5 potluck themes your friends can easily participate in

5 potluck themes your friends can easily participate in

If you want to host a dinner party, but you’re not much of a chef, a potluck is the perfect option. You’ll only be responsible for providing a few basics — plates, utensils, glasses — and maybe a dish or two. Then your guests will do the rest of the hard work for you. But what if your friends aren’t avid cooks, either? In this case, pick a potluck theme that’s easy for everyone to follow, regardless of their culinary skills (or lack thereof). Here are five simple potluck themes to try the next time you host a party.


  1. Comfort food.
    Mac and cheese. Meatloaf. French fries. Comfort foods are so-named for a reason. They’re the foods of your childhood, and they provide comfort even now that you’re an adult. Ask each friend to bring their favorite comfort food to your soiree. It doesn’t even have to be homemade. Let guests know they’ll still get brownie points even if their brownies are store-bought!
  2. Appetizers and desserts.
    To make things really simple, don’t even request full entrees. Instead, have everyone bring a snack or treat to pick at throughout the evening. You might end up with an odd mix of bites, but that’s part of the fun. To ensure a good balance of savory and sweet, assign your friends either a dessert or an appetizer. The rest is up to them.
  3. International cuisine.
    If your crew is composed of adventurous eaters, make your potluck equally adventurous. Choose a certain type of trending cuisine — perhaps Vietnamese, Ethiopian, or Thai — and request that everyone brings a dish representing these cultures. If you don’t want to get that specific with your cuisine, just ask everyone to craft an entree or appetizer from a different country. It could be tacos, pho, or curry. The exact mix of food doesn’t really matter as long as you have a fun and colorful variety on your dinner table.
  4. Salads.
    In the midst of the summer season, crisp and refreshing salads are always a good idea. And if your crew really isn’t into cooking, you can’t go wrong with a salads-only potluck. Beyond the typical green salad, invite party guests to create grain salads, fruit salads, even egg salad or chicken salad. Encourage creativity so that you don’t end up with a drab selection of standard salads.
  5. Casseroles.
    The casserole is a quintessential dish for potlucks since it’s easy to make and even easier to transport. Have guests show up with their favorite casseroles, from classics like lasagna and shepherd’s pie to more inventive creations, such as cinnamon French toast casserole or vegetarian Mexican casserole encrusted with crushed tortilla chips. Encourage your party guests to scour Pinterest for unique ideas, so as to avoid repeats, but let them know they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Simple casseroles are encouraged. Pro tip: preheat your oven before everyone arrives in case anyone needs to reheat a casserole.


Unexpectedly Delicious Potluck Themes You’ve Never Thought Of [Party Joys]

Unique and Creative Themes for a Potluck Party [The Spruce]

Potluck Themes: The Secret Ingredient to a Delicious BYO Dinner Party [Martha Stewart]