There are tons of food ideas to create the best potluck side dishes. As a person has to bring one plate to the potluck party to share with everyone, you might want to make your dish delicious and unique to stand out from the others’ food.
Therefore, in this article, I will present you with the top 40 side dishes for your next potluck party that make others jealous and wish they had known it sooner.
Let’s find out what they are and how to cook them without too many culinary skills.
Top 40 Potluck Side Dishes That Make Everyone’s Mouth Water
I recognize that not everyone enjoys cooking or has the time to do so, while others are willing to challenge themselves with new recipes; therefore, I divided my list into two sections based on the total cooking time for easier comprehension.
In this post, I offer you a list of (1) Last-minute Recipes for those who are too busy to cook; and (2) Time-consuming Recipes for those who would spend hours in the kitchen.
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Here are 40 potluck side dishes from popular to unique ones:
Last-Minute Potluck Side Dishes
- Avocado Caprese Salad
- Cucumber Avocado Salsa With Strawberries
- Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
- Brussels Sprouts With Bacon And Garlic
- Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw (No Mayo)
- Parmesan Asparagus
- Pressure-Cooker Truly Tasty Turnip Greens
Medium To High-Carb Recipes
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad
- Potato Salad
- Broccoli, Grape And Pasta Salad
- Sweet And Spicy Avocado Egg Rolls
- Pimiento Mac And Cheese
- Penne With Green Beans And Tomatoes
- Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese
- Avocado Dip Wonton Cups
- Berry Delicious Fruit Salad
- Tangy Baked Beans
- Creamy Shrimp Macaroni Salad
- Country Potato Pancake
- Lemon Mushroom Orzo
- Vegan Nachos
- Spring Roll Noodle Salad
- Asian Noodle Salad
- Sweet Potato Chips/Fries And Cilantro Dip
Time-Consuming Potluck Side Dishes
- Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
- Bacon And Cheese Potato Stuffing
- Au Gratin Potato
- Sweet Potato Carrot Crisp
- Parmesan Mashed Potato Cakes
- Sweet Potato, Orange And Pineapple Crunch
- Easy BBQ Baked Beans
- Slow-Cooker Potluck Beans
- Veggie Macaroni And Cheese
- Cheesy Slow-Cooked Corn
- Old School Squash Casserole
- Sausage Bread Dressing
- Creamy Parmesan Spinach Bake
- Grits Greens Brown Butter Hot Sauce
- Ben Mim’s Perfect Cornbread
Last-Minute Yet Tasty Potluck Side Dishes
There are a total of 25 ideas for your side dishes that are extremely easy and quick to do. Some of them only have less than half an hour to prepare and cook.
Plus, these dishes will be divided into two parts: recipes for low-carb side dishes and medium to high-carb recipes so you can have better choices for yourself.
On-Diet Side Dishes (Low-Carb)
If you want to make your tummy happy and your body fit at the same time, these low-carb recipes for perfect potluck side dishes will help you.
Avocado Caprese salad is also a perfect side dish for your potluck or appetizer for any Italian party. Just less than 15 minutes, you can have a fresh and flavor-busting salad.
The blended color of red tomatoes, fresh green vegetables with avocado, and light yellow mozzarella paint a picture of refreshing summer not only for your eyes but also for your mouth.
I bet you can feel the freshness from hearing this dish’s name. It is such a nice accompaniment for hot days. Only 5 minutes to prepare, it is very suitable for busy workaholics to have a tasty and healthy dish.
The eye-catching colors and refreshing flavor from those fruits are such a perfect companion for the potluck’s main dish, which creates a complete and belly-filling party.
Besides these main fruits, you can add other vegetables to make it become a distinctive fruit salad bowl.
Brussel sprouts are low in calories but high in vitamin K, C, and fiber. And the name of this sprout is after the place where it was first cultivated in Brussel, Belgium.
All you have to do is mix garlic, salt, pepper with Brussels sprouts, then roast them in a pan for 20 to 25 minutes until they are tender. Nothing is complicated, isn’t it? Now you have a quick but nutritious dish suitable for any party, not only for a potluck.
A baked Parmesan tomato dish is a perfect side dish when you crave for Italian flavor but still worry about your weight. So why don’t you prepare it as a light side dish?
The juicy tomatoes topped with melted Parmesan cheese and other ingredients boost the robust flavors. It is not only quick but also a very healthy dish.
How about a bit of twist in the flavor of Brussel sprouts with bacon and garlic now
Nothing is difficult to cook. Just combine cooked bacon with garlic, then add chopped Brussel sprouts with bacon and cook them until tender.
The crispy bacon and the soft and fresh Brussel sprouts are such a good contrast, making your side dish more enjoyable.
Coleslaw in England simply means sliced raw cabbage with salad dressing. All you have to prepare with this dish are just crunchy coleslaw mixed with carrot and onion and a sweet vinegar dressing instead of basic mayonnaise sauce.
What makes the dressing special are caraway seeds and celery seeds. Sweet vinegar coleslaw only takes 10 minutes to prepare, but it needs 1 hour to sit in the fridge before serving. Besides, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Asparagus is a good source of nutrients and easy to prepare. Therefore, I think this recipe might be useful for your potluck ideas.
All you have to prepare are, like the dish name, Parmesan cheese and asparagus. With only 20 minutes, you have a dish of cooked asparagus, topped with shredded Parmesan. It is also a perfect low-carb option for you.
It is a savory side dish for a potluck with turnip greens cooked with seasoned chicken broth.
Use a pressure cooker to speed up the time, so in just less than 30 minutes, you have a nice dish to fit with other heavy meals in your potluck party.
Another ingredient for this dish is ham hocks, so make sure you debone it before putting it in a pressure cooker.
Medium To High-Carb Potluck Side Treats To Fulfil Your Craving
If you feel your stomach is still empty, let’s fuel them up with 17 dishes to increase your energy for the long run.
Here is another must-have side dish for all kinds of picnics, parties, and people of all ages. This recipe will make your party more fun with various fruits, marshmallows, and shredded coconut. Your kids would absolutely love it.
Ambrosia salad is coated with whipped and sour cream, so its refreshing flavor is suitable for any summer party.
9. Potato Salad
It is one of my favorite side dishes for any party, not only a potluck. To make sure your potato salad is distinctive yet yummy, choose proper potato because not all kinds of potatoes fit well with salad making.
White potatoes are ideal for this dish. To increase the flavor of bland potatoes, add white vinegar to warm potatoes. You can use mayonnaise sauce or Miracle Whip to dress your salad. Don’t forget to serve them with eggs and onions, pickles or any vegetable that you like.
Pasta also goes along with any potluck side dish though it is high in carbs (about 40 grams per cup serving)
Pasta salad has various versions. It depends on what other ingredients that you add to your dish. Let’s begin with pasta, broccoli, and grapes. Vegetables, fruit, and starchy foods in one bowl. Fascinating, right?
Cooked broccoli, pasta, and grapes are covered in a mayonnaise dressing and topped with bacon and pecans. Although it does not take too much time to prepare and cook, let it chill for around 2 to 3 hours before serving.
For eager beavers who do not have so much time preparing a side dish for an upcoming potluck, do not worry; let me take care of helping you have a simple and quick dish.
Here is another dish that only takes 5 to 10 minutes to prepare. Chopped avocado and fresh cilantro, all are wrapped in egg roll wrap paper. You can use an air fryer or put them into a hot oil pan to cook.
The recipe could not get easier, am I right?
Just spend your 20 minutes on this dish. I know mac and cheese are very popular with some of you. So let’s try another style of it, the southern style.
The thick and creamy sauce of milk, butter, flour, and lemon juice coats your pasta, then top them with cheese and golden brown bread cubes. I bet not only adults but also children cannot get enough of it.
There are many varieties of pasta. And for this dish, I will introduce penne pasta with vegetables, particularly green beans and tomatoes.
Cook pasta in approximately 10 minutes, toss the pasta and the mentioned vegetables with vinaigrette. Let them chill in the fridge, up to 20 hours if you want.
Let’s change the tone of potluck side dishes by a little grilled ingredient inside the dish. With similar components in the above dishes, bacon, avocado, and cheese will be used to make a tasteful grilled side dish.
Three simple ingredients will be served with toasted and crunchy sandwiches which make your grilled cheese sandwich different.
Fried wonton is shaped like a small cup with mashed potato inside is also a fast way to have a last-minute side dish, in case you are too busy at work.
Only two main components, avocado with wonton wrappers, and use your artistic personality to form wrappers into cute small cups. You can mix them with fruit, like mango.
And if you cannot find wonton wrappers in the supermarkets, check your nearest Asian stores; they might have it.
As for myself, a huge lover of berries, I cannot help but sharing the berry salad recipe with you.
You can add any fruits you like into the dish, but I can give you some examples that fit well with berries, such as orange, pineapple, kiwi, or melon. Tossing them with honey, lime/orange juice, then you have a bowl of vitamins.
This salad is easy to prepare and easy to eat, offering you a fresh feeling.
It is definitely a healthy side dish with many nutritions. As the dish’s name suggests, it is a tangy and delicious dish.
Not-too-complicated preparation but it requires 1 hour to bake, so make sure it is cooked in proper heat to avoid burning it.
But if one kind of bean is too boring, you can try as many kinds of beans as you desire.
Now, let’s add some seafood to your side dish with Classic Shrimp Macaroni Salad.
Similar to other complements containing pasta, the ingredients for this dish are cooked pasta (the pasta in this recipe is shell-shaped pasta but you can use other pasta), mayonnaise, eggs, some herbs, and of course, shrimp, then mix them together as the recipe.
Besides, you can add pickle or lemon juice to coat the mixing texture if desired.
A simple yet delicious side dish that you can make for any potluck. With key ingredients are potatoes, egg, and flour, everyone can do it at home and serve as a snack or a meal; both are fine.
You can taste two different tones in this dish: crunchy outside and tender inside. So let’s surprise your friends with it.
Let add some sour taste to your side dish, making you crave for more. The sweetness of the mushroom combined with the light sour of lemon juice balances the heavy carb in Orzo.
The total time for a complete meal is less than 30 minutes, so why don’t you roll your sleeves up, put your apron up, and make it for your potluck party with lemon mushroom Orzo.
22. Vegan Nachos
It is a 100% plant-based side dish, so it is the right dish for your potluck menu if you are not a meat lover.
Vegan nachos only take around 30 to 40 minutes to make. However, it contains many ingredients to create flawless nachos. It is usually served with sauce.
Mixing your vegetables with noodles and a homemade dressing makes your side dish not only tasteful but also healthy. Seafood like shrimp also pairs well with this dish.
Varied and harmonious colors of carrot, onion, cucumber with other herbs also make your stomach growling. You only have to boil the noodles in the water, cut these vegetables, and make the dressing, so quick preparation and easy-to-find ingredients, why still hesitate to do it.
If you are Asian, or your friends are Asian, here is an easy noodle salad for your next potluck.
Similar to spring roll noodle salad, yet this dish contains more vegetables. You can choose any kind of noodle, for example, rice noodle or linguini. Mix cooked noodles with vegetables and a unique homemade dressing, now you have a bowl of colorful and yummy noodle salad.
It is also a good vegetarian choice. You might add tofu to increase the protein for this side dish.
Have you ever tried chips or fries made from sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes? Here is a little snack/side dish that everyone would love.
However, you should pay attention to the heat to make your chips crisp but not burned. Besides, the soul of this dish is the dipping sauce. So just try this recipe to have a perfect combo for a simple side dish.
Time-Consuming Yet Worth-It Potluck Side Dishes
The below 15 potluck side dishes require at least 1 hour to cook. And it seems like potatoes or sweet potatoes are commonly used for potluck side dishes. So I offer you two choices of side dishes with potato and without potato, in case you feel like you have had enough.
Now it is your showtime to blow someone’s mind with your inner-chef skills.
Delightful Side Dishes With Potato
Indeed, potatoes are such a perfect ingredient for any potluck side dish recipe. They are affordable and healthy as well.
Here is another baking dish that requires a certain time to prepare, but you will think it is worth your effort when you see how your friends or family enjoy them.
So what makes loaded baked potato casserole so delicious? The dish contains potato, broccoli, asparagus, peas, and cheese, offering you not only tangy and creamy flavors but also a healthy side dish that kids and adults would love.
Cheese, potato, and bacon seem common ingredients to make side dishes for potluck parties. How about the combination of them?
Besides the mentioned ingredients, all you have to prepare are milk, butter, other vegetables like mushrooms, celery, green onions, a salad dressing that you can buy in any supermarket, and an oven to bake, of course.
It might take at least 30 minutes to fully cook with a nice golden color on the top. Now you got a stuffing dish to surprise your friends or your family members.
28. Au Gratin Potato
It might be a quite heavy side dish for your potluck, however, you cannot resist the cheesy top with heavy cream flavor. Be sure to regulate the appropriate heat to avoid the burned surface of the dish.
You can add other components with vegetables, making this recipe more special and unique.
The mixture of carrots and sweet potatoes creates an eye-catching orange color. Besides, the slight sweetness and subtleness of the mixture and the bold taste of garlic go along with crunchy toasted bread crumbs makes your side dish more distinctive among other potluck side dishes.
It takes more than 1 hour to cook. So if you bring this dish to a party, I am sure your friends will appreciate your effort, let alone how delicious they are.
It is not only a potluck side dish but also any meal in one day. Mashed potato cake is the combination of flavors that makes your hunger gone.
Also, make sure both sides of your cake are fully cooked with golden brown colors. It is better to serve hot and along with the sauce.
How about adding some fruits to your side dish? If your favorite ones are orange and pineapple, here, a twist of flavor is coming up to you.
The three main ingredients are mashed sweet potatoes, orange juice, and chopped pineapple combined with sugar, sour cream, butter, and vanilla to bust the flavor in your mouth. The combination sounds so delightful, doesn’t it?
Let’s try it for your next potluck. I guarantee you would blow your friends’ minds.
And, Without-Potato Recipes But Still Satisfying
Not a fan of potatoes, no problem. Let me help you with the 9 treats below.
With this dish, I will add some meaty ingredients like bacon, canned pork, and Italian sausage, besides canned baked beans and other vegetables such as onions and bell pepper.
It is very easy to cook as well. Combine the beans with meat, veggies, chicken stock, and water in a pot, then simmer them for 1 hour. Add other seasoning and cook for another 4 hours until you see the sauce gets thicker.
The light sweetness of the sauce highlights the blandness of the beans. Try it; you will wish you knew this recipe sooner.
It takes at least 5 hours to cook in the slow-cooker, but don’t worry, all you have to prepare before is mixing beans into the mixture of coffee and brown mustard. Then let the slow-cooker do all the work.
If you have freezer beans, you can defrost them by heating them with a covered saucepan before cooking.
Here is another option for vegan fans.
Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot are added to create a more remarkable taste compared to the basic mac and cheese. If you like spicy, sprinkle paprika on the top, then bake it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Also, after finishing cooking, you can see the color of green vegetables makes this veggie macaroni and cheese have a better color mix than the usual mac and cheese dish, making you crave for more.
Corn is also a favorite ingredient to make the perfect side dish for a potluck. And if you do not have too many ingredients yet you have time, let me introduce you to this dish.
All you have to buy is corn, cheese, butter, and milk, things that you can easily find in your kitchen. Combine all of them together and put in a slow-cooker and let it do all the cooking for 3 to 4 hours. Voila! Now you have a creamy and cheesy slow-cooked corn dish.
Are you bored with potatoes and avocado? Then squash is also an excellent choice. Squash casserole in Southern-style and its creamy sauce, including cheese, eggs, and mayonnaise can fill your belly even though it is also a side dish for your potluck party.
It can be served as a vegetarian dish or a non-vegetarian dish with other meats like chicken. Old-school squash casserole also takes around 1 hour to prepare and cook. And do not forget to make sure your squash dish is not too watery.
37. Sausage Bread Dressing
Sick of dishes full of creamy sauce like mayonnaise? Try this sausage bread dressing.
Small heated pieces of sausage, cubed bread, and other vegetables combine with broth and pecan to create a stuffing texture, then bake them in a large bowl for at least 30 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Now you have a must-have side dish for the potluck.
Also, you can keep this dressing for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
38. Creamy Parmesan Spinach Bake
Here, I would like to present my favorite pair: Parmesan cheese and spinach. You might not be a fan of spinach, but trust me, this dish is worth a try.
Creamy Parmesan spinach bake is also fit with any holiday, not only a potluck party. However, the dish might be quite fattening to some of you, so consider the volume of some cream ingredients before cooking it.
If you are a grain fan, you have to check this dish.
Grits paired with turnip greens and special sauce create a creamy and unique potluck side dish.
However, it takes longer than 1 hour to prepare and cook as the recipe is quite complicated but I am sure that your family, friends, or everyone will be impressed when you bring this dish to a potluck party.
Classic cornbread is too familiar to everyone? How about upgrading them with a new recipe? Let’s see what I got here.
But first, why is it called Ben Mim’s perfect cornbread? Well, Ben Mim is the Los Angeles Times’s cooking columnist. He created a new way to have cornbread that does not need any sugar.
With Ben Mim’s Perfect Cornbread, your friend will be overwhelmed by the thick crust around its edges that every cornbread must have, yet this one is way better.
Impress Others By These Potluck Side Dishes
Nothing is impossible if you truly desire it. So do not limit your inner self. Maybe you are a true chef who has not realized it yet. Start with easy to more challenging side dishes for your next potlucks, and amaze your friends and family.
If you find my list of the best potluck side dishes interesting, do not hesitate to share your experience after trying them at home. And if impossible, suggest to me your awesome recipes for other potluck side dishes. Thank you for reading.