15 inspired Southern apps, mains, desserts and cocktails to bring to your next potluck
Potlucks may seem easy, but making anything in big batches can be a challenge. Even if you’re using some of your most time-tested recipes, scaling them up to serve a crowd can mean that they fall short of the flavor mark.
To help ensure potluck success, make sure to consult this list of 15 inspired recipes to bring to your next event. We won’t steer you wrong.
Crab deviled eggs
Deviled eggs can find their way into just about any spread for entertaining. For a fun, particularly festive twist on a classic, try mixing in crab meat and seafood seasoning. The richness of the egg can take the additional salt and heat, coming together in a mash-up of deviled eggs and crab salad. Get the recipe
Bob Armstrong chili con queso
This easy-to-make appetizer is basically a chili con queso with taco meat, guacamole and sour cream. It's a crowd-pleaser, even if your crowd is very picky. You can either mix cooked taco meat into the cheese mixture or place everything on top and let your guests customize their own bite. Another plus? You can make and keep this dish warm in a slow cooker, making it easy to transport and perfect for your potluck. Get the recipe
Baked brie with bacon and apples
What could be a more classic appetizer than cheese and crackers? This irresistible version kicks up a favorite several notches by baking creamy brie with heaps of bacon bits. Apple adds a touch of sweetness. It's perfection.
The key to moving baked brie from the oven to a serving dish is a simple but brilliant trick: bake it on parchment paper and keep it there. Get the recipe
Bacon-wrapped andouille-stuffed dates
This is a dish that no one will forget. Be prepared to constantly answer, “Where did you get this recipe?” While it has its roots as a Spanish tapa, the ingredients — pecans, spicy andouille and smoky bacon — are purely Southern. Get the recipe
Chicken and Dumplings
Is there a more Southern dish on this earth than a warming bowl of chicken and dumplings? This hearty stew is perfect for a potluck as it doesn’t take much to make this meal. Dumplings can take on many forms, and we like these drop biscuits for their softness.
We’ve taken the liberty of loading this recipe down with shortcuts, so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen for hours before your event. Get the recipe
Filling, portable and completely customizable, chili is perfect for potlucks. While this recipe has a longer cook time than a chili made from ground beef, your patience will be rewarded with an intensely beefy stew with a pop of heat from the chilies. Don’t forget to pack an array of toppings, including cheese, sour cream and sliced scallions. Get the recipe
Pot roast with sweet onion gravy
A properly made pot roast can be labor and time intensive, but, man, is the pay-off worth it. Pot roasts achieve their sought-after flavor and beyond-tender meat from low and slow cooking, which means a low, 300-degree oven and a long, three-hour simmer. Once done the reward is more than worth the wait. Get the recipe
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Chicken and andouille gumbo
This one seems complicated, but as long as you're patient with the roux, it should be a piece of cake. Using store-bought rotisserie chicken and broth is a good way to save time. Provide white rice and some hot sauce, and expect people to line up for this potluck-friendly dish. Get the recipe
Cast iron chocolate chip cookie
Here’s an experiment to try: Yell out, “warm chocolate chip cookie,” and see how fast people show up. This dessert is absolutely perfect. First of all, it’s a giant chocolate chip cookie. Second, it’s made and served in a cast-iron skillet, so hello, crunchy crust.
Should you happen to serve this fresh out of the oven, make sure you let guests know the skillet is hot, or at least throw a kitchen towel over the handle. Get the recipe
Apple clafoutis with bourbon caramel sauce
Clafoutis is a French dessert that almost tastes like a hybrid of a cake and a flan or even a bread pudding. The hardest part of this dish is making the bourbon caramel sauce, which is to say, not hard at all. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Get the recipe
Double crust peach cobbler
Are you even a Southerner if you don’t bring a peach cobbler to a potluck? This double-crust cobbler is topped with a caramel-walnut sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. While the recipe calls for frozen peaches, you can certainly use fresh peaches when they’re available. Get the recipe
Kentucky bourbon balls
When bourbon is the main ingredient in a dish, how could you not make it? These bourbon balls are insanely easy to prepare and do not require much time to set up once formed. Since it’s being mixed with sugar, pecans and cookie crumbs, don’t waste your best bourbon in this recipe. This is an instance where budget-friendly bourbons are welcome. Get the recipe
Peachy keen sparkling punch
This big-batch boozy punch will leave your guests tipsy and pleased. Made with bourbon, frozen peaches, lemonade and a rosemary simple syrup, it’s fairly strong but still full of fruity flavor. Get the recipe
Old Chatham Artillery punch
Once mixed in a bucket by the local militia, this booze-heavy punch was both a celebration and a challenge for visiting dignitaries to Georgia in the early 1800s. Made with the three spirits readily available in the mid-nineteenth century — cognac, rum and bourbon — it's topped off with equal portions of sparkling wine for a celebratory note. Spring for Champagne if you really want to impress. Get the recipe
Slow cooker mulled wine
This recipe can be made and served out of a slow cooker, perfect for a party. Just combine all the ingredients over low heat and let your Crock-Pot work its magic for a few hours. Because the sugar and spices would kill any of a good wine’s subtle nuances, be sure to use a less expensive bottle for this cocktail. Get the recipe
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