Potluck Ideas: Main Dishes

Main dishes that you can bring to any potluck occasion.

A potluck is a gathering where the majority of people who attend bring a food dish to share. Many gatherings and celebrations can have a potluck theme including; Holiday parties, baby showers, housewarming parties and reunions. Having a potluck event makes party planning less difficult and is less expensive than having one person make all of the food for a gathering.

There are many foods that you can bring to a potluck celebration. You can bring appetizers, deserts, side dishes and main courses. Ideas for main courses include:


There are many types of sandwiches that can be brought to a potluck. Most sandwiches are easy to make and do not take a lot of ingredients. If you make more than one type of sandwich, you have a better chance to please everyone at the party. Sandwiches that are great for a potluck include:

  • Finger Sandwiches are easy to make and there are many options for the filling. You can purchase finger rolls and everything else you need at the grocery store. Filling options include; egg salad, tuna, chicken salad, ham, and for the kids who don’t like any of the others, peanut butter and jelly is also an option.
  • Subs can be made and cut into single serving pieces. You can stick to one variety or make a few different types. Options for sub types include; Italians, meat and cheese, BLTs and steak grinders.
  • The easiest way to do sandwiches for a potluck is to have a meat and cheese platter. Breads, vegetables and condiments should be separate from the meat platter, but in a location close to the meats and cheeses. If you have this set up, everyone can make their own sandwiches. 

Crockpot Meals

Crockpot meals are easy to make. Usually you put the ingredients into the pot, turn it on and then you don’t have to do a lot to it. You also don’t have to worry about what you will put your food in to bring it to the dinner because it can stay in the pot. There are many great crockpot meals for a potluck celebration. These meals include:

  • Chili is a popular dish served at many potluck feasts. You can use a homemade recipe or you can purchase a bunch of it at the grocery store. 
  • Baked beans are a great main dish for family gatherings. You can purchase these from the store or you can make your own. Cut up hot dogs or ham can be added to baked beans to make the dish more filling. 
  • Beef stew is another great crockpot meal. This can also be bought at the store, but homemade foods usually taste better. 
  • Barbecue kielbasa and mini hot dogs, or sausages, make a great dish. Just add sliced kielbasa and mini dogs to a crockpot filled with your favorite barbecue sauce.
  • Meatballs are another great idea. You can make barbecue, or sweet and sour meatballs. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing already made meatballs and the type of sauce you want. You can also use a homemade recipe for both. 
  • Beef tips and gravy is another good choice. All you have to do is add the gravy to the crockpot and throw in the beef tips and let it cook.

Other Main Dishes

There are many other types of foods that can be used as main dishes for a potluck function. You can make the foods yourself or you can buy them pre-made. Other main dish ideas include:

  • Pizza
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Pot pie
  • Fried or baked chicken
  • Pot roast
  • Burgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Ribs
  • Steaks

Potlucks feasts are a great way for families and friends to get together. Everyone brings their own dish to share with others. It is a good idea to coordinate with others so you don’t all bring the same dish. Sandwiches and crockpot meals are easy foods to make for a potluck celebration.

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Published in: Cooking


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