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Summer is one of the best times to get together with friends and family and that means cookouts and potlucks galore. But what to bring? Summer potlucks seem so simple but sometimes deciding what to make can feel kinda tricky, right?! We’re here to help you out and make it easier.
The best summer potluck ideas should check at least one of the following boxes (but the more, the better). They should be make-ahead friendly, easy to transport, easy to serve, and able to sit out for a while. Bonus points for summer potluck recipes that are made in big batches to feed a crowd (hello, pesto pasta salad and sheet pan lemon tart!) and don’t need to be cooked at all (go for the carrot tahini salad!).
Whether you’re going for finger foods, a side that’s super easy, a dish that’s guaranteed to impress, or something you can make without heating up the kitchen, we have you covered with 32 summer potluck ideas.
Summer Potluck Finger Foods
Any time you want to bring something other than a salad or dessert, an app or easy finger food is always a welcome addition.
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Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese Skewers
Tomato-mozzarella salad epitomizes summer living, Italian-style, and putting it on a stick is simply an easier way for a crowd to enjoy it. It also ensures a perfect ration of cheese to tomato to basil. Go to Recipe
Easy Summer Potluck Ideas
When you want something super simple that everyone is sure to love, go for a tangy slaw, cucumber salad, or no-bake icebox cake.
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Sandwich for a Crowd
If your potluck is a picnic in the park for a moderately sized crowd, make this sandwich to share. You can go with a caprese version, this Italian mix, or turkey and cheddar. Go to Recipe
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3-Bean Israeli Couscous Salad
Make extra pearl couscous for dinner and use the leftovers to toss together this herb-laced three-bean salad. It makes a great side dish or vegetarian main dish at a potluck. Go to Recipe
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Lemon Cream Icebox Cake
If you master one dessert technique this summer, let it be the icebox cake. The variations are endless, and they are incredibly easy to assemble. Go to Recipe
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Pesto Pasta Salad
Nothing says summer like tendrils of pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber dressed in a basil pesto sauce. Keep it extra-easy by using your favorite store-bought pesto.Go to Recipe
Potluck Dishes That Will Impress
This lineup is guaranteed to have people asking you for the recipe. And best of all most of these are quick and easy to pull together without every turning on the oven.
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Yes, you can bring soup to a summer potluck — just as long as the soup is chilled and you remember to bring plenty of small cups for serving. Go to Recipe
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Mini Ice Cream Cakes
Not only can you make these ice cream cakes well in advance, but you can also vary the flavors of ice cream, pound cake, and toppings to truly make them your own. Go to Recipe
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Seasonal Fruit Chaat
You could stick to plain-Jane fruit salad or spice it up a bit with chaat masala, a spice blend that usually contains green mango powder, cumin, coriander, and ginger. Go to Recipe
No-Cook Potluck Ideas
From salad to slaws to no-bake cookies to Rice Krispies treats, there’s no shortage of winning ideas to make without turning on the oven.
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This fresh corn salad is mixed with juicy tomatoes, sweet basil, and salty feta for a simple, refreshing salad that tastes like summer. Go to Recipe
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Easy No-Bake Cheesecake
This no-bake cheesecake is impossibly smooth without a hint of graininess, perfectly creamy and tangy, and complete with a buttery graham cracker crust.Go to Recipe