Here is my list of the best and easy potluck ideas; all of these recipes can be cooked under an hour. And even a rookie can make this awesomely tasting meals.
I have helped my mom and dad to prepare for over 140 potlucks, and all of these went great. Even my dad felt like a start, with the meals I have helped him prepare. I have a whole list of best dishes to prepare, and what things you should avoid, don’t worry, with these tips, you will be the start of your next potluck!
List of 22 best & easy potluck ideas
Guacamole and Chips
Mac and Cheese
Mexican Layer Dip
New York style Pizza with cheese crusts
Smokies Wrapped in Bacon slices
Bacon Sliced Wrapped Sausages
Spicy or Barbecue Wings
Mac & Cheese Muffins
Baked or Grilled Brie
Potato Chips with cheesy or onion dip or blue cheese dip
Spicy Baked beans
With any of these simple but tasty potluck dishes, you will be the hero of that party. All of these are quite easy to prepare, and you have a wide variety to choose from. Just spent 5 to 10 minutes to decorate the dishes. Open a youtube on your phone and look for ways to style your meals. This will do a whole lot! You will hear compliments for months if you do this properly. And this is not rocket science, just put a little more effort into it rather than if you are cooking for yourself.
Best Potluck Ideas for Newbies in the kitchen
If you are like my older brother, who can’t cook at all, I have a few easy tips and recommendations for you, first of all, choose a theme of your dishes. I know that a lot of people look down upon “healthy meals” for an occasion like this. But if you are a guy or even a girl and most people know about you that you don’t cook. This will be extremely beneficial for you. Create a few simple healthy dishes, decorate them, and wait for compliments. I mean it. I remember, when my brother had his first one, I have prepared all the meals, which I would do for my mom and she rocks with those. But no one actually bought that my brother was able to cook these.
So next time, we just made simple healthy, clean food dishes, and we made them look well, to please the eyes of his co-workers. And guess what? It worked! He restored his reputation and to be honest, ever since then, everyone likes him more at his work.
Any of these are big no-nos for a potluck. I am a big fan of easy made delicious meals, but none of these should be anywhere near a potluck dinner party. But this happens every time, ask me, my mom or dad, or anyone for that matter. There is always a lazy dude who brings a full bucket of horrible looking fat & greasy chicken from KFC or similar places. Or what I like best when someone brings a full box of donuts and all of them have the same flavor, and all of them are smashed.
And don’t get me wrong, I am one of those people who eat the worst things during the potluck, but at least the meals are delicious. There is no reason to stay on a diet for this occasion, but don’t bring me KFC bucket. And the same goes for cold and canned veggies and condiments; these don’t count, don’t bring them! Step your game UP!
And one last thing I would like to touch on if you are going to bring wine. Don’t just take one bottle. Everyone is preparing meals for everyone so everyone can share it with them and taste it. You just won¨t be able to do that with one bottle of wine.
What Is Potluck
I have received several comments and PMs about what this is. And I have found out that a lot of visitors came here when searching for best party food ideas to this article about easy potluck ideas. So for those of you, here is a short explanation. Potluck basically in the form of a dinner party or dinner gathering, when anyone who is attending this occasion is supposed to bring a dish to share. I have even heard people call it a “covered dish party” since some guests are bringing cooked meals in casserole dishes. This is an excellent way how to make a low budget party/gathering since everyone is kind of sharing the cost of it within the group.
Not every time this kind of events workout, because I have attended this kind of gatherings and we had 12 different types of deserts, but zero meals with meat, etc. This happens all the time. What is quite fun is not to assign what is a particular person going to cook, but to draw papers with “courses” this is my favorite way, and this is probably the best potluck idea, how to have the most amount of fun and also have all types of meals without any imbalances.
But this can also go the wrong way, sometimes the person, who is hosting the party, is going to provide the main meal and everyone else is bringing to the party side dishes, desserts and appetizers and drinks of course.
Why are we bringing several meals to a potluck party? I don’t know; I just remember from quite a young age that we have always brought with us or that we have prepared several courses rather than only one dish. But a lot of our friends do it as well. However, I think that it is definitely the best choice, rather than bringing just one meal, that might not do well and a few bottles of wines. But that is just us, but yeah, this is another easy potluck idea, how to make it the best party is by bringing several courses. This might be actually my number one or number two tip.
My last thoughts
No matter on what you are going to decide to do for your next potluck party, please keep in mind, that I wrote these easy potluck ideas in the best spirit and for you, so you have the best chance to succeed. You do not have to follow any of my tips, just please stay away from the worst potluck ideas I have listed. Any of these are big no-nos, please don’t do any of these. Other than that, just enjoy the gathering, hopefully, good food and drinks. And if you mess up, there is always the next time. If you are still looking for inspiration or recipes, I can highly recommend this paleo cookbook and also this The Simple Kitchen cookbook. I am a big fan of both of these, and I believe if you decide to cook any of these meals, you will succeed!