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Easy Potluck Ideas (30 minutes or less)

Looking to create a new signature dish to bring to your next potluck? Maybe one of these quick and easy potluck ideas will fit the bill.

Many of us need a few good recipes in our back pocket to contribute to holiday events or family and friends dinners.

a fall flower gourd and leaf arrangement in a large flat decorator dish outdoors in front of a Japanese dwarf maple tree

Of course it’s perfectly fine to bring your tried and true signature dish. But if you’re looking to change it up a bit this year, the recipes below take 30 minutes or less to make, can be made ahead and are easily transported. All but two are vegetarian.

So go ahead, pick one and and surprise everyone!

Potluck Appetizers

Dukkah Recipe

Easy and popular. Dunk bread in olive oil, then in seed-nut-seasoning mixture, then eat. Repeat.

Dukkah (a Unique Appetizer in 10 Minutes)

Ground nuts, seeds and spices make an incredible earthy, flavorful appetizer 'dip' served with bread and olive oil. Your guests will love this delicious Dukkah recipe.
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Cocktail Chicken Meatballs

Only 22 minutes to make, easy to warm up in the microwave or oven and very tasty.

Chicken Meatball Recipe (sticky, sweet & spicy)

Baked Chicken Meatballs on rice on plate
This tender, sticky, sweet, spicy saucy chicken meatball recipe is a perfect appetizer or easy weeknight meal over fluffy rice. Impressive, but so quick and easy.
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Mini Caprese Appetizers

Light and simple.  A couple of shortcuts make these little apps even easier.

Caprese Appetizers (on mini skewers)

mini caprese appetizers on toothpicks on wood board
We amp up the flavor of these adorable and tasty mini caprese appetizers with a marinade and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
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Easy Shrimp With Gremolata Dressing

Fresh, zesty and bursting with flavor, this app is a nice change from the classic shrimp cocktail. Low cal, make ahead, delish.

Roasted Shrimp with Gremolata Dressing

Toss plump roasted shrimp with a zesty Gremolata dressing of fresh parsley, lemon, garlic and olive oil for a delicious simple light dish. In less than 20 minutes, you can have an elegant dinner on the table or an impressive appetizer for your guests.  
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Endive Appetizers With Ricotta and Gems

Light and easy little gems. Check out the many variations for toppings.

Endive Appetizers With Ricotta and Gems

endives with goat cheese and garnish on plate
These Endive Appetizers with ricotta and "gems" are super light and easy to make. Beautiful contrasting colors, textures and flavors. And the variations are endless.
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Melted Olive Cheese Appetizers

The blend of salty tangy olives with the cheddar, onions and curry works really well.   Even non-olive lovers love these apps. You can bake them before transporting, then warm them in a 350F oven for a few minutes.

Melted Olive Cheese Appetizers Recipe

Melted Olive Cheese Appetizers are fabulous, quick and easy to make and are a consistently “can I have the recipe?” recipe. Freezes well.
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Cheese Twist Appetizers

Flaky, melt in your mouth. Great on their own or to use as dippers.

Easy Puff Pastry Cheese Twists

Puff pastry cheese twists are a perfect appetizer for your next get-together. Flaky, cheesy, buttery, crispy and make ahead. Very popular!
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Potluck Side Dishes

 Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

Soft and warm and cheesy.  They may not be an exact clone of the Red Lobster biscuits, but pretty close. And they only take 20 minutes from start to finish.

Cheddar Biscuits With Bisquick

plate of cheddar biscuits
I am not a huge Red Lobster fan, but I do love these copycat cheddar biscuits with bisquick. Soft and warm and cheesy with a hint of garlic. Delish!
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Maple Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

This dish is amazing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or any holiday event. Delish!

Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

The combination of pure maple syrup, fresh lime and toasted pecans elevate these glazed sweet potatoes to a wickedly good side dish.
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Grilled Coleslaw (no mayo)

This is way better than your run of the mill coleslaw. It’s pretty, delicious and the vinaigrette and sesame seeds add great flavors.

Grilled Purple Cabbage Slaw (Bold & Beautiful)

grilled purple cabbage slaw on white plate.
Purple cabbage slaw is transformed on the grill into our version of a super flavorful, no mayo coleslaw. The vibrant colors of the red cabbage, julienne carrots, green onion  and sesame seeds make a stunning vegetarian side dish.
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Beet and Orange Salad

If you buy roasted beets, available in most supermarkets, this recipe takes about 15 minutes to pull together. Pretty and tasty.

Beetroot Salad With Oranges

beetroot salad with citrus fruit and goat cheese on white plate
Beetroot salad with oranges is a quick and easy recipe and looks beautiful on the table. Fresh, vibrant and tasty. I make the salad with earthy beets, sweet oranges and an orange vinaigrette drizzle, then pretty it up with tangy goat cheese, nuts and pea sprouts.
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Herb Potato Salad

This potato salad only takes 20 minutes to make but needs some time to blend the flavors. By the time you get to your potluck and serve it, it will be good to go.

Herbed Potato Salad (no eggs, no mayo)

bowl of herbed potato salad in garden
Herbed potato salad is a delicious side dish that's quick and easy to make and bursting with lemon, garlic and fresh herb flavors.
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 Pesto Orzo and Vegetables

Super popular and healthy. A great accompaniment to fish or chicken or any vegetarian dish.

Healthy Pesto Pasta With Vegetables

pesto pasta with veggies in bowl with tomatoes beside it
Pesto pasta with vegetables is a simple, healthy side or main dish made with pasta, pesto, spinach, green beans and tomatoes. Packed with flavor and ready in 20 minutes.
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Easy Creamed Spinach

As long as you have access to a microwave or stovetop for warming at your host’s home, creamed spinach is an easy side dish for potlucks.

Best Healthy Creamed Spinach

creamed spinach in bowl 4
Healthy creamed spinach, laced with onion and garlic, is one of the yummiest comfort side dishes ever. Keep it light or make it rich. It's up to you.
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Grilled Sweet Potato Recipe

This dish is just as good served at room temperature as hot, making it a great potluck option.

BBQ Sweet Potatoes and Apples

grilled sweet potatoes, apples and onions on plate
BBQ sweet potatoes with apples, scallions and honey-lime glaze is a delicious, vibrant, healthy side, ready in 20 minutes. A shortcut makes them quick and easy. 
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Vegetable Quinoa Stuffing

This is a great alternative to traditional stuffing. Vegetarian, healthy, ready in 30 minutes and easy to warm up in a microwave.

Vegetable Stuffing with Quinoa

quinoa stuffing in serving dish
You won't miss the bread in this delicious, super healthy, Vegetable Stuffing with quinoa.  It's a great alternative to a traditional stuffing, dressing or any side dish. And takes only 30 minutes to make.
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Cranberry Orange Relish

A refreshing and zesty change from cooked cranberry sauce. And yes, it only takes five minutes to make.

Cranberry Orange Relish Recipe (5 minutes)

This sweet and tangy cranberry orange relish recipe is fast and easy with only 3 ingredients. A perfect accompaniment for turkey, chicken or pork.  No cooking needed.
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Potluck Desserts


Berry Crumble

End a big holiday or party meal with this no bake berry crumble. Just fresh berries with a nutty date-y topping. And maybe a dab of whipped cream or ice cream 🙂

Berry Crumble (No Bake, 10 Minutes)

berries with nut mixture topped with whipped cream on plate.
If you're looking to serve something healthy and light and a few notches above plain berries, this no-bake Berry Crumble is the ticket. Fresh berries topped with a rich nut-date mixture (and whipped cream if you like) – ready in 10 minutes.
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Tropical Fruit Salad

Luscious. Silky. Refreshing.

Easy Tropical Fruit Salad (4 ingredients)

bowl of tropical fruit salad with fresh orange juice.
Make this vibrant tropical fruit salad as a gorgeous, refreshing ending to a meal or as an appetizer served in mini cups. Just 15 minutes prep time.
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Crispy Buttery Lace Cookies

Delicate cookies in just over 20 minutes that taste amazing? Yes!

Oatmeal Lace Cookies With Almonds (No Mixer Needed)

oatmeal lace cookies on baking sheet.
A timeless classic, these delicate oatmeal lace cookies with almonds are the perfect balance of buttery, sweet, and crispy. Ready in under 30 minutes, they are perfect for tea, a shower, or a gift.
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Cinnamon Puff Pastry Rolls

Like mini flaky cinnamon rolls without the fuss.

Mini Cinnamon Puff Pastry Rolls

Pop one of these mini cinnamon puff pastry rolls into your mouth for a buttery, flaky, sweet, cinnamon-y explosion. Easy, quick and yummy.
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Lime Glazed Easy Shortbread

We all know that shortbread cookies on their own are mouth watering. Add lime glaze and zest to take them to a new level.

Lime-Glazed Easy Shortbread Cookies

lime glazed shortbread cookies on a plate
It's hard to believe these buttery, zesty melt-in-your-mouth Lime-Glazed Easy Shortbread Cookies are made in 30 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Perfect for a tea, shower, potluck, or holiday cookie-exchange. And the perfect gift.
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3 Minute Creamy Chocolate Fudge

It doesn’t get much easier than this to satisfy your after dinner chocolate craving.

Easy Fudge Recipe (3 minutes in microwave)

stacked squares of chocolate fudge with pecans on wooden tray.
How do you make an easy fudge recipe? We're talking chocolate fudge that's creamy, melt-in-your mouth, no-fail with 3 ingredients, 3 steps, 3 minutes and no candy thermometer. The answer is a microwave and sweetened condensed milk. This method avoids several fudge making pitfalls.
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Finally, a few tips on how to keep foods warm that might come in handy for your potluck recipes.

Easy Potluck Recipes has been updated. 

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