The Only Potato Salad Recipe You'll Ever Need (And 4 More Perfect Potluck Dishes)

06/16/2015 08:10 am ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015

Plus, more perfect potluck fare to get you through every barbecue, picnic and other gathering that comes your way.

By Lynn Andriani

  • 1 The Meat-And-Potatoes Salad You'll Make Once And Love Forever
    Bonjwing Lee
    This easy, summery dish, from the new cookbook Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes, strikes the ideal balance of unexpected and familiar. It includes Yukon Gold potatoes (they have thin, smooth skin that doesn't need to be peeled), fresh corn, diced ham and a garlicky lemon-chive dressing. The dish has so much flavor and heft that it's practically a meal in and of itself. Make a double batch, serve it at your next barbecue (its flavors complement everything from hot dogs to chicken kebabs), and enjoy the leftovers for days.

    Get the recipe: Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Summer Corn, Country Ham and Garlicky Lemon Dressing
  • 2 A Refreshing Dish With A Surprisingly Salty-Sweet Combo
    Shauna Ahern
    If you haven't yet tasted how amazing sweet watermelon and tangy feta cheese are together, you're in for a treat. This no-brainer side doesn't require much more than shaking up a basic vinaigrette in a jar; then, drizzling it over cubes of melon, tomato and feta. On top of it all, this salad's colors are gorgeous and will complement practically any buffet table.

    Get the recipe: Watermelon-Heirloom Tomato Salad
  • 3 A Beloved Green-Bean Dish With A Seasonal Makeover
    Lucy Schaeffer
    This bright and fresh-tasting side takes the best elements of a classic green-bean casserole and gives them a warm-weather update. You quickly cook the beans in a small amount of water then finish them in olive oil, so they are crisp-tender with a light char. Fried shallots stand in for canned, fried onions and crumbled pecorino cheese takes the place of a heavy mushroom sauce.

    Get the recipe: String Beans with Fried Shallots, Pecorino and Basil
  • 4 The Coleslaw Stand-In
    Erin Kunkel
    Cool, juicy, marinated cucumber is a welcome antidote for spicy food, whether ribs or wings. Don't skimp on the chilling time, because letting the salad sit in the fridge overnight will ensure that the sweet-tart flavors fully develop.

    Get the recipe: Sesame-Cucumber Salad
  • 5 A Lighter Take On A Classic Potluck Dish
    Marina Delio
    Broccoli salad loaded with bacon and cheddar is delicious, but can leave you feeling like you just swallowed a watermelon. This revamped version, which just so happens to be vegetarian, has you combine the florets (they're crisp-tender, since you just steam them for two minutes) with sweet, red grapes and creamy, honey-mustard-yogurt dressing.

    Get the recipe: Broccoli Antioxidant Salad

  • 1 Another Very Important Reason To Stock Up On Hot Dog Buns
    Stacey Cramp
    We love lobster rolls for their perfect pairing of high- (lobster) and low-end (hot dog bun) ingredients. This recipe for the quintessential Maine sandwich, from the new book Real Maine Food, by the founders of Luke's Lobster, demonstrates just how delicious the lobster roll can be, if you follow two key points. First, use split-top buns. They sit upright on a flat bottom and have bread-y (rather than crusty) sides, so you can butter and grill the outside to the perfect crispness. Second, don't mix the lobster meat with anything; you want its delicate flavor to shine. Spread mayo on the inside of the buns, drizzle butter over the meat, sprinkle seasoning on top and that's it.

    Get the recipe: Luke's Lobster Roll
  • 2 The Grain Salad You'll Eat All Week
    Katie Quinn Davies
    We're big fans of any recipe that lists ingredient quantities in easy, low-stress, nonspecific language (as in, "1 large handful of basil"), which is why this one from Katie Quinn Davies' What Katie Ate on the Weekend, with its just-eyeball-it amounts of herbs and greens, caught our eye. Aside from that, though, it's a terrific side salad that can bolster any meal, from grilled chicken to beef kebabs. The whole-grain farro, cherry tomatoes and feta will hold up remarkably well; so, if you make this early in the week, you can enjoy the leftovers for days.

    Get the recipe: Farro with Feta, Lemon and Pine Nuts
  • 3 The Grilled Patty That Leaves Room for Dessert
    Dreamstime.com / Sarsmis
    This lighter, brighter burger from Nong's Thai Kitchen, by Nongkran Daks, is a white-meat twist on the classic. It calls for ground chicken or pork, which you mix with a garlic-cilantro Thai sauce that gives the leaner meat a deep umami flavor. You can serve these patties on buns with a few slices of tomato, cucumber and red onion; or, enjoy them the traditional Thai way: with a side of steamed rice.

    Get the recipe: Thai Chicken Burgers with Thai Pesto
  • 4 A New Way To Do Veggie Tacos
    Hirsheimer and Hamilton
    Fresh corn usually shows up in a Mexican meal in salsa form, but chef Rick Bayless, whose new book is More Mexican Everyday, uses it as a taco filling, reminding us of just how versatile this farm-stand staple can be. He combines the kernels with zucchini, cooks them until they're brown (which just takes a few minutes) and stirs in roasted poblano chilies and cream. Spoon everything into soft tacos and sprinkle some crumbled cheese on top, and you've got a delicious and filling warm-weather meal.

    Get the recipe: Creamy Zucchini, Corn and Roasted Poblanos
  • 5 The Snack You'll Even Want For Breakfast
    Quentin Bacon
    With their thick "walls" and few seeds, Roma tomatoes make an ideal topping for bruschetta. Their rich flavor needs little embellishment, making this ridiculously easy recipe, from the new paperback edition of Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen, by Lucinda Scala Quinn, a no-brainer. All you do is combine the tomatoes with olive oil, sliced basil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and put the mixture over toast for an instant-gratification appetizer, lunch, dinner accompaniment -- or, yes, breakfast.

    Get the recipe: Bruschetta Pomodoro
  • 6 Double-Duty Pops
    Tara Striano
    These prosecco-blueberry-lemon Popsicles from Maria del Mar Sacasa's new Summer Cocktails are fantastic on their own -- the clean, fresh taste of the prosecco and lemon nicely complements the juicy, slightly sour blueberries -- but you can also serve the pops in glasses of sparkling wine and enjoy a frosty (and boozy!) dessert. As the pops melt, they'll add flavor and keep drinks cool.

    Get the recipe: Prosecco-Blueberry-Lemon Pops
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