8 Potluck Entrées Just About Everyone Loves
Photo: © Iain Bagwell
Why cooks love it: The recipe calls for smoked chicken, but you can also use a store-bought rotisserie bird and the dish will still taste delicious. You've got options when it comes to how to bake the casserole, too: either do it before guests arrive and reheat before serving, or have the dish assembled and ready to go and just pop it in the oven about 40 minutes before you want to eat.
Get the recipe: King Ranch Chicken
Photo: Maria Robledo
Why cooks love it: You can easily make this crowd-pleasing savory tart, which brims with caramelized onions, bacon and ricotta cheese, hours ahead of time and serve it warm or at room temperature.
Get the recipe: Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart
Why cooks love it: This inexpensive cut is hard to screw up, so even novices can pull off an impressive-tasting meal. It's also one of those dishes that tastes better the next day.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Short Ribs with Dates and Chestnuts
Photo: Christina Holmes
Why cooks love it: You can easily make enough to feed many in your slow cooker, so this is a low-effort, high-payoff dish.
Get the recipe: Pulled Pork
Photo: Joe Keller/Keller + Keller
Why cooks love it: It's less work than making lasagna (no layering necessary) and you can also prepare it days ahead of time.
Get the recipe: Baked Ziti with Charred Tomatoes
Photo: Signe Birck
Why cooks love it: Roasting individual pieces of chicken (versus the entire bird) means there's little fussing in the kitchen. Plus, pieces cook more quickly and have just as much flavor as a whole bird.
Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Thyme and Shallots
Photo: Con Poulos
Why cooks love them: This recipe has you bake the meatballs, which makes cleanup a lot simpler; you can reheat them in the oven right before serving (or heat them up in a slow cooker set to "warm").
Get the recipe: Beef Meatballs
Photo: The Jewels of New York
Why cooks love it: It's a dish that actually tastes best when you make it a few hours ahead of time, so the components have time to mingle and deepen. And this lightened-up take on the classic has fresh tomatoes, cannellini beans, hazelnuts and mint, making it much more balanced than the usual.
Get the recipe: Summer Pasta Salad