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45 Retro Potluck Recipes to Bring Back

Whether it be for a seasonal family get-together or a workplace celebration, there is always a need for tried-and-true potluck recipes. These recipes from yesteryear are sure to be crowd-pleasers at your next potluck!

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Bourbon Ham Balls

Grandma Nette was the queen of ham ball recipes. I make them salty-sweet with a bourbon and vinegar kick. Serve them alone, in a sandwich or over pasta or rice. —Kimla Carsten, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Fudge Nut Brownies

There's no brownie recipe or mix I've ever tried that's better than this! And it's so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband's grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio
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Easy German Potato Salad

This tangy potato salad stirs memories of my grandma, who made it for us. Now my mom makes it with brats and sauerkraut, truly the best meal! —Devin Mulertt, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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Carrot Cake

My family's best carrot cake recipe dates back to my great-grandmother! We bake up a few of these carrot cakes for special occasions to make sure there's enough to go around. You'll love the texture this pretty, moist treat gets from pineapple, coconut and, of course, carrots! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Simple Au Gratin Potatoes

These homemade au gratin potatoes are always welcome at our dinner table, and they're so simple to make. A perfect complement to ham, this homey potato gratin also goes well with pork, chicken and other entrees. —Cris O'Brien, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Pennsylvania Dutch Coleslaw

My mother used to make this salad on holidays. With all the cabbage that is grown here in the Northwest, the recipe is a real natural for us! —Deb Darr, Falls City, Oregon
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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Turkey Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

I found this recipe in my mother's recipe box. Sometimes I serve it over vegetables such as corn or green beans, but it's equally delicious on a bun. —Julie Clemes, Adrian Michigan
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Fluffy Cranberry Delight

This was originally my daughter's recipe, and she or I will make it for one or more of our holiday get-togethers. It can be served as a fruit salad along with the meal or as a light dessert. It's particularly pretty in a cut-glass bowl on a buffet. —Ruth Bolduc, Conway, New Hampshire
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Thyme-Roasted Carrots

Cutting the carrots lengthwise makes this dish look extra pretty. For a little more elegance and color, garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme or parsley. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Our family cherishes a tradition of sweet potatoes with apples and raisins. If I suggest something different, they say “Oh NO, Beema, that's part of the love.” —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Rosey Raspberry Salad

Whenever I make this pretty raspberry salad, people talk! It's a festive side dish that works well for celebrations throughout the year. —Jane Vanderground, Macedonia, Ohio
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Potluck Macaroni and Cheese

You'll always have a winner at the potluck when you bring macaroni and cheese. Here's an extra-rich, creamy version for the slow cooker. —Jennifer Blondek, Chicopee, Massachusetts
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Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee
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Sauerkraut Casserole

Mom brewed her own sauerkraut and, of course, the cabbage was from our big farm garden! Blending the kraut with spicy sausage and apples was Mom's favorite way to fix it, and I still love this country dish. —Rosemary Pryor, Pasadena, Maryland
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Grandma's Potato Salad

Our Fourth of July feast wouldn't be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It's my grandma's treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad

Plump blueberries and a fluffy topping star in this pretty, refreshing salad that was my mother's recipe. It was served at every holiday and celebration, and now my grandchildren look forward to sampling it at holidays. —Sharon Hoefert, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This baked spaghetti is my grandchildren's most-loved dish. It feels like such a special dinner and is so cozy for winter. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland
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Classic Swedish Meatballs

I'm a "Svenska flicka" (Swedish girl) from northwest Iowa, where many Swedes settled at the turn of the century. This recipe was given to me by a Swedish friend. It's obviously a 20th century version of a 19th century favorite, since back then they didn't have bouillon cubes or evaporated milk! I think you'll agree that these modern-day "Kottbullar" are very tasty. —Emily Gould, Hawarden, Iowa
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Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

This classic combination of peas and carrots is enriched with a handful of flavor enhancers. Slow cooking allows the ingredients to meld for maximum richness. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
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Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this for all occasions because it goes well with any kind of meat. When I take the warm salad to bring-a-dish events, there are rarely leftovers! —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas
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De-Lightful Tuna Casserole

This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family's craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York
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Quick Buttermilk Cornbread

The tattered recipe card for this buttermilk cornbread proves it's been a family favorite for years. It's my daughter's top request. —Judy Sellgren, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Chocolate Caramel Fondue

It's easy to keep the ingredients for this rich fondue on hand in case company drops by. I serve it in punch cups, so guests can carry it on a dessert plate alongside whatever fruit, pretzels and other dippers they like. —Cheryl Arnold, Lake Zurich, Illinois
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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Ham and Swiss Sliders

My next-door neighbor shared this ham and Swiss sliders recipe with me, and I simply cannot improve it! You can make it ahead and cook it quickly when company arrives. The combo of poppy seeds, ham and cheese, horseradish and brown sugar makes it so delicious. —Iris Weihemuller, Baxter, Minnesota
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Sparkling Punch

As a table brightener, fix a bowl of festive fruity punch—it's a refreshing beverage you can mix together in moments. To dress it up even more, I add an ice ring filled with oranges, lemons and cranberries. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Fruit Salad with Apricot Dressing

When I serve this lovely refreshing salad for picnics and holidays, the bowl empties fast. —Carol Lambert, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Glorified Hash Browns

You'll be surprised at how quick and easy it is to put together this dressed-up potato casserole! When a friend made it for a church supper, I had to have the recipe. It's great for parties, potlucks and family reunions. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
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Traditional Meat Loaf

Topped with a sweet sauce, this traditional meat loaf recipe tastes so good that you might want to double it so everyone can have seconds. It also freezes well. —Gail Graham, Maple Ridge, British Columbia
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Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes

My Grandma Ellis made her shortbread cookies only at Christmas because the ingredients were so indulgent. The results are, too!—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Italian Hot Dish

My husband had a poor perception of healthy food until he tried this beefy casserole. The combination of pasta, oregano, mushrooms and green peppers makes it a favorite healthy pasta recipe in our house. —Theresa Smith, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Lemon Bars

This delightful lemon bar recipe is from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. They has a wonderful tangy flavor, and they're always a hit. The color and shape make them a nice addition to a platter of cookies. —Etta Soucy, Mesa, Arizona
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Triple Mash with Horseradish Bread Crumbs

Why settle for traditional mashed potatoes when you can enjoy three times the flavor? Combine spuds with rutabaga and parsnips, along with the zip of horseradish, for a taste treat. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Spaghetti Pie Casserole

My family adores this spaghetti casserole. It's old-timey comfort food. This is how to make baked spaghetti with cream cheese. —Patricia Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
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Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon Grits

In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese and grits! After playing around with this recipe, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I'm sure will be passed down for generations. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Winter Squash Casserole

Years ago, our vegetable garden kept us well-supplied all year long. Dad stored huge piles of potatoes and squash in the coldest part of the basement. In winter the squash was so hard. Mother sometimes used an ax to cut it into small pieces for cooking! Her hard work was worth it, because we really enjoyed this wonderful casserole! —Glendora Hauger, Siren, Wisconsin
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Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Baked Nectarine Chicken Salad

Folks love the crunchy chow mein noodles on top. I love that I can make it a day in advance and refrigerate until it's time to serve. Serve with hot bread or rolls. —Faye Robinson, Pensacola, Florida

Maggie Iken
Maggie is a freelance writer who loves covering everything arts and culture. She can often be found enjoying the latest horror movie with a pint of dairy-free ice cream and her dog.