42 Quick and Easy Potluck Ideas, Appetizers and Recipes!
1. Shrimp Barbecue on Skewers– Lay the shrimp pieces on a heated grill. Brush with barbecue sauce. Grill until nice and brown. Shrimps cook very quickly so be careful they don’t overcook. Then stick the shrimp pieces into a skewer. Arrange your kabobs on a nice platter. This is a very elegant yet easy to make potluck dish!
2. Pigs In a Blanket– This funny name actually means cocktail frankfurters (or wieners/hotdogs/sausages) wrapped with a dough. Use a ready-made breadstick or croissant dough, and roll the dough around each piece of frankfurter. Bake it for around 15 minutes or until the dough becomes golden brown.
3. Popcorn mix– This is a unique potluck idea. Instead of putting all plain popcorn in a bowl, mix it with different kinds of snacks, such as pretzels, dry cereals and peanuts. Mix them all together and place in a nice bowl.
4. Sliced Quesadillas– Take one piece of flour tortilla and lay it flat on a non-stick pan. Top it with grated cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes and green onions. Put another piece of flour tortilla on top. When the bottom has turned slightly brown and crispy, flip it over to brown the other side. Your quesadilla is done! Then put your quesadilla on a chopping board and using a pizza cutter, slice it into wedges. Arrange the quesadilla wedges on a nice platter and put a little bowl of salsa on the side. This will be a party hit!
5. French Toast– Everybody loves French toast. Many people think it’s only for breakfast, but it is a good thing to bring to potlucks too. Take a regular piece of bread, dip it in scrambled eggs and then pan fry it in melted butter. You can sprinkle sugar or cinnamon on top. Slice into 4 squares.
6. Ham and Egg Fried Rice– Fried rice dishes get devoured quickly! Ham and egg fried rice is very easy to make. Saute oil and add in the chopped ham (sliced into very small pieces). Add the scrambled eggs and stir. Add the cold cooked rice. Press the rice towards the ham and egg mixture to let the rice absorb the taste and color. Season with salt and mix well. Voila! Your ham and egg fried rice potluck dish is ready!
7. Deep fried Pork Chops– Marinate your pork chops the day before the potluck. If you don’t have time, just buy them pre-marinated. Fry the pork chops just before going to the potluck. Deep fry until brown and crispy. Slice into strips and arrange the pieces on a platter. Put a dip on the side. Yummy potluck dish!
8. Grilled Peppers– Slice green, red, yellow or orange peppers. Brush the griller with olive oil and grill the peppers until there are black grill marks. Put them on a nice plate. That’s it!
9. Grilled Mushrooms– Same with the above, but use mushrooms instead of peppers. Or do both!
10. Chili Stew– This is a stew that looks like you cooked it for hours! I make it for dinner, but it makes a great potluck dish too! Saute onions and then add ground beef. Saute until the beef is no longer pink. Add salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and water. Add a little bit ketchup, sugar and soy sauce. This will make the color of your stew really nice and it will add a sweet salty flavour. Transfer your chili stew to a ceramic pot, let it boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. In the potluck you can serve your stew using the same ceramic pot. Nice!
11. Assorted French Fries– Buy 2 kinds of frozen French fries: the regular sticks and the zig zag kind. Bake or deep fry the French fries, and arrange them one kind on each side of the serving plate. Put different kinds of condiments such as ketchup, barbeque sauce or ranch dressing
12. Wasabe peas – Some people like spicy snacks. If you’re totally out of time, you can grab a big can of wasabe peas and pour them into a nice bowl. Include a sign that says “Warning! Hot and spicy wasabe peas!”
13. Cassava Cake– This is always a hit in parties. In a bowl, put 3/4 can of condensed milk, a can of evaporated milk, a pack of grated cassava and a pack of grated young coconut. Mix well. You don’t even need to use an electric mixer. Just mix everything using a fork or spatula. Pour the mixture into a rectangular baking pan and bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes. About 5-10 minutes before the cassava cake is done, remove it from the oven and spread the remaining ¼ can of condensed milk on top. Put the cassava cake back into the oven. The condensed milk will turn into nice golden brown topping. It will smell really good! This is a great potluck idea.
14. Teriyaki Chicken Wings– I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like teriyaki chicken wings. It is a delicious dish! Buy fresh chicken wings and put them in a bowl. Pour the teriyaki sauce and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes so the teriyaki sauce flavour will seep into the chicken. Bake the chicken wings until golden brown. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Everyone will love your potluck dish!
15. Dried Apple Chips– People usually bring fresh fruits to potlucks, but dried fruit is a good potluck idea too! And not only is it unique, it’s also super quick to prepare! Buy a big bag of apple chips and put them in a nice colourful bowl. That’s it, no other food preparation needed and people will love your potluck snack!
16. Dried Banana Chips– Same as above, but use dried banana chips. This is also a very fast and easy potluck idea. When people have an urge to eat chips but they are also health conscious, they will most likely opt to eat banana chips instead of potato chips.
17. Assorted Dried Chips– Here is an even better idea! Instead of serving only 1 kind of dried chips, make it 2! In a nice colourful platter, put apple chips on one side and banana chips on the other side. That would be a unique and awesome potluck idea!
18. Mini Croissants– It is better to bring “mini” things to a potluck, so that people can enjoy the different kinds of food. Mini croissants are very light and tasty. You can find them in the bakery section of your supermarket.
19. Mini Cinnamon Slices– Buy a loaf of cinnamon bread, and slice each piece into 4 squares. Arrange your mini cinnamon slices on a party tray. This is another super fast potluck idea. No cooking required!
20. 3-Chocolate Cookie Tray– Buy 3 kinds of cookies and arrange them on a serving plate. A good combination is milk chocolate cookies, dark chocolate cookies, and macadamia nut cookies. That way your plate will have cookies that are color brown, dark brown and white.
21. Varieties of seeds– This is sort of like a trail mix, but with only seeds. Some suggestions are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
22. 4-Layer Mexican Dip– In a shallow square or rectangular glass dish, spread a layer of cream cheese. For the next layer, put shredded cheddar cheese. For the 3rd layer, put salsa. For the top layer, put more cheese. You can use a different kind of cheese such as mozzarella cheese.
23. Crispy Bacon– Pan fry bacon until brown and crispy. Put the bacon pieces on a plate that’s lined with napkin. Bring this to your potluck and watch them disappear fast!
24. Pretzel sticks– In the bulk section of your supermarket, buy 3 kinds of pretzels: plain pretzels, chocolate covered pretzels and yogurt covered pretzels. Arrange them on a plate.
25. Mini Waffles– Make your own waffles using a waffle maker. Here is a very easy recipe:Delicious Homemade Waffles Recipe. Slice the waffles into mini pieces.
26. Fish Sticks– Buy frozen breaded fish sticks and bake them in the oven until golden brown. Serve the fish sticks with dressing such as ranch dressing, sweet and sour dressing or even plain mayonnaise.
27. Colorful Fruit Kabobs– Make the most colourful kabobs! Use strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, cherries, melon, honeydew, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Use barbecue skewers or sticks. This is a very healthy dish to bring to a potluck. It’s also very easy to make and everyone will love your food!
28. Rainbow Marshmallows– Children love marshmallows, especially the colourful ones!
29. Apple Pie– Bring a whole apple pie, and let the guests slice for themselves.
30. Egg Pie– Bring a whole egg pie, and let the guests slice for themselves.
31. Chicken Pie– Bring a whole chicken pie, and let the guests slice for themselves.
32. Root Beer Float – When it’s time for dessert, bring your potluck surprise out: root beer float! You only need to bring vanilla ice cream and root beer. Scoop the ice cream into a glass, and fill it with root beer about ¾ full. Don’t fill it too high or the root beer will overflow. Isn’t that the most unique potluck idea ever?
33. Grilled Shrimp Salad– Grill your shrimps, then toss with chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with a vinaigrette or salad dressing. Ooh-la-la!
34. Boiled Eggs– This is a simple and unique potluck idea! Some people like to eat plain food, without all the fattening sauces, dressing or stuff. Plain boiled eggs would be a perfect idea! Eggs are nutritious and very easy to cook. It only takes 15 minutes to boil eggs.
35. Smoked Salmon– This is a quick and easy idea for a potluck, but it can be expensive. This is a good dish to bring if the crowd is not too big!
36. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus– Instead of wrapping a sausage, wrap a vegetable! Less calories…the guests will be delighted!
37. Herbed Potatoes– Boil the potatoes, then toss them with butter mixture (melted butter, dill, salt, pepper and lemon juice). Use small red potatoes.
38. Tomato Slices– This is a fast, easy and delicious potluck idea. Slice the tomatoes, and coat with mayonnaise. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter. The soft mayonnaise texture brings flavour to the tomatoes. It’s a unique idea, and very easy to make!
39. Cucumber Slices– Here is another quick and very easy thing to make for your potluck! Slice cucumber into pieces, arrange on a serving plate and season with salt and black pepper. Simple, fast and easy!
40. Mini Jello– Buy small jello cups, the colourful ones. Put them in a serving bowl.
41. Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows– Melt chocolate using a double-boiler or microwave. Coat the marshmallows with the melted chocolate. Place the marshmallows on colourful mini paper cups.
42. Punch Bowl– Pour cranberry juice and apple cider into a punch bowl. Put plenty of ice and your potluck drink is ready!
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