Must-Make Potluck Dishes (40 Recipes!)
With the temperatures warming up, that means the season of potlucks and barbecues is upon us! From salads to sliders, I’ve rounded up 40 must-make potluck dishes that are sure to please a crowd! This is the BEST list to come back to time and time again when you’re in need of a little dinner inspiration.
Potlucks are the ultimate food fiesta where you can stuff yourself silly with all kinds of mouthwatering dishes! It’s like a buffet, but with way better vibes and endless options. Plus, who doesn’t love a good excuse to indulge in some comforting homemade goodness? I have too many favorite recipes on this list to count, but a few top contenders are buffalo chicken sliders, Mexican corn salad, and pineapple fluff! It’s the perfect balance of meaty, fresh, and fruity!
40 of the BEST Potluck Dishes
Potlucks are a true celebration of community, where friends, family, and neighbors come together to share their favorite dishes! The best part is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what dishes to bring. However, when you’re thinking about what to bring to a potluck, here are a few boxes to check: the dish is easy to prepare, easy to take on the go, and can feed a crowd. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered! Below you can find 40 (yes, 40!) must-make potluck dishes that are so delicious and easy to whip up!
This is a great list with a mix of all different types of recipes. From sandwiches to pasta salads, dessert bars to sheet cake, there’s a little bit of everything! All of these recipes are packed with incredible flavor and are super easy to prepare for a large group of people. Remember, the goal of a potluck is to share and enjoy food together, so don’t stress too much about making the perfect dish. Just have fun and enjoy the company of those around you with some tasty comfort food!
Tips for a Successful Potluck
Take your potluck game to the next level with these simple tips! It’s sure to be a great time. Just be sure to bring your appetite!
- Bring Something Shareable: Potlucks are all about sharing, so bring a dish that can be easily split up and served to others. Think dishes like a big bowl of guacamole or a tray of mini cheesecakes.
- Go for Comfort Food: Potlucks are a great opportunity to indulge in some comfort food. Think dishes like mac and cheese, meatballs, or baked beans that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
- Make it Easy to Transport: Make sure to choose a dish that is easy to transport and won’t spill or make a mess. Think dishes like cookies, cupcakes, or a big bowl of salad. Sheet cake pans with a lid are great for taking on the go as well.
- Short on Time? Keep it simple. Bring a classic dish like deviled eggs, a charcuterie board, or a bowl of pasta salad.
- Don’t Forget the Drinks! Who said your contribution to a potluck has to be food? Bringing drinks, either alcoholic and non-alcoholic, is a great way to keep everyone hydrated and happy. Try this pineapple lemonade or mint julep recipe! You can find my full list of beverages here.
- Take-Home Containers: If you’re hosting, make sure to have plenty of take-home containers on hand, so your guests can take home leftovers and enjoy them later! This is always the case with my family. We make enough food to feed an army!
California Spaghetti Salad
California Spaghetti Salad is a delicious pasta salad filled with fresh veggies and covered in a zesty Italian dressing. With all those flavors and colors making one beautiful and tasty side dish, there is no doubt this will be the hit of your next gathering!
Ingredients: thin spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, ripe olives, Italian salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, garlic powder
World’s Best Baked Beans
World’s Best Baked Beans will be the last recipe you will ever make! These easy homemade baked beans are the perfect side to a potluck and a tried and true family recipe!
Ingredients: bacon, green pepper, onion, 15 ounce cans pork and beans, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire Sauce
Get ready for this Pineapple Fluff to become your most requested recipe for potlucks! Similar to orange fluff, it’s a delicious blend of pineapple chunks, coconut cream, marshmallows, and coconut flakes. It’s seriously addicting and so easy to make!
Ingredients: box of vanilla pudding mix, cream of coconut, can of crushed pineapple, tub of whipped topping, mini marshmallows, sweetened shredded coconut, chopped macadamia nuts, maraschino cherries
Broccoli Apple Salad
Broccoli, pecans, cranberries, carrots and apples come together to make an amazing salad with delicious flavors and textures. The creamy dressing on top makes this salad absolutely incredible!
Ingredients: fresh broccoli florets, shredded carrots, diced red onion, large apples, pecans, dried cranberries, lite mayonnaise, low fat greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper
Best Ever Ambrosia Salad
Ambrosia Salad is filled with mandarin oranges, pineapple, maraschino cherries, coconut, and marshmallows and mixed in a fluffy cool whip! This is a potluck classic!
Ingredients: cool whip, sour cream, can mandarin oranges, chopped fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, shredded coconut, pecans
Caprese Pasta Salad
A delicious and flavorful pasta salad that is so easy to throw together!
Ingredients: pasta, small fresh mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
Chilled Cucumber Tomato Salad
Chilled Cucumber Tomato Salad is a refreshing salad made with fresh ingredients that everyone can enjoy all year round. It’s fast, easy, and can be made ahead which makes it perfect for potlucks!
Ingredients: Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, ground Black Pepper, Chili Flakes, Basil, Parsley, Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onion, Feta Cheese
Ham and Cheddar Sliders
Delicious and cheesy ham and cheddar sliders that are easy and are great for a gathering!
Ingredients: white dinner rolls*, smoked or baked deli ham, cheddar cheese, Mayonnaise, poppy seeds, yellow mustard, butter, Worcestershire sauce
Mexican Corn Salad
This Amazing Mexican Corn Salad is hands down an all time summer favorite. Full of fresh, bright, zingy and spicy flavors, it has something for everyone!
Ingredients: corn, red bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, cotija cheese, mayonnaise, chili powder, paprika, juice of half a lime
Just like the name says, these crack potatoes are so good you’ll be addicted! It’s an easy, cheesy side dish that the whole family will love.
Ingredients: cream cheese,, sour cream, dry ranch dressing powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, bacon cooked,, cheddar cheese,, shredded hash brown potatoes
Coca Cola Cake
Coca Cola cake is an easy-to-make chocolate cake, topped with pecans and ooey-gooey chocolate frosting. It is so easy and absolutely delicious, you are going to love this cake and its subtle soda flavor!
Ingredients: all purpose flour, granulated sugar, Baking Soda, salt, unsalted butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, buttermilk, veggie oil, coca cola, Coca Cola, unsalted butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, Chopped pecans or walnuts
Honey Lime Poppy Seed Fruit Salad
A delicious and bright fruit salad made with fresh fruit and a delicious honey lime poppyseed glaze to go on top!
Ingredients: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwis, mangoes, Honey, Lime Juice, poppy seeds, Fresh Chopped Mint for garnish
Cherry Pie Bars
Cherry pie in the best form possible: cherry pie bars! You can whip up a whole pan of these bars in minutes using cherry pie filling. They’re pretty, easy to make, and always a hit to serve!
Ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, all-purpose flour, salt, cherry pie filling , powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, milk
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Strawberry spinach salad is a perfect combination of fresh spinach, juicy strawberries, crunchy onions, and soft feta cheese; all tossed together with a creamy poppyseed dressing! All the flavor, texture, and deliciousness in one bowl!
Ingredients: package spinach, package strawberries, sliced almonds, red onion, feta cheese, craisins, mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar, poppyseeds
Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
A creamy and delicious potato salad with amazing ranch flavor and bacon! This is the perfect side to take to a potluck and is sure to be a huge hit!
Ingredients: potatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, bacon, Cheddar cheese, green onions
Southwest Chickpea Salad
Southwest Chickpea Salad is a delicious and fresh chick pea salad filled so many delicious flavors and textures! This salad is fresh and healthy and easy to make!
Ingredients: can black beans, can chickpeas, can corn, cherry tomatoes, medium avocado, small can of diced olives, Juice of one lime, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, cilantro, feta cheese for garnish
Italian Spaghetti Salad
Italian Spaghetti Salad is made with spaghetti, fresh summer veggies, salami and tossed in a homemade zesty italian dressing. This is a summer potluck must!
Ingredients: thin spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumber, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, sliced ripe olives, italian salami , olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian Seasoning, sugar, grated Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, garlic powder, salt, pepper
French Dip Sliders
French dip sliders are filled with tender roast beef and melty provolone in bite-size form! It’s a delicious pull-apart treat for a large crowd!
Ingredients: Hawaiian sweet rolls (12 rolls), deli roast beef (or leftover sliced roast beef), provolone cheese, butter, garlic powder, dried onion flakes, au jus sauce mix
Mouthwatering Watermelon Salad with Feta
Watermelon Salad is bursting with flavors from the juicy watermelon and salty feta cheese, then topped off with hints of lime and mint. It is the perfect fresh sweet and savory mix of flavors that just scream summer!!
Ingredients: diced watermelon, medium cucumber, red onion, mint, feta cheese, olive oil, Juice of one lime, honey
Slow Cooker Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders
Slow Cooker Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders are crazy tender, juicy and messy, the way a slider should be! The pork slow cooks all day in an amazing spice rub and sweet vinegar and will be a huge hit!
Ingredients: pork shoulder butt roast, brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, large onion, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar
Peaches and Cream Pie Bars
Peaches and Cream Pie Bars are delicious bars that have a creamy cheesecake and peach pie filling in the center. They are drizzled in a glaze and taste just like you are biting into a peach pie!
Ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, salt, LUCKY LEAF® peach pie filling, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, powdered sugar, milk
BLT Avocado Pasta Salad
BLT avocado pasta salad is fresh and crisp romaine lettuce tossed in bacon, tomato, pasta, and avocado. Topped with a creamy dressing and sprinkled with feta cheese this is one amazing salad!
Ingredients: pasta, light mayonnaise, milk, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, lightly packed cups sliced romaine, sliced bacon, large tomatoes, Avocados, feta cheese, pepper to taste
These pizza sliders are about to become your new favorite appetizer. Brushed with a buttery Italian seasoning glaze and filled with all of your favorite pizza toppings, each bite is truly irresistible!
Ingredients: Hawaiian Roll Sliders, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni , butter, grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
Loaded Creamy Ranch Dip (Poolside Dip)
Loaded Creamy Ranch Dip is packed with so many delicious flavors you won’t be able to get enough of it! Perfect for the pool or potlucks!
Ingredients: cream cheese, softened, red bell pepper, jalapeno, small can black olives, corn, ranch seasoning mix
Mini Cheesecakes are a quick and easy way to make decadent desserts bite sized! It has the same buttery sweet crust, and rich creamy filling as a big cheesecake, but in the size you can hold in your hand!
Ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, Butter, Sugar, cream cheese, softened, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, sugar, eggs, Whipped cream and fruit of choice optional toppings
Asian Ramen Salad
Asian ramen salad is full of color, flavor, and crunch! All of the fun textures make it perfectly satisfying and insanely delicious!
Ingredients: ramen noodles, sliced almonds, head green cabbage, head purple cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions, rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, Honey, garlic clove minced, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper
AMAZING Texas Sheet Cake
Texas sheet cake is the chocolate dessert that dreams are made of!! It’s so moist, chocolatey and rich that you won’t know what hit you when you take a bite!
Ingredients: All Purpose Flour, Granulated Sugar, Unsalted Butter, Unsweetened cocoa powder, Vegetable Shortening, Water, Vanilla Extract, Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Salt, Eggs, Milk, Unsalted Butter, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, Salt, Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
Peanut Butter Bars
These peanut butter bars are thick, rich and heavenly! A thick layer of peanut butter with rolled oats mixed together making a creamy filling with a smooth chocolatey frosting that is an irresistible combination.
Ingredients: Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Butter, Peanut Butter, Eggs, Salt, Baking Soda, Rolled Oats, Flour, Butter, Cocoa, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, Milk
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip is an insanely delicious way to jazz up your next party. Chock full of intense but balanced flavors this appetizer is going to disappear fast.
Ingredients: chicken, cream cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch, cheddar cheese, green onions and blue cheese crumbles optional
Strawberry Icebox Cake
Strawberry Icebox Cake is the cool, creamy, and moist no-bake dessert of your dreams. Add a pop of juicy strawberry and you will never want to make cake another way!
Ingredients: heavy cream, powdered sugar, instant vanilla pudding powder, vanilla extract, fresh strawberries, sleeves graham crackers
Shrimp Pasta Salad
This Shrimp Pasta Salad is going to become your new go-to for summer picnics and potlucks. With tender bits of shrimp, fresh veggies, and the fact that it is so easy to put together and take on the go, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes of the season!
Ingredients: rotini noodles, celery, red bell pepper, red onion, cooked salad shrimp, mayonnaise, Juice and zest of half a lemon, dill, salt and pepper to taste
Creamy Grape Salad
Ingredients: seedless green grapes, seedless red grapes, (8 opackage cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, brown sugar, chopped pecans
Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs
Tender, juicy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone goes crazy for! Perfect appetizer or delicious, easy meal!
Ingredients: ground beef, eggs, saltine crackers, dry minced onion, milk, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, smoked paprika, ground cumin, black pepper, Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce, honey, apricot preserves, brown sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish! It is a delicious macaroni pasta salad with ham, pineapple, shredded carrots, and green onions, and a tangy dressing.
Ingredients: dry elbow macaroni, pineapple chunks, ham, carrot, green onion, pineapple juice, light mayonnaise, greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, Sugar, salt and pepper to taste
Awesome 7 Layer Dip
Awesome 7 Layer Dip is an addicting creamy dip that includes all of your favorites, like guacamole, refried beans, and sour cream! You will be amazed how simple it is to put together such an incredibly delicious dip!
Ingredients: refried beans, Homemade Guacamole, sour cream, Homemade Taco Seasoning, salsa, Colby Jack cheese, sliced olives, cherry tomatoes, green onions
Little Smokies, smothered in a sweet tangy BBQ sauce are one of the easiest, most loved appetizers out there. These are guaranteed to disappear whether it’s for a party or dinner, these are just too tasty and fun not to eat.
Ingredients: little smokies, barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar*, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, paprika
Lemon Icebox Cake
Ingredients: heavy cream, powdered sugar, instant Lemon pudding powder, vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, Lorna Doone shortbread Cookies
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
These buffalo chicken sliders are perfect for feeding a hungry crowd quickly and easily. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a casual get-together, everyone will love the spicy rotisserie chicken sandwiched between soft dinner rolls with ranch dressing, melted cheese, and crunchy coleslaw.
Ingredients: dinner rolls, shredded mozzarella, rotisserie chicken, Frank’s Buffalo Sauce, ranch dressing, habanero hot sauce, premixed bagged coleslaw, butter, Italian seasoning
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
This Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is creamy, comforting and perfect for potlucks. Best of all, it comes together easily in the crock-pot — even the pasta!
Ingredients: uncooked dry elbow Macaroni, unsalted butter, 10 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup, half and half, 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese + ½ cup reserved for topping, 4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (or Monterey Jack), sour cream, salt, black pepper, dry ground mustard, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, 12 oz can evaporated milk, of Provolone cheese, Freshly chopped parsley, Toasted panko crumbs
Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
Strawberry Cheesecake Salad is a sweet and creamy dessert with fresh hidden strawberries throughout! This is the biggest hit at any potluck!
Ingredients: whipped topping , cheesecake pudding powder, strawberry yogurt, fresh strawberries, bananas. Sliced, miniature marshmallows
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