Top 50 Potluck Recipes
Better Three-Bean Salad
Traditional three-bean salad gets a healthy, fresh spin with the addition of black soybeans, snap peas and a tarragon-infused dressing. Find black soybeans near other canned beans; they're a sweeter, creamier relative of the green ones you're probably familiar with.
8-Layer Taco Salad
This gorgeous and colorful 8-layer taco salad recipe is made healthier by using ground turkey in place of beef, adding Greek yogurt and bumping up the amount of vegetables. Serve this salad in a clear glass bowl and you'll have an eye-catching party-worthy dinner or potluck side in just 30 minutes.
Japanese Cucumber Salad
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.
Kale Artichoke Dip
A riff on traditional spinach artichoke dip, this creamy, cheesy dip recipe is made healthier by replacing some of the cream cheese with yogurt. Serve as an easy appetizer with tortilla chips and carrot sticks.
Peach & Blueberry Cobbler
This is a healthier version of a traditional cobbler, with canola oil in place of some of the butter and whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Unlike more classic biscuit-topped cobblers, the peaches and blueberries are nestled into a tender batter that swells around the fruit as it bakes. Other fruits may be substituted. It's especially beautiful when baked in and served right from a cast-iron skillet.
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Coleslaw
This eastern North Carolina-style chicken barbecue recipe is vinegar-based, a far cry from the sweet tomato-heavy sauces from the western part of the state. Double the recipe to make a big batch, perfect for game-day parties and potlucks.
A picnic favorite, this salad combines broccoli, water chestnuts, cranberries and just a little bacon for delicious results. Our version has plenty of creaminess without all the fat. Make it once and it will become a regular on your backyard barbecue menu.
Composed Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Channel your inner food stylist while arranging the beans and vegetables for this show-stopping composed bean salad recipe. Serve at a potluck or for a beautiful salad at brunch alongside grilled chicken, scallops or fish.
Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.
White Bean Salad with Cheddar, Bacon & Walnuts
Roasted garlic adds rich flavor to the dressing, and red bell pepper adds color in this healthy bean salad recipe. Serve at your next potluck or as a savory side to grilled chicken, steak or salmon.
Strawberry & Brie Bites
Strawberries, Brie cheese, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar come together in this addictive one-bite appetizer recipe.
Slow-Cooker Baked Beans
A must-have dish for any backyard barbecue, this classic baked bean recipe is made simple by simmering in a slow-cooker. Spiked with bourbon, maple syrup and molasses, these healthy baked beans have just the right amount of bacon to add a salty touch of smokiness.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Bars
Strawberry and rhubarb are a classic combination--try them in these easy-to-make fruit bars.
Country Potato Salad
This updated picnic potato salad gets subtle flavor from smoked ham. If you can find them, small, thin-skinned early potatoes are best in this salad.
Greek Pasta Salad
This quick, healthy Greek pasta salad recipe is tossed with all the elements of a Greek salad--plus chickpeas for added protein. This pasta salad holds well in the refrigerator or a cooler and tastes even better as the pasta absorbs the tomato-infused vinaigrette. Serve with pita chips.
Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions
Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork--and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.
Lemon-Thyme Whipped Ricotta
This stunning yet easy appetizer recipe infuses creamy ricotta with fresh herbs and lemon. Serve with whole-grain crackers and cut-up vegetables or use as a spread for sandwiches or sauce for pasta.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Dip
A quick fresh-made blender enchilada sauce makes all the difference in this slow-cooker recipe for Mexican cheese dip. Serve it straight from the crock pot, with tortilla chips, to keep it warm and gooey.
Snap Pea & Quinoa Salad
Snap peas and mushrooms are combined with the fresh flavor of lemon in this pretty, healthy quinoa salad recipe. If you can make it ahead of time, do--this quinoa salad is even better the next day, after the dressing has soaked into the mushrooms and quinoa. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Garden Pasta Salad
This lightly dressed pasta salad gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals. Serve on a crisp bed of greens. Toss in canned chunk light tuna, cooked chicken or flavored baked tofu to add protein and make it more substantial.
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake
This no-bake cherry cheesecake is an easy summertime treat. This no-bake cheesecake recipe has omega-3-rich walnuts in the graham cracker crust and uses nonfat Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese in the filling to keep saturated fat in check. If you want a bright red topping, use sour cherries. Sweet cherries give it a more purple hue. To make gluten-free no-bake cherry cheesecake, use gluten-free graham crackers.
Chicken Salad with Pecans & Dried Cherries
This healthy chicken salad recipe is sweet and crunchy thanks to the addition of heart-healthy pecans and fiber-rich dried cherries. If you have cooked chicken breast on hand, skip Step 1 and use about 3 cups chopped chicken in Step 3.
Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. A combination of low-fat mayo and sour cream lightens up the dressing, and whole-wheat elbow noodles, spinach and edamame add extra nutrients.
Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These healthy chocolate cupcakes get a soft, moist texture from their not-so-secret ingredient: beets. The beets act as a natural red food dye, plus they bump up the fiber. Use red beets to give the cream cheese frosting a vibrant pink hue.
Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.
Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies
People likely won't even notice that these delicately nutty, just a little chocolaty, blondies are gluten-free. They use quinoa flour, which you can find in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores, in place of all-purpose flour. To make your own quinoa flour, grind raw quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder. (Adapted from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.)
Green Salad with Asparagus & Peas (Salat med Asparges og rter)
Here's a salad where we've combined two stars of the spring garden, asparagus and peas. Since the asparagus goes into the mix raw, you'll want to look for the freshest, most tender spears you can find and slice them into very thin rounds.
Asian Beef Meatballs
Sautéed mushrooms, celery and garlic add flavor and help keep calories in check and portions hearty in this easy Asian beef meatball recipe. Serve as the base for lettuce wraps or on top of steamed brown rice with baby bok choy for a quick dinner.
Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake
This healthy pound cake recipe isn't just delicious--it also only requires one bowl to make. For the best cake texture, be sure to beat the sugar and butter together long enough in Step 2 to look creamy--the time it takes to get there varies according to the type of electric mixer you have. Serve with brunch or alongside a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
Cherry-Almond Farro Salad
Tossed with a minty vinaigrette, this healthy farro and cherry salad recipe can be served as a light lunch or as a side dish along with grilled chicken, duck or pork. Look for farro--a high-fiber whole grain that is an ancestor of modern wheat--with other whole grains in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
Buffalo Deviled Eggs
Vinegary hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot, gives this healthy deviled egg recipe great Buffalo-style flavor. To keep calories in check, we swapped out half the full-fat mayo for nonfat Greek yogurt.
Smoked Turkey & Farro Salad
This whole-grain farro salad recipe is studded with lean turkey, plenty of crunchy bell pepper, celery, smoked cheese and avocado--a perfect summer salad recipe to serve on a hot summer night. Look for farro--a quick-cooking high-fiber whole grain--in the bulk section or near other grains in natural-foods stores. Or skip Step 1 and add cooked barley as a substitute for the farro in Step 2. Serve with baby spinach salad with toasted almonds and creamy garlic dressing.
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
The batter for this healthy one-bowl brownie recipe is stirred together right in the saucepan used to melt the butter and chocolate--no mixing bowl needed and less cleanup for you. Using shredded zucchini in this healthy dessert recipe creates a tender, moist brownie with about half the amount of butter and sugar found in a classic recipe--and it's virtually undetectable in the baked brownies.
Forget mayonnaise-laden coleslaw. The bright, clean flavors in this version go well with everything from tacos to barbecue.
Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
This beautiful salad combines fresh tomatoes, green beans, red onions and dried heirloom beans. Recently harvested beans (and thus freshly dried) cook more quickly than the kind you buy year-round at the market. In the latter part of the summer, farmers' markets begin to sell a fresh crop of heirloom varieties that would be perfect for this salad.
Summer Succotash Salad
This summer salad is based on the Southern favorite, succotash, and is a fresh-tasting combination of butter beans, corn, summer squash and tomatoes. Butter beans, the same species as lima beans, are the bean of choice in the South. When they're in season you may be able to find them fresh--shell them yourself. Or use frozen butter beans, baby lima beans or even edamame.
Upside-Down Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake
Layering the ingredients in this coffee cake recipe right into the pan lets you skip the steps of making the batter and the nut topping separately. To make this healthy one-bowl dessert so it can be served like "pull-apart" rolls, dollop 16 equal portions of batter over the nuts. If you don't want to fuss with that, dollop the batter on top however you like.
Raspberry-Almond Crumb Tart
You can quickly make the crust for this tart in the food processor and then press it into the pan--no need to dig out a rolling pin and struggle to transfer a tender pastry dough from pin to pan. Extra crust dough doubles as a crumbly topping.
Scallion-Dill Potato Salad
In this healthy potato salad recipe, yogurt replaces mayonnaise to create a creamy dressing spiked with scallions and dill.
Traditional ceviche recipes consists of raw seafood tossed with an acidic marinade (think: citrus juice or vinegar) that “cooks” the fish. In this shrimp ceviche recipe, we cook the shrimp before marinating it in lemon, lime and orange juices, plus chiles for some heat. This recipe originally appeared on Emeril Green (Emeril Lagasse's cooking show on Planet Green). Lagasse has his own brand of frozen wild American shrimp, which meet strict U.S. environmental standards. Serve this ceviche with tostones (fried plantain chips) or tortilla chips. Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Slow-Cooker Honey-Orange Chicken Drumsticks
This slow-cooker chicken recipe makes a perfect alternative to standard tomato-based barbecued chicken. Both kids and adults will devour these drumsticks, doused in a honey-sweetened sauce spiked with orange, ginger and garlic.
Corn & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Make this spicy poblano, corn, black bean and quinoa salad recipe to serve with whatever you're grilling, or have a larger portion as a main dish. To use canned beans, skip Step 1 and add about 2 1/2 cups beans in Step 7.
Roasted Garlic Guacamole with Help-Yourself Garnishes
Rick Bayless knows all about how to throw a great fiesta, or party, and a key part of any great fiesta is the food. “I like to welcome guests with this guacamole bar,” he says. “I start off with a basic guacamole made with roasted garlic and set out bowls of toppings so everyone can customize each bite.” (Recipe from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless; W.W. Norton and Company, 2010.)
Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Yellow Gazpacho Salsa
Yellow tomatoes have a lower acidity than their red cousins and several varieties are among the earliest in the season to ripen. Here they combine with cool cucumber and yellow bell peppers in a refreshing salsa. Grilled shrimp make this dish a more full-flavored and elegant version of shrimp cocktail.
This makeover of a Midwestern classic tops layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it's served and gets even better when held overnight.
Antipasti Pasta Salad
This Italian pasta salad recipe has all the flavors of antipasto--salami, Provolone and pepperoncini-- tossed together with a tangy vinaigrette and whole-wheat pasta. This healthy antipasti pasta salad is perfect for a light dinner. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
Instead of a heavy creamy dressing, this refreshing coleslaw is dressed with a light caraway-flavored vinaigrette. The pretty crinkled leaves of Savoy cabbage have a nutty flavor, making this slaw especially flavorful.
Mini Berry Cream Pies
Try this Mini Berry Cream Pies recipe the next time you want to whip up a quick healthy dessert. For this red-white-and-blue dessert, frozen mini phyllo cups work the best. Keep them nestled in their tray for easy transport to a picnic or potluck.
Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick
Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken for a picnic: put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or Frank's hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double if you're serving a crowd.
Carrot Cake Cheese Ball
This sweet carrot-shaped cheese ball recipe is a clever take on an Easter dessert favorite: carrot cake. Serve with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps or apple slices for dipping fun that both kids and adults will love.