or you can use regular soy sauce instead; I prefer low sodium)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 T. minced garlic

2 T. ginger, crushed and minced (leave in big pieces if you don’t like to eat bits of ginger)

There are three options for cooking this recipe.  Choose any one as they are all great!:

#1 – Simmer slow and low on the stovetop for at least one hour.  The longer the better.

#2 – Cook in the electric pressure cooker for 13 minutes perfectly.

#3 – Cook in the slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours.

You’re ready for potluck time!

Chili Cookoff Recipe

Chili Cookoff Winner

This is my famous Chili Cookoff winning recipe!  The key ingredient is the Italian sausage which adds the extra flavor that can’t be matched.  On a few occasions, I have used ground beef instead of sausage, but it only yielded a 2nd or 3rd place ranking.  If you do decide to use ground beef, I recommend using 1 1/2 or 2 chili seasoning packets.


2 lbs. ground Italian sausage

1 chili seasoning packet

1 sweet onion, chopped

28 ozs. crushed tomatoes

8 ozs. tomato sauce

10 ozs. diced tomatoes with green chiles

2 – 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained

Chili powder, to taste

Brown the sausage and onion in a skillet.  Drain off excess fat.  Put all of the ingredients in your crockpot and stir well.  I prefer to make this the night before and store the crock in the refrigerator (it gives the chili a thicker consistency), but you can do it either way.

The next morning, I put the crock back into the base, turn it on low, and cook for 7 to 8 hours.  Add extra chili powder, to taste during cooking, if needed.

Serve with mini corn muffins, sour cream, and grated cheese on the side.  Whether you’re entering a chili cookoff or bringing this to a potluck, you’ll be a winner either way!

Little Smokies in Crescent Rolls

Little Smokies in Crescent Rolls

Little Smokies in Crescent Rolls are a classic potluck crowd-pleaser that often get overlooked.  They are so simple to make.  Loved by kids and adults alike, you can never go wrong if you bring these to your next potluck!


Crescent rolls (use one tube for every 16 Little Smokies)

Little Smokies sausages (I prefer the all beef)

Your favorite sauces for dipping (honey mustard, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Unroll the crescent rolls onto the parchment paper.

Each tube comes  with 8 crescent rolls.  Cut each one lengthwise to make 16 total crescent rolls.  Place the sausage on the widest end of the crescent roll and roll it up.  Repeat until they are all rolled up.

Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  You may need to make several batches depending on the number of sausages and the size of your baking sheet.  When they’re all cooked, put them in a regular or foil square baking pan and keep in the oven on warm until right before potluck time.  Serve with dipping sauce!

Sloppy Joe Crescent Roll Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Only 5 ingredients are needed to make this easy, crowd-pleasing Sloppy Joe Crescent Roll Casserole!  A few years ago, I saw this recipe on a Pillsbury commercial.  I made it for Superbowl Sunday and it has been one of my staple potluck recipes ever since.  You can make it right before potluck time or slice it into squares, store in the fridge, and reheat before serving.


2 lbs. ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 – 15 oz. cans sloppy joe sauce

3 cans of crescent rolls

Grated cheddar cheese (you decide how much!)

Brown the beef and onions over medium low heat until the meat is browned and the onions are soft.  Drain off excess liquid.  Add in both cans of sloppy joe sauce and simmer until heated through.  Take off the burner and let the meat mixture cool completely (if you don’t, the heat will make your crescent rolls soggy).

Spray a 9 x 13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.  Unroll and place 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Using your fingers, press the seams of the crescent rolls together.  Spread the meat mixture on top of the rolls.  Top with cheese.

Unroll the remaining 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls.  Press the seams of each square (made up of two triangular crescent rolls) and lay the individual squares on top of the casserole, slightly overlapping, if necessary.  They don’t have to be perfect.  The goal is to just have plenty of crescent roll squares covering the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  Let it cool before cutting into squares.  If you’re going to make ahead, make sure they are completely cooled, store in the fridge in an airtight container, and reheat right before potluck time!


Lasagna Cupcakes

Lasagna Cupcakes

Lasagna Cupcakes are ingenious!  Wonton wrappers replace the lasagna noodles making them extremely easing to prepare.  These are a perfect appetizer or main potluck dish.

This recipe was inspired by Aarti Sequeria from the Food Network.  Her Lasagna Cupcakes have an Indian flair with mango chutney in the cheese mixture and the sauce is flavored with cinnamon and cloves.  They are also divine and you can click here to get her original recipe.


96 wonton wrappers (I prefer the square ones)

1 jar of your favorite marinara

1 lb. of Italian sausage (pork, chicken, or vegetarian)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra for the tops

1 cup grated parmesan cheese plus, extra for the tops

Basil, to taste

Oregano, to taste

Crushed garlic, to taste.

Brown your sausage and drain off excess fat.  Add the jar of marinara, oregano, basil, and garlic and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside and cool for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.

Grease the muffin tins or spray them with non-stick cooking oil.  Place one wonton wrapper in each tin and press down gently.  Spoon one teaspoon of meat sauce and cheese mixture onto each wonton wrapper.  Repeat this two more times.  Be sure to alternate the direction of the wonton wrappers so they aren’t directly stacked on top of each other (see picture above).  Place a fourth and final won ton wrapper on each one.  Top with a spoonful of marinara, some mozzarella, and a pinch of parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.  These are best when made right before the potluck.  You can warm them in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds, if needed.

Chicken Tortilla Dish

Chicken Tortilla Dish

This Chicken Tortilla Dish is a rich and buttery version of white chicken enchiladas!  The combination of butter and jack cheese makes the tortillas crisp up perfectly, while the green chiles give it just the right amount of kick.  These are absolutely delicious and perfect for any potluck.   Thank you, Mara, for sharing this recipe!


8 flour tortillas, dipped in butter

4 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. can green chiles

2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped



1/4 cup cooking sherry

1/2 lb. grated jack cheese

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

Coat a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix together the softened cream cheese, sherry, chicken, chiles, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Put some filling  in the center of a tortilla, roll it like an enchilada, and place it in the baking dish.  Repeat until you’ve rolled all the tortillas, making sure to divide the mixture evenly between all the tortillas.

Sprinkle jack cheese on top of the tortillas and then pour the whipping cream over the top evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.