10 Crowd-Pleasing Potluck Themes

Pin It

Who doesn't like a potluck? A variety of dishes from a variety of cooks means there's bound to be something you've never tried before! Here is a list of ten great potluck themes guaranteed to produce an abundant mosaic of colors, tastes and textures - all will love! Potluck ideas

  1. It’s a Small World
    An International Potluck with specialties from around the world creates a bold, engaging atmosphere. Invite a smorgasbord of Italian, French, German, African, Moroccan, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or Thai cuisine into your menu. From an authentic antipasto salad to a Chinese chicken slaw, the possibilities are endless!
  2. Mexican Fiesta
    Everything about the Mexican Potluck emphasizes family, friends and tradition. Tortilla chips & guacamole, taco shells, refried beans, seasoned shredded chicken or ground beef, fajitas, enchiladas, Spanish rice and diced mango will really give your potluck old world sizzle.
  3. Breakfast for Dinner
    A Breakfast Potluck featuring an assortment of rich and delicious breakfast items is always a huge crowd pleaser. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits, country ham, French toast, coffee cake, sausage, cheese quiche and a variety of jellies, jams and syrups will have even your finicky eaters asking for seconds.

Click here to view a sample sign up.

  1. Southern BBQ
    There are few things in the South more universally revered than a good ole' southern barbecue potluck.  In addition to BBQ pork, brisket, chicken or ribs, a plentiful potluck may include culinary delights like cornbread, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni & cheese, cobbler and banana pudding.

  2. Alphabet Soup
    With 26 letters to choose from, pick one and run with it! Things that start with "C" may become a creative cornucopia that can include chili, chowder, chicken, carrots, cauliflower, calamari, chips, cucumbers, corn, couscous, cake, coconut, cookies, curly fries, chocolate and candy.
Thanksgiving fall potluck dinner party celebration sign up  Potluck meal for family sign up Free online snack or appetizer sign up sheet
  1. Memory Lane
    A Comfort Food Potluck has its own unique style and invokes feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Home style favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken & dumplings, chili, mashed potatoes, pork chops & gravy, meatloaf, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies are a few potluck hall of famers.
  2. Heart & Soul
    A Soul Food Potluck is a tasteful delight for all to experience and enjoy at least once, and this creative theme is a favorite among cooks and food lovers alike. Potluck showstoppers may include fried chicken, pork ribs, succotash, corn bread, okra, black eyed peas, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, collard greens and beans over rice.
  3. Giving Thanks
    It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving Day to give thanks and host a party that features all of your holiday favorites. Even if you get a new twist on an old classic, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie can be enjoyed all year round.

Share your blessings with others by collecting donations for a local Food Bank using SignUpGenius Payments!  Find out how HERE.

  1. The Last Meal
    This unique potluck theme lets your guests choose any item to bring… as long as it begins with the first letter of their last name. Sarah Smith can bring spaghetti, Barbara Brown can bring buffalo wings, Mary Martin can bring mud pie and so on….and so on.
  2. Barnyard Fun
    For a fun down-home feel, you can enjoy a collection of dishes made from anything you would find on a farm. This theme offers a wide variety of food, from vegetarian to meat-inspired, plus the usual range of desserts and breads. There is a lot to choose from but popular meals are barnyard stew, chicken pot pie, roasted pork, sliced turkey, creamed corn, fresh fruits and vegetables, egg salad and zucchini bread to name a few.

Posted by Dan Rutledge

Report Abuse


Posted by Betsy Lytle on Thu Feb 9, 2017 3:14 PM EST
I'm glad this list of themes was helpful to you. While we are not able to expand on the ideas in the article, we do have many icebreaker ideas for various types of groups if you enter the keyword icebreaker in the website resources search field. I hope that helps!

Posted by Nancy Smith on Thu Feb 9, 2017 9:15 AM EST
Just starting a Senior Saints Ministry and looking for some ideas. I love the ones you have presented in this article. I am looking for some decorating ideas and game ideas for your "The Last Meal" theme. Can you help me?

Posted by Janis Felts on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:15 PM EST
WE go to potlucks at a senior mobile home park at their clubhouse. It will be my turn to help host this one. Would like some decorating tips for it. Most of them are just "bring food" and eat. I'd like to have a little something to spark interest except for 'what's for desert?" Simple ideas?? Thanks!

Posted by Carmen Kulik on Mon May 26, 2014 7:13 PM EST
Need further ideas for Last Meal dinner party. Any decoration ideas or table setting ideas?

Posted by Angel Rutledge on Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:07 AM EST
Good catch, Emily! Our daily fare may be pretty similar but what about beaver tails and poutine, eh? But you're right, it probably wouldn't warrant a separate potluck theme. We stand corrected.

Posted by Emily Rankin on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:25 PM EST
Canadian food? I'm pretty sure we eat the exact same foods as our Northern friends...Maybe i'll bring Maple syrup to the next international potluck I attend.

Posted by Sandra West on Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:00 PM EST
Potluck Themes

Posted by Lisa Limes on Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:03 PM EST
At our office we always incorporate a contest to bring out the best dished and competitve spirit. We do Chili Cookoff, The best dip contest, etc. It seems to make people go all out because they want to impress and win. Also, the blind judging is fun for everyone else. Naturally not everyone participates in the contest so you have plenty of variety.

Posted by Leiohu Tong on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:56 PM EST
A Hawaiian Luau is another great theme. Unique flavorings, entertainment, hula dancing, and good fun.

Posted by S Reynolds on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:58 AM EST
I host a family gathering once a month where our meals are set around themes. Thank you for posting these fun and creative ideas.

Posted by Andrea S on Sun May 6, 2012 4:46 AM EST
These ideas are quite unique and helpful. These are wonderful ideas and I will use them. Thanks

Post Your Comment

NOTE: You do not need an account to post. For the ability to delete, create an account.

First Name:*   
Last Name:*   
Email me when new comments are made to this page

Organize Your Potluck Online!
Sign Up List 1. Build a Sign Up Form
Sign-Up Sheet 2. Invite Your Group
Sign-Up Template 3. People Sign Up Online
Signup Form 4. We Send Reminders

Create A Sign Up Learn More

This is such a great tool! Evite is well-known and great, but if you need to coordinate responses as well as volunteers and potluck items... this is the thing!!! What an awesome service you are providing. I’m in the process of planning a potentially large open-house party to celebrate life with a very sick friend in our neighborhood.... Evite could in no way handle what I needed. I’m so grateful to find your service. After only a couple hours of the sign up going live, I was already so relieved I used it!
Jen Niemo - Concord, CA
See what others say