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Why Lasagna Is the Worst Dish to Bring to a Potluck
We love a bubbling casserole of pasta and cheese as much as you do, but there's a case to be made for shaking things up at your next party. Here are five amazing alternative ideas.
Classic Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish

Photos: Jennifer May

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An Easier Way to Deliver Hot and Cheesy Deliciousness
It's not that we don't adore lasagna—but we have to admit that the return on investment for this crowd-pleasing classic is pretty low (if you're making it from scratch). You spend a couple of hours in the kitchen, only to watch the lasagna be gobbled up in minutes. Save this pasta bake for a night when you can savor it at home (and enjoy the leftovers for days)—and try one of these other recipes the next time you have to bring something to a party. They're from Amy Thielen's new cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, which brims with 200 recipes for the rustic, soul-tugging cuisine of Thielen's potluck-centric childhood in Minnesota.

First up is this homespun "hotdish," an update on the famous chicken-wild rice combination. Thielen makes a simple, fresh mushroom sauce instead of using the traditional canned cream-soup base, though she still calls for a topping made from Ritz or Keebler Club crackers.

Get the recipe: Classic Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish
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        Potluck Dishes for People Who Can't Cook
        Four-ingredient (or less) recipes for party foods that will make you rethink the "I'll-just-bring-a-bag-of-chips" approach.
        Avocado + lime + onion + salt

        Photo: Thinkstock

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        The Dip That Never Lets You Down
        Few foods convey "party" like guacamole does, and fewer still are as ridiculously easy to make. As long as you buy your avocados at least four days before the event (so they have plenty of time to ripen), you really can't screw this up. Combine two ripe avocados (mashed) with the juice of one lime, half of a white onion (chopped) and salt to taste.
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