Church Potluck Throwback Recipes: Cookie Salad and Carrot Raisin Salad

It’s the first Wednesday of the month! This means many things, like a big meeting at work but most importantly…. it was potluck at the First Presbyterian! In the rearview, this is full of great memories for me (my parents may recall some whining or stubbornness on my part): food, fellowship, surrounded by all who love and raise you (because it is a small town). Deviled eggs were always a hot item, and usually just enough for one per attendee, along with lil weenie cocktail sausages, Jello salads, casseroles, crockpot delight …… I hope most of you have some fond communal eating experiences. Not the kind where a bunch of lame-os just bring ketchup but a real spread, Jacob’s join, covered dish supper, dish party, bring-a-plate, dish-to-pass, fuddle or erroneously, a smorgasbord. A potluck is also where I tasted my first (and only) tomato aspic and also grits. We had a lovely minister, who was southern, and as intended with potlucks, she shared a dish-aspic. In Montana, however, tomato aspic did not take off like fire in a beetle kill forest– I thought molded tomato Jello was yucky (just saying ass-pic, captures the taste memory). I would try it again now though. I also love vintage cook books, as you know, that are brimming with just the right potluck recipes – easy to share and an element of mystery (jello). Today however, I look to two different sources for my information 1) my memory and 2) my mother.

Cookie Salad (Cookie Salad? Yes, cookie salad!)

There are variations out there for this salad, including using buttermilk. For this recipe I followed Momma M’s recipe but jazzed it up with mandarin oranges. I think this would be pretty tasty with Girl Scout samoas, spendy yes, but tasty.


  • 5 oz instant vanilla pudding
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)
  • 20 oz can mandarin oranges (drain)
  • 8 oz cool whip, thawed
  • 1 package fudge striped cookies, crushed, reserve one to eat whole


  1. Mix pudding and cool whip with spatula in medium sized bowl. This is pretty sweet so you can add less pudding if you like or more cool whip.
  2. Add undrained pineapple. Mix.
  3. Eat one fudge striped cookie.
  4. Add drained mandarins, can cut some up into smaller pieces if you want. Mix.
  5. Crush cookies and add to salad, but retain some to sprinkle on top when all done. Mix
  6. I snuck some yogurt in at the end, as I had just a little left hanging out in the fridge.
  7. Top with remaining crushed cookies.
  8. Chill, let set a bit.

Carrot and Raisin Salad

For this recipe, I ended up a bit short on carrots and only had golden raisins. So I grated in an apple and added dried cranberries for color along with raisins, for a modern Megan twist. I also, being a moderate mayo fan, used homemade plain yogurt in lieu of most of the mayo. Refreshing, sweet but not sugary.


  • 3 cups grated carrots (recipe is forgiving)
  • 1 apple (not required but worked out pretty darn good)
  • ¼ – ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ – ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ mayo or yogurt (or do 50:50)
  • Splash of lemon juice (if worried about apple browning)


  1. Grate carrots and apples. I used my freaky food processor this time (requires industrial ear protection) but can certainly do manually. Add the lemon juice in when grating apples.
  2. Mix in yogurt and/or mayo. I did about ¼ yogurt and 1/8 cup mayo by the end. Not sure the mayo added much to the end product
  3. Mix in raisins and cranberries. Add more or less depending on how many you have on hand and what ratio you are looking for
  4. Stir stir. Chill before serving, probably give it another mix or so, as some liquid will collect

There appears to be many a blog and pinterest board dedicated to potlucks of all types (potluck of potlucks?) Here are few that caught my fancy:

Thank you Wikipedia for the killer synonym list. I would love to hear your potluck memories!

4 thoughts on “Church Potluck Throwback Recipes: Cookie Salad and Carrot Raisin Salad

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