Three Easy Potluck Dishes

Whether you're getting ready for a family dinner or volunteering to bring a dish to a social event, you don't have to stress over the perfect potluck dish. Some of the best crowd-pleasers are also super simple to whip up.

Cowboy potatoes

Cowboy potatoes are a delicious easy, cheesy, crunchy addition to any potluck. If you can mix ingredients together, you can make a pan of cowboy potatoes. You'll need one package of cowboy-style hash browns (look in the frozen foods section near the tater tots), one can of cream of chicken soup, one pint of sour cream, one package (two cups) of shredded cheddar cheese, three-quarters cup of melted butter and corn flakes (for topping).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the soup, sour cream, cheese, one-half cup of melted butter and potatoes. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and top with corn flakes plus the other quarter cup of melted butter. Bake for an hour.

Barbecue weenies

Barbecue weenies are an easy dish that are a hit as a snack or side dish. The best part? They cook in a crock-pot, which means you can assemble them early and then relax. All you need is a package (or a few packages) of cocktail weenies, some barbecue sauce, and (the secret ingredient) some grape jelly. (It sounds weird, but it thickens the sauce and adds a wonderful, tangy sweetness.)

Put the packages of cocktail weenies into the crock pot and cover them with barbecue sauce. Add about one cup of grape jelly per weenie packages that you used. Mix everything together, set the crockpot to low, and simmer until the weenies are cooked through (a few hours, depending on how many weenies you're cooking).

Spinach orzo salad

A good salad rounds out the potluck table, and this spinach orzo salad delivers the perfect mix of flavor and lightness. You'll need a package of two or more pounds of prepared orzo pasta (tiny, pebble-like pasta, from refrigerated or deli section), a package of fresh spinach, a container of feta cheese (one-half to one pound) and the juice of one lemon. Mix everything together and chill until dinner time.

The perfect potluck dishes are those that complement what others are bringing without making you pull your hair out. Luckily, plenty of potluck options are delicious without being complicated.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company