Crowd-pleasing potluck dishes for bringing and sharing at your next gathering! Try these 47 Perfect Potluck Ideas, from the best sharing mains and party appetizers, to easy side dishes and potluck desserts.
From the office to the church hall, to your neighbor’s backyard, we’ve rounded up a delicious list of dishes to carry along to any potluck. These are often informal affairs, and this goes for food choice. Potluck dishes are simple and hearty, comforting and filling, and made for sharing. Never underestimate the power of a good casserole!
No one wants to show up to a potluck where everyone has brought along a packet of chips, and nothing else. This list of easy recipes is here to ensure there’s loads of variety at your next get-together.
What is a potluck party?
A potluck party, or potluck supper, is a gathering where each guest contributes a dish to round out the meal. The food brought to a potluck is usually homemade, and everyone brings something different to share. Sort of like a buffet where everyone is the chef, or variety show where the acts are edible!
Potlucks are a fabulous way to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. It’s a way for the whole party to get involved, from appetizers, snacks, and mains, right down to desserts.
What does “potluck” mean?
The term “potluck” is actually a 16th century word that used to refer to food that was provided to a late or unexpected guest. In fact, the dictionary still defines a potluck as a “meal available to a guest for whom no special preparations have been made.” In this case, the guest in question is provided with the “luck of the pot,” or whatever is left on hand.
In later times, a potluck would be a one-pot meal where everyone would bring an ingredient to add. However, it’s likely that the modern-day concept of bringing a dish to share came about during the Great Depression, when guests would bring food to share in communal meals. The potluck tradition has withstood the good times and the hard times, and it’s always a way to bring people together.
Best Potluck Mains and Appetizers
First up, easy potluck main dishes and filling finger foods! Baked casseroles, one-pot wonders, snack-able appetizers, and more tasty plates for sharing.
Baked Ziti Recipe
The ultimate shareable comfort food, this simple yet delicious recipe for cheesy baked ziti is a must at your next potluck! This classic pasta casserole comes together in a few easy layers of rich homemade sauce, ribbons of melty cheese, and tender cooked noodles, baked to golden perfection.
Vegan Quinoa Casserole
An easy vegan riff on broccoli and cheese casserole, bursting with chopped broccoli florets and fluffy, nutritious quinoa in a rich cashew cream sauce. This dish doubles as a main or a side – and really, anything goes at a potluck!
Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Two Ways (Macaroni and Cheese Casserole)
A potluck is all about variety, and nothing says variety like mac and cheese made two ways! Baked up into melty, cheesy goodness in the oven, guests will be spoilt for choice of two mouthwatering flavors: onion and bacon, and garlicky parmesan.
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
These Philly cheesesteak sliders are like little handfuls of deliciousness, piled with shredded beef alongside caramelized peppers and onions. Perfect for pulling apart, rewarded with satisfying strings of melted cheese!
Bacon Ranch Chicken Crescent Rolls
Tender shredded chicken and crispy bacon mingle with cheese and creamy ranch dressing, rolled up inside flaky crescent dough in this easy appetizer idea.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
A vegetarian answer to chicken wings, or an easy appetizer in their own right! Air fryer cauliflower bites are a healthy snack or side that doesn’t fall short on flavor. Pair these perfectly seasoned cauliflower florets with your favorite dips!
Potluck Side Dish Ideas
Now, let’s talk sides. These potluck side dish ideas feature easy-to-serve salads, breads, and other plate-fillers to round out a meal.
Macaroni Salad with Ham and Cheese
What would a potluck be without a good old fashioned macaroni salad? With this recipe, you won’t need to find out. Made with traditional elbow macaroni noodles, chunks of diced ham and cheese, and crisp green peas.
Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese
Broccoli salad is one of the best make ahead side dishes there is, making it a great option for potlucks! This salad recipe is made extra hearty with chicken and bacon.
Old Fashioned Cornbread with Cheddar Cheese
A slice of classic and cheesy homemade cornbread is just what your potluck plate needs! Whether you’re hosting a winter or summer affair, there aren’t many occasions where tender, rustic cornbread doesn’t fit seamlessly into a meal.
Bowtie Pasta Salad with Peas, Lemon and Basil
Bright lemon, peppery basil and sweet green peas bring a pop of freshness to this easy-to-make bowtie pasta salad. All the ingredients are folded into a tangy combo of Dijon mustard, olive oil dressing, and Asiago cheese for the perfect zesty bite.
Easy Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
For a light and easy side dish, this fruit salad tossed in a simple honey lime dressing is second to none! This recipe is full of flavor and easy to customize with seasonal ingredients.
Classic Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
Bring some Italian-inspired flair to the potluck table with this healthy pasta salad brimming with antipasto goodies! Made with salami, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, mozzarella pearls and olives tossed with rotini pasta.
Shareable desserts are the name of the game here, from chewy cookie bars to sliceable sheet cakes, and other easy ideas for potluck desserts.
Check out the recipe finder for even more delicious recipes for any and all occasions, from potlucks, to parties, and more.