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Potlucks are a wonderful way to bring people together and share delicious homemade meals. Whether it’s a family gathering, a community event, or a casual get-together with friends, potlucks are always filled with laughter, warmth, and of course, an abundance of mouth-watering dishes. But what if you’re not confident in your cooking skills or simply don’t have the time to prepare an elaborate dish? 

Well, fret not! This post will explore the easiest thing to bring to a potluck that requires minimal effort but still leaves everyone impressed and satisfied. So whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or just looking for some hassle-free options for your next potluck adventure, read on to discover the perfect solution!

An image of a basket of tortilla chips and salsa.

So What is the Easiest Thing to Bring to a Potluck?

There are store-bought desserts that are the perfect choice for those who lack culinary skills or time. With an array of options available, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or even fancy pastries, there’s something for every taste bud. Plus, they require zero preparation on your part – simply pick them up and place them on a pretty platter before heading out the door.

Another great option is a classic fruit salad. It requires minimal effort, yet always manages to be a hit at any gathering. Simply chop up your favorite fruits like watermelon, grapes, and pineapple, mix them in a bowl, and voila! You have a refreshing and colorful dish that everyone will love.

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Check out these other easy options to bring to a potluck:

Veggie platter with dip

A veggie platter typically consists of an assortment of fresh and colorful raw vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and celery. These veggies are sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces and arranged on a platter for easy snacking or sharing at parties and gatherings.

The star of the show is often the dip that accompanies the veggie platter. Dips can vary greatly in flavors and textures but are usually creamy. Popular options include ranch dressing, hummus, tzatziki sauce, or even salsa.

Fruit salad

A fruit salad is a delightful medley of various fresh fruits, mixed to create a colorful and refreshing treat. It is the perfect addition to any potluck gathering, whether it’s a casual backyard barbecue or an elegant dinner party.

A typical fruit salad contains a variety of fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple, grapes, and oranges. These fruits not only add vibrant colors but also provide essential vitamins and minerals. To enhance the flavors, some people like to drizzle honey or sprinkle lime juice over their fruit salads. Others may choose to add mint leaves or coconut flakes for added texture and taste.

One of the best things about a fruit salad for potluck is its versatility. You can customize your creation based on personal preferences or dietary restrictions.

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa is a popular appetizer that consists of crispy tortilla chips served alongside a flavorful tomato-based sauce. This tasty combination is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to prepare, making it perfect for beginners in the kitchen.

To make chips and salsa, all you need are store-bought tortilla chips and a jar of your favorite salsa. Open the bag of chips, pour them into a bowl, and voila – your base is ready! As for salsa, there are countless options available at grocery stores, ranging from mild to spicy varieties. Choose one that suits your taste preferences or experiment with different flavors for added excitement.

Cheese and crackers

If you’re new to potlucks, you may have heard people mention “cheese and crackers” as a popular dish to bring. But what exactly is cheese and crackers? Well, it’s a simple yet delicious combination of cheese and crispy crackers that is perfect for any potluck gathering! This classic appetizer is loved by many because it’s easy to prepare, versatile, and always a crowd-pleaser.

To make cheese and crackers, all you need are some tasty varieties of cheese (such as cheddar, Swiss, or gouda) and an assortment of your favorite crackers. The idea behind this dish is to pair the creamy richness of the cheese with the crunchy texture of the crackers for a delightful contrast in every bite. You can either arrange slices or cubes of cheese on a platter alongside the selection of crackers or let guests build their combinations.

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are a classic potluck staple that will surely be a hit at your next gathering. These tasty bites are made by hard-boiling eggs, removing the yolks, and mixing them with mayonnaise, mustard, and various seasonings. The mixture is then spooned back into the egg whites and garnished with paprika or fresh herbs.

Deviled eggs got their unique name from the spicy or zesty flavor they often have. The term “deviled” refers to food that is highly seasoned or spiced up. So when you bring deviled eggs to a potluck, you can expect them to pack a flavorful punch! They are not only delicious but also incredibly versatile.

Pasta salad

Pasta salad typically consists of cooked pasta mixed with various vegetables, meats, cheeses, and dressing. The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility – you can customize it according to your taste preferences and whatever ingredients you have on hand. Common additions include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, onions, and feta cheese.

Potato salad

Potato salad is a side dish made primarily with boiled potatoes and dressed with various ingredients. This delicious salad can be served cold or at room temperature, making it perfect for outdoor gatherings.

The base of potato salad is, of course, the humble potato. Typically, russet or red potatoes are used due to their firm texture that holds up well in the dressing. After boiling the potatoes until tender, they are usually peeled and cut into chunks before being mixed with other ingredients. Some common additions include mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, chopped onions, celery, and hard-boiled eggs. These flavorful components give potato salad its unique taste and creamy texture.


Coleslaw consists of shredded or finely chopped cabbage mixed with various other ingredients, such as carrots, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings. The result is a refreshing and creamy salad that perfectly complements a variety of main dishes.

Coleslaw not only adds a burst of vibrant colors to your potluck spread but also provides a delightful crunch. Its cool and tangy flavors help balance out the richness of heavier dishes like barbecued meats or fried chicken. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make – even for beginners! Just toss together the shredded cabbage, grated carrots, and any other veggies you desire in a large bowl.

Baked beans

Baked beans for potluck are a popular and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for sharing with friends and family. This classic American side dish is made by slow-cooking navy beans with a delicious combination of ingredients like bacon, onions, brown sugar, and molasses. The result is a sweet and savory flavor that can complement any main course or be enjoyed on its own.

When preparing baked beans for a potluck, it’s important to ensure they have the right consistency. The beans should be tender but not mushy, with a thick sauce that coats each bean perfectly. To achieve this, most recipes call for soaking the dry beans in water overnight before cooking them slowly in the oven or on the stovetop. This process helps create soft and flavorful beans that are sure to impress at any gathering.

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food loved by people of all ages. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that combines tender pasta and gooey cheese, resulting in a creamy and flavorful meal. When it comes to potlucks, macaroni and cheese is the perfect choice as it appeals to everyone’s taste buds. Whether you’re hosting or attending a potluck, this dish is sure to be a hit.

One of the great things about macaroni and cheese for potluck is its versatility. You can stick with the traditional recipe or get creative by adding various ingredients like bacon bits, diced tomatoes, or even broccoli to make it more nutritious. Plus, you can use different types of cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, or Gruyère to give your mac and cheese a unique flavor profile.


Meatballs are small, bite-sized balls made from ground meats such as beef, pork, or poultry. They are typically mixed with breadcrumbs or rice, eggs, and various seasonings like garlic, onions, herbs, and spices to enhance their flavor. The mixture is then rolled into round shapes before being cooked by baking in an oven or simmering in sauce on a stovetop. Meatballs can be enjoyed on their own as appetizers or served alongside pasta dishes like spaghetti and meatballs.

Sandwiches or sliders

Sandwiches and sliders are perfect for potlucks because they can be prepared in advance and easily transported. You can choose from a range of bread options, such as soft rolls, baguettes, or even wraps, depending on your preference. Fillings can be as simple as ham and cheese with some mayo and mustard or more elaborate like sliced turkey with cranberry sauce and cream cheese. The possibilities are endless!

Grilled vegetables

Grilled vegetables are a simple yet flavorful dish that will impress your friends and family at any gathering. If you’re a beginner in the kitchen, don’t worry! Grilling vegetables is an easy way to add color and taste to your potluck spread.


Quesadillas consist of two tortillas filled with a delicious combination of cheese, meats, vegetables, and spices. The tortillas are typically made from corn or flour and can be folded in half or served open-faced. The filling options are endless – from classic combinations like chicken and cheese to more adventurous flavors like shrimp or even vegetarian options with beans and peppers. Once the fillings are added, the quesadilla is usually grilled or fried until the cheese melts and the outside becomes crispy.

Mini quiches or frittatas

Are you tired of bringing the same old boring dish to your potluck gatherings? Why not try something new and exciting, like mini quiches or frittatas! These bite-sized treats are perfect for sharing with a crowd and will surely impress your friends with their delicious flavors. But what exactly are mini quiches and frittatas, you may ask?

Mini quiches are essentially small versions of the classic French dish, made with eggs, cheese, vegetables, and meat. They are baked in a muffin tin to create individual servings that are easy to eat on the go. Frittatas, on the other hand, are Italian-style open-faced omelets that can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as bacon, spinach, mushrooms, or even leftover vegetables from your fridge.

Both mini quiches and frittatas offer endless possibilities when it comes to flavor combinations.

Chicken wings

Chicken wings for potluck refers to the deliciously seasoned and cooked chicken wing portions that are brought by guests to share at the gathering. These delectable bite-sized treats can either be prepared at home or purchased from a local restaurant or grocery store.

Chicken wings have become a staple dish at potlucks due to their versatility and crowd-pleasing nature. Whether they’re coated in tangy buffalo sauce, sweet barbecue glaze, or spicy Asian marinade, there’s a flavor for every taste bud. They can be fried until golden brown and crispy or baked until juicy and tender, offering different textures that appeal to all preferences.


In its simplest form, pizza for potluck is a communal meal where everyone contributes their favorite pizza toppings or even whole pizzas to share with the group.

Whether you prefer classic cheese and pepperoni or more adventurous combinations like barbecue chicken and pineapple, there’s something for everyone. Participants can bring their homemade creations or order from their favorite pizzerias. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your culinary skills or discover new flavors from others.

When it comes time to enjoy the feast, participants can slice up the pizzas into small portions, allowing everyone to try different varieties without feeling overwhelmed by one large pie.

Hummus and pita chips

Hummus is a creamy spread made from mashed chickpeas blended with tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and spices like cumin or paprika. This Middle Eastern dip has gained popularity worldwide due to its delicious taste and health benefits.

Pita chips, conversely, are crunchy pieces of pita bread that have been baked or fried until they become crispy. They make the perfect accompaniment for hummus as their sturdy texture allows for easy scooping and dipping.


Brownies for potluck are simply homemade or store-bought brownies that are specifically made to be shared at a potluck gathering. They are a popular dessert choice due to their versatility, ease of transport, and overall crowd-pleasing nature. These fudgy delights come in various flavors and textures – from classic chocolate brownies to those loaded with nuts or swirled with caramel. They can be made from scratch using a traditional recipe or conveniently purchased from your local bakery or grocery store.

Rice Krispie treats

Rice Krispie treats are sweet and chewy dessert bars made from just three basic ingredients: Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, and butter. They’re incredibly easy to make, making them an ideal option for beginners in the kitchen. These treats can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike due to their simplicity and nostalgic appeal.

Jello shots (for adult-only potlucks)

Jello shots are a creative twist on the classic gelatin dessert but with a boozy punch. They’re made by combining flavored gelatin mix with alcohol, typically vodka or rum, creating a wiggly and jiggly treat that packs quite the punch.

These dishes are easy to make, transport, and serve, making them perfect for any potluck gathering.

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When it comes to potlucks, simplicity is key. While there are countless options to choose from, the easiest thing to bring is often a dish that requires minimal effort and can be prepared ahead of time. Finger foods such as chips and dips or a platter of sliced fruits and vegetables are always a safe choice. Another easy option is to bring a pre-made dish from the store, such as a salad or a dessert. Ultimately, the most important thing is contributing to the gathering and enjoying the time spent with friends and family. 

Whether it’s a simple salad, a classic pasta dish, or a crowd-pleasing dessert, these easy-to-make recipes are sure to impress without causing unnecessary stress. Likewise, the easiest thing to bring will vary depending on your personal preferences and culinary skills. 

So next time you’re invited to a potluck, don’t overthink it – stick with something simple and delicious that will have everyone asking for seconds. Happy potlucking!

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