The 40 BEST Potluck Recipe Ideas

BEST Potluck Recipe Ideas

When you hear the word potluck, does anyone else just think of a leprechaun with a pot of gold? No? Just us? Okay. Weird imagery aside, a potluck is actually a very good idea. When it comes to gatherings, food is one of the main issues. It can be time-consuming and expensive for just one person to organize it.

That’s where a potluck comes in. Each guest nicely is asked to bring a little something for the table and then, Badda bing Badda boom, you’ve got a whole buffet going with minimal effort put in. 

That’s great! For the person organizing. But the problem comes when you’ve been invited to a potluck, and now you’re expected to bring something to eat. What to bring? Potlucks are those tricky situations where you want to bring something tasty and filling to eat, but you don’t want it to be too hard to make or transport to the party. Here are the 40 Best potluck recipe ideas that we have found in our research!

Not to mention the fact that there are so many different palates to cater to and food allergies to take into consideration. Because potlucks are designed for sharing, you have to think about the best foods to make that are made for sharing. You don’t want to be that person that turns up to the potluck with a single sandwich thinking it would do the trick. 

Plus, at a potluck party, you’re not the only one bringing something. No one wants the shame of having to take their full platter back home after no one’s touched it. It’s an empty dish or nothing. So what appealing appetizer can you bring to achieve that? Easy, any of these 40 below! Try not to drool too hard as you pick the best one. 

Best Potluck recipes:

1. Macaroni Salad

Quick and easy to make, macaroni salad is a classic potluck dish. Everyone loves a good macaroni salad, except maybe people who are lactose intolerant. But speaking as a member of that crowd, if that macaroni looks good enough then we’re ready to risk it all. Because macaroni salad is vegetarian, it’s great for meat eaters and the non-alike. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

2. Black Olive Tapenade 

A tapenade is just any type of food spread. Black olive tapenade is the perfect dip for olive lovers. Serve it with crackers, breadsticks, or even just as a tasty side. This versatile veggie dish caters to almost everyone with its bold and briny flavor. 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

3. Layered beef taco dip

You’ve heard of beef tacos, but have you heard of a layered beef taco dip? Well after you taste it you’ll never forget it. Welcome to a heavenly mix of all the best taco ingredients, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, black beans, and ground beef.  It’s the kind of dip where you go for one bite then suddenly the whole thing is gone!

  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes

4. Pizza stuffed mushrooms

The best potluck food is the kind you can pick up and stuff straight into your mouth without having to worry about a mess. Pizza mushrooms are small, yet tasty, enough to tick that box. You won’t have to worry about making awkward small talk when everyone’s mouth is full of your pizza-stuffed mushrooms.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

5. Fruit salad 

If you’re looking for something healthy to combat all the other foods on the table, then a fruit salad is sure to stand out. Fruit salads are packed with so many nutrients as well as flavors.

Zingy, sweet, sour, there’s a taste for everyone’s palate. Because they require little to no cooking time, the amount of effort this fruit salad will take depends on how fast you can cut. 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes

6. Perfect American Cupcakes 

Alternatively, if you want something completely non-healthy but hella tasty, cupcakes are our answer. These delicious, fluffy, buttermilk cupcakes are an original recipe and sure to get you in a patriotic mood after one bite.

And because cupcakes come individually wrapped, they’re made for giving out to large groups. Perfect for a potluck!

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 18 minutes

7. Chocolate chip cookies

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Gooey, chewy, and chocolatey, they make for a delicious dessert. If they’re good enough for Sid from Sesame street, then they’re good enough for a potluck. Bet you didn’t know the cookie monster’s real name was Sid. Like cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies are excellent for sharing out. 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

8. Mediterranean tuna pasta

It’s not a potluck until someone turns up with pasta. Tuna casserole is a tasty mix-up of a Nicoise salad and tuna casserole. Two incredibly yummy dishes fused together to make an even yummier one. This tuna pasta will bring all the exotic tastes of the Mediterranean to your potluck table. 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

9. BBQ Chicken sliders 

Sometimes a burger is just too big. I know, it’s painful to admit it, but it’s the truth. That’s why god invented sliders. Okay not so much god, but White Castle actually invented sliders. You know, the joint that is famous for its burgers. So you know sliders are a good shout.

These BBQ chicken sliders hold all the taste of a summer barbecue in a single, tiny bun. 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

10. Loaded baked potato dip

Sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon strips, chives, waffles fries, and hot sauce. It’s called loaded for a reason. If you decide to bring this loaded baked potato dip to the potluck, make sure you make a ton because it’ll be long gone, way before the party’s even started. 

  • Prep/ Cook time: 10 minutes

11. Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo literally translates to roosters beak. No one’s exactly sure why, but everyone has their theories. One theory is because of the shape your fingers make when you eat, your thumb and forefinger press together like a beak. The actual dish itself couldn’t be further from a rooster’s beak if it tried.

For one thing, it’s completely vegetarian. Pic de Gallo is actually fresh salsa, filled with chunky tomato and onion bits. 

  • Prep/cook time: 15 minutes

12. Banana bread 

Banana bread is possibly the friendliest bread there is. You can’t help but smile as you say it, go on, try it. And now I just made you say Banana bread out loud. Hehe. But now you know a good trick to making friends at a potluck.

Tell them that fake fact and then when they look like they’re about to hit you, offer them some banana bread. If anything the soft loaf will cushion the blow. 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes

13. Devilled eggs

Whenever you see something that says ‘devilled’ in front, it just means it’s been made spicy. Because apparently only Satan would think to make food spicy. Not, you know, people who just like spicy food. So devilled eggs are just eggs with a seasoning kick, which means they’re super easy to make. 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 14 minutes

14. Shrimp remoulade lettuce cups

Shrimp remoulade is considered a very fancy appetizer. It’s French, of course, it is. So if you want to impress people then this is a winner. Though it takes a little longer to prep than your average potluck recipe, suffice it to say that the results are tasty and worth it. And the lettuce cups will make people feel healthy as they wolf it down. 

  • Prep time: 70 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes

15. Cheesy baguette bread 

Cheesy bread. That’s it, that’s the concept. Do you need more? Your fellow potluck goers will, especially after tasting this treat. 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
Cheesy baguette bread 

16. Sheet pan pizza 

Everyone loves pizza. You can’t argue on that. Toppings may be a source of argument, let’s not talk about pineapple, but the pizza itself is universally loved. This sheet pan pizza is classic and simple, and the recipe makes more than enough to go around.

Pizza is probably one of the easiest finger foods to eat, so people will be attracted to it for the fact that it doesn’t make a mess, as well as the taste.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

17. Chicken waldorf salad 

Chicken Waldorf salad is a known potluck food. Easy to make and dish out, it’s expected that at least one person will make a Waldorf salad. This means it’s the safe option and the one thing that everyone has on their plate. 

  • Prep/Cook time: 20 minutes

18. Vegetarian mezze platter 

Mezze is a Turkish concept. It’s basically a mixture of loads of small appetizers put together to make one big one and doesn’t take as much effort as you would think. Throw together some appetizers to create one giant delicious platter. 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

19. Steak fajita rolls

Want all the taste of a steak fajita without the mess of having to assemble it? Look no further. This steak fajita roll perfectly combines all the ingredients of a fajita and holds it together like you’re currently holding your life together. Beautifully.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

20. Rotel dip with beef 

If you’ve been to any good grocery store lately you’ll have seen Rotel tomato cans. This rotel dip is related to that. The recipe incorporates those zesty canned tomatoes, with creamy cheese, onions, and beef, to make the perfect accompaniment to your nachos. Don’t feel like having nachos? That’s okay, this versatile dip goes with anything.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes 

21. Taco pinwheel 

Following on from the slider theme of big foods made smaller, we present to you the taco pinwheel. All the great taste you would expect from a taco, molded into a fluffy pinwheel pastry. 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

22. Rum punch

Remember at prom when someone would always try to spike the punch bowl and get into serious trouble? Well, the perks of being an adult are that we can make pre-spiked punch bowls with no consequences! Well, a hangover and poor decisions might be a consequence. But who cares when this rum punch is tasty?

  • Prep/cook time: 10 minutes

23. White chocolate chip brownies 

A single kind of chocolate is not enough. That’s why this three chocolate, white chocolate chip brownie, recipe hits the spot. Whether you prefer your brownies cakey or gooey adjust the ingredients as you see fit and eat up! 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time:18 minutes

24. Fudge

This sweet treat is not only delicious but easy to make. Barely a moment prepping the ingredients and you don’t even need the oven. The most effort this fudge takes is picking it out of your teeth.

  • Prep time: 3-5 minutes
  • Cook time: 60 minutes

25. Guacamole

Guacamole is a classic dip and goes with almost everything. Without the right side dish, like guacamole, the mains would be nothing. This recipe is so yummy it’ll make all the party goers ándale to the food table before it’s all gone. 

  • Prep/cook time: 10 minutes

26. Pink lemonade

Did you know that pink lemonade was actually invented when red cinnamon candies were accidentally dropped into a vat of normal lemonade? It caught on so fast and the rest is history. Make your mark at the potluck by serving up this delish drink.

  • Prep/cook time: 10 minutes

27. Rum balls 

Rum balls are considered a tasty festive treat, but guess what? Getting drunk is a year-round pastime so we encourage you to make them whenever you want! And with only 4 ingredients in this recipe, they’ve never been easier to make. 

  • Prep/cook time: 10 minutes

28. Smoked salmon-stuffed puffs

Salmon on its own is tasty. The pastry on its own? Delectable. Combine the two and ohmygod. It makes for an incredibly luscious appetizer. Salmon puffs are the perfect finger food and will have you wishing you had more fingers to grab them with.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

29. Antipasto skewers 

An antipasto, similar to a mezze, is actually a mixture of loads of different foods put together. Made up of different meats, vegetables, and everything in between, these skewers are jam-packed with flavor and very easy to eat.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

30. Amish sugar cookies

The Amish didn’t just give us great beards and escapist fantasies (no, you don’t want to be Amish, you’re just tired of capitalism), they gave us cookies too! Don’t be fooled by how plain they seem. Take one bite and they melt right in your mouth.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

The 40 best potluck recipe ideas

31. Sausage balls

Once we’ve stopped laughing at the name sausage balls we can explain why this is a great potluck dish. Nope, give us a minute. Okay, we’re good. These balls taste so good- okay we’re laughing again. 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

32. Garlic and cheese crack bread

Crack bread is an appropriate name for this garlic and cheese loaf because of how addictive it is. But unlike drugs this bread won’t ruin your life. If anything, it’ll make it ten times better. You’ll be the most popular person at the potluck because of it, guaranteed.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

33. Buffalo chicken dip 

Creamy, meaty, and spicy, this buffalo chicken dip is just begging to be eaten. If you’ve ever tasted Frank’s RedHot sauce then you know just how good this buffalo chicken dip is. With only 5 ingredients to it, it’s definitely easy to make too.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

34. Hummus with pita chips

There’s a reason hummus and pita chips are one of the most popular appetizers out there. Light and airy, you could eat your way through a whole pack of pita chips and hummus without realizing it. 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

35. Popcorn shrimp 

Listen, popcorn is great. Popcorn shrimp? The greatest. Imagine taking a bucket of popcorn shrimp to the theatre instead of popcorn. Sure you’d get a few side eyes, but who cares? We all know they’d be out of jealousy.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

36. Bang bang chicken

Named after the only word left in your brain after a single bite. This explosive chicken is a dynamite dish. Crispy chicken bites drizzled in a delicious sweet chili mayo, you can never just have one of these. 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes

37. Cocktail meatballs

Okay, we promise we won’t be as immature as we were with sausage balls. Hehe, sausage balls. These cocktail meatballs are designed to be easy to eat and tasty, making them the perfect potluck food.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

38. Moutabel

Similar to baba ganoush, as they’re both made from eggplants, moutabel is the spicier cousin. And if this dish does happen to be leftover from the potluck, then all the better for you. Moutabel is actually tastier the day after, who knew? We did. We knew. 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

39. Chicken tikka boti

Because of how small they are, chicken tikka botis make excellent finger food, which is handy for a potluck. But don’t be fooled by their size. When cooked correctly, chicken tikka botis pack a mighty punch. Given how tasty they are, you’ll wanna be punched again and again. 

  • Prep time: 2hrs
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

40. Seekh Kebabs on skewers

Mighty and meaty, seekh kebabs are a meal all on their own. Once people get their fingers on these skewers, they won’t want anything else. You’ll be going home from the potluck with a full heart and empty plate. 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

There you have it. 40 of the best potluck recipe ideas that are sure to make you the talk of the party. From macaroni salad to seekh kebabs, there’s not a dish on here that will let you down. Potluck aside, these foods also make for a brilliant dish at any kind of party. 

Brandon White
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