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Simple and delicious, these are the best Easy Potluck Ideas to feed a crowd. If you are wondering what to bring to a potluck, you’ll find plenty of appetizers, snacks, salad, sides, main dishes, and desserts in this collection. Some are traditional, others are new and creative, but they will all have everyone begging you for the recipes.
Easy Potluck Ideas – the Best Dishes to Feed a Crowd!
Spring and summer are the seasons for backyard barbecues, impromptu picnics, and all sorts of occasions where food is the centerpiece. This doesn’t change in the fall, when people are gathering to watch games and snack on the best tailgating recipes. And come winter, it’s the holiday season when there is always a reason to get together with friends.
So you always need some easy recipes on standby that will impress and feed plenty of people. Make sure you save this collection to come back to any time you are invited to a party and asked to bring a dish to share.
What is a potluck?
A potluck is any kind of dinner party or another gathering where everyone attending brings a dish to share. Sometimes it is called a covered dish party because many people bring something cooked in a casserole dish. This makes party planning easier and shares the costs amongst the group.
In theory, by everyone bringing a dish you have a full menu and a number of different things to try. However, it’s very easy to end up with an imbalance, maybe having too many desserts and not enough side dishes.
One way to manage this is to have people sign up or assign a category to each person or family attending so that you have an even distribution. Another option is for the host to provide the main dish, and everyone else brings appetizers, sides, and desserts.
Potluck Ideas and Tips
The best potluck recipes have to be crowd-pleasing, but there are also practical things to keep in mind:
- Depending on the size of the crowd, you might want to find recipes that are easy to double or triple.
- Since the food may get left out for a while, recipes that can stand at room temperature might be a good thing to consider.
- If you need to keep food cold, check out serving platters on ice.
- It’s also helpful to bring your own serving utensils, perhaps even disposable serving utensils so you don’t have to worry about getting it back.
How do you keep food warm at a potluck?
- You can keep potluck food hot in a crockpot, and a slow cooker with a locking lid is helpful for transporting food without spilling.
- If the host will have warming racks, in which case you’ll want to have your dish in foil pans to set on the rack.
What is a good dish to bring to a potluck?
- Appetizers and Snacks – dips, snack mixes, and finger foods like pinwheels and deviled eggs are some great ways to start your potluck meal.
- Salads – while this might mean a traditional green salad, dishes like potato salad, pasta or macaroni salad, fruit salad, and coleslaw are popular potluck ideas.
- Side Dishes – for a side dish to feed a crowd, potatoes, baked beans, and other veggie casseroles are great potluck recipes.
- Main Dish Recipes – classic pasta casseroles such as lasagna, crockpot meats like pulled pork or chicken, and even baked ham, prime rib, or turkey are crowd-pleasers.
- Dessert Recipes – the best potluck desserts are easy to serve and eat, like cookies, brownies, and bars, or layered desserts to feed a crowd, like a lush, dessert lasagna, or dream dessert.
You’ll find some amazing recipes for all of these courses here:
GF – gluten free recipe
GFO – recipe with gluten free option
80+ of the Best Potluck Dishes
All of the best crowd-pleasing recipes to take to a party. Easy to make, transport, and serve, these ideas for appetizers and snacks, salad, side dishes, main course, and desserts will have everyone asking for seconds (and maybe even for the recipe).
Potluck Appetizers and Snacks
Food brings everyone together, especially when the party gets started with delicious dips, fabulous finger foods, and even fun food on a stick.
Turn the classic salad into an easy appetizer to serve with your favorite dressing for dipping. Plus these are gluten free and low carb. GF
A lighter version of the original that is still creamy and delicious with the same zippy flavor. GF
Grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to make this fun finger food with fabulous Greek flavors.
Loaded with chicken, cheese, and barbecue sauce, then topped with bacon and tomatoes. It’s easy, cheesy, and perfect for dipping tortilla chips, crackers, and even veggies. GF
Flavor-packed baked meatballs you can keep warm in a crockpot. GFO (use gluten free breadcrumbs or conrmeal)
A hot, cheesy appetizer loaded with burger toppings. Serve with veggies, toasted burger buns, or even waffle fries. GF
Start with super simple slow cooker Mexican chicken, then add layers of chips, toppings, and plenty of cheese. Pop it in the oven, then top it all off with salsa, sour cream, and even a delicious Avocado Lime Crema! GF
Filled with meaty sauce and topped with mozzarella and parmesan, no breadcrumbs needed. GF
Impress everyone with this ooey gooey and elegant appetizer with only four ingredients. GF
Sweet and salty, cheesy flavors, and creamy texture with the perfect amount of crunch from its pecan coating. GF
Only five ingredients in this cheesy, veggie-packed twist on the same old hummus. GF
Sweet and tangy, with just a hint of spice, and no raw onions or jalapenos, making it totally a kid-friendly dip. GF
Add an extra kick to this appetizer classic with hot sauce and tangy blue cheese. GF
Maple Nut Party Mix
The easiest party mix with perfectly balanced sweet salty flavors. GFO (use Corn or Rice Chex)
Refrigerated pizza dough, pepperoni, and provolone cheese rolled up to make one heck of an appetizer. Remember the marinara for dunking.
Italian Hoagie Dip
Your favorite sub sandwich fixings chopped and served dip-style with crusty bread slices. GF
Traditional Deviled Eggs
It's not a party unless these are on the buffet. GF
BBQ Chicken Dip
So creamy and flavored with your favorite barbecue sauce. GF
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread
The perfect blend of spice and creaminess topped with crunchy bacon.
Sausage Pinwheels Recipe
Just a few simple flavors combine to create an addictively good party bite.
Sometimes you want come cold dishes at your get-togethers. Salads at a potluck party may give you a serving of fruits or vegetables, or give you your fill of carbs. They can range from coleslaw to fruit salad, potato salad to pasta salad, and everything in between.
Made with Greek yogurt, this is a healthy version of the classic picnic salad with a sweet and savory twist. GF
Made with Greek yogurt plus walnuts and cheddar cheese, you get an extra burst of flavors, protein, and crunch. GF
A sweet and juicy mixture of fresh fruits lightly coated with a honey Greek yogurt dressing and toasted walnuts for crunch. GF
This recipe packs in all of your favorite flavors, and you don’t even need a Ranch dressing seasoning packet. GF
Put a sweet and savory tropical twist on the same old slaw. GF
A light and fresh salad tossed in a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano. GF
A perfect combo of cool and crisp with warm and tender, you’ll enjoy this healthy and hearty tossed with Maple Hot Bacon Dressing. GF
Bursting with fresh cherry tomatoes, juicy cucumber slices, tangy feta cheese and more, then it's mixed with a zesty garlic lemon dressing that will have everyone reaching for seconds. GF
Not your basic macaroni salad recipe, it's made with egular or gluten free noodles, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and a zesty Greek yogurt dressing make this hearty but still light and healthy. GFO (use gluten free pasta)
A healthy twist on the classic Snicker Salad recipe with the sweet and creamy deliciousness and Snickers flavors from Greek yogurt, honey, dark chocolate, and peanuts. GF
Chopped Asian Salad
Made with shredded green cabbage, celery, carrots, green onion, cilantro, crunchy chow mein noodles, chicken and the best dressing, this is always a hit.
Creamy Delicatessen Fruit Salad
A creamy and luscious fruit salad that is perfect for parties. GF
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
A colorful and reliable, go-to pasta salad recipe with meats, cheeses, and veggies.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
A quick and easy side dish that is so versatile it can be eaten warm, room temperature or even cold.
Rainbow Farro Salad
This salad is the perfect combination of delicious vegetables and hearty farro with a dressing that has just the right amount of tang to it so it tastes light and fresh.
Italian Chopped Salad with Tortellini
Three kinds of meats, cheeses, veggies, and pasta make this delicious, filling and rather unforgettable.
An easy salad with a variety of colorful fruit with marshmallows and coconut tossed in a light and creamy dressing. GF
Creamy Pea Salad
This dish requires very little cooking with just a little bit of chopping and mixing – it could easily be a no-cook recipe if you buy precooked bacon. GF
BLT Pasta Salad
A tasty pasta salad with an all-time favorite flavor combination.
Pressure Cooker Amish Macaroni Salad
You can make this classic old-fashioned side dish in your Instant Pot.
Potluck Side Dishes
This hot sides and casseroles are true crowd-pleasers.
All of the flavors of slow-cooked beans, but none of the effort, and it is so easy and tasty because it starts with canned baked beans. GF
The classic comfort food dish with added veggies, but all the cheesy goodness you love. GFO (see gluten free pasta)
A family-favorite side dish that is creamy, savory, and sweet, and so easy to prepare. GF
A fast and easy side dish with only five ingredients and lightened up with Greek yogurt, but plenty of cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon to make them irresistible. GF
For a change to the classic scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin, add a sweet element to this savory and cheesy side dish casserole. GF
Give the veggies a simple but delicious upgrade by tossing them in browned butter and nobody will be able to resist them, plus it is so easy to double or triple the recipe. GF
It doesn't get any better than potatoes mixed with sour cream, butter, white sauce, and tons of cheddar cheese, then baked to perfection with a crunchy corn flake topping.
Cheese Broccoli Casserole
This tasty casserole has broccoli roasted in a cheesy and creamy sauce then topped with a crunchy topping.
Caribbean Confetti Rice
A fragrant coconut rice recipe loaded with chiles, sweet peppers, pineapple, cilantro, and spices that is easy to make and so delicious. GF
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
This recipe features fresh green beans cooked until tender-crisp in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped off with a cheesy panko topping.
Potluck Main Dishes
Crowd-pleasing dishes that feed a lot of people, from meats you roast in the oven or cook in a slow cooker to pasta dishes and hearty casseroles and more.
This classic dish includes layers of noodles, hearty meat sauce, creamy ricotta, and gooey mozzarella cheese. GF (use gluten free lasagna noodles)
Hearty comfort food fully loaded with both ground beef and stew meat, plus bacon, beans, and plenty of “secret spices”, and it's perfect for feeding a crowd. GF
Hearty beef and veggies are topped with fluffy mashed potatoes and cheese for a fast and delicious dish everyone loves. GF
Chicken simmers all day in your crockpot with apple cider, apple slices, and onions that you can pile on bread or rolls and top with cheddar cheese for yummy sandwiches. GFO (serve on gluten free rolls)
A healthier version of an old-fashioned baked pasta dish with creamy noodles, meaty sauce, and bubbly cheese. GFO (use gluten free noodles)
Fall-apart tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Flavored with garlic powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, barbecue sauce and more, the sweet and savory goodness is out of this world. GF
Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
A slow cooker pasta casserole that you can customize with your favorite pizza toppings.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders
Easy and flavor-packed pork you can toss in your crockpot the night before to make sandwiches the next day.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Everything just goes into the slow cooker without any special prep to make fall-apart tender, juicy and delicious chicken to put on rolls with our coleslaw and pickles. GFO (serve with gluten free rolls)
Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham
Spiral sliced ham is steamed to perfection with a sweet honey sauce, keeping this ham full of flavor and moisture. GF
Desserts that you bring to a party also need to feed a crowd. That's why things like cookies and brownies and bars are great because one batch makes a ton and you can pick one up to eat. But icebox cakes and other large batch desserts are also always a hit.
Turn a fully-loaded cookie with peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&M candies into a dessert that you can make with less than 15 minutes of work and in only one bowl. GF
Rich, fudgy homemade brownies are swirled with peanut butter and dotted with chunks of Reese’s peanut butter cups for a decadent chocolaty dessert nobody can resist. GF
Moist white coconut cake with coconut cream filling and coconut frosting on top for triple the coconutty deliciousness.
Tender and citrusy, these are an easy dessert made with a thick layer of creamy lemon filling on top of a zesty gluten-free crust.
The ultimate flavor combination comes together in this chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting and whipped peanut butter topping plus plenty of Reese's.
Layers of white cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream come together for a totally heavenly dessert recipe that is simple and perfect.
M&M’s and toasted pecans in a gooey layer atop a buttery graham cracker crust makes this the best magic bars recipe you’ll ever taste.
Add some new flavors to the classic cookie recipe for a buttery, nutty, sweet treat. GF
Double the peanut butter goodness because unlike classic peanut blossoms recipe, these have Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top instead of just plain chocolate. GF
A sweet no-bake snack mix that tastes just like an Almond Joy with Chex cereal and almonds covered in almond butter, chocolate, and coconut. GF
Yummy cupcakes made with cereal milk and Lucky Charms Marshmallows and frosted with a marshmallow-studded buttercream.
Rich, fudgy brownies swirled with cheesecake and caramel then topped with pecans. GF
S'mores Cookie Bars
Start with a graham cracker crust topped with chocolate chip cookie dough that is full of lots of chocolate and marshmallows, then add Hershey bars for a twist on the classic treat that you can enjoy any day of the year, no campfire required.
Old Fashioned Cocoa Fudge Cake
There is nothing better than a moist, tender cake baked in a pan big enough for a crowd, then iced with the creamiest cocoa buttercream frosting.
A fun icebox cake with layers of graham cracker, chocolate whipped cream, toasted marshmallow mousse, and pudding, topped with more toasted marshmallows.
Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
These super moist chocolate cupcakes pack tons of chocolate flavor in each cupcake wrapper and are made from simple everyday ingredients. They taste completely over-the-top with chocolate buttercream.
Banana Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A luscious banana cake studded with mini chocolate chips and topped with a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Soft and buttery cookie bars have a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe with no mixer and no chilling baked in a pan to make them super quick and easy.
No-Bake Mint Chip Lush
A layered no-bake chocolate and mint dessert with crushed cookies, mint chip cheesecake, and chocolate pudding.
A light and fresh dessert with a shortbread crust, cream cheese, lemon pudding, and fresh whipped cream.
A light and fluffy pineapple dessert with cream cheese, pineapple, whipped cream and graham crackers.