Potluck gatherings are extremely popular during the holiday season. This type of gathering allows everyone to experience the joy of gathering with their loved ones without any one person or family bearing the full responsibility of hosting and preparing all the food. With everyone contributing something, potlucks make it easy to get together with family and friends amid a season that’s typically filled with long to-do lists and various events.
Whether you’re hosting or attending a potluck this holiday season, you’ll find some great tips, inspiration and recipes here.
How to Host a Potluck Party
Hosting a holiday potluck party and want to ensure it runs smoothly? With just a little bit of planning and organization, your potluck will be a festive success!
- The first step is to give everyone enough notice so that you increase the chances of having most people be able to attend. Get your potluck on their calendars before other events have a chance to!
- To avoid having too many sides and not enough main dishes or three green bean casseroles and no salads, coordinate the menu items with those who will be attending. Break the menu up into four main categories: appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and desserts and ask guests to choose a group to cook for. Make sure all the groups are well represented.
- Have plenty of menu options on hand as suggestions for guests but be open to their ideas. Also give options for your guests who prefer not to cook, such as chips, soda or wine.
- Plan to have some extras in the event there’s a no-show or someone ends up not being able to make it at the last minute.
- About 1½ to 2 weeks before the potluck, reach out to your guests to remind them about the party and what they signed up to bring. If someone needs to change what they were initially bringing, this will give you plenty of time to adapt accordingly.
- While your primary role as the host is to coordinate with everyone and make sure your guests are comfortable, it’s often a good idea to cook at least one main dish, particularly one that may be inconvenient for guests to transport such as a turkey. And, if you’re so inclined, you can also make a dish from another category.
- Have plenty of extra containers on hand so you can easily send your guests home with leftovers.
Follow these tips and your potluck will be a hit!
Recipes by Meal Course
Whether you’re hosting a potluck or attending one, you’ll need some holiday potluck ideas. We’ve got you covered with a few of our favorite dishes for each meal course below, including appetizer recipes, potluck dinner recipes, sides and, of course, dessert.
- BBQ Bacon Brie – This delicious appetizer will wow guests and is quick and easy to make!
- Apple and Cheddar Gougeres – These little pastries are deceptively easy to make. Bonus: they can be made in advance and frozen, providing a convenient option during the busy holiday season.
- Fall Harvest Salad – What else can we say other than this salad is the epitome of fall. It’s a delicious, stunning salad that deserves a spot on every holiday table.
- Braised Lamb Shanks with Roasted Vegetables – An elegant, classic main holiday dish!
- Marinated Lamb & Sumac Cauliflower – Tender marinated lamb combines with roasted cauliflower, delivering a delicious, holiday-worthy entrée. Bonus: minimal preparation and only a few ingredients are required.
- English Crown Roast – This fancy roast is sure to impress a crowd and, with our foolproof rub, it’s perfect for all levels of cooks to make.
- Honey Roasted Potatoes – These scrumptious honey roasted potatoes are quite addicting – you may want to make a double batch as they’re sure to go quickly. A great side for any main dish!
- Boursin and Mushroom Stuffing – If you want to elevate the traditional stuffing dish, this is the recipe for you! Combining Black Truffle Sea Salt, candied mushrooms and Boursin cheese, this gourmet stuffing will be devoured.
- Homemade Pumpkin Bread Rolls – These eye-catching pumpkin bread rolls will bring delight to any holiday table. Whether enjoyed on their own or served with cinnamon honey butter, they’ll please the taste buds of guests of all ages.
- Salted Caramel Monkey Bread – Delicious caramel monkey bread is a sweet delight, ideal for any potluck gathering.
- Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies – Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies are fun, handheld treats that make a lovely party dessert.
- Spiced Wreath Cake – This festive cake makes a stunningly beautiful centerpiece for your potluck dessert table.
Potluck dinners are always a wonderful way to enjoy a casual gathering with friends and family and are especially great during the busy holiday season. Now that you’re equipped with some fabulous holiday potluck ideas and recipes, you can look forward to spending time and sharing delicious food with loved ones.