potluck ideas

27 Potluck Ideas For An Amazing Party

Planning to get together with friends or family for a football game? Or do you have a small brunch coming up? Such fun get-togethers are the perfect time to host a potluck. But whether you’re hosting or are invited to a potluck, many of us often find ourselves struggling to find an easy but delicious recipe that everyone will enjoy. If you’re in the same boat, this article’s got you covered!

Spice up your next potluck dinner with any one of these fabulous recipes. Whether you go a new direction with dessert, bake a traditional casserole, or break out the Instant Pot for a quick meal, these potluck ideas are sure to be winners!

#1. Grilled Onion Dip

Sweet grilled onion and pungent garlic come together to form this creamy, buttery, decadent dip. Although this recipe recommends grilling the onions and garlic, you can get the same effect using your oven.

Serve it with baked homemade pita crisps or chips, as a spread for a toasted baguette, or as the centerpiece to a veggie platter. This glorious dip would be an excellent addition to a holiday table or springtime soiree!

#2. Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Sometimes, a tiny bite of deliciousness can pack the biggest flavor punch! And these savory water chestnuts sure fit the bill. Soy sauce marinade, brown sugar, and crispy bacon elevate the humble water chestnut in an easy fix-ahead appetizer. Stick a toothpick in each one before baking for an easy-to-serve treat that goes from oven to table in no time.

#3. Tater Tots Casserole With Homemade Mushroom Sauce

For your next potluck, try this adult take on a childhood favorite! Delicious white button mushroom sauce pairs beautifully with crispy tater tots and cheese in a pan to create gooey perfection.

For quick prep, make the sauce ahead of time. You can also assemble the entire casserole and then freeze it for a last-minute party invite — just remove the tray from the freezer, pop it in the oven, and you’re all set!

#4. Mini Candied Pecan Cranberry Goat Cheese Balls

One-bite cheese balls will always be a hit at potlucks! This recipe combines sweet cranberries with crunchy pecans to liven up fresh goat cheese. You can even use the cheese balls as a dip for veggies or crackers, or as a spread for the fanciest sandwich tray around. This dish is incredibly versatile — play with different combinations of dried fruits or nuts to complement just about anything.

#5. Caprese Skewers

Nothing says summer like a Caprese salad. A fun alternative to a salad bowl, these skewers ensure that everyone gets a bit of everything! Fresh mozzarella is, of course, the star of the show, but it doesn’t overpower the basil and plump cherry tomatoes. Finish the skewers with olive oil and balsamic glaze for a zingy mouthful that won’t disappoint.

#6. Grilled Mexican Corn

Here’s a unique twist on a cookout favorite. Give plain old corn on the cob a zingy boost with this fun recipe, where Mexican crema and cotija cheese pair with cilantro and lime juice for an explosion of flavor. Ideal when done on the grill, you can also prepare this fun side dish on a griddle or a smokeless electric grill. Nobody will ever want regular corn again!

#7. Strawberry Arugula Salad With Feta

This simple salad will win everyone over with its amazing flavor and texture that you won’t find elsewhere. The sweet strawberries and savory feta cheese beautifully complement the peppery taste of the arugula.

To top it off, prepare a homemade Dijon vinaigrette finished with a sprinkle of nuts. If you don’t want to make your own dressing, you can also use your favorite store-bought sauce.

#8. Chickpea Cucumber Salad

Having a variety of flavors at a potluck is always ideal, and this refreshing salad with mild Greek influences will be a huge hit. Crunchy and cool cucumber is the star of this dish, while creamy chickpeas and zesty red onion bring everything together.

Garnishing with fresh dill is always preferred, but feel free to substitute the herb with a dried version if it is out of season or hard to find.

#9. Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes

Easy one-dish roasted potatoes are a delicious alternative to potato salad and are even more versatile. Use your potatoes to complement barbecue or as a side for frittata brunch. Alternatively, top the creation with a creamy tomato sauce for some Spanish tapas flair. These potatoes have perfectly crispy edges and soft and chewy insides, sure to be loved by kids and adults alike.

#10. Sesame Soy Napa Cabbage Slaw

Asian-inspired slaw is perfect as a side salad or a topper for pulled pork or chicken sliders! If you don’t like summer squash, you can substitute it with grated broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet bell pepper. Better yet, add some shredded purple cabbage for a pop of color! This dish is best on its second day, so make ahead and chill in the fridge overnight until it’s time to enjoy.

#11. Slow-Cooker Drunken Beans

Spicy sauce made from dark Mexican beer and perfectly slow-cooked beans combine to create a very grown-up version of baked beans. Drunken beans, or frijoles borrachos, are a Tex Mex staple. This recipe calls for serrano pepper, but you can use jalapeno or poblano peppers if you prefer less heat. To go vegetarian or vegan, replace the chicken stock with vegetable broth and omit the bacon.

#12. Cream Corn Like No Other

You would never think of making creamed corn for a potluck, but wait till you try this light and creamy recipe. When your plate is full of spicy, rich food, a spoonful of parmesan-seasoned corn will be a welcome palate-cleanser. This dish shines at any potluck, whether it’s for a winter dinner or backyard summer party. It’s a crime how quick and easy this recipe is.

#13. All-American Homemade Sloppy Joes

This homemade version of the classic American sloppy Joe is far beyond what you’re used to. No over-salted canned sauce here. Instead, you can season and adjust your spices to taste. The rich molasses-based sauce complements a wide range of meats, including game meat like elk or caribou. You could even use plant-based meat substitutes for a vegetarian or vegan option.

#14. Pizza Sliders

These simple pizza sliders are the ideal recipe to try the next time you’re going to a sports potluck. Not only are they easy to make and fun to eat, but they are also filling. You play it safe by using pepperoni for a flavor everyone loves, or go gourmet by using a white or pesto base, a combination of cheeses, or fresh veggies.

#15. BBQ Chicken Sliders

Pulled pork and potlucks go hand in hand. You can switch up this classic by skipping the pork and making this lighter version with chicken instead. The chicken needs practically a whole day to brine, plus around four hours in a slow cooker, so you’ll have to plan ahead. It’s so worth the time though; soft and tangy chicken on buttery rolls with crunchy coleslaw is a feast for your senses.

#16. Cheesy Garlic Butter Bubble Bread

Pull-apart bread is always a huge hit at breakfasts or brunches. This savory treat full of garlicky goodness is easy to make and transports well. It is also fun to eat and complements a wide variety of main dishes. For quick preparation, use biscuit dough; pizza or bread dough, whether frozen or fresh, works well, too.

#17. Beef Enchilada Casserole

Take a delicious south-of-the-border favorite to new heights. Enchilada casserole is a dish that everyone loves, but this recipe truly enhances it with a homemade sauce. This is an easy dish to make gluten-free — just use corn tortillas instead of flour. If you find yourself in a pinch or simply prefer canned sauce, go for it, but believe us, you’ll be missing out on some kickin’ flavor.

#18. Grilled Pork Tenderloin

The next time you’re hosting a potluck, break out this dish to wow your guests. Homemade marinade goes a long way towards providing this lean roast with excellent flavors and moisture, resulting in a finished product that’s tender and delicious. Serve it as the main dish to go with an assortment of sides, use it as a protein in rice bowls, or slice thin for some mean street tacos.

#19. Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Tikka Masala

Warm and savory Indian seasonings are at the heart of this vegetarian dish. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can make everything in the same pan.

Once the sweet potatoes, spices, and any additional veggies are roasted and soft, make the sauce and then put everything back into the oven for five minutes to finish. Replace the cream with coconut milk for a hearty vegan dish that even meat-eaters will love.

#20. Best Tex-Mex Tortilla Casserole

A modern take on a breakfast classic, this casserole will be perfect at your next brunch potluck! This updated version of chilaquiles, a Mexican standard, uses an egg base with fresh veggies to keep it light. The recipe calls for kale, but if the superfood just isn’t your jam, you could add avocado for extra creaminess, not to mention some yummy healthy fat.

#21. Creamy White Chicken Chili

Someone always brings traditional red beef chili to a potluck, but you can turn tradition on its head with this creamy white chicken chili. Green chilies and corn combine with cream cheese and chicken for a delicious Southwest bite. Make ahead and freeze, or use store-bought rotisserie chicken if you’re in a hurry. An assortment of toppings sets this dish up for a grand finish!

#22. Favorite Baked Spaghetti

If you want something effortless but impressive, serve this delicious, easy-baked spaghetti at your next party. Sausage and spicy sauce make for an adult dish, while mini meatballs and marinara are kid-friendly. You can try it with an alfredo sauce for variation. Omit the meat to make this dish vegetarian.

Or if beef isn’t your thing, substitute it with ground chicken or pork. However you fix it, this will become a potluck staple for sure.

#23. Swedish Apple Cake With Vanilla Sauce

Aromatic spices give this cake-pie hybrid a boost of flavor. This Swedish äppelkaka features tender apples surrounded by a cake-like batter atop a pie-like crumble crust. Serve the dessert warm with whipped cream or ice cream, or better yet, make the decadent vanilla sauce as recommended. If you bring home any leftovers, this cake makes for a great breakfast!

#24. Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake

Poke cakes are a little kitschy but they’re undeniably delicious and beyond simple to make. This version pairs moist cake with lemon-blueberry sauce, creamy mascarpone, and ricotta frosting.

Follow the recipe for homemade sponge cake, or if you’re not a confident baker, you can use a boxed white or yellow cake mix. Top it with fresh blueberries and lemon zest for a standing ovation.

#25. Banana Upside-Down Cake

Rich caramel and sliced fruit top this moist banana-infused baked goodness to bring a twist to the traditional pineapple upside-down cake! This cake tastes like bananas foster but can be baked quickly and easily.

Don’t worry about using ripe bananas for the topping; they will caramelize, so it doesn’t matter if they are soft. To make your dessert stand out even more, serve it with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

#26. Nutella S’mores Bars

These decadent bars are, thankfully, not nearly as messy as s’mores, although they still bring back wonderful memories of campfires! The most work you’ll have to do will be using your food processor to make the crust; the rest is just assembling everything.

In this dessert, the hazelnut goodness of Nutella complements the marshmallow cream in an unbelievable fashion. Trust us, after a bite of these bars, you’ll never want an old-school s’more again.

#27. Fruit Salsa

You wouldn’t think that a fruit salsa would be a good dessert because it isn’t rich like chocolate, but you’ll change your mind when you learn how truly versatile it is.

The recipe calls for sweet and tart fruits like strawberries, melon, and raspberries, with cinnamon sugar crisps for dipping — just like you would with regular salsa. The serving possibilities are endless. It goes along with cream puffs, is an excellent topper for make-your-own pudding parfaits, custard pie, or even homemade ice cream!

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.