Kitchen Tips

18 perfect potluck recipes for when you’re not sure what to bring

Arrive at your next potluck in style with our guide to bringing the perfect sharing dish. From drinks to showstoppers and everything in between, these recipes will turn you into a potluck pro.

By Harriet Keown
Photo: Todd Eyre
There's no denying that working out what to bring to a potluck can be stressful, so we've done the hard yards for you and rounded up the best dishes to bring to a shared meal. Whether you're in a race against time, all the guests have different dietary requirements, or there's that one person you just need to impress… we've got you covered. Simply get in the kitchen and get making that star dish.

When you don’t have time

Don't fret if you only have thirty minutes to spare, one of our low-effort but high-impact dishes is just what you need. Try these vege parcels with sundried tomato pesto and feta, which take just ten minutes to prepare but look and taste divine. Either cook before you go or pop them in the oven once you arrive.
Salads are also a convenient last minute idea, and always make a welcome addition to a meal. Our broccoli, oats and almond salad with creamy charred lemon dressing is a colourful combo that takes just 30 minutes to make, or this summery watermelon, peach and basil salad with balsamic dressing can be whipped up in just ten minutes - too easy!
Vege parcels with sundried tomato pesto and feta

When your fridge is empty

If you completely forgot about your potluck until the day, and even your barren fridge isn't on your side, never fear! With just a few kumara or potatoes, you are perfectly placed to bring an essential dish. These golden and crispy roast potatoes are one of our favourite sides, and only need olive oil and butter to be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Or you could try these baked kumara slices, which look extra gourmet but actually only require a dash of olive oil and maple syrup, plus a sprinkle of thyme.
Dessert doesn't have to be a complicated affair either. If you've got a packet of instant coffee, simply grab a tub of vanilla ice cream on the way and whip up these easy affogatos for a fuss-free but oh-so delicious treat.
Maple, thyme and garlic baked kumara slices

When cooking isn’t your thing

Looks like you can be in charge of drinks! Even if you're not confident in the kitchen, it's nice to show that you've made an effort to bring something special in the drinks department, so pull out your bartender skills and rustle up one of our refreshing punch recipes. This sparkling berry punch is perfect for enjoying in the sun, as is our recipe for summer fruit punch. Both can be mixed up in less than 15 minutes, but will make you look like a cocktail connoisseur! Or most simple of all, our white summer sangria requires just a few pours of various liquids and voilà, you have yourself a delicious crowd-pleasing concoction.
White summer sangria

When the crowd is hard to please

At some social events, you need to be mindful of the guests attending and whether there are any special food requirements. You'll never be able to cater to everyone with one dish, but you can help by avoiding certain food groups. Try our vegan chocolate cake for a dairy-free, gluten-free and egg-free recipe that everyone will love. It's so easy to make and results in a luscious and perfectly moist dessert.
If you'd rather bring something savoury, these grilled cheesy courgettes are a fantastic idea for a vegetarian and gluten-free side dish. It's quick and simple, yet bursting with flavour thanks to the parmesan, feta and pine nuts. Or you could try this colourful barbecued vegetable tart for another tasty vegetarian option - and if you want to make it dairy-free, simply leave out the feta!
Vegan chocolate cake

When you’re there to impress

A sure-fire way to make a good impression is by bringing a show-stopping dessert. Try our baked berry cheesecake with its irresistible combination of crumbly cookie base, silky cheesecake filling and vibrant berry sauce. Or for something slightly more advanced, this chocolate beetroot cake with salted caramel buttercream has an outstanding blend of flavours, not to mention how stunning it looks!
If you really want to show off your creativity, this make-your-own fruity ice bowl with tropical ambrosia is a definite head-turner. Displayed in a unique homemade ice ornament, this really takes dessert to a new level! Remember that if you're making a dish that is more complex, it's a good idea to test out your recipe before your potluck so you can be confident that you've mastered the recipe.
Make-your-own fruity ice bowl with tropical fruit ambrosia

When you’re told not to bring a thing

Some gracious hosts might insist they have got everything sorted, but it's always nice to surprise a friend with a yummy homemade treat on your arrival! Show how much you appreciate the invite by bringing a jar of these citrus coconut balls to enjoy after dinner - they only take 15 minutes to make but will be such a hit. If you think something chocolatey is more the style of the evening, this after-dinner mint bark is perfect for indulging, or go for a sweet late-night kick with these rum truffles.
Citrus coconut balls
Get more potluck inspiration from our collection of easy bring-a-plate ideas!