50 Cheap Potluck Recipes
Potlucks are a meal gathering where everyone brings a dish to share.
You know a potluck is a good potluck when it’s a perfectly balanced mix of main courses, side dishes, and of course, desserts.
So you’ve been invited to a potluck. What to bring?
This is a compilation of 50 recipes perfectly suited for a potluck. These ideas are hand picked for church potlucks, but many of the recipes will also work for:
- Office potlucks
- Friend potlucks
- Other get-togethers where everyone brings a dish
I hope you find something you like – and I hope you enjoy your next potluck!
Cheap Main Dishes
- 3-bean hotdish
- 30+ hotdish recipes
- Ring bologna hotdish
- Church supper spaghetti
- Cheesy bacon green bean casserole
- Extra creamy scalloped potatoes and ham
- Franks and beans
Cheap Side Dishes
- Canned baked beans, doctored up
- Homemade baked beans
- Norwegian cooked rice (sweet)
- Mashed carrot potatoes with bacon
- Veggie platter
- Fully loaded Brussels sprouts
Dips and Miscellaneous Items
- Cold vegetable pizza
- Refrigerator pickles
- Savory cheddar cheese cookies
- Seven layer dip
- Layered crab dip
- Pickle, cream cheese, and pastrami rollups
Cheap Salad Recipes
- Cornbread salad
- Carrot salad with shoestring potatoes
- Chicken spaghetti pasta salad
- Dill pickle pasta salad
- BLT salad
- Popcorn salad
- Potato salad (Japanese-style – try it!)
- Buffalo chicken salad
- Zucchini “pasta” salad with mozzarella
- Snickers and apple salad (sweet)
- Strawberry pretzel salad (sweet)
- Broccoli and grape salad
- Lentil, Feta, grape, and walnut salad
Cheap Bread and Sandwich Recipes
- Egg salad sandwiches
- Cheesy tomato SPAM-wiches
- Baked ham sandwiches
- Ham salad sandwiches
- Italian-style pull-apart bread
- Open-faced ham, apple, and cheddar sandwiches
- Pimento cheese sandwiches
- Baking powder biscuits (the easy method)
- Perfect homemade dinner rolls
Cheap Dessert Recipes
- Fruit pizza
- Bite-sized chocolate cupcakes
- Brownie trifle
- Homemade oatmeal creme pies
- Peanut butter and pretzel cake bars
- Whiskey brownies with chocolate whiskey ganache
- Brown butter-almond brownies
- 3-ingredient Nutella brownies
- Wild rice cookies
- Yogurt-dipped strawberries
- Raspberry Jello cake
- Basic white cake
- Popcorn cake
5 Potluck Dinner Tips For The Budget Cook
- Bring ready-to-eat foods: Make sure your dish is ready to serve, as things can get crazy in a shared kitchen.
- Bring finger foods: Foods that are easy to grab are great for a potluck. Think finger Jello, a vegetable tray or deviled eggs.
- Your crock pot was made for potluck dinners: Keep foods like baked beans, hotdish or scalloped potatoes warm in a crock pot.
- Use pantry staples: Choose dishes that have a base of beans, pasta, rice or other pantry staples. This will keep the cost of your dish down.
- Know what foods to avoid: Avoid bringing soup, stew or chili – unless you are providing bowls for your guests. Also, avoid messy, sticky, and sloppy dishes. It’s also best to avoid new and exotic, spicy, or unfamiliar dishes. Crowd-pleasing dishes are your best bet.
I consider myself somewhat of a potluck expert. I grew up in rural Minnesota and attended a Lutheran country church in South Dakota. Potlucks were – and still are – common occurrences. In fact, we look for excuses to have potlucks. Because they’re fun and highly anticipated. You never know what dishes will show up.
And there we have it, 50 cheap potluck recipes. Please feel free to add your own favorite potluck ideas below. I would love new inspiration for my next potluck!