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What to bring to the office potluck so you're everyone's favorite co-worker

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Potluck parties made easy — cheesy hash brown casserole, mini burgers and more

Potlucks are the one office tradition that will never go out of style. But even if you aren't a top chef, you don't have to be confined to bringing store-bought brownies for the rest of your working career. These classic and crowd-pleasing potluck recipes are easy to make without compromising on flavor.

We know your co-workers will be impressed.

Simple party food, five ways

Sweet-and-sour meatballs: Buy frozen meatballs, and bake them according to the package directions. Serve sweet-and-sour sauce (found in most grocery stores, or whip up a homemade recipe) in a separate bowl for dipping. Another idea is to toss the meatballs and sauce into your slow cooker for an easy, portable holiday dish.

Mini burgers: Even if you can't create an elaborate gourmet meal, you can probably fry up a few burgers. Mini burgers are perfect for a potluck party. Serve them on mini buns, and bring various condiments. For a lighter dish, try these barbecue chicken sliders.

Rice Krispies Treats: Who doesn't love these yummy sweet treats? Mix up these gooey squares — all you need are butter, marshmallows and the cereal, and you know they'll be a real crowd-pleaser.

Crescent dogs: Create an easy version of pigs in a blanket with hot dogs and cheese wrapped inside Pillsbury crescent rolls. Crescent dogs bake in under 15 minutes and are a party food favorite.

Cocktail shrimp: It might look fancy, but cocktail shrimp can be very simple. Simply place crushed ice on a large platter, and arrange cooked and deveined shrimp from the grocery store on top. Place a smaller bowl with cocktail sauce in the center of the platter, and garnish with lemons. If you want to go all out, make a homemade cocktail sauce. You can also make this delicious shrimp cocktail spread.

Cheat the system

If you don't want to cook at all, you can still contribute to your office potluck.

Bring the drinks: Someone has to do it, so it might as well be you. Volunteer to bring the drinks, ice and cups. If you buy soda, make sure to include some diet drinks and caffeine-free options.

Shop from your grocery store deli: At your local grocery store deli, you'll find plenty of fantastic options for your potluck. These deli counters usually have everything, including pasta salad, fried chicken, veggie trays, meat-and-cheese trays and more.

Sign up for the dessert: You don't have to bake a homemade dessert. Instead, pick up a cake or cookies from your local bakery. Sweet treats are always a big hit at potluck parties.

Throw together a salad: You can create a winter fruit salad from chopped pineapple and other fruit, or a festive salad with green beans and tomatoes. Bring a couple of bottles of store-bought dressing, and you'll be good to go.

Create a casserole

And if you've got a little more time to prepare something, you can't go wrong with an easy, cheesy casserole.

Cheesy hash brown casserole recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds frozen hash browns, slightly thawed
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 10 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the corn flakes and butter.
  3. Place the mixture in a 9 x 13-inch greased pan.
  4. Crush the corn flakes, and mix them with the melted butter.
  5. Pour the corn flake mixture on top of the casserole.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

More on potlucks

How to host a successful potluck
Potluck parties: 10 easily transportable dishes
19 pasta salad recipes that are perfect for potlucks

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 3/31/16

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