Winning the Office Potluck Contest

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It's time for the annual office or work potluck, and you've no idea what to cook. Maybe you're a beginner at cooking, or you've never had the chance to cook outside your circle of friends and family, and you're scrambling for ideas.

You've probably heard or witnessed several well-meaning but disastrous offerings at the last office potluck. Wholey's is here to remind you to take a deep, calming breath because when it comes to food, we love sharing everything we know for moments like these. Cooking can be as complicated or as simple as you wish when done right, we bet we can have your next potluck dish become the office favorite in no time!

Potluck Food safety tips:

Before we get into the mouth-watering suggestions, ensure you don't share more than good food. Here's how to practice food safety with your potluck dish.

  • Account for your travel time. If your drive to work is long-distance, consider bringing nonperishable items such as cookies, pies, muffins, rolls, or bread.
  • If the food is meant to be cold, always transport it in a cooler with ice or ice packs to keep it at 40 °F.
  • For transporting foods that need to remain hot, store them in insulated bags or carrying cases. If you do not have any insulating bags, you can wrap the food heavily in layers of foil, newspaper, and then towels.
  • As soon as you arrive at your potluck destination, cold foods should be placed in a fridge, and hot foods should be placed in an oven at its lowest temp to keep them warm before serving, or kept in a crockpot or other item that can keep the food at 140 °F if not serving right away, to prevent harmful bacteria growth.
  • Throw out any food that has been out for over two hours at room temperature.
  • Consider putting a written or printed list of all ingredients in your recipe so guests can avoid any possible allergens.

And now, let's get into the potluck dishes that will have your friends, colleagues, and maybe even bosses returning for more!

5-Ingredient Decadent Peanut Butter Fudge

This simple ingredient fudge turns out rich, decadent, and sinfully nutty. If no one at your office has a peanut allergy, this tried-and-true fudge recipe might become the talk of the floor! Five ingredient Peanut Butter fudge recipes utilize canned, evaporated, or regular milk, sugar, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla to whip up a decadent, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth fudge.

Japanese Style Deviled Eggs

The Deviled Egg has cemented its place as one of the go-to choices for family gatherings and holidays, and it is perfect for potlucks. Why do we Americans love our Deviled Eggs so much? Because it's another one of those recipes that are infinitely customizable and forgiving in terms of flavor profiles. For the Office potluck this year, why not create something inspired by Asian flavors?

You only need some hardboiled eggs, soy sauce, mirin, wasabi, and kewpie mayo. Once the eggs are boiled, marinate the peeled eggs in a mix of soy sauce, water, and a dash of mirin for at least two hours or overnight. Then remove from the marinate, cut in half, remove the yolks and them with the wasabi and kewpie mayo, replacing the yolks. For a beautiful garnish, sprinkle the eggs with Furikake.

Crockpot Lasagna

Thanks to no-boil noodles, creating a multi-layered, perfectly cooked, crispy-golden brown-edged lasagna that will wow tastebuds is a lot easier than you think! Not only is crockpot lasagna another recipe that can be adapted easily to cater to tastes or allergens, but it is also a breeze to keep warm, thanks to the crockpot's design.

You can brown Italian sausage or ground beef, or if you are in a hurry or need to save time, choose two or three jars of pasta sauce that already has meat in it. Skip the cottage cheese, go for a rich, delicious ricotta, and add fresh garlic and herbs for a flavor level up that will make your office mates think you created everything from scratch.

If browning meat, brown the meat in a large pot with an onion and garlic in a skillet. When meat is browned, transfer to a large bowl and add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and oregano. If using a premade meat sauce, you can skip this step and add extra spices to flavor the sauce.
Next, mix 8 oz of shredded mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan cheese in a large separate bowl.

To layer in a crockpot, start with a scoop of the meat-tomato sauce on the bottom, and add a layer of no-bake lasagna noodles. Feel free to break the noodles to fit if your crockpot is round or oval. Top the noodles with the Ricotta and cheese mixture, then layer the sauce, noodles, and cheese until the ingredients are gone, or the crockpot is full. Set the cover on it, cook it on low for at least 6 hours, and you're ready to pack it up for the potluck!

Cuban Sliders

Armed with several of your favorite premade dinner rolls, honey, Dijon mustard, tart dill pickles, and Swiss cheese, you can make these savory bites in just a few moments of preparation. Choose a soft, sweet roll or Hawaiian sweet roll for tender, pillowy bread and any thinly sliced deli-ham you think is best. Before baking the sliders, grab some Swiss cheese, butter, finely chopped onion, and Dijon mustard as a baste.

They're easy to put together before baking, too. Slide the dinner roll onto a cutting board, then cut it in half. Place the bottom half in a baking dish or pan, and layer on the ham, cheese, and pickles. Place the top of the rolls back onto the Cuban sliders and drizzle with melted butter, onion, and Dijon, then bake, covered for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and bake for 5-10 minutes longer or until they are golden brown.

Other dishes that are always a hit at the office potluck:

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Bacon Wrapped Lil' Smokies
  • Cornbread
  • Fresh Bread, Rolls
  • Southwestern Egg Rolls

We encourage you to discover and find a new dish to impress your office potluck and one you'll enjoy making and snacking on yourself! At Wholey's, we love everything about food—from where it comes from, how it benefits us, how it tastes, and how to prepare it so that everyone falls in love with cooking all over again!