The Best Picnic and Potluck Recipes are easy to make, use minimal ingredients, and will easily feed a crowd of hungry people! They are easy to transport and are always a favorite wherever they go.
From deliciously sweet broccoli cauliflower salad, to an easy deviled egg macaroni salad, there is something on this list that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH TO BRING TO A POTLUCK?
When I’m planning potluck recipes for a crowd I usually try to choose cold potluck dishes. They are easy to keep cold in the car and can usually sit out for a while before you have to start worrying about them going bad.
Ingredients like cooked bacon, cheese, vegetables, and pasta make for an easy dish to prep, and an easy dish to transport. You really can’t go wrong if a dish has bacon, cheese and pasta in it!
When you are planning out what dishes to share start by thinking about what you’ve eaten at picnics and potlucks in the past. Does anything stand out to you personally?
In my opinion the best picnic and potlucks recipes are ones that have minimal ingredients and minimal prep time. I’m all about saving time in the kitchen.
WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT BRING TO A POTLUCK?
When choosing a recipe I usually steer clear of hot recipes. They are way too hard to keep hot when driving and chances are you won’t be able to re-heat in an oven at your gathering.
While crock pot recipes are amazing, I wouldn’t recommend them for your next potluck. If your dish were to get too cold would it still taste the same? Would it still wow everyone when you served it?
If the answer is no, it wouldn’t be as good “warm” then opt for something cold instead.
POTLUCK DISHES THAT TRAVEL WELL
- Creamy Cucumber Salad recipes are easy to make and very easy to transport.
- A good Southern Macaroni Salad will definitely wow your friends and family.
- An Easy Pea Salad requires no hard work… Basically just dump and go with easy ingredients.
- Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad is always a favorite with the kids.
- Last but not least… if you want to be a Potluck Superstar then make the Chicken Bacon Ranch Layered Salad! People will remember that one for years to come.
LAST MINUTE POTLUCK IDEAS
When you need an easy side dish for a party last minute it’s okay to streamline the process. I give you permission to buy chopped, pre-shredded, easy ingredients when you can.
There is no reason to stress over the dish you want to take. Here are a few simple suggestions that can help speed up the process a little bit:
- Buy pre-shredded cheese when possible. You can also get little mozzarella pearls in the specialty cheese section so you don’t waste time trying to cut up little pieces yourself.
- Bagged lettuce is the way to go! Don’t worry about cutting the lettuce yourself – nobody will know it was a bagged mix.
- You can get canned olives that are already pre-sliced. Just drain, dump and go!
- Buy pre-washed and cut broccoli and cauliflower and save yourself a bunch of washing and cutting.
- Boil your macaroni noodles a day in advance. All you need to do is drain them, add a bit of olive oil and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until you are ready to make your to-go dish.
Hungry Yet? Check out our list of BEST PICNIC AND POTLUCK RECIPES BELOW:
1. Doritos Taco Salad
From Spend with Pennies :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Doritos Taco Salad is a delicious salad we’ve been serving at potlucks for as long as I can remember! Seasoned ground beef, fresh lettuce, pinto beans, veggies and of course Doritos all sauced up with a zingy dressing make this an exciting change to your daily menu!
2. California Pasta Salad
From Culinary Hill :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This delicious and colorful California Pasta Salad is always a hit at parties! Make it a day ahead if you want; the flavors only get better as it sits!
3. Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
From Butter Your Biscuit :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Not all macaroni salads are the same, there are so many different varieties. This one is simple, inexpensive and uses easy ingredients
4. Buffalo Chicken Taco Salad
From Peas and Crayons :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This tasty buffalo chicken taco salad is a fun twist on the classic!
5. CREAMY ITALIAN CUCUMBER SALAD
From THE SALTY MARSHMALLOW :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Creamy Italian Cucumber Salad is the best and made easy with thinly sliced cucumbers and red onions! You’ll love the tangy, creamy dressing!
6. Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
From The Novice Chef :: Click HERE for the RECIPE A quick, easy & creamy pasta salad with cheddar cheese, bacon, peas & ranch seasoning all tossed together for a great potluck dish!
7. SOUTHERN MACARONI SALAD
From SAVING ROOM FOR DESSERT :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Try this classic Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe loaded with fresh crunchy celery, crisp red onion, tender sweet peas and cubes of sharp cheddar cheese wrapped up in a tangy homemade dressing.
8. Jalapeno Popper Pasta Salad
From Spicy Southern Kitchen :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Jalapeno Popper Pasta Salad is perfect for any picnic, potluck, or bbq. It has all that awesome flavor of a Jalapeno Popper!
9. Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad
From Mostly Homemade Mom :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad features tri colored rotini pasta with pepperoni, mozzarella, cheddar, and tomatoes in a Parmesan vinaigrette.
10. ITALIAN TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD
From CARLSBAD CRAVINGS :: Click HERE for the RECIPE Italian Pasta Salad bursting with your favorite Italian fixings and on your table in 25 minutes! This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is is made 1000X better with cheesy, pillowy tortellini and homemade Italian Dressing! It’s a quick chop and throw together recipe that can be made ahead of time for the perfect stress-free side for all your potlucks and parties!
11. CLASSIC POTATO SALAD RECIPE
From DEAR CRISSY :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This creamy classic potato salad is easy and delicious. Whip some up for your family cookout!
12. Deliciously Sweet Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
From Easy Peasy Pleasy :: Click HERE for the RECIPE You guys are gonna love it. It’s a little sweet and a little salty from the bacon and it is oh so good.
13. Loaded Italian Pasta Salad
From The Best Blog Recipes :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This Loaded Italian Pasta Salad from The Best Blog Recipes is a classic pasta salad that so incredibly easy to make. Loaded with fresh vegetables, cheese, pepperoni, salami, and Barilla Gluten Free Penne Pasta — this is a dish that is perfect for your next potluck, picnic, or anytime you need a hearty salad for a crowd!
14. SEAFOOD SALAD
From DINNER AT THE ZOO :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This seafood salad is a blend of imitation crab and shrimp in a creamy dill dressing with fresh vegetables. An easy high protein lunch option that takes just minutes to make!
15. Chicken Bacon Ranch Layer Salad
From Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This stunning layered chicken bacon ranch salad is a riff on a classic 7 layer salad. It features layers of green leaf lettuce, peppers, corn, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, roast chicken and crumbled bacon. All dressed in a creamy homemade salad dressing.
16. Creamy Cheddar and Dill Macaroni Salad
From Life Made Simple :: Click HERE for the RECIPE You know the kind of macaroni salad you get at a good deli? Yep, this is exactly like that. And it’s crazy easy to make!
17. Creamy Pea Salad
From I WASH YOU DRY :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This Creamy Pea Salad Recipe is filled with sweet peas, crispy bacon and cheese in a creamy sauce.
18. BEST SWEET COLESLAW RECIPE
From DEAR CRISSY :: Click HERE for the RECIPE This sweet and flavorful coleslaw will knock your socks off!
Hope you enjoyed the Best Picnic and Potluck Recipes! Before you go, here are a few more delicious recipes you might enjoy today!
- ORZO PASTA RECIPES
- BEST FRUIT SALAD RECIPES
- JALAPENO POPPER RECIPES
- BEST CHEESECAKE SALAD RECIPES
- QUICK & EASY WAYS TO MAKE LITTLE SMOKIES
- LOADED ITALIAN PASTA
- BEST APPETIZER RECIPES
- AMAZING CHICKEN DINNER RECIPES
- THE BEST COPYCAT RECIPES
- THE BEST FRUIT DIP RECIPES
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Meet Shauna, Owner and Founder of The Best Blog Recipes! (and her adult daughter Bailey)
A Type A organizer, Shauna is at her happiest when she gets a new box of highlighters and gets to cross things off of her to do list.
Shauna lives just outside Salt Lake City with her husband Joe and sons Joey, 8, and Wylie, 6.
Shauna not only loves to cook food, but loves to eat it too! She is a firm believer in using easy ingredients to create delicious recipes that her family and friends can easily re-create at home.