47 Perfect Potluck Ideas

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. 

Hands serving food on paper plates at a potluck

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.

Spoonful of tater tot casserole.

Tater Tot Casserole

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An easy crowd-pleasing main that’s loved by kids as much as adults! Crispy tater tots bring all sorts of nostalgic feels to this cheesy cowboy casserole made with savory ground beef.

A spatula serving chicken pot pie casserole

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

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This chicken pot pie casserole is made for sharing! Protein-filled and brimming with crisp veggies and a creamy, saucy filling underneath a flaky pie crust.

Up close image of twice baked potato casserole being scooped out with a spoon.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

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Bring all the wholesome, home-cooked flavors of a loaded baked potato to the party with this twice baked potato casserole!

baked ziti recipe on a red and white checkered table cloth

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.

baked mac and cheese in a glass bakeware container

Patti Labelle’s Mac and Cheese Recipe

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The definition of soul food, inspired by the soul legend herself! This famous, ooey-gooey baked macaroni and cheese recipe is made with four (yes, four!) types of cheese for a truly unmatched casserole.

King Ranch Casserole is a creamy, cheesy, Tex-Mex inspired casserole filled with amazing ingredients. This King Ranch Chicken Casserole is made without canned soup or Velveeta!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole (No Canned Soup!)

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A classic Tex Mex casserole featuring chopped vegetables, spicy chili peppers, shredded chicken, sour cream and (of course) enough cheese to satisfy any potluck party crowd!

close up shot of marinated chicken in a plate

Marinated Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer

This easy recipe for savory marinated chicken wings cooks up in the air fryer in just 30 minutes. The best crispy, snack-able appetizer!

Baked mac and cheese with sage.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (Vegan)

Butternut squash sweetens things up in this creamy, flavorful vegan mac and “cheese”! Topped with crispy Panko crumbs and seasoned to perfection.

Vegan Quinoa Casserole

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!

close up of Old Bay Honey Hot Wings on a serving tray

Crispy Hot Honey Old Bay Wings

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Switch up your usual buffalo wings with this recipe for easy, crispy homemade chicken wings tossed in Old Bay seasoning and a sticky honey hot sauce. The perfect finger-licking finger food.

Classic Chicken Salad is the type of recipe every household loves. This Chicken Salad recipe is simple; loaded with chunks of chicken, grapes, herbs, and a creamy base. The best Summer recipe!

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

Take this classic chicken salad along to your next get together and watch it disappear! Full of creamy flavor, tender chicken, savory herbs, and grapes for the ultimate retro touch.

baked mac and cheese

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.

crockpot pulled bbq chicken in slow cooker

Crockpot BBQ Chicken (Pulled Chicken)

Few things rival a crockpot recipe when it comes to feeding a crowd! This easy, hands-free BBQ pulled chicken cooks up low and slow, full of smoky flavor and ready to be served over rolls or rice!

Philly cheesesteak sliders in a baking dish with one row missing.

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!

A Hot Ham and Cheese Slider on a Wooden Serving Spatula

Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

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An easy recipe for hot ham and cheese sliders, made with layers of deli ham and melted cheese between two fluffy rolls. Topped with honey Dijon for a flavor-packed bite.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Crescent Rolls in a basket

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.

Deviled eggs on a serving platter

Deviled Eggs

Ask anyone from the South: it’s not a potluck until deviled eggs make an appearance! This classic party finger food is easy to make in minutes, and ready for customizing.

A hand picking up a juicy Instant Pot baby back rib from a pile of ribs.

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Make juicy, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs that taste like they’ve been braising for hours, in a fraction of the time thanks to the Instant Pot! These babies are perfect for plucking from a platter and dipping.

Crack Chicken Dip

Crack Chicken Dip

A game day and potluck staple, this baked dip recipe inspired by crack chicken is full of tangy cream cheese and sour cream, shredded meat, smoky bacon and ranch seasoning.

Square image of bacon beer cheese dip in a dark bowl on a blue background.

Bacon Beer Cheese Dip

Have your dippers at the ready (I see you, crusty bread slices!) and brace for a flavor bomb of pub food proportions with this homemade beer cheese dip.

Close-up shot of grape jelly meatballs, to show the texture of the sticky sauce.

Easy Grape Jelly Meatballs

Name a more classic potluck dish than a batch of saucy grape jelly meatballs. Make this 3-ingredient recipe in the crockpot for even easier hot-and-ready serving!

Bacon wrapped smokies with pineapple and jalapeno on a baking sheet

Bacon Wrapped Smokies (3 ways!)

Everyone’s favorite cocktail weenies, dressed up three ways! Easy variations of bacon wrapped smokies that cater from the traditional, to something a little more sweet or spicy.

baked shrimp dip topped with cooked shrimp

Baked Shrimp Dip

Hot appetizers don’t get more cheesy, creamy, and delicious than this baked and bubbly shrimp dip! Garlicky and delicious, and easy to bring along as it’s served in the same dish it’s baked in.

a serving plate of air fryer cauliflower with dip

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

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.

a spoon stuck in the corner of a baking dish filled with Creamy Potluck Potatoes

Creamy Potluck Potatoes

You don’t earn a name like potluck potatoes by missing out on the party! This creamy, savory potatoes recipe is pure comfort food, and the ideal casserole side dish to satisfy a crowd.

mexican rice

Homemade Mexican Rice

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This Spanish rice recipe is a savory, scoopable side filled with garlic and onions, tomatoes, Mexican-style spices and hot sauce. Hearty and flavorful, and easy to pull together for your next party.

Classic Potato Salad with chopped eggs in a white bowl with napkin

Classic Potato Salad

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Complete your potluck salad spread with a tried and true favorite: homemade potato salad filled with crunchy celery, creamy mayo, chives and chopped eggs.

Angled view of a bowl of red potato salad

Red Potato Salad

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Redskin potatoes are tossed in a tangy lightened-up dressing, along with crisp celery, peppers, cilantro and zesty red onions in this tasty potato salad recipe.

Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe - Simple, easy, and delicious broccoli salad loaded with cheese, chicken, and bacon tossed with a creamy and flavor packed dressing. It is the perfect side to bring to a picnic or a potluck.

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.

Four pieces of Easy Cheddar Cornbread on a plate on top of a napkin with a knife.

Old Fashioned Cornbread with Cheddar Cheese

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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.

A blue bowl of three beans salad garnished with parsley.

Three Bean Salad

This homemade three bean salad is crunchy, zesty, and all-around a winner to bring along to potlucks, picnics, you name it! Made with a satisfying and healthy medley of green beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans.

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

This creamy coleslaw recipe loaded with craisins and apples is a crunchy, sweet and easy side dish that never fails.

overhead image of bowtie pasta salad with peas, lemon, and fresh basil

Bowtie Pasta Salad with Peas, Lemon and Basil

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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.

Fresh fruit salad in a large white bowl garnished with fresh mint leaves.

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.

A large white serving bowl full of Italian pasta salad

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.

A spoonful of baked beans in a casserole dish.

BEST Baked Beans

Especially if there’s BBQ in the mix, these smoky baked beans aren’t to be missed! Be the star of your next potluck or BYO cookout with the best baked beans recipe around.

Potluck Desserts

Shareable desserts are the name of the game here, from chewy cookie bars to sliceable sheet cakes, and other easy ideas for potluck desserts.

Zucchini brownies on parchment paper

Irresistible Zucchini Brownies

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Zucchini is one of the quintessential summer veggies, so what’s more perfect than irresistible zucchini brownies? These tender brownies are topped with a quick fudge frosting and are so good you’ll never know they have veggies in them!

Homemade s'mores rice krispie treats squares.

S’mores Rice Krispies Treats

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The perfect sharing dessert that will leave everyone craving s’more. Made with crisp rice cereal, sticky marshmallows, chocolate chunks and crumbly Graham crackers.

Three no-bake peanut butter haystacks on a plate, with marshmallows scattered over them.

Butterscotch Haystacks

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A quick and easy dessert that no guest can refuse, these crunchy butterscotch haystacks come together easily with chow mein noodles and melted butterscotch candy.

Oreo Brownies

What’s better than a fudgy chocolate brownie? A brownie with Oreos, obviously. This simple brownie recipe gets a sugary jolt of cookies and cream for a chewy, chocolatey delight.

cookies and cream dip in a white bowl

Cookies and Cream Dip

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An easy dessert dip made with cream cheese and sweet whipped frosting, loaded with crushed Oreo cookies. This is what potluck dessert dreams are made of!

m&m cookie bars

M&M Cookie Bars

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Brightly colored M&Ms put a festive spin on these easy cookie bars. Baked in a sheet pan for the perfectly portable potluck dessert!

Oatmeal Jammy Lemon Bar Recipe

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A hearty twist on a lemon bar recipe featuring tangy lemon curd topped with a crumbly layer of oatmeal and granola.

slice of banana pudding poke cake with vanilla wafers

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

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This recipe takes all the flavors of a creamy homemade banana pudding and bakes it into a decadent slice-and-serve poke cake! Filled with vanilla pudding and topped with sweet banana and a thick layer of fluffy whipped cream.

Overhead view of raspberry pretzel salad on plates

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Possibly the pinnacle of retro desserts is a fruity strawberry pretzel salad. This recipe made with raspberry Jell-O is a fun twist on the classic version, complete with the crunchy pretzel crust and creamy filling.

Squares of chocolate sheet cake.

Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Sheet cakes are ideal for feeding a crowd, and this vegan chocolate cake recipe is the ultimate fudgy dessert! Full of rich cocoa flavor and frosted with creamy vegan icing.

Check out the recipe finder for even more delicious recipes for any and all occasions, from potlucks, to parties, and more.

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