46 answers

Help, Somthing to Bring to Potluck, That Is Kid Friendly and Goes with Salmon???

Sorry to ask yet another food question, but i goggled around and couldn't come up with anything. My family is invited to a potluck dinner, where the main course will be grilled Salmon. Not being fish eaters, i have no idea what i should bring that would be appropriate taste/texture wise number one and that my picky kids would eat number two. This is the same vegetarian couple that caused me such stress over the summer. THere will be about 8 other familys, but only one family with young children like mine. And no one is organizing this so i don't know who is bringing what. The hostess, said not to worry because you hardly ever end up with that many people bringing the same thing. That just seems stupid to me.
Right now, i'm thinking dinner rolls, just as a last resort???? I would welcome all suggestions. Thank you so much.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

THank you everyone. Judging by responses Mac and Cheese seems to be the number one vote.
DH actually took over, which is fine since this was his function anyways. I fed the kids ahead of time, and Hubby put together a bagged lettuce salad. Our salad was miraclously spruced up with greek olives and tomatoes, which hubby and i don't care for but i'm guessing the vegetarian hostess had on hand and just couldn't resist adding. Just because it amuses me, i need to say there were three rice dishes, each varying slightly by color and amount of pepper( bell pepper, red pepper, bell and red pepper). A relish tray of carrots and cerery and one bowl of homegrown carrots, completed our salmon dinner. opps, I almost forgot the cold dish of cooked white beans garnished with parsley, hmmmmm, don't even know what else to say about that. I did try them, bland but non-toxic.
To give her credit, the hostess was a sweetie and provided goldfish crackers and organic fruit leather for the children, so they were happy.
It was quite an experience to say the least. Not your normal potluck, that's for sure. And believe me if it wouldn't have crushed DH, I would have stayed home. But then i wouldn't have these amusing comments to make. All kidding aside, I think this experience has taught me alot about what i feel comfortable with in regards to planning a "potluck" type of dinner, and also some of the things to consider to make the whole process more enjoyable for guests. Of course all in all, everyone had a lovely evening anyways so maybe it doesn't matter so much, (as long as you serve a strong wine) sorry just couldn't resist :)

Featured Answers

Hello Kristi,
How about a cucumber salad? I don't have a recipe, but I just slice a cucumber, slice a sweet (Mayan or vidalia) onion, then mix a little mayo, wine vinegar, parsley flakes, and a little sugar. I keep tasting this dressing to see if it needs more vinegar or sugar. Serve chilled.
You might search for a recipe on google also.
Good luck!
E. B

How about wild rice? A broccoli and cheese dish? What about potatoes? Macaroni and cheese? Fruit salad? A pasta casserole? Rigatoni? The possiblities are endless. My kids love all of these.

How about Mac and cheese? If you make it from scratch, you can get some nice cheddar or something. That goes with anything and is definately kid=friendly.

More Answers

Whenever I make salmon, I make Parmesan Orzo as a side. It's easy and kids love it (it's similar in taste and texture to mac'n'cheese). You might want to double the recipe for such a large crowd. I've also used vegetable broth in place of the chicken (my sister and her family are vegetarian). Oh, and I never use fresh basil - dried works just as well.

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted


Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and orzo is done (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.

2 moms found this helpful

How about Mac N Cheese? Here are a couple of good recipes. One has eggs, so if they are strict vegetarians they may not be able to eat it.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
* 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
* 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Coat the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with fresh and evaporated milks. Mix in uncooked macaroni and 3 cups shredded cheese. Transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
3. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Do not stir or remove lid while cooking.

This recipe is from a restaurant down south somewhere (I got it online). It's the one with eggs in it.

The Lady’s Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.

These are both really yummy recipes, but I will say my kids like the crock pot one better.

Whatever you decide to take, try to relax and have fun!

2 moms found this helpful

i'm going to post this recipe, because it seems no matter where I go - what type of event- it is a big hit everyone loves - and is easy to make.
Vegetable Pizza
2 pkgs Pillsbury Cresent rolls - roll these out flat on a cookie sheet and bake.
Next mix: 16oz. Cream cheese, 1 cup of Mayo, and 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix (powder). Spread this over cooled cresent rolls.
Top with finely shredded cheddar cheese, and assorted vegetables - you can get some off the salad bar that are already chopped for you!
Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Not sure how picky your kids are or if they are allergic to anything (I have a very picky eater who is allergic to eggs & nuts, so I just bring what I have to in order to make sure he is fed and everyone understands). But I have a few recipes you might want to try. I don't know if your friends want vegetarian dishes (like can they eat eggs, butter, milk) but here are some recipes. I would also not worry about if your dish "goes" with salmon or not because this is a pot luck, I say whatever anyone brings is fine.

Pineapple Souffle:
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 20 oz ca of pineapple (crushed) - drain the pineapples
- 6 to 8 slickes of stale bread cubed with crusts removed
Mix butter, sugar, pineapple and eggs together. Fold in the bread, pout into heavily greased 1 quart casserole dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Last Minute Lasagna
- 1 26 oz jar pasta sauce
- 1 30 oz bag of frozen large cheese ravioli (unthawed)
- 1 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach - thawed and squeezed dry (can be left out if kids don't like it)
- 1 8 oz bag of mozzerella
- 1/2 cup of grated parm
Heat oven to 350. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish w/cooking spray. Spoon in 1/3 of sauce. Arrange 12 ravioli on top and scatter w/ spinach and then w/ cheese. Cover that with another layer of ravioli and cheese and sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 25 min. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until bubbly.

I also have a recipe for a Ham & Cheese Salad, Fiesta Chicken Pasta, Summer Cobb Salad, & Chedder Cheese Pull Apart rolls. Let me know if you want those recipes and good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

twice baked potatoes, or homemade macaroni and cheese. Maybe stuffed shells. or even marianated mushrooms. or you can always do a salad. maybe potato salad or noodle salad or regular lettuce salad. that's what I usually do with fish.or you could make or bring a crab dip. Hope I was some help. K..

1 mom found this helpful

A side dish of penne with vodka cream sauce.

went back for the receipe for you. Very easy to make, alcohol cooks off and it compliments the salmon.

I posted becuase I used to work for Poli's 20 years ago and this was a very very popular dish.


1 mom found this helpful

Lol.... sorry but your post was funny. OK, seriously tho, have you thought about maybe not going? Save yourself the hassle rent a movie that night make popcorn and throw in some M&M's with it and have a movie family night!
Good luck!
Potluck with fish???

1 mom found this helpful

Do something real EASY, like cucumber salad. Cucumbers go great with salmon and it's also very refreshing. Peel and slice the cucumbers fairly thin. Add sour cream, not much, just until all of the cucumber slices are coated. Add salt and you're done! It's a great side dish, tastes good, depending on your kids they might like it and adults normally do like it.

Dear Kristi,
Will your picky eaters be eating salmon? If not, then take something that they will eat. I have been to so many potluck dinners where the children end up eating bread or chips because they don't like anything the grownups are eating. Do they like mac and cheese? little pizza pies? celery sticks with peanut butter or plain? carrot sticks? Salad? cocktail weiners dipped in catsup? fresh fruit salad? jello with fruit in it? cheese cubes? any kind of finger food that they can eat on the run? Now that you've taken care of the children, you might consider a spinach salad or tossed salad of mixed baby greens, grape tomatoes, sliced fresh mushrooms, ripe olives, and a couple of different salad dressings on the side. Hope these ideas help.
Good luck, M.

If you are looking for something your kids would eat, you might want to think about crock pot mac-n-cheese. In addition to covering your bases for good with fish and suitable for picky kids, it is really easy. There are a number of recipies on the web. Most are just noodles, shredded velveeta, butter, salt, 1 egg and milk. Be sure you put in enough milk (I put it in last and put in enough that it covers the noodles.) It is a little different texture than the kind that you make on the stove, but is really good.

how about mac N chez and stewed tomatoes or scalloped potatoes.. maybe a nice big tossed salad !! dont stress ..whatever you bring make sure YOUR kids eat it. if anyone has a problem with what you bring ..oh well at least your family will be fed :) !!!

Hi Kristi! Don't you just hate it when people just plop things on you with no plan? Frankly I would go with something really really kid friendly...like a can of bakedbeans with half a package of hotdogs cut up and cooked in it. It may be "ucky" for the vegies....but all the kids will eat it up & it takes about 10 minutes to cut and heat and pour into a bowl, which makes it a perfact dish for a busy Mom. Personally it is the "go-to" dish for busy nights and any potluck we have attened for years...and we almost never come home with left overs! I recommend Bush Orginal flavored baked beans...it's the one my kids and all their friends like the best. Have fun!

Dinner rolls are always a good option. But - how about a risotto - something cheesy that the kids would eat. You could also be very kid- friendly and do a baked mac n cheese. I'm sure the adults would like it too. Actually - you can do almost any type of pasta too. Salads are also a safe bet. Don't stress - have fun with it!!

We always have some sort of rice salmon. But hey if your catering for the kids just say you brought something for the kids and bring homemade mac n cheese!!!

how about bow tie pasta with butter and herbs? easy, kid friendly, it's what I usually serve with salmon. Good luck. dinner rolls are fine, too!

I'm not a big fish eater myself, but a simple rice dish goes well with salmon. Maybe you could find out how the salmon will be flavored so that you can find appropriate flavors for the rice (an asian marinade on the fish would go well with vegetable fried rice, an italian flavored fish would do well with an italian risotto).

This is something that tastes great with salmon
String beans with almonds..
sautee the almonds in some butter then throw in the string beans after steaming them of course.....add a litte fresh salt and even a squeeze of lemon and you're done...my kids love it. ..just made it yesterday....also you can make it in a large amount and it's not expensive...don't forget the almonds.
let me know if you try it

I used to go to a monthly pot luck with our playgroup and I always found great (often kid-friendly) recipes in the Kraft Food and Fun magazine. It's free. You can sign up at kraftfoods(dot)com, but in the meantime you can search recipes online. I bet you could find something on there. Good luck!

Macaroni and cheese.
Big tossed salad with dressing on the side.
Grilled vegetables or pick vegetables your children will eat and steam and toss them with olive oil and salt.
Glazed carrots.
Any kind of potato dish.
Hope this helps.

As one of the other moms said, do your kids like or have tried salmon? Anyway, we eat it all the time and here are the sides I make for it:
1. a green salad with tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cubed cheese (if you think your kids won't eat salmon, they'll get protein from the cheese)
2. Quinoa - mixes from Trader Joe's or in the organic section of most supermarkets. My 18 month old didn't know what to do with it at first, but now it's "fun" and a source of protein.
3. potatoes - I would do plain boiled with a bit of butter at home, but maybe you could do an au gratin and take it with you to reheat there?
4. green beans
5. corn
6. soup

Good luck - don't stress - it's meant to be fun and a chance for folks to try new foods. If you are so worried about your kids, bring them a picnic bag just in case. I still carry a bag for my daughter with things like raisins, cheerios, yogurt, cheese and milk just in case:)

Sorry the gathering this summer was a disaster, sounds like you don't enjoy these people or approve of their "stupid" hosting ideas. They aren't too severe as vegetarians if they're serving fish, but whatever you bring will be fine. They must like you and your kids or they wouldn't invite you, but no one is forcing you to go. Fish is just a main protein dish like any other meat-the sides are the same.

Hello Kristi,
What about macaroni and cheese? This is a filling treat that MOST kids love, and will eat. Additionally, it will go great with grilled salmon.

Try this corn casserole recipe. My kids love it and so do most adults!

Corn Casserole

6 Tbsp. butter
¼ c. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
½ c. evaporated milk
3½ c. corn, fresh or 16 oz. package frozen a few cans work well(drained)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8” X 8” or 9” X 9” pan.
2. Melt butter in saucepan or microwave.
3. Mix sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl, and then stir in melted butter.
4. Beat milk and eggs in a separate bowl until blended.
5. Add egg mixture to mixture from step 3 and stir until smooth.
6. Stir in corn.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The corn casserole comes out firm, so cut into squares and serve. YOu can add more corn than this recipe calls for and it doubles and triples nicely!

Also- a potato dish

Elegant Cheesy Potatoes or Chicken Potato Casserole
(B. Barlow)

As a Side Dish:

1 (2 lb.) package frozen potatoes, thawed(can use shredded or cubed)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup with herbs
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh Chives, chopped

2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1/4 cup melted butter

Make it a Meal in One!
Add 1 1/12 lbs chopped cooked chicken
1 pkg.Frozen Sugar Snap Peas
Mix ingredients together and place in a 9 x 12 baking dish. Mix butter and cornflakes and spread on top. Bake at 350(uncovered) for 50-60 minutes
Great dish to freeze for a crazy day in the future! (up to 3mos.)

How about a rice dish or baked macaroni and cheese casserole.

Hi Kristi,

My mom makes this and serves it with her Salmon dish since my mother in law doesn't eat fish. It's fast and easy....pasta (any variety would work), a jar of garlic alfredo suace (or any white sauce) and cubed or sliced chicken. Mix it all together and present it in a cute serving bowl/platter. It's kid friendly, fast...wait the couple is vegetarian? Well..you can choose to leave out the chicken and add some veggies (fresh or frozen). Hope this helps. Also...since this is a potluck, bring what you think your family and kids will like and don't worry about the others. Have fun!

How about wild rice? A broccoli and cheese dish? What about potatoes? Macaroni and cheese? Fruit salad? A pasta casserole? Rigatoni? The possiblities are endless. My kids love all of these.

What about sweet pot cass? Baked creamed corn!

macaroni and cheese for the kids. potluck is exactly that. People will pick and choose what they want to eat. If there will be kid mac & cheese is a favorite.

Good luck and have fun.

What about a chunks of zucchini, squash, onion and green or red pepper - grilled or sauteed in a little bit of olive oil until tender but not mushy?

Or how about a tossed salad?


Have you ever made corn pudding? You need frozen or canned corn, milk, eggs, a little flour, butter, salt and pepper. Once you have it mixed, it bakes in the oven in an 8 x 8 square pyrex dish, or similar. My kids love it and I like that it has protein. Good luck.


Hi there, My kids actually love salmon. I usually cook mac n cheese or tator tots with it. Stick with what you know, ask the kids what they would like you to make. Good luck

Here is my suggestion. Don't worry so much about whether or not it will go with the salmon. Worry about whether or not your kids will eat it. If you know the other couple with kids, give that mom a call and find out what she is bringing. Maybe between the two of you, you can come up with 2 dishes that you know your kids will eat so that you don't have to feed them again after the dinner party. If it were me, I would probably bring Baked Macaroni and Cheese (not the boxed). Another dish my kids love, is Quiche. We makes ours with a couple of cheeses added in (usually cheddar and monterey jack and sometimes we add ham as well). If your kids like eggs, this might be a good dish to bring. But I know from experience that there is nothing worse than cooking a dish for a pot luck and then having to stop for food on the way home or cook when you get home because there was nothing your kids would eat.

Anyhow, I hope this helps. Good luck with your dinner party.

Hello Kristi,
How about a cucumber salad? I don't have a recipe, but I just slice a cucumber, slice a sweet (Mayan or vidalia) onion, then mix a little mayo, wine vinegar, parsley flakes, and a little sugar. I keep tasting this dressing to see if it needs more vinegar or sugar. Serve chilled.
You might search for a recipe on google also.
Good luck!
E. B

Why not bring rolls and make a dessert.If that was my family going,I would make something totally separate that my kids would eat.They won't eat fish or rice,so a casserole for them would be good.

do mac and cheese or baked ziti!!! both w/out meat we are vegitarian and my kids love both i do them in the crock pot

I would go online and see what things are suggested to go with salmon. Dinner rolls do not go well with salmon. I was thinking some type of veggie like green beans with almonds or may be a caesar salad. you could get a caesar salad kit in the store and put it together about and hour before you leave. all the ingredients are right in the bag.
I would buy two or three of them to make.

What about good old green bean casserole? Or some nice steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce (or cheese sauce?)

That veggie pizza with the crescent rolls that someone else suggested...that is always a big hit! Also, what about a homemade mac and cheese casserole? something like that for the kids? I would definitely plan on bringing along something that you know your kids will eat...whether it is vegetarian or not. I know my kids would never eat salmon. Also....what about a dessert? instead of a side dish?

I don't know what your kids like, but here are a couple of suggestions:

Rice pilaf
mashed potatoes
scalloped potatoes (They come in a box too. pretty much cheesy potato slices.)
make a tater tot casserole

Good Luck!

How about Mac and cheese? If you make it from scratch, you can get some nice cheddar or something. That goes with anything and is definately kid=friendly.

How about a simple fruit salad or a rice medley?

Hi Kristi!

It would be so much simpler if the host would have assigned each couple a specific item--dessert, appetizer, side dish, etc., but she didn't. Being that we are at the end of tomato season, the first thought that came to my mind that everyone loves is a fresh tomato salad. There are still plenty of farm stands that have great tomatoes, but if you cannot find any, either use stem tomatoes (tomatoes still on the vine) or plum tomatoes from the grocery store. Here's what you do--quarter the tomatoes and place in your serving bowl. Add extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Add freshly minced cloves of garlic to taste. Add freshly grated black pepper and grated sea salt. Snip fresh basil leaves throughout, and add just a splash of white wine or red wine vinegar. If you like, you could even add chunks of fresh mozzarella. If you bring this and some great crusty bread, you will be a HIT! It is simple, beautiful and delicious (vegetarian too!). You cannot go wrong with this one. Good luck and have fun!

This may not be as kid friendly as you would like but a nice salad is always good to bring and it goes along with just about anything. I usually make a spinach salad with fresh bacon and hard boiled eggs and everybody always loves it. You can add other vegetables like carrots and cucumbers or whatever you like but the three main ingredients work fine on their own.

Hope this helps.

Hello.... the great thing about a 'potluck' is that not everything needs to go, so whatever you bring will be enjoyed and appreciated. As far as the kids, this is what I do, I either feed mine before we go somewhere where there might not be food they like or bring a side dish (or dinner rolls ) for everyone else and bring mac and cheese for the kids.

The dinner rolls are great, you can bring a salad, an appetizer a dessert. Have fun!

Why don't you just say "my kids aren't fish eaters, so I'm bringing X with enough to share for any others" and bring something your kids will eat (mac and chesse, cheese lasagna, etc)

If it were me, I would make baked macaroni and cheese. I think it goes well with salmon, is meatless, and my kids love it. I would definately make something I know my kids would eat with some substance, because I sure wouldn't want to hear how hungry they were on the ride home. I hope it goes well.

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