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Ideas for Church Dinners

by Christina Kalinowski ; Updated September 28, 2017

Bowl of watermelon salad

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Church dinners are a staple of church life, bonding congregation members through dishes prepared by volunteers and shared amongst the community. Church dinner potlucks can oftentimes become predictable, with the same dishes making recurring appearances. Rather than falling into a routine, mix it up and bring an innovative new dish guaranteed to please -- and surprise -- a crowd.

Tastebud Tantalizers

If you’re in charge of bringing a main dish, wake up your fellow congregation members' taste buds with a pan of mac ’n cheese infused with jalapenos, salsa and sour cream for a Tex-Mex flavor. Instead of deviled eggs, try a bacon and onion egg tart. Crepes stuffed with chicken Divan or a Reuben casserole are novel ways to serve up specialty dishes for a crowd. If an appetizer or side dish is on the menu, try a BLT dip with toast points, California rolls wrapped in flour tortillas, a lentil ratatouille, or a refreshing grilled watermelon salad. Don't feel shy about trying a new dish -- you can't please everyone, but chances are you'll still please a good many people.

Decidedly Different Desserts

Think outside the cake box when planning a sweet ending for your church supper. Sweet, moist tres leches cupcakes, made with a mix of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, are a way to neatly serve decadence in single-serving portions. For a lighter taste, think orange or lemon ricotta cookies. Or turn classic desserts on their heads by constructing strawberry shortcake egg rolls or mini cheesecake burritos drizzled with fruit syrup -- both a memorable way to conclude a cozy church dinner.

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