Ideas for potluck dishes

Updated April 17, 2017

A potluck asks guests to bring a dish with them. Potluck dishes bring variety to the food table where guests can show off their best recipes and sample others. If you have a potluck, find out what your guests are bringing to make sure not everyone is preparing the same dish.

Meat and Side Dishes

When serving meats as potluck dishes, have a selection accommodating poultry, pork and beef preferences. Spiral-cut baked ham is good dish to serve at a potluck dinner as well as roast beef. Inexpensive meat dishes include meatballs, chicken wings or wing dings. Spaghetti and lasagne are popular potluck dish ideas because they feed several people and can include meat or be served vegetarian style. Ideas for potluck side dishes include macaroni and cheese, green beans, baked beans and corn.


Salads are good for potluck dishes because they are relatively inexpensive to make and can serve many people. Tossed salads with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers are easy to prepare. Provide salad dressing choices such as Italian and Ranch, or blend dressing into the salad. Caesar salad can be served on its own since it has its own dressing. Pasta salads are usually welcomed potluck dishes. Boil a type of pasta, such as penne or bow tie, and mix it with salad dressing. Bake or grill a few chicken breasts, cut them into cubes and add them to the pasta salad to make it more filling. Another potluck dish idea salad option is fruit salad with cut up melons, apples, pears and grapes.


Bread can be baked at home or picked up from a bakery. Serve dinner rolls with salads, as well as main dishes. Bring loaves of bread such as pumpernickel and French bread. More ideas for potluck bread items include baking cornbread to cut into squares or as corn muffins.


Dessert ideas for potluck dishes include cakes and cupcakes. Freshly baked cookies, such as chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and sugar cookies, are ideal for serving several people. Potluck dessert ideas for chocolate-living guests include brownies and fudge. Instead of pies, cobblers are good for potlucks such as peach and apple because they are larger and can feed more people.

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About the Author

Janise Smith began freelance writing in 2009. She has published poetry, short fiction and various articles, with her works appearing in "Metropolitan Woman" and the "Detroit Free Press." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in written communications with an emphasis on journalism, creative and technical writing from Eastern Michigan University.