How to Host a Holiday Potluck Dinner

How to Host a Holiday Potluck Dinner

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Don’t you think it’s time that the Potluck Dinner came back? Me too!  I’ve gathered some of the best Potluck worthy recipes around! We have main dishes, appetizers, desserts, and even a couple of gluten free vegan ones! I’ll help you put your pot luck party together with these ideas.  This easy Christmas potluck holiday party will get everyone ready for the holidays!  Here’s your guide for how to host a holiday potluck dinner!


The best part about the holidays is how many times people gather together as opposed to the rest of the year.  There seems to be a party every weekend, and delicious food everywhere!  Looking for a way to make it easier on yourself when you are looking to host a holiday get-together? Host a holiday pot luck dinner!

I remember that potluck dinners were a real big thing back in the 70’s and 80’s.  Church gatherings, picnics, even Christmastime brought people together, dish in hand to help you celebrate.  They were non pretentious, fun times that gave people something to celebrate.  Your mom’s friends would show up with their best dishes, and you got to go from plate to plate sampling all sorts of different delicacies.  The office also used to be commonplace for potluck celebrations.

But I haven’t heard of many potluck dinners lately.  And I’m on a mission to bring them back (if in fact, they’ve gone away)! It’s an absolutely fantastic way to gather people around your table enjoying each other’s company without all of the pretense.

Get the Party Started 

The first step in getting a potluck party together is putting the idea out there.  So my first step would be to download an invitation you can print out and send/deliver to people you’d like to join the festivities. I absolutely love this one by Anton at ViolaMirabllisHome.  It’s can be edited, downloaded, and printed right away.  The colors, the design – it’s all beautiful.  And sorry, not sorry.  Handing or mailing someone a paper invitation is always a nice way to go.

How to Host a Thanksgiving Potluck - Sweet Humble Home

TIP: Make sure you send out invitations 4 weeks in advance.  This gives people enough time to plan to attend! 

Remember that potluck means that people can bring what they wish!

You can’t assign everyone a dish – that’s just not potluck.  What you can do is put out a sign up sheet so that everyone can see what everyone else is brining.  Perhaps you can separate the list into categories and place it up on Google Docs or some other sharing site. If people still ask you what to bring, simply look at the list and suggest something.  Follow that up by filling in the list.  You may want to consider making a couple of main dishes yourself when hosting to be sure there is a full meal.

TIP: If you are aware of an extreme allergy – note it on the form so that other guests are aware of the allergy and don’t use that food item in their dish.  

Setting Up Your Space for a Potluck

Having your close crew over for a potluck really shouldn’t change much for the set up of a potluck dinner.  You can place each of the dishes on the table and have at it!  However; if you’re expecting a larger crowd, as is most times the case in potluck, you need a bit more prep.

Here are some tips for setting up your space:

  • Push a couple of long tables against the wall to make flow easier.
  • If you don’t have room for an extra table, use your countertops.  Clear the countertops as best you can using that space for dishes as people arrive.  Make sure to set out trivets on the counter and to have outlets free as many dishes will arrive hot or in slow cookers.
  • Set up plates, napkins, serving spoons and utensils at the beginning of the space where the line will form for the potluck dishes.
  • Leave food labels and sharpies out so that people can place a label next to their dish.
  • Put together a bar area away from the food.  This will help the flow.
  • Place any desserts that are brought near your coffee/tea pot.  Don’t forget cream and sugar as well.
  • Set up some “leftover tins” so people can bring home leftovers.  There are some really neat ones out there now!

Let’s Clean Up

Or, let’s not!  Don’t spend time in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner.  Show people where the leftover boxes are and ask them to take what they would like.  If guests offer to help, let them, but leave the big clean up for yourself.  After all , you didn’t have to cook dinner.

Potluck Recipes to Try:

I asked my fellow bloggers for a few potluck dinner ideas and they shared a bunch.  Here are just a few. Also – I have to tell you, give my Ultimate Homemade Macaroni & Cheese. It’s one of the best mac and cheese recipes out there!

Jen at Whole Lotta Yum shared a recipe for Roast Beetroot Salad with Feta

How To Host a Potluck Dinner - Sweet Humble Home

This Zucchini Pizza Casserole is a perfect potluck dinner meal! Thanks to Marathons & Motivation for sharing it!

How to Host a Potluck Dinner - Sweet Humble Home

Michelle at My Gluten Free Kitchen has a fantastic recipe for gluten free corn bread!

How to Host a Potluck Dinner - Sweet Humble Home

This delicious looking 7-Layer Salad was submitted by Drugstore Divas and is something I want to try!How to Host a Pot Luck - Sweet Humble Home


Ham & Cheese Sliders are a great potluck dinner idea! Thank you, Kylee at Kylee Cooks for sharing!

How to Host a Pot Luck Dinner - Sweet Humble Home

What potluck doesn’t need a dip?

Joe & Stacy from We Dish It Up shared this yummy looking Easy Cherry Cheesecake Dip.

How to host a potluck dinner - Sweet Humble Home


There are SO many recipes to try!

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