Here's what not to do at the Thanksgiving potluck: Don't make a dish you've never cooked before that requires 37 ingredients and a kitchen gadget you bought in the middle of the night on Amazon Prime. Basically, don't make this translucent pumpkin pie that's lighting up the internet right now. Your coworkers want stuff covered in Velveeta. Green bean casserole made with canned cream of mushroom soup. Regular pumpkin pie.
We asked everybody we know for their must-make recipes. Here's our crowdsourced list of fool-proof Thanksgiving potluck ideas:
Instead of making your own rolls from scratch or buying them from that plastic bin at the grocery store, Guide editor Sara Burgos recommends Rhodes Bake N Serv yeast dinner rolls. They're almost as good as her grandmother's fresh-baked rolls, she says. Here's how to bake them: http://rhodesbakenserv.com/product/yeast-dinner-rolls.
This cheese ball
Can we take a minute to send up some praise for processed cheese? We don't know what's in a jar of Kraft cheese and we don't care. Homepage editor Amanda Wilkins' family sets out this Old School Cheese Ball two hours or so before the big meal will be ready. Break out some Ritz crackers and you're done. Her pro tip: Use one five-ounce jar of Kraft pimento spread instead of the roka blue. The Old School Cheese Ball recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/old-school-cheese-ball-299932.
Green bean casserole
Butter is the answer here. Lots of butter. Videographer Tommy Noel suggests Paula Deen's green bean casserole recipe, which is just slightly better than the old reliable, the recipe on the back of the French's Crispy Fried Onions can. Deen adds butter and fresh mushrooms (and some other stuff) for a dish that jazzes up our OG favorite Thanksgiving vegetable: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-bean-casserole-recipe-1953741.
Your mom probably makes the best dressing/stuffing. But if Mom isn't cooking, this recipe for Mama's Cornbread Dressing is about as close as you'll get: http://ohmypoints.com/mamas-cornbread-dressing/.
The trick to this peach-cranberry sauce is to dump all five ingredients into one saucepan and cook them for 10 minutes. Easy enough, right? You can thank Al Dia editor Juan Jaramillo for the recipe (courtesy of the Associated Press): http://food.lohudblogs.com/2012/10/30/cranberry-peach-sauce/.
A word about dessert
When in doubt, bring dessert. Many are fairly easy to bake if you're good at following directions. And people like sweets. Don't trust anybody who doesn't.
This recipe has, count 'em, two ingredients. Add a third one if you want to splurge: cream cheese frosting on top of this pumpkin cake. TV critic Dawn Burkes says she makes it even when it isn't Thanksgiving. Recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/77375/two-ingredient-pumpkin-cake/.
If your family members like pumpkin, chances are they'll like pumpkin cheesecake. This Philadelphia 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake takes only 10 minutes of prep time. Funny, that's about how long it'll last, too.
Pumpkin banana mousse tart
- Are you seeing a trend here? Pumpkin is a great Thanksgiving potluck option.
This Ina Garten recipe is a staple for assistant business editor Arnessa Garrett, who finds regular pumpkin pie to be a little too heavy. (Same.) Here's the Food Network recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pumpkin-banana-mousse-tart-recipe-1941991.
Oreo pudding pie
This Oreo pudding pie is so easy to make, "they usually assign the least-gifted chef of the family," says Stephanie Lamm, a DMN computational journalist. That's not a knock, though, because, girl, this recipe looks good. Also, it contains one of the best culinary gifts of the '60s, Cool Whip. Oreo pudding pie recipe here: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/2017/05/oreo-pudding-pie/.