Delicious dishes to share at your next neighborhood potluck.

One of life’s great joys is sharing a meal, good conversation, and laughter with friends and family. However, thinking about all the preparation and money spent on hosting dinner for your favorite people can be overwhelming. Therein lies the beauty of a potluck — it offers you all the satisfaction of hosting a wonderful party without the workload! Plus, all your guests will get to try some amazing dishes and bring new recipes. 

Whether you have hosted a fair share of potlucks, or it is your first time, try these tried-and-true tips for a picture-perfect feast!

Tips to Throwing the Perfect Potluck

  1. Come up with a potluck theme (if you want).
  2. Handle the main dish and provide the basics (plates, cups, forks, spoons, knives).
  3. Assign each guest a category of food.
  4. Ask guests about any dietary restrictions.
  5. Label the food with cute menu buffet labels. 
  6. Provide extra dishes and serving utensils.
  7. Have a designated drink area and make sure there is plenty for everyone. 
  8. Provide to-go containers for guests to take leftovers. 
  9. Create ambiance by playing your favorite playlist in the background.

Potato & Pickle Salad

PREP: 20 minutes TOTAL: 1 hour SERVES: 4

1 1/2 pounds tri-colored potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles
3 tablespoons pickle juice
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
Parsley, for garnish
Paprika, for garnish

Place your tri-colred potatoes in a large pot and cover them with 1 inch of cold water. Then, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the potatoes for 20-28 minutes, or until they begin to fall of a fork easily; drain and set aside. When they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in half. In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, pickles, pickle juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to form your dressing. Add in the potatoes, red onions, and eggs, then, gently fold together to coat with dressing. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Garnish with parsley and paprika.
*From Tiffani Thiessen, Cooking Channel

Broccoli Coleslaw

PREP: 10 minutes TOTAL: 10 minutes SERVES: 8-10

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 16 ounce bags of pre-shredded
broccoli coleslaw mix
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

In a large mixing bowl, combine and whisk your mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Add the coleslaw mix, parsley, and fresh dill. Toss to combine. Let the mix sit for 15 minutes (or up to 1 hour) in the refrigerator, mix again, then serve immediately.
From The Pioneer Woman

Fried Deviled Eggs

PREP: 10 minutes TOTAL: 45 minutes SERVES: 12

8 large eggs, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Vegetable oil, for frying
Finely chopped chives, for garnish
Smoked paprika, for garnish

Place 6 eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn on heat, cover, and let sit for
11 minutes. Drain and rinse the eggs under cold water, then peel. Halve eggs lengthwise and scoop out yolks into a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, and Dijon mustard to the bowl, then mash yolks with the back of a fork and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Place flour, remaining eggs, and panko into 3 separate shallow bowls. Add 1 teaspoon water to eggs and whisk to combine. Add garlic powder to bowl with flour and stir to combine. Dredge each egg white first in flour, then egg, then panko, and set aside. Add about 3” oil to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Heat oil to 350°, then gently drop breaded egg whites into oil and fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove, drain on a paper-towel lined plate, and season with salt. Fill fried egg whites with yolk mixture and garnish with chives and paprika.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

PREP: 5 minutes TOTAL: 6 hours SERVES: 18

1 large onion
1 whole pork shoulder
(pork butt), 5-7 pounds
Salt and Pepper
11 ounce can of Chipotle peppers
in Adobo sauce
2 cans of Dr. Pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Peel the onion, cut it into wedges, then lay them in the bottom of a large Dutch Oven. Generously salt-and-pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan. Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in. Place the lid tightly on the pot, then set it in the oven. Cook for at least 6 hours and turn the roast 2 or 3 times while cooking. If the meat isn’t falling apart after 6 hours (use two forks to test), put it back in for another 60 minutes. Remove meat from the pot, and place it on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat of the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready. Serve on warm flour tortillas or hamburger buns.
From The Pioneer Woman

Tortellini Mac-n-Cheese

PREP: 25 minutes TOTAL: 30 minutes SERVES: 6-8

20 ounces of fresh tortellini,
pulled from refrigerator
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces of cream cheese
8 slices American cheese
4 ounces of sharp cheddar
cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the tortellini to a 9×13 casserole dish. Pour in the milk. Add the cream cheese, American cheese, and cheddar to the top of the tortellini. Don’t stir. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, then add pepper and salt. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the tortellini are tender for about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile in a 1 quart zipper bag add the corn flakes, mozzarella and oil. Close, shake to coat and gently crush the flakes into smaller pieces. When the tortellini is tender, remove it from the oven and stir. Top with the cornflake mixture, and put it back into the oven uncovered until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
From Chef Damaris Phillips on Facebook

Pasta Salad with Veggies

PREP: 10 minutes TOTAL: 20 minutes SERVES: 4

1 pound rotini pasta
1 pound asparagus, woody ends
trimmed and discarded, sliced
into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen spring peas, thawed
1 cup rainbow carrots, shredded
½ cup English cucumber, quartered and sliced
½ cup radishes, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin
olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
Coarse salt and ground black
pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to box instructions. Set aside. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add asparagus and boil until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Pat dry, slice into inch long pieces and set aside. In a large bow, mix all ingredients together until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Optional: Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

PREP: 10 minutes TOTAL: 10 minutes SERVES: 4

1 mini watermelon (approximately 4 cups); rind, removed, and cubed
2 small cucumbers (approximately 1 cup), sliced
3 ounces of cubed feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 lime juiced
Kosher salt and fresh ground
black pepper to taste
Olive oil to taste

In a large serving bowl, add the watermelon, cucumber, feta, and mint. Squeeze the lime over the salad, drizzle with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Texas Sheet Cake Bundt Cake

PREP: 10 minutes TOTAL: 55 minutes SERVES: 8

15 1/4 ounce box chocolate
cake mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray Bundt pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. To prepare cake batter: Combine cake mix, milk, melted butter and eggs to medium bowl and stir either by hand or with a hand held mixer until well combined. Pour prepared batter into a greased Bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a cake plate and cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting
Combine your fi rst 3 frosting ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk it together until the mixture has melted. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. You can add chopped pecans into the frosting here or you can sprinkle on top. Pour frosting over cooled Bundt cake. Let the frosting set and serve. Keep your cake covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Icebox Lemonade Pie

PREP: 15 minutes TOTAL: 3 hours SERVES: 8

14 ounce can sweetened
condensed milk
6 ounce can frozen lemonade
concentrate, thawed
8 ounce container frozen whipped
topping, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)

Use a mixer to mix the sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate, and whipped topping until fluffy. Pour into a ready-made crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.

Walking Strawberry Pretzel Salad

PREP: 15 minutes TOTAL: 15 minutes SERVES: 12

3 4 ounce package instant
cheesecake pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
12 1 ounce bags mini pretzels
21 ounce can strawberry pie filling
1 cup frozen whipped topping
(Cool Whip), thawed
2 tablespoons crushed pretzels,
to garnish

Place the pudding mix and the cold milk in a large bowl. Whisk together for 2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set. While the pudding sets, gently crush up the pretzels in the bottom of each bag before opening. This step is optional, but I find this easier to eat if the pretzels are
a little crushed first. Snip of the tops of the pretzel bags and roll down the bags on top. Place them on a serving tray or in a large casserole dish so the bags can be propped up. Evenly distribute the pudding among the bags. Evenly distribute the strawberry pie filling among the bags and top with the whipped topping. Garnish with the crushed pretzels and serve! Make sure you have spoons on hand for your guests.
From The Country Cook

Strawberry Lemonade Mimosa

PREP: 5 minutes TOTAL: 5 minutes SERVES: 2-4

Strawberry syrup
Chilled prosecco, champagne,
or seltzer
Fresh strawberries
Fresh mint leaves

Place 1-2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup in each glass, add the lemonade and stir. Top it of with prosecco, champagne, or seltzer.
Garnish with strawberries and mint and serve.

Entering into the joyous days of summer, there are plenty of occasions to host a potluck party with all of your family and friends, and you don’t have to wait for a birthday or holiday as a reasons to gather. Cheers to relaxing, having fun, and planning your next potluck!