12/20/2013 10:35 EST | Updated 12/18/2017 11:26 EST

Easy Potluck Ideas: 18 Great Dishes To Bring To Any Potluck

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Is there much that is sadder than bringing home a dish from a potluck when it's still three-quarters full? The guests didn't want it, and the host passed on the chance for your leftovers.

Potluck dinners are a great way to share the load of cooking for a large group, and also a fun chance to try the favourite recipes of your family, friends, and coworkers. But they can be stressful when you don't know what to make.

That's why we've rounded up 19 great recipes, covering everything from appetizers to desserts, to consider for your next potluck. Make one of these and all you'll be going home with next time is an empty dish and plenty of compliments.

Fantastic Potluck Recipes

1. Smoked Meatloaf: Alton Brown's meatloaf is sure to be a winner, and has a shorter cooking time than some other recipes, so you can make it on short notice.

Learn how to create this at the Food Network.

2. Bacon Jalapeno Poppers: How can you improve on the already amazing combination of spicy jalapeno and creamy cheese? Wrap it in bacon! That's how.

Learn how to create these at

3. Chicken Garlic Bites: The only problem with these bite-sized bits of chicken is that some people might be tempted to eat more than their fair share.

Learn how to create them at

4. Six-Layer Dip: It's not a potluck without a six-layer dip, and that's because six-layer dip is awesome. No one can refuse this ultimate nacho dip topper.

Learn how to create this at

5. Cake Pops: Here's a fun way to contribute a dessert. This recipe is gluten free, but it could easily be adapted with standard muffins or cupcakes.

Learn how to create this at Udi's Gluten-Free.

6. Moroccan Cauliflower Salad: Cauliflower is an underrated veggie, and this recipe will help you earn it some new fans.

Learn how to create this at

7. Roasted-Garlic Bread: Garlic bread is good, but garlic bread made with fancy French or Italian bread and roasted garlic will have you fielding requests for the recipe.

Learn how to create this at Martha Stewart.

8. Leek Tart: This savoury tart will appeal to onion fans, but the use of the more delicately flavoured leeks instead will also win over people who find the bulb a bit too overpowering.

Learn how to create this at Martha Stewart.

9. Chicken Casserole: Casseroles are a perfect choice for a potluck because they're hearty, easy to make in large quantities, and hard to screw up.

Learn how to create this at Taste of Home.

10. Peanut Butter And Brownie Trifle: There are endless variations of trifle out there, but this one with brownies and peanut butter looks pretty good to us.

Learn how to create this at Taste of Home.

11. Cheese Balls: You might say that cheese balls at a potluck are cliche, but we think they're classic. There's a reason they keep showing up: they're delicious, and they're endlessly versatile.

Learn how to create these at

12. Baked Brie With Cranberry: Baked brie is the cheese ball for fancy ladies, but it's easy to make relative to its delicious payoff. The addition of cranberries makes it just that little bit more festive.

Learn how to create this at Canadian Living.

13. Avocado Fries: Everyone will be too busy gobbling these treats down to listen to you tell them all about how avocados are a great source of healthy fats.

Learn how to create them at Adventures In Cooking.

14. Inside-Out Caramel Apples: Caramel apples look beautiful, but are kind of a pain to eat. This version is much easier to handle at a party, but still delivers that hit of childhood nostalgia.

Learn how to create these at Domestic Fits.

15. Happy Bread: Who wouldn't be happy to find this on the potluck table? Plus, you'll look impressive for baking it from scratch.

Learn how to create this at Foodival Kitchen.

16. Stuffed Mushrooms: All it takes to elevate the humble button mushroom is a little bit of bacon.

Learn how to create this at Mountain Mama Cooks.

17. Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups: This is a clever way to serve lasagne, and one suited to a self-serve meal where it doesn't need to be the only entree option.

Learn how to create this at

18. Cookie Dough Dip: Potlucks are an excellent excuse to make a meal out of a bunch of different kinds of dip. This recipe means you can extend that theme right into dessert.

Learn how to create this at Chocolate Covered Katie.

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