February 24, 2024

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Going to a Potluck? Make One of these Winner Dishes

Going to a Potluck? Make One of these Winner Dishes

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There’s really nothing like gathering with friends and breaking bread. When you’re gathering with a lot of friends, the easiest thing to do is turn it into a potluck! If you’re searching for potluck ideas, you’ve come to the right page.

Not every dish is great for a potluck. There are three main qualities that make a dish potluck perfect:

  1. It’s easy to transport.

  2. It’s easy to portion out. (Bonus if it serves lots.)

  3. It’s got wide appeal

That last quality can be tricky. While comfort food staples often fit the bill, you’ll also want to watch out for friends with food allergies or aversions. And of course if a dish is too spicy, or contains divisive flavors, it may not be the best fit. To that end, we’ve included a list of notes for each recipe, so you know which ones are (or can be made) to appeal to as many people as possible.

Tater Tot Casserole

If you want to uphold tradition—especially in the Midwest—then your potluck absolutely needs at least one hot dish, also known as Tater Tot Casserole.

This dish can be made gluten free if you use a gluten free cream of mushroom soup.

Get the recipe for Tater Tot Casserole.

Ian Palmer

Tomato Pie with Bacon

Want to shake things up a bit? A savory pie is the way to go! With bacon, cheese, and roasted tomatoes, folks’ll be fighting for seconds.

This dish can be made gluten free with gluten free pie crust mix. It can be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, or using an alternative.

Get the recipe for Tomato Pie with Bacon.

tomato pie with bacon

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Classic Southern Pimento Cheese

Another party and potluck staple, Pimento cheese is a must-have at gatherings of all sizes. Pair it with bread, crackers, or some quick pickled vegetables for a plate-filling addition.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Classic Southern Pimento Cheese.

classic southern pimento cheese

Ren Fuller

Classic Deviled Eggs

There are plenty of innovative ways to make deviled eggs, but if you’re looking for a crowd pleaser, it’s hard to beat the original. A deviled egg carrier makes transport a snap.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. (If using bottled ranch dressing, check the label.)

Get the recipe for Classic Deviled Eggs.

classic deviled eggs

Kana Okada

Apple Cider-Glazed Wings

Wings are always appreciated at a potluck, but these sweet cider-glazed guys will be flying off the plate! Keep ’em warm in transit with an insulated carrier.

This recipe is gluten free and dairy free.

Get the recipe for Apple Cider-Glazed Wings.

apple ciderglazed wings

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Root Beer Baked Beans

Want a show-stopping side dish? Pop a slow cooker packed to the brim with these baked beans on the potluck table, and you’ll be fielding complements all night long.

This recipe is gluten free and can be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, or using an alternative.

Get the recipe for Root Beer Baked Beans.

root beer baked beans

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Classic Buffalo Chicken Dip

Not just a game-day treat, this easy recipe can be whipped up in under half an hour, especially if you’re using leftover or rotisserie chicken. Pair it with chips or crunchy vegetables for a crowd-pleasing dip.

Get the recipe for Classic Buffalo Chicken Dip.

classic buffalo chicken dip

Ian Palmer

Mixed Berry Pie with Rye Crust

With a “berry” delicious filling and a rich, nutty crust, this anytime pie is a potluck dessert winner!

This recipe is vegetarian. It cannot be made gluten free with the rye crust. The filling can be used in a gluten-free pie crust, however.

Get the recipe for Mixed Berry Pie with Rye Crust.

potluck ideas mixed berry pie

Hector M. Sanchez

Blueberry-Lemon Loaf Cake

It’s easy to get focused on the savory stuff and forget about desserts. For a portable, delectable sweet treat, this berry-lemon loaf takes the cake!

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Blueberry-Lemon Loaf Cake.

blueberrylemon loaf cake

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake

Bring this perfectly fall bundt to the potluck along with a big carafe of hot coffee. It’s the perfect way to end a meal.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake.

apple cider donut bundt cake

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Guinness Beef Stew

A good stew is an under-appreciated potluck addition. Kept warm in a slow cooker or an insulated Dutch Oven Carrier, it’s hearty and filling. You can set it out with crusty bread for dipping. Don’t forget the disposable bowls!

This recipe can be made gluten free with gluten-free flour. It contains alcohol.

Get the recipe for Guinness Beef Stew.

guinness beef stew

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Lemony Cabbage Salad

This salad skips the two biggest problems with potluck salads: wilted lettuce, and uneven topping distribution. Not only does this salad stay crunchy, it actually needs time marinating in the dressing.

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Lemony Cabbage Salad.

lemony cabbage salad

Mary Britton Senseney

Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

Cheesy and soft, these are major upgrades to your standard dinner roll. If you can, keep them warm in an insulated carrier. If not, they’re still great at room temp.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Gougères (French Cheese Puffs).

gougères french cheese puffs

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Greek Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce

Bring a main dish that’s easy to carry and already portioned! This tender chicken is flavorful and good even at room temp. Dip it in Tzatziki sauce for extra flavor.

Get the recipe for Greek Chicken.

Get the recipe for Tzatziki Sauce.

greek chicken with tzatziki sauce

Mary Britton Senseney

Chicken Pot Pie

We love any excuse to make a chicken pot pie. With this recipe, you’ll be taking home a pie pan that’s practically been licked clean.

Get the recipe for Chicken Pot Pie.

chicken pot pie

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tortellini Meatball Soup with Crispy Panko Topping

Pack the crispy panko topping in a separate container. Bring this soup in a slow cooker. to keep it warm. And then watch as it disappears. Don’t forget the disposable bowls!

This recipe can be made vegetarian with vegetable stock and vegetarian meatballs.

Get the recipe for Tortellini Meatball Soup with Crispy Panko Topping.

tortellini meatball soup with crispy panko topping

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tamale Pie

When planning a potluck dish, we say head straight for the comfort food. And nothing is more comforting than a ground beef casserole.

To make this more portable, transfer the sautéed ingredients to a casserole dish, then top with cornbread before baking. Transport it with an insulated carrier.

Get the recipe for Tamale Pie.

tamale pie

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Classic Stuffed Shells

Filled with spinach, three kinds of cheese, and doused in tomato sauce, these easy shells are absolute crowd-pleasers.

This dish is vegetarian.

Get the recipe for Classic Stuffed Shells.

classic stuffed shells

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chicken Pozole Verde with Cilantro Chimichurri

This bright, tart, mildly spicy soup has lots of flavor—but we recommend making a potluck version with cilantro only in the topping, so the folks who don’t like it can leave it out.

Serve it with plenty of sliced radishes and lime wedges. Don’t forget the disposable bowls!

This recipe is gluten free and dairy free.

Get the recipe for Chicken Pozole Verde with Cilantro Chimichurri.

chicken pozole verde with cilantro chimichurri

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Beef Enchiladas

Another comfort food masterpiece, this spicy Tex-Mex masterpiece is at home on potluck tables everywhere.

This recipe is gluten free and can be made vegetarian with a plant-based ground beef.

Get the recipe for Beef Enchiladas.

beef enchiladas

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cheddar, Scallion, and Jalapeño Drop Biscuits

You can make up a batch (or several) of these drop biscuits on a sheet pan in just about 30 minutes. Bag ’em up and you’ve got your potluck contribution sorted!

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour. Remove the spice by leaving out the jalapeño.

Get the recipe for Cheddar, Scallion, and Jalapeño Drop Biscuits.

cheddar, scallion, and jalapeño drop biscuits

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Olive Oil Cake with Citrus Compote

Simple cakes this this super moist olive oil version are much easier to bring to potlucks because they aren’t iced. Transfer the compote in a separate container.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour. It contains alcohol.

Get the recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Citrus Compote.

olive oil cake with citrus compote

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Saltines with Basil Mayo and Burst Tomatoes

This smart, simple snack addition is best assembled on site. The tomatoes and basil mayo can be made and packed separately, and the whole thing will take about five minutes to put together. Watch people eat one, then circle back for more.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with gluten-free crackers.

Get the recipe for Saltines with Basil Mayo and Burst Tomatoes.

saltines with basil mayo and burst tomatoes

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chocolate-Dipped Figs with Sea Salt

Simple and delicious, we can guarantee that you won’t be bringing any home!

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Figs.

chocolatedipped figs with sea salt

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Apricot-Almond Slab Pie with Brandy Caramel Sauce

Want to make dessert for a crowd that’ll knock their socks off? This sheet pan apricot slab is a stunner! The caramel sauce is a must-have. Pack it in an insulated carrier for easy transport.

This recipe contains tree nuts and alcohol. It can be made gluten free with gluten free pie crust mix.

Get the recipe for Apricot-Almond Slab Pie with Brandy Caramel Sauce.

apricot almond slab pie with brandy caramel sauce

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Dump Cake

Want to make dessert for a crowd that doesn’t take all afternoon? We hear you. For this cake, you literally just dump things into a dish and bake them! Pack it in an insulated carrier for easy transport.

This recipe can be made gluten free with a gluten-free cake mix.

Get the recipe for Dump Cake.

dump cake

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cajun Sausage Puffs with Bourbon Mustard

These three ingredient sausage puffs are easy to make and can be packed and distributed without much fuss. And they’re good.

This recipe contains alcohol.

Get the recipe for Cajun Sausage Puffs with Bourbon Mustard.

cajun sausage puffs with bourbon mustard

Brian Woodcock

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

What could be more crowd pleasing than cookies? If you love ’em soft and chewy, this is your recipe.

Get the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

chewy chocolate chip cookies

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Thin-and-Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you love your cookies with a little more snap, then these are the ones for you!

Get the recipe for Thin-and-Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

thinandcrispy chocolate chip cookies

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Farro-and-Tomato Salad with Crispy Capers

Another smart addition to the potluck table—especially for those who want healthier options—is a grain salad. This can sit without wilting, and offer something both filling and flavorful to the spread.

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian and can be made gluten free by swapping the farro for brown rice.

Get the recipe for Farro-and-Tomato Salad with Crispy Capers.

farro and tomato salad with crispy capers

Brian Woodcock

Gorgonzola Baked Polenta

This scoopable, delicious casserole bake is almost as simple as it is delicious. Three kinds of cheese and cooked polenta is all you need. Use a casserole carrier and serve it warm!

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Gorgonzola Baked Polenta.

gorgonzola baked polenta

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Grandsue’s Sweet-and-Spicy Roasted Pecans

These spiced pecans make a great snack for pre-potluck munching. They’re hard to stop eating.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. It contains tree nuts.

Get the recipe for Grandsue’s Sweet-and-Spicy Roasted Pecans.

grandsue’s sweetandspicy roasted pecans

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Easy Root Vegetable Gratin

We can’t decide if the best thing about this potluck mainstay is how easy it is, or how delicious it is. Use a casserole carrier to keep it warm in transit!

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Easy Root Vegetable Gratin.

easy root vegetable gratin

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cream Cheese Herb Biscuits

Biscuits are never out of place at a potluck. That goes double for herby, cheesy biscuits. Bring a big basket full and you’ll be everyone’s favorite.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Cream Cheese Herb Biscuits.

cream cheese herb biscuits

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Nana’s Famous Corn Pudding

This sweet Southern classic is practically tailor-made for potlucks. It’s hearty and delicious, and it tastes great warm or cold, though you can use a casserole carrier to keep it warm in transit.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Nana’s Famous Corn Pudding.

thanksgiving potluck ideas nana’s famous corn pudding

Hector M. Sanchez

Pecan-Brownie Pie

Choosing between brownies and pecan pie for dessert can be difficult. Our advice: don’t.

This dish is vegetarian and it can be made gluten free with gluten free pie crust mix. It contains tree nuts.

Get the recipe for Pecan-Brownie Pie.

thanksgiving potluck ideas pecan brownie pie

Hector M. Sanchez

Buttermilk-Boursin Mashed Potatoes

Want to really amp up the mashed potatoes? Stir in buttermilk and an herby cheese so it’s super creamy, then bake it off. We guarantee it’ll fly out of the bowl.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Buttermilk-Boursin Mashed Potatoes.

thanksgiving potluck ideas buttermilk boursin mashed potatoes

Johnny Miller

Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Butterscotch Sauce

Just tell ’em “I got dessert.”

This recipe is vegetarian. It contains alcohol.

Get the recipe for Brioche Bread Pudding.

brioche bread pudding with bourbonbutterscotch sauce

Erin Kunkel

Apple Blossom Tart

With a crushed-cookie crust and no top, this stunner of a dessert is easier to make than you’d think. Slice before serving to make it easier at the potluck.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with gluten-free gingersnap cookies.

Get the recipe for Apple Blossom Tart.

apple tart thanksgiving potluck ideas

Brian Woodcock

Parker House Rolls

Having a few light-as-air dinner rolls on the table makes any gathering an event.

This recipe is vegetarian.

Get the recipe for Parker House Rolls.

thanksgiving potluck ideas parker house rolls

Dana Gallagher

Salted Caramel-Apple Slab Pie

Keep this for when the potluck crew becomes a potluck crowd.

This dish is vegetarian and it can be made gluten free with gluten free pie crust mix.

Get the recipe for Salted Caramel-Apple Slab Pie.

salted caramelapple slab pie

Brian Woodcock

Chopped Salad

Potlucks can be full of heavy food. This cucumber-filled salad (and its tangy red wine vinaigrette) is a delicious addition.

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free.

Get the recipe for Chopped Salad.

chopped salad thanksgiving potluck ideas

Brian Woodcock

Corn Salad with Bacon and Honey

Crisp bacon meets tart sherry vinegar and sweet honey in this Southern-style dish. Pro tip: Make enough for seconds!

This dish is gluten free. It can be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, or using an alternative.

Get the recipe for Corn Salad with Bacon and Honey.

corn salad bacon honey thanksgiving potluck ideas

Dana Gallagher

Fresh Herb Spoon Rolls

Looking for something impressive, but still simple? These herb-flecked spoon rolls are just the thing.

This dish is vegetarian. It can be made gluten free with a gluten-free self-rising flour.

Get the recipe for Fresh Herb Spoon Rolls.

spoon rolls thanksgiving potluck ideas

Brian Woodcock

Skillet Cornbread

Quick and delicious, a good cornbread draws everyone together, the way a potluck should.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour.

Get the recipe for Skillet Cornbread.

skillet cornbread recipe thanksgiving potluck ideas

Brian Woodcock

Dark Chocolate Pecan Cobbler

Move aside, pecan pie! This year’s dessert of choice is a show-stopping dark chocolate cobbler.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made gluten free with a gluten-free flour. It contains tree nuts.

Get the recipe for Dark Chocolate Pecan Cobbler.

double chocolate cobbler thanksgiving potluck ideas

Brian Woodcock

Nancy Fuller’s Double-Crust Apple-Cheddar Pie

Pie is one of the easiest things to make ahead. We love this tart cheddar and sweet apple pairing.

This dish is vegetarian and it can be made gluten free with gluten free pie crust mix.

Get the recipe for Double-Crust Apple-Cheddar Pie.

apple cheddar pie thanksgiving potluck ideas

Dana Gallagher

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