These 18 Summer Potluck Ideas are Recipes Made for Sharing (2024)

If you're looking for the best summer potluck ideas, you've come to the right place. We have refreshing salads, snackable appies, hearty summer main dish potluck recipes, and even sweet ideas for dessert. You can build your perfect shareable seasonal feast with these easy, crowd-pleasing options.

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BLT Salad

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A BLT with thick slices of juicy ripe tomatoes is something we look forward to each and every summer. Think of this summer potluck idea as a deconstructed variation on the theme. Simply layer crunchy bacon, garlic focaccia croutons, fresh spinach, romaine, and chopped heirloom tomatoes to make this salad. Then serve with a big bowl of our DIY Dilled Avocado Dressing so guests can drizzle as desired.

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Southern Pork Tenderloin Salad

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Add some spice-rubbed grilled pork tenderloin for a salad that eats like a meal! Along with the fiber-rich black-eyed peas and veggies, a bonus protein boost from hard-boiled eggs, and purely delicious corn bread croutons, this is one of the absolute best summer potluck ideas. Plus, it serves eight to 10 hungry adults. Not big into pork? You could also try the same base with grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or salmon.

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Cream Pie Whoopie Pies

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Ice cream sandwiches might be what you're used to as a seasonal sweet. But when melting is a concern, we prefer this summer potluck idea that won't melt in your hand. This cookie sandwich recipe is particularly clever for crowds, since it comes with a mix of flavor options you can select from so everyone has a combo they like. We have a tough time picking a favorite from Lemon Cream, Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, Double-Chocolate Cream, and Strawberry Cream, so we often make a mix.

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Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake

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A pitcher of lemonade is one of the MVP summer potluck ideas. This fruity sheet cake takes that sweet-tart flavor and transforms it into a serves-24 dessert. The cake batter gets a punch from lemon zest and almond extract, then once it's baked, the poke part comes in. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, press holes into the cake, drizzle with thawed frozen lemonade concentrate, and slather on fresh blueberry sauce and lemon curd whipped cream. So refreshing!

Hummus 4 Ways

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A make-ahead dip like this can cure any possible snack attacks while the main dish finishes cooking or if playtime gets intense and refueling is required. This easy summer potluck dish is colorful, customizable, and a subtle way to sneak in some nutrition from chickpeas and veggies. Try any or all of our renditions: Lime-Avocado, Roasted Squash, Roasted Beet, or Bell Pepper. Then, add a platter of crudités and some crackers, and you'll have a cool and quick nosh.

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Farro and Fruit Salad

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Thanks to heart-healthy pistachios and whole grains like farro, fruit salad has never been so trendy or hearty. A tart and tangy DIY dressing tops off the make-ahead summer potluck recipe. Simply layer all the dressing ingredients in a Mason jar and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, shake things up, pour the dressing over the salad, grab some forks, and devour.

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Best Oven-Barbecued Chicken

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Smoky, tangy, and finger-lickin' good, there's nothing like a great barbecue sauce—especially when it's homemade. Our concoction stars garlic, brown sugar, and two kinds of peppers for a layered flavor that's perfect on tender baked chicken.

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Herbed Potato Salad

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Switch things up and think beyond standard mayo-laden spud salads. Packed with fresh herb flavor and spicy Dijon, this summer potluck idea is a recipe that doesn't need a heavy dressing. If you're looking for herb inspiration, we love how plump red potatoes taste with tarragon, dill, or parsley.

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Gooey Butter Bars

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There's no doubt that these moist, almond-infused bars are a guaranteed winning summer potluck idea. But don't just take our word for it. One BH&G reader/baker says of this recipe: "You have to try these!" The fresh berry topping is tossed with ginger and honey for bursts of sweetly spiced fruit flavor.

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Summer Pasta Salad

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No roundup of recipes for outdoor potlucks would be complete without pasta salad. Showcase all your farmers market faves—such as summer squash, tomato, and baby spinach—along with any noodle variety you have. Toss in some thinly sliced prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, and you'll have one seriously scene-stealing pasta salad.

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Cucumber-Honeydew Salad with Feta

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Fruit salad and veggie salad need not be mutually exclusive. The light, refreshing combination of melon and cucumber in this summer potluck recipe gets a tangy twist from dill and feta. Toss it all with a zippy lemon dressing that's just nutty enough, thanks to poppy seeds.

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Best-Ever Dill Pickles

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Every spread of savory summer potluck items is made better with tangy pickles to cut through the richness. A one-to-one mix of vinegar and water plus six tablespoons of dill seeds infuse small cucumbers with a major dose of peppy pickle flavor. Whip up a 36-serving batch up to a week ahead to make party prep less hectic.

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Lemon-Lime Bars

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Key lime pie meets lemon bars in this sweet-tart summer potluck idea for a dessert that's a terrific ending to any alfresco meal. Melt-in-your-mouth layers of lemon and lime filling burst with citrus flavor and combine with a buttery crust. Top the easy bar recipe with a dusting of powdered sugar for a final sweet and photo-worthy finish.

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Mexican-Inspired Mac and Cheese

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Skip the boxed mac. This easy summer potluck dish delivers a similar dose of nostalgia with more flavor and fewer artificial ingredients. Classic mac and cheese meets zesty pork taco in this creative make-and-take casserole. Top with your favorite taco recipe fixings for a dish that's sure to be an instant crowd favorite.

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Spiked Raspberry-Lemonade Cupcakes

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When life gives you lemons, we say, "Make cupcakes." Fresh lemon and a dash of raspberry liqueur lend enticing fruity flavor to this fun summer potluck idea. For a unique twist, try elderflower liqueur (aka St. Germain) in the batter in place of the berry-flavored spirit.

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Root Veggie Chips with Sea Salt

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Potato chips and dip? Not this time. Bake a colorful batch using beets, parsnips, and rutabagas for this summer potluck idea. And remember: A little sea salt goes a long way.

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Sweet and Tangy Four-Bean Salad

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Tomatoes and sugar add sweetness, while a homemade Dijon-and-cider vinaigrette adds tanginess to this flavorful twist on traditional bean salad. Make it up to two days ahead, then add the green beans just before serving.

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Deviled Egg Salad

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Talk about a brilliant summer mash-up recipe! This irresistible summer potluck salad travels beautifully. Simply toss together a mixture of lettuces, peppers, bacon, and onion with these easy-to-make deviled eggs. A splash of dill vinaigrette adds a fresh flavor.

These 18 Summer Potluck Ideas are Recipes Made for Sharing (2024)

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