This collection of sure-to-impress potluck ideas will help cut your prep time. Stress less in the kitchen so that you can enjoy all the end-of-the-school-year celebrations.
For anyone with school-aged kids, the end of the school year brings a mix of excitement and relief—and usually a potluck get-together or two. With everything from nursery school and kindergarten graduations to teacher appreciation lunches, volunteer barbecues, and class picnics on the horizon, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Between wrapping up the school year, meeting work deadlines, arranging summer plans, buying teachers’ gifts and keeping up with my yard work, I’m pretty busy in June—like most moms I know. So my first choice for a potluck offering is to arrange a bunch of vegetables or cheese on a board and call it a day. Not surprisingly, that’s a popular option, and someone usually beats me to it.
That’s where this list of best potluck ideas comes in handy. These low-fuss, portable recipes are sure to wow whatever crowd is getting together. Whether you’ve signed up for an appetizer, side, main or dessert, there’s something on this list that’ll help make you the star of the potluck.
Best Potluck Ideas for End-of-School Celebrations:
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
- BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders
- Cobb Salad Subs
- Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
- Double Lemon Bars
Deviled eggs have been part of my family’s potlucks since I was a kid, so when my son’s elementary school organized a teachers’ appreciation lunch, it felt right to bring a tray of them. They were the first things to disappear, so I can’t be the only one with a soft spot for these hard boiled little beauties.
A batch of good old-fashioned deviled eggs is deceptively simple to make. (Besides eggs, you really only need mayonnaise and mustard like Maille’s tasty Original Dijon mustard). This recipe by skinnytaste recommends cooking the eggs in an Instant Pot to make peeling the eggs even faster and easier.
This Mediterranean couscous salad recipe from celebrity chef Ricardo is packed with fresh, bright Mediterranean flavours, including kalamata olives by Unico and white wine vinegar. Although it’s a perfect summer side dish, the couscous by Casbah and feta cheese make this salad filling enough to be a main.
One of the best things about pasta salad is that you can make it ahead of time—and it only gets better. This recipe from Pinch of Yum includes salami, but you can make it meatless, and it’ll still pack loads of flavour. There’s an option to make your own salad dressing, but in a pinch, sub in your favourite premade Italian dressing.
This BBQ pulled chicken from All Recipes combines your favourite barbecue sauce and Italian dressing with brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. (There are lots of suggestions in the recipe’s comments section.) It takes just a few minutes to prep and then the slow cooker does all the work—without heating up your kitchen. The best part is that there’s hardly any mess to clean up. Just slice up some slider buns, and you’re all set.
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This sandwich recipe from Taste of Home turns a classic salad into something you can eat with your hands. While the original recipe is a quick and easy crowd-pleaser, you can play with the ingredients to suit different tastes—swap out the gorgonzola for a milder cheese, substitute lettuce for baby spinach or make wraps by using tortillas by Old El Paso instead of bread. To keep the bread from getting soggy, add the balsamic vinaigrette just before you slice and serve.
It could not be simpler to turn in-season fresh strawberries into something truly special—just dip them in melted chocolate chips! (Bonus: kids will have lots of fun helping out with this recipe.) Drizzle melted white chocolate chips (or a chopped-up white chocolate bar by Lindt) over the berries to make them even prettier. The best part? Leftovers go to the chef—although there might not be any.
In this easy recipe from Food Network Canada, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) suggests placing the berries on parchment paper—this one by PaperChef works great—until the chocolate sets. If you don’t already keep it in your kitchen, it’s handy to keep in the kitchen for lining baking sheets and pans.
Potlucks are meant to be fun and stress-free, but the thought of bringing a dish that doesn’t get touched makes a lot of us sweat. (I can’t be the only one!) Armed with this list of best potluck ideas, you can feel confident that your dish will have other parents asking for the recipe. And aside from wishing everyone a great summer, isn’t that the point of these potlucks? (I’m kidding! Mostly.)