9 Budget Friendly Potluck Meal Ideas

Potlucks are great for getting together with friends and family without one person having to do all the cooking and footing the bill for the entire meal. They also give everyone the chance to sample an interesting selection of dishes that they may not have tried before.

But, when you’re busy with life, it can be difficult to figure out what you should cook that’s not too difficult and sure to please most people who are coming along to the gathering. Don’t worry, we have you covered with these 9 easy and budget-friendly potluck meal ideas.

1. Ham And Cheese Sliders Or Croissants

For this easy recipe, you’ll need some fresh dinner rolls, but croissants work as well, some lovely sliced ham, slices of Swiss cheese, and some mayonnaise.

All you have to is spread the mayo on the rolls, both top, and bottom, layer with ham and cheese, and then make a delicious sauce using butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and poppy seeds.

Place the sliders in a baking dish and pour over the sauce evenly. Let the sauce soak in for around 10 minutes and then cover the pan with foil and bake the sliders for around 10 to 15 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for a further 2 minutes to brown the top of the rolls.

2. Crispy Chicken Salad

Everyone loves a nice chicken salad and it’s so easy to make because you can add whatever you have on hand. Just start by throwing some shredded chicken into a large bowl. Add some quartered hard-boiled eggs, some sliced red onion, some cherry tomatoes, and anything else you have on hand.

For the dressing, use mayonnaise and seeded mustard to give it a bit of a zing. You can sweeten the salad by adding diced fruits such as apples and grapes or give it a more savory taste by throwing in a few chopped nuts. Nothing could be easier.

3. Tasty Enchiladas

This is one dish that you can make with whatever you have on hand. All you need is some tortillas, shredded cheese, any leftover cooked meat you might have, like shredded chicken, and a few cherry tomatoes. You can add other vegetables that you might have on hand such as spring onions, shredded carrot or cucumber, or even beans.

Lay out the tortillas, spoon the filling onto each one and roll them up. Place them into a large baking dish and top with enchilada sauce and some extra shredded cheese. Pop them in the oven until the cheese has melted. To make them easier to serve, cut each tortilla in half in the baking dish.

4. Crunchy Taco Pasta Salad

While we’re on the Mexican theme, why not try this delicious taco pasta salad. Once you have the basics, you can customize the pasta salad any way you want. For example, for a vegetarian option, replace the ground mince with beans. Here’s the recipe to make this delicious taco pasta salad for your next potluck.

5. Scalloped Potatoes

Who doesn’t love creamy scalloped potatoes? And, they’re so easy to make. All you have to do is thinly slice some potatoes and layer them in a baking dish with shredded cheese. Make your favorite cheese sauce and pour it over the potatoes. Sprinkle the top with more shredded cheese and bake in the oven until golden.

You can also make a vegan option by using vegan cheese and coconut cream in the cheese sauce instead of dairy products. This is also a great dish to prepare ahead as it will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

6. Deliciously Simple Tortellini Salad

This tortellini salad is so easy to make using fresh tortellini, spinach, olives, tomatoes, and Parmesan. Add some Italian dressing and you’re ready to serve.

All you have to do is cook the tortellini in some boiling water, rinse it with cold water and leave to drain and cool. Then, put it into a large bowl and add chopped-up baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, olives, and Parmesan cheese and toss to combine with the Italian dressing.

Of course, you can add other ingredients if you wish to. For example, diced cucumber, feta cheese, or sweet peppers finely chopped.

7. Potato Salad

A potluck is not complete without a big bowl of delicious potato salad. Most people will have their favorite potato salad recipe but if you’re looking for something different or need some inspiration, have a look at this version that uses hard-boiled eggs, red onion, mayo or miracle whip, and mustard to give it a bit of a zing.

8. Chocolate Brownie Trifle

Of course, no potluck is complete without a selection of yummy desserts. This chocolate brownie trifle is super easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.

Place a layer of crumbled-up chocolate brownies in the base of your trifle dish. You could also use a large glass bowl that has fairly straight sides.

Drizzle the brownies with some delicious caramel sauce. Spread whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with toffee bits. Next, add a layer of chocolate pudding.

Continue layering until you reach the top of the bowl. End with a layer of whipped cream and more toffee bits. Here’s the complete recipe for you to give this one a try.

9. Easy Fruit Skewers

If you can’t cook or don’t really want to, why not make some fruit skewers. These are a more interesting take on the popular fruit salad and can be whipped up fairly quickly with any fruit that you have handy or that you can pick up from the local market.

Larger fruits like apples, oranges, and pineapples will need to be cubed first before threading them onto the skewers. However, smaller fruits like grapes, blueberries, and strawberries can be skewered whole.

Make sure that you layer the fruit the same on each skewer so that your potluck dessert looks fantastic.

Final Thoughts

Potlucks are a great idea when you want to gather a group of friends together for a meal and some lively conversation. You’ll find that most potlucks will have a selection of main dishes, sides, and desserts, and everyone is usually allocated one of these types of dishes to bring.

There are plenty of easy, delicious, budget-friendly dishes that you can prepare for your next potluck. Just remember to keep it simple and make sure that the dish you prepare is easy to serve.

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