“What can you bring?”

These four words echo throughout December—with potlucks and parties popping up as frequently as holiday decor and flash sales—and it’s time to be bold in your response.

“Something a little different.”

Innovation is in the air, and with a little advice from our chefs, you’ll be the proud producer of “Wow! Who brought this?” without spending loads of time in the kitchen.

Our Favorite Creative Holiday Party Dishes

Macaroni & Cheese
Get creative, using béchamel sauce and some lobster to elevate this classic into a premium potluck favorite.

Macaroni and cheese could be just what your next potluck is missing.

Elevate this comfort staple to irresistible heights with a few easy tweaks. Start with a béchamel sauce, some caramelized onions, adding a bay leaf and other spices before melting in a combination of your favorite cheeses. This will make your mac and cheese super creamy and lend it an unexpected and wonderful depth. While you’re at it, feel free to experiment with other additions—think buttery lobster, spinach, a touch of truffle oil, or panko bread crumbs for a crunchy topping.

Raspberry Baked Brie

Simply made, simply delicious. This elegant addition can be made in half an hour using a bit of dough, your favorite brie, and some raspberry preserves. The result is a dish with a homemade feel that didn’t take you hours in the kitchen.

A Clever Salad
We'd recommend making a salad for your next work party—all of the sweets and comfort foods will be taken care of by your coworkers, we promise.

Why not add a little lightness to your next potluck spread?

Often forgotten about during this indulgent season, a salad can do wonders for a potluck spread, introducing a bit of lightness and offering a healthier option. Plus, there’s no limit to how creative you can get—try a kale salad with roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, toasted pepitas, and meyer lemon, or mix arugula with parmesan, fried garlic, red onions, persimmons and a balsamic vinaigrette. The possibilities are deliciously endless.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

This classic often comes from cans—green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French’s crispy onions—and is an easy crowd-pleaser. If you have a bit more time, though, try crafting each of these components from scratch. It won’t take all afternoon, and the result is a much richer and even more delicious dish.

Charcuterie/Cheese Plate
Full of delights from around the globe, our gift bags are ideal for answering the question, "What are you bringing?".

Gift your host the gift of a premium pantry with all the ingredients for an excellent party platter.

A bulletproof way to impress (without setting foot in the kitchen)—you can often buy pre-prepared platters if you’re not sure what to include. If you want to get creative, snag your favorite meats and cheeses from our Marketplace and assemble a delicious spread yourself. Or, up the ante by giving your host one of our Munchery Gift Bags—a fully stocked basket packed with premium products so they can create their own (and save some delights for their pantry).

Munchery Chef’s Specialty
Chef Dane Helms thinks that holiday parties are the perfect opportunity to expose people to new flavors.

Be inspired by what people like (or what they don’t like yet!)

Our R&D Chef in Seattle, Dane Helms, thinks the secret to a good potluck dish lies in knowing your audience (though not the way you might think!):

“I like to change people’s minds about an ingredient they think that they don’t like. Roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in an Italian salsa verde (with lots of anchovy) has been a crowd-pleaser and converts the Brussels sprouts/anchovy haters.”

Our Favorite Creative Holiday Party Desserts

Devil’s Food Cake
Cake is welcome at the holiday table! It doesn't have to be homemade either—just add a touch of Ghirardelli chocolate and you'll have your friends swooning.

Give the holiday cookies a run for their money with this decadent surprise.

Break free of sugar cookies and pie with this decadent dessert befitting of the holiday season. If you are going to use a cake mix, freshen it up by making your own chocolate ganache. We’d recommend using at least 70% cocoa chocolate from a quality producer like Ghirardelli—your friends won’t be able to get enough of the richness this homemade twist adds.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

These sweet treats are incredibly snackable super easy to make. Take a bag of pretzels, toss them in a mixture of oil, sugar, and cinnamon, and bake them for 30 minutes on a sheet, stirring twice. Their cute shape will fit right in with the other desserts, and their bite-sized portions will give folks an opportunity to enjoy sweets in moderation.

Munchery Chef’s SpecialtyChef Dane Helms recommends making something new and unexpected for your next holiday potluck.

Chef Dane doesn’t stray too far away from tradition when it comes to holiday desserts:

“One year I made a pumpkin cheesecake. I don’t remember people’s reactions. I think we were on the brink of a food-coma by that point anyway.”

Andrew Mitchell

Posted by Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell is the Junior Copywriter at Munchery. He grew up in Helena, Montana and graduated in 2016 with an English and Creative Writing degree from Stanford University. Andrew loves goats, being lost, and toast.

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