Appetizers

31 Easy Potluck Appetizers

Potluck prep is made easy with our list of delicious recipes

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
Learn more about me
Updated August 25, 2022

Dazzle your friends and family at your next party with one or more of my easy potluck appetizers. As you all come together and bring your special dishes, you can be sure that something from my list will be a crowd-pleaser.

easy potluck appetizers

I’m not sure exactly where potlucks came from or how they began, but everyone can agree that they’re lots of fun.

Potluck parties are also a good occasion to get to know each other that bit better. Some people opt for meat recipes, other vegetarian ones, or sometimes the occasional sweet treat will materialize too.

If it’s the summer, you’ll often see lots of salads, whether they be chicken, potato, fruit, or pasta.

But potluck events can happen at any time of the year, especially around the holidays, and are popular around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and St Patrick’s Day, among others. They’re also popular at a football party or an office party.

Whatever the occasion, it’s good to have a bank of yummy appetizer recipes and finger foods at your disposal.

You’ll want to make dishes that are suitable for everyone and foods that you know will be enough to feed a large crowd.

Check out my range of warm and cold, healthy and more decadent, quick and easy recipes that cover dips, salads, international influences, and more for your next potluck.

easy potluck appetizers recipe

01. Feta Dip Phyllo Cups

The perfect bite sized appetizers for a summer party or bbq, these cheesy pastry cups are refreshing and also vegetarian-friendly. You can pre-buy the phyllo sheets or cups, which will make your prep a lot easier.

The filling is made of deliciously salty feta cheese, juicy tomatoes, green onions, and a light dressing. And you can make it ahead of time – simply store it in an airtight container and fill your lightly toasted phyllo cups just before serving.

02. Pasta Salad

This yummy recipe calls for classic BLT sandwich ingredients, but uses them in a quick pasta salad dish. The homemade ranch dressing really complements the smokey bacon and crisp tomatoes and lettuce.

The pasta can be rinsed under cold water once cooked so you don’t have to wait for it to cool before mixing it with the dressing. Just remember to add the lettuce right at the end, otherwise, it’ll go limp.

03. Pesto Tortellini Skewers

Go for something Italian-inspired at your next potluck or family party. All you need are 3 simple ingredients and 20 minutes, and you’ll have a colorful and flavorful dish to contribute to the table.

Simply cook the tortellini and then coat in some pesto – you can use store-bought to save on time. Then all you need to do is skewer a sundried tomato alongside a piece of the pasta, and that’s it, you’re done!

04. Cream Cheese and Olive Spread

Create something really versatile with this simple spread made from cream cheese, green olives, and mayonnaise. Adding some of the olive’s brine also gives it an extra tang.

It’s perfect for the whole family, as you can serve it as a dip with veggie sticks such as carrot, pepper, or cucumber. Or, serve it with pitas or a bread bowl.

05. Pineapple Salsa

Give your potluck appetizers a tropical twist with this fresh and tasty pineapple salsa. Mix fresh pineapple with red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and cumin.

You can leave out the jalapeno, or add more in, depending on how spicy you like your food. And this salsa will go with tortilla chips, meat, or fish, meaning it’ll be a welcome addition to any buffet.

06. Buffalo Chicken Wings

A tasty, easy appetizer that everyone will love, this recipe uses inexpensive ingredients and has minimal prep time. Using hot sauce along with butter, cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce gives the chicken its characteristic Buffalo taste.

Plus this recipe also tells you how to make buffalo chicken dip. Sour cream and soft blue cheese make this accompaniment creamy and decadent.

07. Deviled Eggs

The perfect appetizer if you’re short on time and want something quick and easy that you can rustle up at home. And with simple ingredients, you won’t need to spend a fortune either in preparing this egg dish.

The mustard and sweet pickle relish give these deviled eggs a punchy and tangy taste. Or if you’re not a fan of either, you can also leave one of them out and double up on the other ingredient without having to buy an extra substitute.

08. Jalapeno Popper Bites

Spice up your next special occasion with these bite sized appetizers. They contain just the right amount of heat and creamy and smoky flavors are also packed in with the shredded cheese and bacon.

The recipe also tells you how to get the oil temperature just right for frying, so that your bites come out golden brown and crisp. You can serve them with sour cream or a similar dip.

09. Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms

Go Italian-inspired and try out this veggie party appetizer. A mixture of parmesan cheese, basil, and pecans really elevates the humble mushroom and makes for a decadent dish.

Plus, they only take half an hour to make, and half of this time they’re baking in the oven, giving you time to wash up or relax. This healthy appetizer is also a great way to get the kids to eat more vegetables.

10. Mini Phyllo Tacos

Guaranteed to be a big hit with adults and kids, these Mexican-influenced party appetizers will fit in whatever the occasion, be it a party, baby shower, or Super Bowl party. You can buy frozen phyllo cups, and then it’s simply a case of cooking the ground beef and adding the other ingredients

They’re then baked with some shredded cheese on top. So once you pop one in your mouth, the meaty cup and gooey goodness combine to create a taste sensation!

11. Barbecued Meatballs

With just 3 ingredients and minimal hands-on cooking time, whip up one of the easiest potluck appetizers for your next party. The slow cooker does all the hard work, leaving you more time to get on with other chores.

Frozen, pre-made meatballs work just as well as homemade, so don’t feel like you need to make them from scratch. But try to source a decent bbq sauce for optimum flavor – and try adding a little chili sauce too to spice things up a bit.

12. French Onion Dip

Impress your friends by making your own homemade French onion dip. The authentic gruyere cheese used in this dip recipe adds a firm texture and nutty taste that will really make your dish a crowd-pleaser.

It’s also important to make caramelized onions, as this adds a sweetness to this dip. And then you can serve it with tortilla chips, crusty bread, or veg sticks.

13. Smoked Pimiento Cheese Crostini

The combination of French baguette, caramelized onions, and pimiento cheese make these potluck appetizers absolutely delicious. There’s a mixture of textures, tastes, and a bit of heat, so a little bit of something for everyone in this easy recipe.

You can choose to make your pimiento cheese from scratch, or use a premade variety. And the onions and cheese components can be made up to 5 days in advance if you like to be prepared well in advance.

14. Macaroni and Cheese Bites

Party appetizers don’t always have to be fancy and sophisticated. Sometimes, a comforting dish full of classic flavors is just as popular, like these yummy mac and cheese bites.

Remember to keep an eye on your pasta and not overcook it – you’re looking for it to be al dente and not soggy! And when whisking in the milk, do this slowly in stages so that the sauce gradually thickens.

15. Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

Have some fun with your appetizers by combining your favorite pizza toppings with a loaf of monkey bread. The whole family will want to grab a piece of this dish which is great for sharing.

You simply mix the ingredients together and bake in a bundt pan or casserole dish for 30 minutes or more. And then serve with a simple marinara sauce as a dipping sauce.

16. Qdoba Queso

For fans of Qdoba’s scrumptious Queso dish, this copycat version tells you exactly how to make this easy appetizer at home. It’s a perfectly cheesy dip that goes great with tortilla chips, meaning it’ll be very popular at your next potluck.

You can either make it on your stove, or in a crock pot if you want to leave it to cook so that you need to spend less time in the kitchen. And also feel free to experiment with the spices – for example, try out cumin for a more earthy taste and a bit more heat.

17. Pita Chips

All you need is pita bread, olive oil, and sea salt to make these crackers for a party or potluck occasion. You can pair them with your favorite dip recipe for an easy dish, or even use them crumbled as croutons in salads or soups.

Avocado, walnut, or rapeseed oil can be substituted for the olive oil, so use whatever you have at home. And for a healthier option packed with more fiber, use wholewheat pita bread instead of white.

18. Strawberry Shortcake Dip

Easy potluck appetizers aren’t all about the savory flavors. This dish will provide a much-welcomed dessert contribution to the table, and is ideal for summer gatherings when strawberries are in season.

It’s super quick to make and requires no cooking or baking time. Plus, it’ll last for up to 5 days in your refrigerator when stored correctly and covered in some plastic wrap.

19. Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Give these tasty and colorful finger foods a go. A simple filling made of bacon, mayo, and green onions is used to stuff cherry tomatoes – so the result is a combo of smoky, creamy, and tangy flavors.

Once you’ve hollowed out the tomatoes, make sure to give them some time to drain upside down so that your dish doesn’t go soggy. This easy recipe can also be made gluten-free, just check the bacon and mayonnaise packaging first.

20. Turkey Meatballs

Save on the calories without having to sacrifice on the taste with these juicy meatballs made in your air fryer. You don’t need to use any oil, so this easy appetizer is low in fat as well as being gluten-free (as long as you use the right breadcrumbs).

This easy recipe is also ideal to try out around Thanksgiving as it uses ground turkey rather than the more traditional ground beef. Plus, you can make a big batch and store leftover meatballs in your freezer for up to 3 months.

21. Spinach Artichoke Dip

This creamy, decadent dip recipe is ideal for serving with chips, crackers, or veggies at a potluck party. Simply combine spinach and artichokes with sour cream, mayo, and 3 types of cheese – mozzarella, parmesan, and cream cheese.

Depending on your kitchen setup, you can cook this mixture in the oven, in your slow cooker, or even in an Instant Pot. It can be refrigerated for a few days, but is best served hot and straight after making.

22. Cheese Ball Bites

These easy appetizers not only taste fantastic, but also look the part. With little effort you can create this dish which really fulfills the requirement of finger food – the mini pretzel sticks allow your guests to easily pick one up and pop it in their mouths.

Use a variety of toppings such as green onions, chopped nuts, bacon, and dried cranberries to provide a mixture of colors and flavors. And for a bit more heat, try adding a little hot sauce for extra spice.

23. Baked Potato Skins

With just a small amount of prep time, you can whip up these tasty and comforting potato skins for a potluck gathering. To get the skins really crisp, make sure to really rub them with canola or olive oil and plenty of salt before baking.

And these can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven or microwave. Plus you can also experiment with the toppings if you like, for example using jalapenos for a spicy variation, or pineapple pieces to create a Hawaiian vibe.

24. Hot Loaded Baked Potato Dip

An easier alternative to traditional potato skins but with all the same flavors, try this dip version which can be made in under half an hour. And it only requires 5 main ingredients which you’ll likely already have in your fridge.

This indulgent dip packs both creamy and salty flavors and is great to serve with fries or potato wedges. Plus, it has a high protein content so should help keep you fuller for longer.

25. Sausage Balls

Have you been invited to a party or potluck event last minute? Don’t panic, because these sausage bites are really straightforward to make when you’re in a hurry and require only 4 ingredients.

The type of sausage you use is down to you – sweet, spicy, sage, or other varieties all work well. If you do like your food on the sweet side, you can also try adding a little maple syrup to the mix.

26. Pickle Dip Pinwheels

There’s no cooking required to prepare these tangy yet creamy pickle dip appetizers. Simply fold diced ham and pickles into some cream cheese and spread over some tortillas before rolling and refrigerating.

Keep them in the fridge for as long as you can before cutting, then they’ll hold their shape better. And make sure to drain and dry the pickles well beforehand so that you’re not adding any excess liquid to the mixture.

27. Bang Bang Chicken

You can impress your guests at that next potluck or get together with something a bit different. Packed full of spice and flavor, these chicken bites are sure to be a big hit – just make sure you make enough!

The creamy, yummy sauce can be made well ahead of serving as it’ll last in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. And a top tip to get your chicken nice and crispy is to make sure your pan is heated to about 325oF for optimal frying.

28. Cold BLT Dip

You’ll struggle to find a more straightforward dip recipe than this one. There’s even a handy 1-minute video demonstrating how easy it is to make this delicious dip.

Use a slotted spoon and paper towels to get rid of the grease from the bacon once you’ve fried it. And make sure to taste the dip before serving – you may need to add a little salt to get the seasoning just right.

29. Beef Nachos Supreme

Sure to be a crowd pleaser at any party, try this quick and tasty combo of seasoned ground beef, cheese, refried beans, green onions, and tomatoes.

A mixture of both cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses gives the best flavor combination and gooey melt on the top. And remember to use good quality, thick tortilla chips – if they’re too thin, they’ll disintegrate under all the toppings.

30. Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

Crostini or bruschetta appetizers often come with some sort of tomato topping. So why not do something that no one will expect, and use a nut, cheese, and bacon mixture instead to make a yummy appetizer.

Pre-bake the bread slices so that they’re well toasted before you add the rest of the ingredients. And try to serve the crostini warm when the cheese has just melted, so that your guests get the fab combo of the crunchy bread and soft, warm topping.

31. Velveeta Sausage Dip

Try this dipping sauce recipe for a mouth-watering and tasty potluck appetizer that takes only minutes to make. Velveeta cheese keeps the dip really smooth, while the pork breakfast sausage adds a salty, savory flavor.

A slow cooker can also be utilized to cook this dish if you want to throw everything in and leave it while you get on with other jobs. And you could also make this dip vegetarian-friendly by swapping the sausage for beans.

31 Easy Potluck Appetizers

Directions


  1. Pick your favorite recipe(s) from our list of easy potluck appetizers.

  2. Check your kitchen cupboards for ingredients and head to the store for anything missing.

  3. Prep your dish, making anything ahead where you can.

  4. Impress your friends with your culinary magic at the potluck party.

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