5 Deliciously Healthy Potluck Recipes to Impress Your Guests
Tastes for everyone in the crowd, including you
Potlucks are the time for everyone to showcase their favorite dishes to the crowd. But, it can be a little challenging when you’re trying to stick to a healthier, whole-food diet. Worries aside, we’ve got you covered with 5 super healthy and satisfying potluck recipes that are sure to impress all the guests and also keep you right on track with your health goals.
With these hearty salads, kebabs, and main dishes, we've got something for everyone at the next gathering.
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber, and it's also gluten-free. Cook 1-3 cups of quinoa according to package instructions, then mix it with grilled or roasted veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, or asparagus. Add in some chickpeas and a simple dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley. Chill, to let the flavors meld, and serve cold or at room temperature.
Thai Chicken Peanut Salad
Be warned–you will be asked many times for your recipe when you bring this dish to the party. This shortcut salad comes together relatively easily, starting with a rotisserie chicken that you shred, then set aside. The salad base combines bagged shredded green and purple cabbage. Add in shredded carrots (they are available bagged if you can find them), a julienned red bell pepper, and about ½ cup each of chopped cilantro and mint.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
2-3 tablespoons water (to thin the dressing)
Combine in a blender or food processor until smooth and thin enough to pour over salad
At the party, toss the shredded chicken with the salad base, and combine with the dressing in a very large bowl. Sprinkle with peanuts on top. Alternatively, keep the dressing and the peanuts separate for those who would like the salad, but have a nut allergy.
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Mushrooms
These stuffed mushrooms are a flavorful and protein-packed appetizer. Clean 20 mushrooms and remove the stems, then stuff each mushroom with a mixture of sautéed spinach, feta cheese, and breadcrumbs (optional). Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cover with foil for transport to the party to keep warm.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
These chicken kabobs are a crowd-pleaser and a breeze to whip up. Cube some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and marinate them in a blend of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices like paprika, cumin, and chili flakes for at least an hour. Thread the chicken onto skewers, alternating with 1” chunks of veggies like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini, and grill until the chicken is cooked through (to 165 degrees) and the veggies are crisp-tender.
Keep warm on a platter, covered with foil and towels for transport.
Serve at the party with some side bowls of tzatziki and hummus, as well as quartered-up pitas.
A fruity take on the chicken kebabs above, these will satisfy the sweet tooth of any partygoer.
Cube or slice up a variety of fruit:
Fruit to keep whole:
Grapes (green and red)
Assemble your fruit on the wooden skewers, from largest to smallest, with the caps at the end a couple of blueberries or a grape or two.
To sweeten the dish with extra dips, you can provide one or both of the following:
Vanilla honey yogurt - combine 1 ¾ cups whole milk Greek yogurt and 3 tablespoons honey, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Whipped coconut cream - use canned, coconut cream (not boxed milk), and add a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten, and whip just like regular whipped cream. If it does not whip as expected you can try to add a little modified starch, which may help the consistency. Or use regular heavy whipping cream.
A few tips, if you’re hosting the potluck
Set a menu theme - this will help your partygoers decide what to bring, and also give the dishes uniformity.
Assign categories, not dishes - when you give people categories of dishes to bring (such as salads, sides, main, vegetarian main, dessert), this ensures that your table will have the best balance of different types of food to feed the crowd.
Let people know the headcount for the party a few days ahead of time - this will help your partygoers know how much food they need to make.
Have extra serving utensils on hand - it’s inevitable that guests will forget to bring their serving utensils, or you will need extras.
Hosts should provide condiments - Salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, dressing…have it all on hand.
Request that everyone’s dishes need to be finished - or fully cooked upon arrival (otherwise, you may have a logjam in your kitchen)
Guest dishes - As guests arrive, have a pad of sticky notes and a pen at your door and request that they put their name on the bottom of their dish for easy identification if you return it later.
Cleanup - Prepare yourself, if you’re the host, you’re the cleanup. Hopefully, you’ll get a wonderful friend or two to help out, but chances are you’ll probably want to leave most of it for the next day and hit the hay.
Hosting or attending a potluck no longer has to be stressful when you're focused on a little organization prep beforehand and creating healthy dishes. By using fresh ingredients and making simple recipes, you can still make delicious, filling, and nutritious meals that everyone will love. So next time you have a potluck to attend, try out one of these 5 healthy recipes and show off your culinary skills!