73 Extra-Cozy Fall Potluck Ideas

Cozy up with friends and family with these fall potluck ideas. Every recipe is made with the season's most heartwarming flavors: apples, pumpkins, cranberries, pears, caramel and pecans. Yum!

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Owl Cookies

I came up with these cookies as a treat for my kids’ class parties. Not only do they look cute, but they are also delicious.—Starrlette Howard, Ogden, Utah

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Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs

I tried these meatballs at a birthday party for a friend, and now I make them all the time. They are super easy to make and perfect for a potluck or as a Sunday afternoon football game snack. —Lisa Castelli, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Apple Cider Biscuits

My family enjoys these tender, flaky biscuits warm from the oven. We have a lot of apple trees, so we’re always looking for apple recipes. This is a tasty way to use some of our cider. —Harriet Stichter, Milford, Indiana
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Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

With tangy dried cranberries tucked inside and a creamy brown butter frosting, these mildly spiced pumpkin bars are doubly delightful. It's a good thing the recipe makes lots, because once you taste one, you won't be able to resist going back for more! -Barbara Nowakowski, Mesa, Arizona
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Grilled Glazed Drummies

My family prefers these mild-tasting chicken wings more than the traditional hot wings. They are great for any gathering. —Laura Mahaffey, Annapolis, Maryland
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Citrus Sweet Potatoes

A mild orange glaze lets the taste of sweet potatoes shine through in this nut-topped side dish. When I was dating my husband, my mother would make this whenever he’d come over for Sunday dinner. We’ve been married more than 40 years, and he thinks I can make it almost as well as Mom did. —Pauline Kelley, St. Peters, Missouri
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Turkey Dumpling Soup

Simmering up a big pot of this soup is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This is a variation on a recipe my mom made while I was growing up. My husband and children can't get enough of the tender dumplings. —Debbie Wolf, Mission Viejo, California
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Pumpkin Doughnut Drops

I always have a few special treats handy when the grandchildren visit. These cake doughnuts are one of their favorite snacks. —Beva Staum, Muscoda, Wisconsin
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Special Chocolate Treats

I serve these lovely cookies to guests. These cookies also freeze well. —Walter Max, Wabasha, Minnesota
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Cheese/Grape Appetizers

These small bites are well worth the time they take. Serve them as part of an antipasto platter or as a cheese course alongside your favorite wine. —Eleanor Grofvert, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Butternut Squash Rolls

With their cheery yellow color and delicious aroma, these appealing buns will brighten your buffet table. Plus, I’ve found this recipe is a great to use up squash from the garden. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Pumpkin Snack Mix

This yummy mix is so munchable, a bowl of it never lasts long. Feel free to use candy corn instead of the candy pumpkins—or a mix of both! —Shirley Engstrom, Genoa, Nebraska
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Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Impress dinner guests with this delightfully different take on traditional cranberry sauce. The nuts add a tasty crunch. —Dorothy Angley, Carver, Massachusetts
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Rustic Nut Bars

My friends love crunching into the crust—so much like shortbread—and the wildly nutty topping of these chewy, gooey bars. —Barbara Driscoll, West Allis, Wisconsin
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Hot Cheese Dip

When a colleague brought this cheesy dip to school for a teachers potluck, I immediately gave it an A+. I had to have the recipe for this irresistibly creamy recipe to make for my family! —Ardyce Piehl, Poynette, Wisconsin
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Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

After making little bacon-wrapped sausages for years, I needed a change! I had an extra sweet potato and half a package of bacon on hand, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with this treat. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Cinnamon-Pear Rustic Tart

I was lucky enough to spend the holidays with my husband's family in Montana. I loved the rustic simplicity of each dish we tasted, especially this rustic pear tart my mother-in-law made. —Leah Waldo, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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Cheddar-Bacon Dip

Both children and adults enjoy this dip. And I'm a fan because it's so quick and easy to prepare. I make it for special occasions…birthdays, Christmas parties and more. —Carol Werkman, Neerlandia, Alberta
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Contest-Winning Bavarian Meatball Hoagies

When my husband is not manning the grill, I count on my slow cooker. These meatballs are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser when I serve them as a party appetizer or spooned over crusty rolls and topped with cheese for irresistible sandwiches. —Peggy Rios, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Ginger-Pork Wontons

A flavorful, juicy pork filling is jazzed up with a delicious touch of ginger and enveloped in crispy wrappers. These surprisingly simple appetizers are the ultimate finger food and are perfect for parties. —Sandra Parton, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Air-Fryer Rosemary Sausage Meatballs

These air-fryer meatballs were created as hors d'oeuvres for a friend's wedding and became an instant hit. Now we enjoy them often at our house. —Steve Hansen, Redmond, Washington
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Special Scalloped Corn

Carrots and green pepper make this dish colorful, which grabs attention at a potluck. The corn casserole is also a smart idea for when you need to prepare a dish ahead of time—easy baking is all it takes to finish it up. —J. Brown, Fort Dodge, Iowa
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Pumpkin-Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping

My mother always made these tasty muffins whenever our family got together at her house. Now they’re a family favorite at my house, and my in-laws love them, too! —Carolyn Riley, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread

Coming from Oregon, a state famous for its cranberries, this bread is a given at our house. Each fall my husband and I scrounge around for walnuts to go in it. It's a regular on our table, and not just at Thanksgiving. I freeze the berries so I have a ready supply all year long. —Elaine Kremenak, Grants Pass, Oregon
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Slow Cooker Party Mix

This mildly seasoned snack mix is always a party favorite. Served warm from a slow cooker, the munchable mixture is very satisfying. —Dana Hughes, Gresham, Oregon
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Creamy Parmesan Spinach Bake

My creamy, comforting side dish wonderfully rounds out any holiday dinner. Just a little of this rich casserole goes a long way. —Jennifer Bley, Austin, Texas
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Gouda Mixed Potato Mash

Everything's better with cheese, right? This cheesy two-potato mash is no exception. If you cube the cheese, you’ll discover delicious pockets of melted cheese throughout the dish. —Shelby Goddard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Cornbread Stuffing

At least 10 of us women made this old-fashioned dressing to feed over 1,500 people at our church's fall festival. Everyone thought it was wonderful. It's the best dressing I've ever made. —Patty Kierce, Weir, Texas
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Carrot Cake

My family's best carrot cake recipe dates back to my great-grandmother! We bake up a few of these carrot cakes for special occasions to make sure there's enough to go around. You'll love the texture this pretty, moist treat gets from pineapple, coconut and, of course, carrots! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Cranberry-Orange Bars

My mother has had this recipe for years. I love it! These bars make great snacks, but can also be served for dessert. —Margaret Adelman, Bellingham, Minnesota
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Mushroom & Leek Strudel

This elegant hors d'oeuvre is almost effortless. Use fresh herbs if possible, and feel free to sub in whole wheat phyllo. —Lisa Diehl, Edina, Minnesota
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Bacon Walnut Bread with Honey Butter

My savory walnut bread filled with bacon bits and blue cheese dressing is complemented by the sweetness of honey-flavored butter. Cut yourself a thick slice, slather on the butter and enjoy!—Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
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Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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Sweet Potato Crostini

For party time, I turn this sweet potato side dish into an appetizer by serving it on slices of a French baguette. — Steve Westphal, Wind Lake, Wisconsin
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Beer Brat Chili

My husband and I love this chili because it smells so good as it simmers in the slow cooker all day. I can't think of a better way to use up leftover brats. He can't think of a better way to eat them! —Katrina Krumm, Apple Valley, Minnesota
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Super Simple Scalloped Potatoes

I’ve made many types of scalloped potatoes but I always come back to this rich, creamy and fail-proof recipe. This is a dish where the bottom gets scraped clean. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Caramel Brownies

I love to cook. My family can't possibly eat all the sweets I whip up, so my co-workers are more than happy to sample them—particularly these rich, chewy caramel brownies that are full of gooey caramel, chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts. —Clara Bakke, Coon Rapids, Minnesota
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Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Recipes that don't tie me to the kitchen—that’s what I’m all about. I make this luscious dish the night before breakfast or brunch with guests. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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German Beer Cheese Spread

We love recipes inspired by our German heritage. This tangy spread is fantastic served alongside everything, including pretzels and pumpernickel or crackers and sausage. Choose your favorite beer—the flavor really comes through. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Festive Fall Tortellini Toss

Fall is my favorite season and I love the foods of autumn, such as mushrooms, squash, apples and walnuts. I combined these all with pasta to make a delicious potluck side dish; the recipe can easily be doubled and can be served either warm or at room temperature. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Garlic-Sesame Green Beans

Sauteed bits of garlic and shallot, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, turn ordinary beans into something special. Keep the recipe in mind for your garden crop in summer. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Harvest Sweet Potato Pie

Years ago, we baked pies a few days before holiday gatherings and placed them in a tall pie safe on our back porch. My father called this sweet potato pie recipe "royal pie," because he thought it was fit for a king. It's a treasured hand-me-down family recipe. —Fae Fisher, Callao, Virginia
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Cinnamon Apple Cider Monkey Bread

I use the cold-weather staple apple cider—plus apples and more cinnamon—to turn plain cinnamon rolls into monkey bread. My boys love the sticky sweetness. —Kelly Walsh, Aviston, Illinois
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Cheddar Corn Biscuits

Everyone asks for these cheesy corn biscuits, especially when I serve soup. If you're lucky and have leftovers, rewarm them and pass the butter and jam. —Susan Braun, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
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Sage & Prosciutto Pinwheels

I love, love, love to make appetizers and I especially like this recipe because I can make the rolls ahead, freeze them, and then slice and bake when needed. —Kate Dampier, Quail Valley, California
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Contest-Winning Caramel Apple Crisp

When my kids and I make apple crisp, we use all sorts of apples to boost the flavor and texture. Add melted caramels, and you’ve got something scrumptious. —Michelle Brooks, Clarkston, Michigan
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Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad

I love the velvety taste and texture of sweet potatoes. A friend served sweet potatoes cooked with peppers, and they tasted so delicious together. I took those flavors and developed them into this creamy, smoky potato salad. —Carolyn Eskew, Dayton, Ohio
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Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup

Roasting sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips brings out their best features. Blend them, and you have a warm, healthy soup for a cool fall night. —Stephanie Flaming, Woodland, California
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Michigan Cherry Salad

This recipe reminds me what I love about my home state: picking apples with my children, buying greens at the farmers market and tasting cherries on vacations. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. It’s so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread Pudding

My son loves pear crisp, but one night I was making bread pudding. He asked if I could make both. I compromised by combining two desserts into this one dish. It's absolutely fantastic! —Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California
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Sausage and Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

I learned about corn bread dressing while living in the south for a few years. I decided to combine it with a few of my favorite stuffing ingredients to give it my own spin. —James Schend, Food Editor, Taste of Home
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Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. To my surprise, it was the adults who devoured these mini mac and cheese bites. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York
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Roast Spiced Chicken

Ever have a worn index card recipe from your mother with food stains covering the words? Spiced chicken has been in our family more than 50 years. —Cindy Kanwar, Blacklick, OH
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Bacon and Broccoli Salad

You'll want to serve this family-friendly broccoli salad with bacon year-round. The broccoli gets a big-time flavor boost from bacon, toasted pecans, dried berries and a mayo dressing. —Cindi Read, Hendersonville, Tennessee
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Ginger Creme Sandwich Cookies

With a lemony filling, these spiced cookies go over big because they have old-fashioned, comfort-food appeal. Your party guests will snatch them up! – Carol Walston, Granbury, Texas
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Five-Cheese Rigatoni

Who can resist cheesy pasta hot from the oven? This ooey-gooey rigatoni mac and cheese boasts a homemade white sauce. —Shirley Foltz, Dexter, Kansas
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Hazelnut Pear Cake

From the hazelnuts to the yummy browned butter glaze, this dessert is a little different from an everyday pound cake. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

Whether it’s health or taste you’re after, it doesn’t get any better than this –bulgur, beans, tomatoes pine nuts and olive oil team up in this vegetarian main dish salad. CW’s food editor, Wendy Stenman, created this just for The Healthy Kitchen.
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Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn

I’m a teacher, and this is one of my go-to recipes for faculty potlucks. It’s perfect for holidays, too, when you’re looking for an easy, comforting dish that has just a little bit of bite. —Shelby Winters, Bonner Springs, Kansas
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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors beloved my grandpa, who made maple syrup when I was a child. It honors his memory and has proven to be a favorite with family and friends throughout the years. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
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Pecan Butter Tarts

I searched for the perfect butter tart for ages. After many attempts, I discovered this favorite that begs for a scoop of ice cream on top. —Susan Kieboam, Streetsboro, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

I love this slow-cooker turkey chili recipe. Surprise ingredients like coffee and wine give it a rich, deep flavor that we balance by topping it off with avocado and green onion. Make a big batch and freeze any leftovers! —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Aunt Lou's Fresh Apple Cake

My Great-Aunt Lou made a luscious fresh apple cake recipe that became a family tradition. My mom makes it for our annual beach trip to the Outer Banks. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

After the turkey’s done, I dial up the oven temp and roast carrots and squash for this yummy side. That frees me up to start the gravy. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Cider Doughnuts

Here on our 1,250-acre farm, we usually have a quick breakfast on the go. So I often keep a batch of these light and moist doughnuts on hand. They disappear quickly because no one can eat just one! —Suzanne Christensen, Defiance, Iowa
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Cranberry Pudding

This recipe was given to me years ago by my Aunt Lena, who lived on Cape Cod where cranberries are grown. The combination of warm tart cranberries and a smooth sweet brown sugar sauce is the perfect ending to any holiday meal!
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Chewy Caramel-Coated Popcorn

When I was a kid, my mom made this recipe often. I've adapted it to make it more chewy and gooey than her crunchy, nut-loaded version. I get requests to make this for every event that I host, and have never had a single leftover! —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Snappy Pumpkin Dessert

Our town has a pumpkin-canning factory, so we’re known as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” New pumpkin recipes are always welcomed by our family, and this has become a favorite. The gingersnap crust is the perfect flavor pairing to the pumpkin. —Nilah Fischer, Morton, Illinois

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.