With all the holiday gatherings lined up for the season—family, friends, neighbors, work—it’s easy to run out of ideas for dishes to make. And nobody wants to have the lamest dish at the party. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here are 18 Christmas Potluck Ideas to keep you inspired!
Christmas Potluck Ideas with Pumpkin Spice
Personal-sized desserts are one of our favorite holiday recipes, and Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Espresso Cream are one of our favorite desserts—period! The pumpkin cake that forms the outer shells of the whoopie pie is bold with the cold weather baking spices we love, and the espresso cream makes every bite linger on your tastebuds a little longer.
Christmas Potluck Ideas for the Perfect Side Dish
Be sure to add this unforgettable Smoked Gouda Baked Mac & Cheese to your list of Christmas dishes. Not only does it make a lot of mac & cheese—it’s also super easy to make. Boil your pasta, whip up a mornay sauce with fresh-grated cheese, pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, then bake. You don’t need bacon to get that yummy smokiness in your baked mac & cheese!
A Twist on a Traditional Holiday Side Dish
Holiday potlucks almost always include a bunch of sides. But do they include Pumpernickel Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage? Probably not. But they should, because it’s almost criminal to leave out the combo of earthy pumpernickel with sweet cornbread and the savory depth of breakfast sausage. Try this just once and it’ll become a staple for your holiday menu!
Christmas Potluck Ideas You've Never Tried Before
Cookies are a must for any holiday potluck gathering! Another personal-sized dessert, these Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies take the fall and winter baking spices we crave and steer them in a slightly spicy direction with some cayenne. But don’t worry—the pepper heat is subtle and just makes the cinnamon and chocolate sizzle a little extra on your tongue!
Christmas Potluck Ideas That Are Great To Share
Classic appetizers should be one of your go-to party dishes, because not only are they yummy—they make you feel fancy af. This Italian Stuffed Mushrooms recipe makes a whole heckuva lot, and the bacon, gorgonzola, and mozzarella filling, finished with a balsamic glaze, will have everybody begging you to tell them how they’re made.
Non-Traditional Dinner Rolls for Your Holiday Party
Dinner rolls are an afterthought for most people’s holiday gatherings, but Homemade Garlic Knots can be the HERO. Not only are they an addictive buttery garlic bite, but they reheat well and can be brought back to tasty perfection just by a quick trip to the oven.
Christmas Potluck Ideas That Hit Your Sweet Tooth
It may be cold outside, but ice cream should never be left out of anyone’s Christmas meal! This Honey Rosemary Ice Cream brings a little extra holly jolly to your dessert with everybody’s favorite holiday herb rosemary—not to mention it’s boldened with a kiss of honey. This ice cream can be paired with most any holiday desserts, but it can also be a star all on its own!
Surprising Christmas Potluck Ideas
Everybody needs a little extra fancy added to their holiday party, and this Tomato Galette will NEVER disappoint. The blend of fresh herbs, parmesan and asiago cheese, and roasted tomato all on a free-form pie crust will have family and friends demanding you make it for every gathering ever until the end of time.
Christmas Potluck Ideas from Your Childhood
Sometimes, your Christmas party food needs to offer up something that’s super nostalgic. These Homemade Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets take a childhood favorite and make it adult af with the addition of dijon mustard, fresh thyme, and a blend of cheddar and gruyere cheese. And these are super easy to make in bulk!
Sweet Heat Christmas Potluck Ideas
Never underestimate your Christmas party’s assortment of breads! This Jalapeño Honey Cornbread is so moist and balanced between sweet and heat that your guests will demand you drop the Cards Against Humanity and bust out another batch ASAP. While you can make this recipe in a regular 13×9 pan, a cast iron skillet will change your life. Trust us.
Traditional Italian Christmas Potluck Ideas
Traditional cannoli are already a classic holiday sweet, but have you tried Pumpkin Cannoli with baking spices? Molto bene! Some people say that pumpkin treats shouldn’t be served after Thanksgiving, but those people should never be trusted. After all, there’s no such thing as too much pumpkin spice, especially when we can find ways to sneak it into desserts that we already love.
Easy But Flavorful Holiday Side Dishes
The best thing about root vegetables is that, not only are they winter staples, they’re also ripe for a wide range of flavor combos. These Honey Roasted Beets and Carrots invite all the fresh herbs you can find—rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, sage—along with a kiss of honey that elevates the natural sweetness of the vegetables. These veggies are so easy to make, but their flavor will have your whole holiday party raving.
Spicy Christmas Potluck Ideas
The ultimate holiday appetizers always offer the whole spectrum of flavors and textures—salty, sweet, spicy, tangy, and creamy. These Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Jalapeño Poppers take a popular potluck finger food and twist it up with pineapple and Tajín seasoning. And amongst all the other rich holiday snacks, these Poppers are sure to bring some balance and relief with their sweet heat.
Greek Christmas Potluck Ideas
We’ve got nothing against pies and cookies, but by the time we make it to Aunt Polly’s house on Christmas night, we need to change up the sweets a bit. Enter this Traditional Baklava, with all its gooey, honeyed sweetness and nuttiness all wrapped up in flaky phyllo. What’s great about taking this to any holiday party is that it holds up for at least a week, so you can make it a day or two ahead of time!
15. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Bringing the Green to Christmas Potluck Ideas
Forget all the jokes about grandma’s nasty boiled Brussels sprouts. Maybe everybody wouldn’t be making fun of them if she’d made Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon instead, thinly slicing the sprouts and cooking them in bacon fat, then tossing them with freshly crumbled feta cheese. And this dish is 100% ready to be made in bulk, so feel free to double, triple, or septuple it for all your holiday needs.
Smoky Christmas Potluck Ideas
Winter doesn’t just mean it’s holly jolly jingle tinsel time—it’s also the perfect season for all things smoked. And this BBQ Smoked Chicken recipe gives you a chance to slow-cook some unforgettable flavor into your holiday dish while you’re tending to the thousand other tasks you’ve got on your list. Make this the day of your party, or the day before—either way, you’ll have all the guests coming back for seconds and thirds.
Super Savory Christmas Potluck Ideas
Holiday meals are all about comfort, and this Poblano Corn Risotto takes one of the greatest comfort dishes of all time and kicks it up a notch with the mild heat of roasted poblano, sweet corn, and creamy Monterey jack cheese. The level of savory comfort this twist on classic risotto brings to the table is—well, we just don’t have words for it. Another batch-friendly meal!
The Ultimate Holiday Palate Cleanser
Every holiday get-together needs a palate cleanser, and look no further than this Chili Lime Mango Sorbet. The sweet, tangy heat of this dessert is the perfect bite to take in between rich courses, and the heat isn’t too hot, just the right level to make the luscious mango linger longer on your tastebuds. This has to be top 5 easiest dessert to make of all time, too!
Polish Holiday Potluck Food
Pierogi are already a Polish tradition for Christmas Eve, so why not make these Sweet Potato Pierogi your own modernized tradition? The rich and smooth sweet potato filling lingers after every bite with the nuttiness of gruyere and asiago, and every pierogi is made a bit more luscious with brown butter sage sauce. And keep in mind—you can always freeze leftovers and enjoy them all over again in a few weeks!
Smoky Christmas Appetizers
Every potluck needs some chips and dip. So skip the store-bought french onion sour cream goop and bring this simple Smoked Salsa Verde instead! We’ve taken the traditional Mexican sauce to the smokehouse, the beehive, and the dairy barn by adding some applewood smoke, honey, and crema to bring even more balance and depth. (Hint: You might want to double or triple your batch so you don’t run out in the first hour of the party.)
Lighter Christmas Potluck Dishes
So many holiday dishes involve various combos of fruit and nuts, and this Crunchy Asian Chopped Salad is our surprising twist. Apples, oranges, roasted almonds, chow mein noodles, and bell pepper offer so many textures and flavors, but it’s the Ginger Sesame Dressing with creamy tahini added that really sets this dish off. And if you’re prefer to keep it light, you can always skip the chicken!
Christmas Appetizers That Are Prettier Than Your Outfit
Holiday appetizers should be beautiful, and these Pomegranate Persimmon Crostini do not disappoint. And they taste just as good as they look! Topped with whipped feta (seasoned with cardamom, thyme, and ginger), then finished with Hachiya persimmon and pomegranate seeds, these crostini might start a fistfight over the last one.
Christmas Potluck in a Bowl
Christmas food is all about mixing sweet and savory in memorable ways, and this Creamy Butternut Squash Bisque finds a perfect spot right in the middle. Apple, ginger, and nutmeg meet mirepoix and chicken stock in such a harmonious way that each bite never tastes too much like dinner or too much like dessert.
Classic Food But Fried Ideas
Meatballs are traditionally served during the holidays around the world, but have you ever tried frying them? These Italian Fried Meatballs get stuffed with mozzarella cheese then dressed up in a golden brown breading that adds a little more texture and sauce soakability to this classic dish. We promise Nonna won’t slap you with her wooden spoon.
Japanese Food for Potluck Ideas
These Pork Gyoza (Steamed Dumplings) are the perfect potluck dish—they’re light compared to other dishes, but their filling and dipping sauce offer up big flavors. This is the type of food you can batch really easily, too. Lay out the wontons. Lay down the filling. Fold. Seal. Repeat. Steam. Enjoy.