Easy Summer Potluck Dishes

Easy Summer Potluck Dishes
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Easy Summer Potluck DishesPotluck dinners or lunches where everyone that attends brings a casserole, salad or dessert to share have always been a favorite of mine. It is the perfect time to try new dishes, and ask friends and family for recipes. Summer is full of opportunities to join in on the "dish to pass" tradition, whether it is a reunion or another family celebration. 

Below are dishes I have brought to parties and reunions, or sent with my husband to work for potlucks. The containers came home empty with requests for the recipes so I filed them all as "keepers".


Cheesy Bacon Potatoes 


2 pounds frozen shredded hash browns, thawed

16 ounces sour cream

12 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar

1 small can condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion

Crumbled bacon 

I used about a half of a 12-ounce package of bacon and froze the remainder for another recipe. Brown the bacon until crisp, drain on a paper towel and set aside. Discard the bacon grease, leaving a coating on the bottom of the skillet. Add the chopped onion and sauté until soft. You can do this in another skillet with a tiny bit of oil or butter if you wish.

In a large bowl, stir together the can of soup, the sour cream and the melted butter. Add the potatoes, shredded cheese and the onions stirring until combined. Place in a buttered 9x13 pan, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbly. 

Notes: I use shredded hash browns that I have thawed overnight in the refrigerator. I found over the years that this works the best for me, but cubed hash browns are good too.

It can also be made in a slow cooker by combine everything and cooking on high for 3 hours or so, or low on for 4-6 hours. It is done when the cheese is bubbly and melted throughout the dish.  Stirring every 45 minutes to an hour helps heat it through more quickly. 

I do not use a topping on my potatoes like some recipes call for because my family seems to have an aversion to toppings for some reason. I have changed this recipe over the years and this one has never failed.  More bacon or more onion can be added to your taste. 


Cheese Sausage Bean Dip 


6 lb. 11 ounce can Nacho Cheese Sauce

1-pound mild, medium or hot breakfast sausage

3 16-ounce cans refried beans, any variety

2 large bags tortilla chips 

This recipe can be made in a 4 1/2 quart slow cooker, or a 6-quart cooker. I have made it in both. There will be some leftover cheese using either one. I place the leftover cheese in a bowl and either save it for the kids to snack on with pretzels or tortilla chips, or take it to the potluck and place it out with an extra bag of chips. 

Sauté the breakfast sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook until it is no longer pink, and then drain. In a large bowl, place all three cans of refried beans. Heat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to make the beans easier to stir. Add the drained sausage to the beans. Place this into the slow cooker. 

Open the can of cheese and pour it into the crock pot until about 1/2 way filled. Stir in the sausage and bean mixture. Fill the slow cooker the remainder of the way until about an inch or so from the top. Stir again. Heat on high for half hour or so, stirring once or twice. Place on low and cook until heated through. 

To take this to a potluck, place it in a box with a towel to cushion the slow cooker. When you arrive, plug it in on high to heat it again, but then place it on warm. Bring a spoon and disposable bowls. Open the tortilla chips and place by the bowls and slow cooker.

Easy Summer Potluck Dishes

Brenda's Pierogi Casserole 


3 cups cooked instant potatoes

16 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 large sweet onion

Box of Lasagna Noodles 

Use part of the butter to grease a 9x13 pan on the bottom and sides. Set aside the remaining butter. Cook the mashed potatoes according to directions. The chart on the box or bag will give the amount needed to make three cups cooked. Cook the potatoes first, fluff with fork as directed and set them aside to cool. This can be done the day before and refrigerated. 

Cook the lasagna noodles according to directions on the box. 

Sauté the onions in the remaining butter on medium heat until very soft. Butter should be watched carefully so it does not burn. Mix the onions into the mashed potatoes. 

Arrange the first layer of noodles in the bottom of the greased pan. Place a layer of potatoes, sprinkle with a layer of cheese. Repeat this until all of the potatoes and cheese are used, ending with cheese on the top. Cover the pan with foil lightly. Bake for 30 minutes. (If using a foil pan place it on a cookie sheet to bake.) 

Notes: This recipe is very flexible. It's called Pierogi Casserole because the combination of noodles, mashed potatoes and cheese mimic a popular Pierogi filling. Making homemade Pierogi is very time consuming, though worth it if you have the time. This casserole is a quick fix that is loved by kids and adults. Sausage and potato is another filling that my mom always used in her Pierogi. To add sausage to the above recipe, sauté, and crumble a pound of good breakfast sausage, drain, and cool. Use the sausage in the layers after the potatoes and before the cheese.

Leftover mashed potatoes can be used as well, or any of the flavored instant mashed potato varieties.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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