49 Potluck Recipes That’ll Be The Hit of The Lunch Buffet

Updated: Feb. 23, 2024

These can't-miss lunch potluck recipes are always crowd pleasers. Bring one to a party, lunch buffet or potluck spread—we're sure there won't be any leftovers.

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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Melon-Berry Salad

The best way to cool down on a warm day is with a chilled fruit salad. Serve this one for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Yogurt and coconut milk make the creamy dressing even more decadent. Wait until just before serving to garnish the salad. Otherwise the toasted coconut will get soggy. —Carrie Hirsch, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Chicago-Style Beef Rolls

I have fond memories of eating these big, messy sandwiches at a neighbor's house when I was growing up. Freeze any extras and save for another meal! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge

I invented this confection for a bake sale at our children's school. Boy, was it a hit! The crunchy chunks of sandwich cookie soften a bit as the mixture mellows. It's so sweet that one panful serves a crowd. —Laura Lane, Richmond, Virginia
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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I often serve this as an appetizer alongside a meat and cheese tray. But it can also be a side dish. —Stephanie Hase, Lyons, Colorado
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas have never tasted as good as when they are filled with slightly sweet onions and peppers and topped with lime butter and salt. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savory. This version is the perfect recipe for a summer party—or a fantastic way to bring a little bit of summer into the cold winter months. —Stephanie Bright, Simpsonville, South Carolina
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Layered Fresh Fruit Salad

People always pass on compliments when I take this salad to covered-dish suppers. It's nice on a hot day, with a winter meal, or as a dessert! We live on a small farm where my garden gives me lots of possibilities for fresh food. —Page Alexander, Baldwin City, Kansas
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Polynesian Meatballs

With pretty bits of pineapple, these meatballs are sure to attract attention—and the sweet-tart sauce brings people back for seconds. —Carol Wakley, North East, Pennsylvania
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Layered Cornbread Salad

When the garden comes in, we harvest the veggies and layer them with cornbread and sweet relish for this snappy salad. Everyone wants seconds. —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Old-Fashioned Green Beans

Mom would prepare home-grown green beans using this recipe, and boy did they ever taste good. The bacon provides rich flavor and the brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness. This is one irresistible side dish. —Willa Govoro, St. Clair, Missouri
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Ham 'n' Cheese Biscuit Stacks

These finger sandwiches are filling enough to satisfy hearty appetites. I've served the fun little stacks at every event, including holiday gatherings, showers and tailgate parties. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza

A wonderful crust layered with herbed tomato sauce and toppings encourages my family of six to dig right in to this low-fat main course. —Denise Warner, Red Lodge, Montana
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Lime Chicken Chili

Lime juice gives this chili a zesty twist, while canned tomatoes and beans make preparation a snap. Try serving bowls with toasted tortilla strips. —Diane Randazzo, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
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Lemon Butter Cookies

These tender cutout cookies have a slight lemon flavor that makes them stand out from the rest. They're very easy to roll out compared to other sugar cookies I've worked with. I know you'll enjoy them as much as we do. —Judy McCreight, Springfield, Illinois
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BBQ Chicken Bites

Chicken bites wrapped in bacon get a kick from Montreal seasoning and sweetness from barbecue sauce. We love the mix of textures. —Kathryn Dampier, Quail Valley, California
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Shrimp Veggie Salad

My family loves to have potluck barbecues during the summer. With several backyard gardens in the family, you can be sure one of us will bring a variation of this classic salad. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like to turn up the heat! —Karen Goodnature, Lompoc, California
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Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread

My family loves quick breads. This one is moist and spicy. If you don't have mini loaf pans it works just as well in regular size pans. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Blackberry Sriracha Chicken Sliders

Dump everything in a slow cooker and then watch these spicy-sweet sliders become an instant party-time classic. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Friends sometimes ask me to make these for wedding receptions. For a fancier presentation, I cut the bars into triangle shapes and drizzle white chocolate over each one individually. —Erika Busz, Kent, Washington
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Pepper Sausage Pizza

Fresh spinach gives this recipe a tasty twist. That leafy green plus yellow peppers, snow-white mushrooms and tomato sauce make this a colorful addition to your pizza buffet table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Everyone loves barbecue chicken sliders. My version has an Asian twist, with spicy, tangy flavors. At our potlucks, they quickly vanish. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California
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Roasted Potato & Green Bean Salad

I made this salad to take advantage of seasonal potatoes, onions and green beans. It’s a perfect twist on the tangy German potato salad my mom used to make. Readers of my blog, The Seasoned Mom, are big fans. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia
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Turkey & Swiss Biscuit Sliders

One of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen is homemade buttermilk biscuits. Simple sandwiches are a wonderful way to showcase these melt-in-your-mouth treats. —Cindy Esposito, Bloomfield, New Jersey
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Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama
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Avocado Fruit Salad

I'm glad a friend gave me this delicious recipe, featuring four kinds of fruit as well as avocado. A light honey-lemon dressing enhances the already tasty flavor of the produce. My family loves it and so do I! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor is in these simple 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies without brown sugar. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Italian Cheese Loaf

Here's a deliciously different sandwich. It's yummy warm from the oven or off the grill at a cookout. The cheesy filling is complemented by a mix of garden-fresh ingredients and crusty bread. I usually serve it with a salad and onion rings. —Mary Ann Marino, West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad

The heat, seasonings and appearance of this colorful main-dish salad are perfect for summer—or any time of year that you want to summon memories of sunshine. —Eileen Budnyk, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Pumpkin Pecan Loaves

Among all my pumpkin bread recipes, this caramel-glazed creation is the pick of the crop. Often, I'll wrap up a lovely loaf as a homemade gift for teachers and Sunday school leaders. —Brenda Jackson, Garden City, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy Joes

This tangy sandwich filling is easy to prepare in the slow cooker, and it goes over so well at gatherings large and small. I frequently take it to potlucks, and I'm always asked what my secret ingredient is! —Marylou LaRue, Freeland, Michigan
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Breadstick Pizza

Not only do refrigerated breadsticks lend a fun twist to pizza, but they make this dish a weeknight staple at my house. Feeding kids? Slice pieces into small strips and let the kids dip each strip into marinara sauce. They’ll love it! —Mary Hankins, Kansas City, Missouri
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Ham Balls with Brown Sugar Glaze

These smoky-sweet meatballs are a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty. I like setting them out when folks come to visit. —Janet Zeger, Middletown, Pennsylvania
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Turtle Cookie Cups

For a twist, use white chocolate chips in the cups and drizzle with white chocolate. — Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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Buttery Almond Green Beans

Toasted almonds add crunch to this no-fuss treatment for fresh beans. They get extra flavor from convenient onion soup mix and Parmesan cheese. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Vanilla Wafers

These buttery cookies bake up chewy and crispy at the same time. Sprinkle these vanilla wafers with colored sugar or leave them as-is. Their simplicity is beauty enough! —Edith MacBeath, Gaines, Pennsylvania
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Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

These cute little bacon-wrapped smokies are finger-licking good. They have a sweet and salty taste that's fun for breakfast or as an appetizer. —Cara Flora, Kokomo, Indiana
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Yummy Corn Chip Salad

Corn chips give a special crunch and an unexpected flavor to this potluck favorite. Bacon adds a hint of smokiness, while the cranberries bring a touch of sweetness. It's the perfect picnic companion! —Nora Friesen, Aberdeen, Mississippi
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BLT Chicken Salad

Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps

I discovered this recipe many years ago, and it's been a favorite among our family and friends ever since. Gingersnaps are timeless—a classic holiday cookie that's welcome year-round. —Francis Stoops, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this dish together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Onion Beef au Jus

Garlic, onions, soy sauce and onion soup mix flavor the tender beef in savory hot sandwiches that are served with a tasty rich broth for dipping. The seasoned beef makes delicious cold sandwiches too. —Marilyn Brown, West Union, Iowa
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Spinach Blueberry Salad

Blueberries are a fun surprise in this salad. I received the recipe from a co-worker's wife, and it's become one of my favorites. —Heidi Gilleland, Lees Summit, Missouri
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BBQ Chicken Sliders

Brining the meat overnight helps make these BBQ chicken sliders taste exceptionally good. Plus, they're so tender, they melt in your mouth. —Rachel Kunkel, Schell City, Missouri
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Strawberry Truffles

The ever-popular combination of strawberries and chocolate shines in these rich, decadent strawberry truffles. I often double the recipe to give as gifts. —Pat Habiger, Spearville, Kansas
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Red Potato Salad Dijon

My mother made the best warm potato salad, and now it's a tradition at all of our tables. Sometimes I use Yukon Gold potatoes to make it even prettier. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
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Oreos and Candy Cane Chocolate Bark

There are incredible surprises in this festive bark, including dark chocolate, candy canes and cream-filled cookies. We keep a big supply ready for gift-giving. —Robin Turner, Lake Elsinore, California