Potlucks are a fantastic chance to get together with friends and family, and share good food in a relaxed environment.
But for the non-cook, choosing a dish for a potluck can be stressful! Too simple might give the impression you made no effort. Too difficult, and you risk completely ruining your potluck meal.
Stress no more! We’ve collected the best potluck recipes that are delicious, crowd-pleasing, and easy to make. Read on for inspiration.
31 Crowd Pleasing Potluck Recipes
If you’re unsure what to bring to a potluck, you really can’t go wrong with a macaroni salad. It’s a family favorite, it’s easy to put together, and it will go nicely with all the other dishes.
The key to a good macaroni salad is to pack it full of veggies, a creamy dressing, and plenty of cheese. Make it in advance, and give it all a good stir before serving.
Gluten-free (see also ‘26 Easy Gluten Free Appetizer Recipes‘), egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan, this twist on the classic potato salad is perfect for a potluck with a range of dietary requirements.
Instead of drowning the potatoes in mayo, this recipe lightly coats them in an olive oil, herb, and mustard dressing.
The potatoes soak up the dressing as they sit, so you get a delicious burst of herbs with every mouthful.
To save cooking time, slice your potatoes before boiling.
Basil pesto is a fresh taste that’s just perfect for a summer potluck. Mix it with cooked pasta and sliced vegetables for a potluck dish that can be thrown together in no time at all.
Use a mandolin to finely and evenly slice your raw veggies, so they’re easier to enjoy in a salad.
A final sprinkle of red pepper flakes adds a touch of heat, but you can leave this out, depending on your audience.
Mediterranean grilled zucchini salad pairs everyone’s favorite summer vegetable with a light and zesty dressing that’s the perfect side to fish and meat.
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin are added to the zucchini, which is given a punch of flavor from the grill.
A quick grill on a high heat infuses the zucchini with a charred flavoring, while keeping the outside crispy.
The beauty of the 7 layer salad is that there’s bound to be something to please everyone.
And if you happen to leave out one of the layers, then who’s going to notice!
Use a clear glass dish so that everyone can see how skilled you are at salad making, and follow this little tip for an attractive layer pattern: begin by placing each layer around the outside, and pack the middle with greens.
The outside will look even, and you ensure every scoop has enough salad greens.
Light, refreshing, and crunchy, watermelon salad with cucumber and feta is perfect for a potluck on a very hot day.
Each bite comes with a burst of juicy freshness, while the chopped mint and basil adds fragrance. Lime juice and olive oil are stirred through for the easiest salad dressing around.
Probably the ultimate potluck side, coleslaw combines crispy shredded vegetables and a creamy dressing. It’s one of those foods that just goes with everything else on the table.
Traditionally a mayo-heavy recipe, Greek yogurt coleslaw mixes things up with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
It’s tangy, delicious, and will trick guests into thinking you worked really hard. Make things even easier by buying a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw veg.
Use rotisserie chicken as an easy hack to a speedy chicken salad. The addition of diced apples and candied walnuts brings an incredible texture to the salad, plus a nutty and sweet layer of flavor.
Bring to the potluck as-is, or add spoonfuls to slices of brioche bread. The salad can be prepared a couple of days in advance, and kept covered in the fridge.
Cowboy caviar is absolutely nothing like traditional caviar, but it is a delicious mix between a salsa and a salad. It can be eaten with a fork, layered into a taco, or scooped up with tortilla chips.
Black beans and black eyed beans are the core of this dish, lending it bulk, but you can experiment with the vegetables used. The more, the better!
A zesty and simple dressing is mixed through at the end, with a touch of heat from chipotle powder.
10. Onion Dip
Caramelized onions are crucial to this dip, and they can seem a little intimidating to a new cook. But the key to caramelizing onions well is to do as little as possible.
Cook them on a low heat for a long time, with the occasional stir when they start to turn golden. Make the onions in advance, and stir through the dip before heading to your potluck.
Using an Instant Pot to do the cooking makes this spinach and artichoke dip recipe so quick and simple that you’ll want to make it all the time.
The Instant Pot cooks everything in roughly 3 minutes, and you don’t have to waste half the day squeezing the liquid out of spinach.
Use your free time to chop up some veggie sticks, to complete this potluck dish (or just grab a bag of tortilla chips).
It’s amazing what the addition of a spoonful of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce does for guacamole.
Mashed until a fine paste, the chiles are then stirred through a traditional guacamole base, infusing the dish with a smoky heat that balances the creamy avocado and the tang of lime.
We recommend starting with a small amount of chipotle chiles, tasting, and adding more as necessary.
Perfect cornbread has a crumbly, spongy, and soft texture, with a touch of sweetness that combines with a buttery richness.
And achieving this ideal texture is actually really easy. Cornbread is a dish that seems complex, but is hard to get wrong.
Make a big skillet full, and bring along to your next potluck. The hardest part is not devouring the cornbread fresh from the oven.
Badly made biscuits can be dry and unappealing, but with this buttermilk recipe, you’ll have flaky and buttery biscuits, every time.
They can be served with sweet or savory dishes, making biscuits an adaptable potluck choice. While the biscuits are cooling, try your hand at homemade jam, to really impress the potluck guests.
Handheld sliders are perfect for a potluck. They’re crowd-pleasing, they won’t fill you up, and guests can enjoy them with salads and dips.
The trick to making easy sliders is to buy Hawaiian rolls (see also ‘26 Hawaiian Roll Sliders You’ll love!‘), and keep the buns connected when you remove them from the pack.
Slice them in half using a bread knife, then you can spread the filling without having to make individual patties. Once cooked, slice into individual sliders, and serve with pickles.
Make this Chinese curry puff recipe even easier by using store bought puff pastry (see also ‘23 Puff Pastry Appetizers You Need To Try‘). It will still taste fantastic, and it gives you more time to focus on that delicious curried beef filling.
Spicy and savory beef is cooked to form the puff filling, which is then wrapped and baked in flaky and crispy pastry.
They’re an unusual choice for a potluck dinner, but these curry puffs are certain to be a crowd pleaser.
You’ll want to make a massive batch of these beef empanadas, because they’re going to be a popular choice.
The filling is the most important part, with ground beef combined with Mexican spices and sharp cheese, so keep things simple with store bought pie crusts.
Make in advance and freeze — the empanadas can be cooked from frozen with a slightly longer oven time. As they cook, whip up some guacamole!
The flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and basil used in this pinwheel recipe (see also ‘20 Simple Pinwheel Recipes‘) will completely mask just how easy this recipe is.
All you need to do is mix cream cheese with flavorsome ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
Spread a thick layer right to the edges of a flour tortilla, and roll. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll into neat slices.
Not sure what to bring to a potluck? Rolls might not be a showstopper, but no potluck is complete without them.
They’re the quiet side, the kind that everyone would miss if it wasn’t there.
Don’t be nervous about working with yeast. A little patience is all you need to make tender buttermilk buns — no specialized skills required!
Homemade bread is already delicious, and the addition of herbs, garlic powder, and melted butter take these rolls up a level.
The texture is a combination of chewy and flaky, with a crispy base thanks to the skillet cooking method.
This recipe isn’t the easiest choice for a potluck, but it has so many hints and tips that you can’t go wrong.
Vegetable frittata is an easy dish for a potluck, and a good way to use up any leftover veggies. It tastes so good, no one will ever suspect how quick it was to make!
The hardest part of making this frittata is cooking the vegetables for the filling. Once they’re done, the frittata is assembled and then baked until the center puffs.
It can be made up to four days in advance.
Yes, you can cook a quiche in a sheet pan. And yes, it is just as easy and delicious as you think it’s going to be.
A sheet pan is layered with your chosen pastry (either store-bought or homemade, you decide) and par-baked. Pour in your filling mixture, and finish baking.
When the quiche has cooled, slice, and share at your potluck. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, experiment with different filling mixtures.
Buffalo cauliflower mac and cheese is a potluck dish that tastes indulgent, but is secretly healthy. So, you can load up your plate with as many dishes as you like, and not feel guilty.
A big punch of flavor comes from the store bought buffalo sauce, making this dinner surprisingly quick to put together. Take it up a notch with a sprinkle of blue cheese to finish.
Hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise might not be the most exciting ingredients on their own, but for some reason, when combined in deviled eggs, they become something amazing.
Stick with the traditional deviled egg recipe (see also ‘35 Easy Egg Recipes‘) when you’re making them for the first time, but this is an adaptable recipe, and there’s plenty of room for experimentation.
Want a simple mix-in that’s sure to impress? Go for chopped bacon.
Salad on a stick is something of a game changer when it comes to potluck dishes. They look amazing, and everyone will be impressed with this innovative salad serving method.
Greek salad works particularly well on skewers.
Simply thread a skewer through a square of feta, a chunk of cucumber, a slice of bell pepper, a grape tomato, and a kalamata olive. Pour over a simple dressing, and serve!
A caprese salad is essentially a combination of mozzarella and tomato, drizzled with a balsamic dressing.
These bite sized skewers are the perfect finger food (see also ‘33 Sweet And Savory Finger Food Recipes For Parties‘), offering a combination of creamy cheese and sharp tomato with each bite.
27. Lemon Bars
No potluck is complete without something sweet to finish. Lemon bars are super simple, and the vibrant flavors are just right for a summer potluck.
The ingredients list is also super simple. The tangy and fresh flavors of the traditional lemon bar are fantastic at the end of a big meal.
Even non-bakers will find these brown butter krispie treats easy to make, especially as they require absolutely no oven time.
You only need 7 ingredients to make these sweet treats, and most of them are store cupboard basics (particularly for those of us with a sweet tooth).
Replacing the traditional marshmallows with a combination of browned butter, maple syrup, and peanut butter adds a sophisticated twist to a traditional children’s treat.
You’re sure to be on to a winner with a combination of chocolate chip cookie and pie. Trust us, no one will be able to resist a slice if you bring it to a potluck.
Gooey chocolate chips, buttery crust, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream — you know you want to.
You will be the hero of the potluck if you agree to bring drinks, particularly if you pack a jug of this traditional white sangria.
White sangria is lighter than its red cousin, substituting the body of red wine with the refreshing touch of white.
31. Fruit Punch
An ice-cold glass of fruit punch is just what you need alongside a plate piled high with potluck foods.
This non-alcoholic recipe is family friendly, and has just the right amount of oomph thanks to the ginger ale.
If you want to make a boozy version, stir through 2 cups of vodka before you add the ginger ale.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Best Things To Bring To A Potluck?
The best things to bring to a potluck are crowd-pleasing dishes that can be easily divided into small portions, and don’t require hours of hard work!
Suggestions include: side salads, pasta dishes, dips and pre-sliced vegetables, sliders, frittatas, and dinner rolls. Alternatively, volunteer to bring a sweet treat, or a big jug of punch.
What Should You Not Bring To A Potluck?
There are no hard and fast rules about what foods are potluck appropriate, but avoid anything that’s hard to share.Your grilled salmon recipe might be delicious, but realistically, only one or two people will get a chance to try it.
Dishes should also be easy to enjoy one-handed — potlucks are rarely sit down occasions. Soup might be easy to make, but it’s impossible to eat at a potluck.
Also, don’t bring only part of a meal. If you’re bringing dips, pick up a bag or chips so that guests can actually enjoy what you’ve made.
Finally, if the host sets a theme, follow the theme!
How Much Should You Bring To A Potluck?
It’s tempting to go over the top when preparing for a potluck, but keep in mind the whole point of a potluck is that everyone brings a dish.
Each individual will only have a small amount of each plate. A good rule is to bring enough food for around half the people in attendance.
It might not seem like much, but when combined with all the other food, no one will be left hungry
Can I Bring Store Bought Food To A Potluck?
Yes, you can bring store bought food to a potluck, but avoid anything too basic, like canned veggies. If you are going for store bought, choose something a little special.
Cooking for a potluck doesn’t have to be difficult! These 31 easy recipes are certain to impress, and require minimal effort.
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