10 Unforgettable Christmas Potluck Party Recipes

Potluck season is here—that wonderful time of year when the classic, but ordinary, green bean casserole rears its head once again. A potluck party is perfect if you want to throw a holiday gathering but just don’t have the time (or in some cases, the budget) to organize an extravagant bash. If you’re hosting a Christmas potluck dinner, or if you’ve been invited to one, get creative with your cooking to make an unforgettable contribution to the party menu. These delicious Christmas potluck recipes for side dishes, Christmas appetizers and Christmas desserts will happily take the place of common casseroles any day!  I hope these Christmas potluck ideas inspire you.

Delicious Christmas Potluck Recipes:

Potluck Recipes for Christmas Side Dishes-

From an office gathering to a casual dinner at home among friends, a potluck party is an economic way to get together during the holidays and share the joy of the season even when you are on a budget. If you’re known for bringing the same dish every year, perhaps it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Here are some helpful hints for delectable Christmas potluck ideas, recipes and dishes that will disappear in no time. Who knew pleasing guests’ palates could be so easy?

Zesty Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Servings: 8
1/2 lb. whole button or crimini mushrooms
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 onion, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 large yellow, green or red pepper, cut into 8 strips
1/3 cup light Zesty Italian dressing
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat oven to 450°F.
Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
Toss vegetables with dressing and 1/4 cup cheese; spread into prepared pan.
Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring after 15 minutes. Top with remaining cheese.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Servings: 4
2 large sweet potatoes (1-1/2 lb.)
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans

Heat oven to 425ºF.
Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil-lined 15x10x1-inch pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.
Scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Add Neufchatel, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potato flesh; mash until well blended.
Fill shells with potato mixture; top with nuts. Bake 8 min. or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Fragrant Carrots

Servings: 5
4 large carrots (1 lb.), peeled, cut into matchlike sticks
1/4 cup PLANTERS Slivered Almonds
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup light House Italian dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook carrots in boiling water 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, cook and stir nuts and cumin in large skillet on medium heat 5 minutes or until nuts are toasted.
Drain carrots. Add to skillet with dressing; simmer on medium-low heat 2 minutes, stirring
Remove skillet from heat. Stir in cilantro.

Mushroom, Almond and Cranberry Rice Pilaf Recipe

Servings: 6
2 tsp. canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (14 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups whole grain instant brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup PLANTERS Sliced Almonds, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add all remaining ingredients except nuts; stir. Bring to boil on high heat; cover.
Simmer on low heat 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Stir in nuts.

Christmas Potluck Appetizers Recipes-

The best way to make a lasting first impression at a potluck party is to serve a Christmas appetizer with an excellent aftertaste. The good news? You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to make it happen. The following Christmas potluck recipes for starters are hassle-free and full of flavor—perfect for pleasing a crowd. So, save the stress for another day; it’s time to party!

Pinecone Cheese Spread Recipe

Servings: 16 (or 2 cups)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (7 oz.) Mexican-style 2% milk finely shredded four cheese
2 Tbsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. canned chopped green chiles
1/3 cup PLANTERS Sliced Almonds, toasted
RITZ Crackers or stoned wheat thin crackers

Process first 3 ingredients in food processor until well blended.
Stir in chiles.
Shape into 4-inch oval on sheet of waxed paper to resemble pinecone.
Insert nuts in rows to completely cover cream cheese mixture. Transfer to serving plate.
Refrigerate 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.
Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Serve with crackers.

Teriyaki-Glazed Bacon Water Chestnuts Recipe

Servings: 8

1 pkg. (2.1 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Fully Cooked Bacon
1 can (8 oz.) whole water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup green pepper strips
2 Tbsp. teriyaki baste & glaze sauce

Heat oven to 350°F.
Wrap bacon around water chestnuts and peppers; secure with wooden toothpicks.
Place in shallow baking dish; brush with glaze.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through.

Antipasto Wreath Recipe

Servings: 26 (or 3-1/4 cups)
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup chopped OSCAR MAYER Pepperoni
1/2 cup 100% grated three cheese blend
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
6 Tbsp. chopped roasted red peppers, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Fresh basil leaves
RITZ Crackers

Mix cream cheese, pepperoni, grated cheese blend, olives, chopped basil and 2 Tbsp. peppers until well blended.
Shape into 16-inch log; wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Form into wreath shape on large plate.
Top with remaining peppers and parsley. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with crackers.

Christmas Potluck Dessert Recipes-

Besides mixing and mingling with other party-goers, the best part about a Christmas potluck dinner is the variety of desserts. From fruity delights, to chocolate offerings, to nutty treats, the dessert table is a heavenly place to be. After all, Christmas desserts and holiday cheer go hand in hand. Feed your sweet tooth and theirs with these Christmas potluck ideas. They’re almost too pretty to eat, yet too tasty to leave alone!

Starlight Mint Cake Recipe

Servings: 16

1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin
28 starlight mints, divided
3 squares BAKER’S White Chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp. BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
2 drops red food coloring
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 2 (9-inch) round cake layers.
Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Pierce cakes with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.
Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Pour over cakes. Refrigerate 3 hours.
Heat oven to 350ºF. Reserve 5 mints for later use.
Place 12 of the remaining mints, about 4 inches apart, on parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
Bake 5 minutes or until mints are melted and each spreads out to 1-1/2- to 2-inch circle.
Remove from oven; cool completely before removing from parchment paper.
Meanwhile, repeat with remaining 11 mints.
Blend 5 reserved mints in blender until finely crushed; place in small bowl.
Stir in melted chocolate, sour cream and food coloring.
Dip bottom of 1 cake pan in warm water 10 seconds; unmold onto serving plate.
Spread cake with chocolate mixture. Unmold second cake layer; place on first layer.
Frost with COOL WHIP or whipped cream.
Decorate with melted mints. Keep refrigerated.

Vanilla Snowflake Cake Recipe

Servings: 16
1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding, divided
6 squares BAKER’S White Chocolate
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1/4 cup raspberry jam, warmed, strained

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 2 (9-inch) round layers, blending 1 pkg. dry pudding mix into batter before pouring into prepared pans. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes; invert onto wire racks. Gently remove pans; cool cakes completely.  Meanwhile, draw 3 or 4 snowflake shapes on paper, ranging in size from 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Place on tray; cover with waxed paper. Melt chocolate as directed on package; cool 5 minutes. Spoon into small resealable plastic bag; cut small corner off bottom of bag.
Trace over snowflake patterns with chocolate, rearranging patterns as needed to make a total of 35 chocolate snowflakes. Freeze 10 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Carefully transfer snowflakes to plate; refrigerate until ready to use.
Beat remaining dry pudding mix, sugar and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in COOL WHIP.
Place 1 cake layer on plate; spread with jam, then 1/3 of the pudding mixture.
Cover with remaining cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining pudding mixture.
Decorate with chocolate snowflakes. Keep refrigerated.

Turtle Cake Recipe

Servings: 16
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (Do not thaw.)
1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil’s food cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
38 caramel cubes
1-1/2 Tbsp. water
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
5 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
16 NILLA Wafers
16 PLANTERS Pecan Halves

Spoon half the COOL WHIP into bowl; refrigerate to thaw. Return remaining COOL WHIP to freezer.
Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 2 (9-inch) round layers,
adding dry pudding mix to cake mix before mixing with liquid ingredients.
Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes; invert onto wire racks. Remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
Meanwhile, microwave caramels and water in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 45 seconds. Cool slightly.
Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add caramel sauce; mix well.
Blend in thawed COOL WHIP. Stack cake layers on plate, filling and frosting top with cream cheese mixture.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Microwave frozen COOL WHIP and 3 chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl 3 minutes or until well blended, stirring after each minute. Cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt remaining chocolate squares as directed on package.
Dip half of each wafer in chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.
Top with nuts. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Spread COOL WHIP mixture onto top of cake. Garnish with wafers. Keep refrigerated.

‘Tis the Potluck Season—Let’s Eat!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about what to bring to the upcoming holiday party, don’t.  Instead, keep it simple with these creative Christmas potluck ideas and recipes for side dishes, appetizers and desserts.  While everyone enjoys a delicious Christmas potluck dinner, spending time with friends and family is what matters most. Nix the traditional green bean casserole and fruitcake and replace them with something new this year. I hope you love these Christmas potluck recipes.  And of course, have fun!

Guest post by Alison Broderick who resolved to write her first cookbook and story book, drawing from her love of great food and planning memorable events for friends and family – and all the mishaps and adventures that happen along the way. To contribute a story and recipe and get a free copy of “Perfect Family Dinners: 101 Recipes and Stories” please email her directly at AliBroderick@gmx.com

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