The Best Recipes for Your Office Thanksgiving Potluck

updated Nov 15, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Choosing just the right recipe for your office Thanksgiving potluck (aka Worksgiving), calls for a few smart considerations. The best recipes for office potlucks must hold up well when made in advance, be easy to transport, and don’t need to be refrigerated or reheated if possible. Don’t forget to take into account any allergies or food restrictions your coworkers might have.

Whether you’re bringing the main dish or sticking with an appetizer, side, or dessert, these recipes are your best choice for impressing your coworkers.

Mains Beyond Roast Turkey

Roast turkey is delicious, but it can also be seriously cumbersome to haul to the office. It’s also just one of the many ways to get a Thanksgiving-worthy main on the table. Turkey meatballs and seasonal stuffed shells are ideal for potlucks, and a veggie-heavy pot pie is a good vegetarian option (and can be made vegan with a simple swap).

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Turkey Meatballs with Parmesan and Sage
Juicy turkey meatballs stuffed with lots of nutty Parmesan and all the earthy, herby flavors you expect from a Thanksgiving turkey.
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Post-Thanksgiving Stuffed Shells

This seasonal twist on classic stuffed shells keeps the tender cooked pasta, the ricotta, and the stringy, melted mozzarella cheese, but ditches traditional filling for the flavors of Thanksgiving. And we mean that literally! These shells are stuffed with stuffing, roasted vegetables, and even bits of leftover turkey.

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Root Vegetable Dinner Pie

Root vegetables make a celebratory and seasonal filling for a vegetarian main dish, and in this case, they are dressed up with a showy puff pastry on top.

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Sides That Travel Well

Just like Friendsgiving and your family’s Thanksgiving celebration, there is no such thing as too many sides at an office potluck. These side dish recipes are designed to serve a crowd and are easy to scale up (or down) as needed. Each one can be made the night before (or sooner!), pack up well, and are easy to transport to the office.

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Everything Bagel Stuffing

Leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Canadian-Syrian Thanksgiving Stuffing

Commonly used celery is replaced by roasted chestnuts, and golden raisins are mixed with cranberries — but the tender pillow of soft bread remains. The result is a deliciously smoky-yet-sweet stuffing any turkey would love to be next to.

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Thanksgiving Slaw

This easy, colorful slaw is the answer to this dilemma. It won’t wilt like other green salads and can sit out for a while, making it a great addition to the Thanksgiving buffet.

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Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger
An easy recipe for orzo pasta with sweet potato, mushrooms, leafy greens, and fresh ginger.
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Mashed Potato Puffs

These are a quick-as-a-snap breakfast side dish or appetizer. People love them — they are bite-sized and yummy, warm and creamy inside and crispy on the outside. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that!

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple and often the only spot of brightness on a table full of brown, orange, and tan. While canned cranberry sauce is available year-round, fresh cranberries come to market in October, making it an ideal time to whip up a batch of this sauce — which is actually an entry-level jam — and have it waiting for your Thanksgiving table.

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Snacks and Appetizers Made for Sharing

A few nibbles and light appetizers are always a good idea for any Thanksgiving feast, but especially at office potlucks where everyone is apt to pick and graze — even after the meal is over.

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Cheese Gougères
Looking for an easy-to-make appetizer or an alternative to dinner rolls? These cheese puffs are the ticket.
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Herb-Marinated Mushrooms

For this low-maintenance marinated mushroom appetizer, we packed in tons of flavor, but kept the ingredient list nice and short. The best part about serving marinated mushrooms as a holiday appetizer is that it can be made a week in advance and tucked away in the back of your fridge until you are ready to serve.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites

These little appetizers add another option: they begin in much the same way that stovetop polenta does, but you then layer them into a small pan and allow to cool. When the polenta has cooled completely, this once-creamy dish is firm and sliceable, and you quickly coat the small squares in panko bread crumbs and pan-fry them.

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Easy Make-Ahead Desserts

The beauty of the dessert spread at a potluck is the chance to taste a little bit of everything. I love this lineup of make-ahead seasonal desserts for exactly that reason. Each one is easy to cut into small portions and terrific for sharing with a group.

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Apple Yogurt Cake with a Cinnamon-Sugar Streak
It's a moist cake with a crumb that's almost creamy, swirled with cinnamon, and juicy with small bites of apple. It will take you about 15 minutes to make.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Cheesecake meets pumpkin pie, all layered on a classic graham cracker crust.
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Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
An easy recipe for Rice Krispies treats flavored with pumpkin purée and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
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Pear and Cinnamon Crumb Cake

This version, topped with spiced pecans and brown sugar crumbs, also gets a ripple of pear and cinnamon streusel through its center. Think of it as the snacking cake to take you through crisp fall mornings and beyond.

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