30 Easy Potluck Recipes for All Kinds of Parties
What makes a good potluck dish? The answer may differ depending on who you ask, but a few general guidelines apply: They should play well with others (read: they go with a range of foods and flavors), they don't need to be served piping hot, they're easy to share, and they can be made ahead of time. The easy recipes in this collection hit all those marks and more, appealing to a range of palates and preferences.
Our round-up of 30 fantastic, shareable dishes includes everything from happy hour nibbles, such as the Puff Pastry Cheese Straws shown here, to delectable desserts. If you're thinking about making these puffy, twisted appetizers, you can choose just one flavor combination— Parmesan-cayenne, sesame-poppy, tomato-rosemary, and Pecorino-black pepper—or make all four. Another great appetizer? Our Herb-Cheese Palmiers, which are guaranteed to nicely complement any cheese platter. There are also party-ready accompaniments for chips, crackers, and cheese, including Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam and Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread.
If you've offered to bring a side, we've got an array to choose from. Looking for something fresh and zippy? Spicy Pineapple Slaw, Lacinato Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, or Broccoli and Chickpea Salad fit the bill. Some sides can even moonlight as mains, such as our Farro Salad with Fennel, Golden Raisins and Radicchio, or Seven-Layer Salad, which consists of lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced red cabbage, tomatoes, peas, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon.
Looking for even more dishes that can serve as sides or entrées? Go with our savory Cheese and Sweet-Pepper Cornbread or a hearty Spinach Tart with Olive-Oil Cracker Crust. And if you do want to bring a fully-fledged main course, you can't go wrong with our delightful Chicken and Kale Hand Pies with Cheddar Crust or hearty Black Beans and Sausage.
And then there are the desserts, which are arguably the stars of any potluck. From fruity treats like Plum-Jam Crumb Cake to chocolatey ones such as Big-Batch Triple-Chocolate Brownie Bars and Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels, these sweet endings promise to leave every guest smiling.
Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam
If you're seeking crockpot potluck recipes sure to steal the show, look no further than slow-cooker bacon jam. We'd recommend bringing more than one jar to the party, as things can get ugly when the words "we're out of bacon jam" are uttered.
Farro Salad with Fennel, Golden Raisins, and Radicchio
This easy grain salad is one of our favorite vegetarian potluck recipes because it's got a little bit of everything: nutty farro, anise-flavored fennel, sweet raisins, and bitter radicchio. The farro and fennel can be dressed up to one day in advance. Pack the fennel fronds, fresh mint, and radicchio in a separate container and add just before serving.
Plum-Jam Crumb Cake
Plum-jam crumb cake is one of those potluck recipes for work that will win over all your colleagues. Trust us, nothing will make office coffee taste better than a slice of this cake.
The simplicity of this dish sets it apart from other casserole potluck recipes. A quick turn in the oven concentrates the flavors and lets the juicy tomatoes and tender onions shine.
Linzer Crumble Pie with Cranberry-Raspberry Jam
The cranberries in this pie make it especially apt for a Thanksgiving potluck, but it would be a welcome treat any time of year.
Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Healthy potluck recipes for work are key if you don't want to put your friends and family in a food coma. This fiery slaw fits the bill perfectly. Pineapple and jalapeño add an intriguing sweet-spicy interplay to traditional coleslaw, and you can toss it together before you leave the house.
Mediterranean Three-Bean Salad
Quick to put together and robust enough to withstand travel and sitting out on the potluck table for the duration of the party, this no-cook vegetarian salad is a winner. There's no mayo here: cannellini beans, pink beans, and raw green beans are dressed in a zesty red-wine vinaigrette with fresh herbs. The dressing softens the green beans over time.
These vibrant bars temper tangy lemon with sweet, gooey medjool dates. Keep them in the baking dish for easy transport to the potluck.
Assemble this colorful salad up to four hours in advance, and be sure to use a glass bowl or trifle dish so that everyone can ooh and ahh over the layered presentation.
Low-Country Pickled Shrimp
You can make this recipe up to five days in advance. The shrimp only get more flavorful with time, and they can go straight from the fridge to the potluck.
Texas Sheet Cake
This sheet cake doubles down on chocolate by including cocoa powder in the batter and the icing. Toasted pecans add the perfect amount of crunch. Keep the cake in the pan to transport it with minimal fuss.
Lacinato Kale Salad with Roasted Squash
Kale is great for potlucks because it can be dressed ahead of time without getting soggy. This salad combines the hardy green with roasted butternut squash, fresh goat cheese, and toasted hazelnuts.
Polenta Grape Cake
Red grapes and fragrant rosemary lend the perfect combination of sweet and savory to this rustic polenta cake.
You can't go wrong with salsa at a party. Serve this zesty rendition with your favorite chips for a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Big-Batch Triple-Chocolate Brownie Bars
Is it possible to take too many desserts to a potluck? Try this recipe, which yields 54 bar cookies, and see. Or don't take them all to the party! Instead, save some for yourself (they freeze well). They're made with bittersweet and white chocolates and cocoa powder, plus goodies like roasted nuts (use your favorite type or a combination) and dried fruit (again use your favorite or a combination).
Chicken and Kale Hand Pies with Cheddar Crust
These portable pies are endlessly adaptable. Swap out the kale for Swiss chard or spinach or use sautéed mushrooms instead of chicken for a vegetarian version. Whichever variation you choose, they'll be the first to go at a potluck.
Orange-Barley Pound Cake
Pound cake gets a makeover with low-in-gluten barley flour, cream cheese, and a triple dose of citrus flavor—orange juice, zest, and liqueur. You can make it up to two days in advance.
Broccoli and Chickpea Salad
Amp up steamed broccoli and canned chickpeas with scallions, fresh parsley, and toasted pine nuts in this light, crunchy salad. It can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated.
Summer Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a great recipe to make the night before a potluck. Combine your favorite seasonal fruits with honey, orange juice, and fresh mint, cover, and refrigerate.
Cheese and Sweet-Pepper Cornbread
A zesty cornbread that combines chopped green chiles and sweet mini peppers for the perfect amount of heat and color. Bake it the day of the potluck for optimum flavor.
Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels
This festive fudge is studded with salty pretzels, but you can top it with anything you like. Trail mix, candy, and crushed cookies are just a few of our favorite variations.
Spinach Tart with Olive-Oil Cracker Crust
In this sophisticated tart, we take the classic pairing of spinach and feta to the next level with a crisp cracker crust redolent of sesame.
Antipasti Pasta Salad
This salad mixes the flavors of a traditional Italian antipasti platter with spiral-shaped pasta. Salami, mozzarella cheese, green olives, and jarred red peppers are called for, but feel free to add or substitute other ingredients, including tuna, provolone, anchovies, artichoke hearts, capers, or marinated mushrooms.
Black Beans and Sausage
Canned black beans and kielbasa (or any other smoked sausage you choose) make a hearty meal. This quick recipe can be made up to two days ahead and reheated gently before serving. Top each portion of stew with chopped parsley and a dollop of plain yogurt.
Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears
Maple syrup sweetens the no-bake filling of this easy cheesecake, which can be prepared up to one day ahead. Brush thin slices of pear with more maple syrup and broil until caramelized to make the decorative topping, which should be added just before serving.
Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread
This easy, elegant dip is a combination of cream cheese, blue cheese, and toasted walnuts. It is delicious served with crackers, bread, or apple and pear wedges, and it's ideal for a potluck because it can be made up to one week in advance.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Rich and custardy, bread pudding becomes even more delectable when semisweet chocolate is added to the mix. You can serve this comforting dessert warm, at room temperature, or cold.
A classic French pastry gets the savory treatment with Parmesan, cheddar, and your choice of fresh herbs. Form them by folding up a sheet of puff pastry and then cutting it into thin slices.