18 Recipes to Make Sure the Holiday Potluck Spread Doesn't Suck
Someone's got to make sure it's not all grocery store cupcakes.
Photo by Heami Lee.
December means one thing's for certain—office holiday parties. And if your company or place of employment is too cheap to spring for a caterer, they dress up the act of asking the party guests to be the ones to bring the party food themselves as a fun, totally mandatory, community-building activity. If you’re about to be forced to mingle in a conference room with several dozen of your co-workers, you might as well make sure that you know there’s at least one good thing to eat on the buffet spread—your dish. Whether you’re feeling like making a dip, an appetizer, a casserole, or maybe a dessert, you’ve got to be sure that it ticks off several important criteria. It should be a non-divisive item. It should be in a big batch. It should be easy to eat standing up and milling about with a paper plate and limited cutlery. And of course, it should be delicious. So whether it’s your co-workers or your friends and family that you’ll be sharing this collaborative meal with, we’ve got you covered with some fool-proof holiday potluck ideas.
Why is it that so many people aren’t big fans of artichokes themselves, but artichoke dip never fails to win everyone over? (JK, we know why—its all that cheese. But we’ve got a vegan version, too!)
A little crock of this cheesy, creamy onion dip and a big bag of potato chips (or crudités or crackers) and you’ve got your contribution to the potluck covered.
So much better than a simple cocktail shrimp.
Another one-bite wonder that turns sort-of-boring-on-its-own stuffing into something fun for a party.
This recipe makes a big batch of fritters—enough tiny bites to serve 50—but only takes 45 minutes to pull together.
Putting stuff on toasts is the secret to feeding a crowd easily, and this classic flavor combo will definitely be a hit.
A little sweetness from the apricots, a little creamy tang from the ricotta and goat cheese, and some freshness from torn mint and basil makes these crostini a well-balanced bite.
Baked ziti is the perfect big-batch type of dish for a potluck like this because it’s super easy to assemble, and everyone’s going to love it.
Sure, you could bring a platter of soggy hoagies made for you by the deli section in the grocery store. Or you could throw all the best flavors of an Italian hoagie into a pasta salad for something even better.
Everyone always forgets about the vegetables. Be the hero and bring some much needed freshness and acid to balance out all the other heavy, starchy, or sweet things.
Rather than a green bean casserole (although we’ve got one of those, too), why not go with a lighter salad option? But not too light—we’ve still got plenty of bacon in here for you.
A little fancier than just a big bowl of mashed potatoes, this gratin is what you need to impress your boss to clinch that holiday bonus you’re hoping for.
Keep it light with some simple mashed sweet potatoes and carrots, sans marshmallows on top.
You could make this cornbread in a cast iron skillet and let people serve themselves, but making muffins means they’re already the perfect portion size.
Everyone loves brownies, and these ones are a little extra special, with a sprinkling of sugar on top before baking, giving the top a lovely crunch that your average boxed mix doesn’t have.
Blueberries might not quite be in season, but any sweet thing that can easily be cut into little squares for easy serving is perfect for a potluck dessert spread.
A stunner of a cake, with minimal effort, especially if you keep the decoration rustic like we did here and leave the edges naked.
Someone’s gotta be responsible for beverages, right? Get everybody nice and tipsy with a big batch of this punch that’s perfect for winter, and a snap to pull together.