50 Creative Potluck Themes (2022)

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50 Creative Potluck Themes (1)

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Potlucks are a fun and easy way to bring people together and share your favorite dishes. But not all potlucks are created equal. Some are more memorable and enjoyable. Maybe it’s the food or the friendship, or perhaps it’s the creativity that adds something that makes it all more enjoyable.

No matter what type of potluck you are planning, enjoying yummy food and wonderful company is always delightful. Try some of these unique potluck themes that are guaranteed to add some festive flair and make your event a little more memorable.

  1. It's a Small World- An international potluck with specialties from around the world creates a bold, engaging atmosphere. People can bring their favorite international meal and share stories about the inspiration for their dishes.
  2. Mexican Fiesta-Mexican food is beloved by many. It’s also a cuisine that’s flexible and can accommodate those who are gluten-free. For this theme, the menu could include tortilla chips and guacamole, taco shells, refried beans, seasoned shredded chicken or ground beef, fajitas, enchiladas. Be sure to add Spanish rice and diced mango to really add flair to your potluck.
  3. Breakfast for Dinner-This is a flexible option that you can even host as a brunch option. Try a waffle bar with fun toppings or allow people to order customized omelets. Turn your potluck into a diner feel with a host of options.
  4. Southern BBQ- There are few things in the South more universally revered than a good ole' Southern barbecue potluck. The host can provide the pork barbeque, whether you’re a pitmaster or would rather whip up a tasty batch in the crockpot. Have others bring the sides such as cornbread, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni & cheese, cobbler and banana pudding. Don’t forget to send us an invite!
  5. Alphabet Soup-Pick a letter and run with it! The letter "C" may inspire a menu including chili, chowder, chicken, carrots, cauliflower, calamari, chips, cucumbers, corn, couscous, cake, coconut, cookies, curly fries, and chocolate.
  6. Memory Lane-Focus on comfort foods to invoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Homestyle favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, chili, mashed potatoes, pork chops & gravy, meatloaf, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies are a few potluck hall-of-famers. Let your friends and neighbors choose their favorite comfort food to bring.
  7. Heart & Soul- A soul food potluck is a tasteful delight for all to enjoy. Potluck showstoppers may include fried chicken, pork ribs, succotash, cornbread, okra, black-eyed peas, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, collard greens and beans over rice.
  8. Giving Thanks- It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving Day to give thanks and host a party that features your holiday favorites. Even if you try a new twist on an old classic, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round. Genius Tip: Throw in a Honey Baked Ham to really wow your crowd.
  9. The Last Name Meal-Guests are asked to bring a dish that begins with the first letter of their last name. Mrs. Smith can bring spaghetti; Ms. Brown can bring buffalo wings; Mr. Martin can bring mud pie, and so on.
  10. Barnyard Fun- For a fun down-home feel, you can enjoy a collection of dishes made from anything you would find on a farm. It’s the classic meat and potatoes sort of meal. Popular meals include barnyard stew, chicken pot pie, roasted pork, sliced turkey, creamed corn, fresh fruits and vegetables, egg salad, and zucchini bread to name a few.
  11. Finger Foods- This is a great potluck option when folks are coming over to watch a game or you want to keep it light. There's no need to polish the silver for this meal because your guests will just be using their fingers! Sliders, taquitos, chips, dips, and countless desserts will be enjoyed. Make sure to have extra napkins on hand (and maybe some toothpicks)!
  12. Stuff It-This meal includes anything you can stuff. You might be surprised by some of the creativity that folks have with stuffing various foods. You may want to wear stretchy pants to this potluck because you are sure to leave full! Stuffed peppers, stuffed mushroom, and stuffed burgers are delicious options that come to mind.

Coordinate a neighborhood fiesta with an online sign up.View an Example

  1. Book Theme- There is nothing better than a lively discussion of a good book… unless you pair the perfect menu to go with the book’s central theme, location setting or time period.
  2. Luau- This is a great theme for summer. Be sure to break out the Tiki torches and other decorations to give it the island luau feel. For this Hawaiian-themed event be sure to offer your guests leis upon arrival to help them join you in celebrating island life. Dishes can include beef kabobs, tuna poke, pork sliders with mango salsa, fruit skewers, and tropical drinks.
  3. Mom or Dad’s Favorite- This is a night to celebrate Mom or Dad by cooking their favorite or best dishes. Invite guests to share their memories of special home cooking. But, keep their caregiver’s favorite recipe a secret — everyone will understand.
  4. Fire and Ice- This idea blends "hot" dishes that have some spice to them with some "cool" dishes such as pasta salad. It will make for a vibrant evening from appetizers to main dishes to desserts.
  5. Pizza Extravaganza- There might be some friendly competition happening on pizza night because everyone has a favorite style. For a fun twist, prep individually sized dough and have guests bring a range of pizza toppings to create their own custom pizza. Don't forget a dessert pizza! Another option is to allow folks to bring their favorite pizza but allow carryout options to make it easier.
  6. State Fair Food- The food vendors at the State Fair are half the fun, so recreate fair food in your own home and encourage your guests to be a bit ridiculous. Pizza on a stick anyone?
  7. Fry Night- Ok, admit it. Everyone loves deep-fried food even though we all know better! Plan a fun night of frying and throw in some unexpected offerings.
  8. Mardi Gras- Crawfish, muffulettas, and other Cajun-inspired dishes are the highlight of this event. Don't forget the beads, masks and the King Cake of course!
  9. Chili Cookoff- This is a night for guests to show off their best chili recipe and vote on their favorites. Have ballots and a fun trophy on hand for the winner. And don't forget the topping bar!
  10. Feeling Lucky- Try this Irish-inspired theme party. You can't go wrong with the luck of the Irish.Beef stew, Irish soda bread, potato soup, corned beef and cabbage, bread pudding and anything else from the Emerald Isle will make for a fun affair. Be sure to decorate with lots of green and clovers to give it an Irish feel.
  11. Tailgate Party- It’s game day! Which means it’s time to serve up grilled food, chips and dips, and sandwiches. Add some tailgate-themed props and encourage your guests to wear their favorite team apparel. We highly recommend that someone bring buffalo chicken dip to party.
  12. Get in Shape- Exercise your guests’ creativity by challenging them to bring a dish featuring food as a shape. Think pizza or watermelon triangles, round sandwiches or sushi rolls, etc. You might want to give folks a few ideas but let the creative ones roll with making up their own ideas.
  13. A Decade of Food- Pick a specific decade and ask guests to bring a dish that reminds them of that time. The menu and decorations will bring back memories of the good old days. It’s a perfect way to naturally bring stories along with food into your evening gathering.
  14. 5 Ingredients or Less- Keep it simple and somewhat healthy by giving your guests parameters on how many ingredients to use in their dish. Your guests will love the ease and it takes the pressure off having to prepare anything that’s too fancy.
  15. Fresh from the Farmer’s Market- This theme will delight lovers of fresh, local fare. Think of the many dishes that are becoming popular at farm-to-table restaurants and allow that to help guide some ideas. A quick glance at any local farm-to-table restaurant menu will provide the ideas you need. Be sure to plan this potluck in the summer or fall when the harvest is plentiful.
  16. Back to School- Make the end of summer a little less painful with a potluck that embraces the change of schedules and weather. Apple dishes, juice boxes and lunch box themed food might help ease the transition back to school.

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  1. Kids Fare for Adults- Make kids’ favorite dishes with adults in mind by upgrading the ingredients. Instead of boxed mac-n-cheese, how about a baked four-cheese variety with cheeses like Gruyere, goat cheese, white cheddar and fontina? You’d be surprised how creative you can get with some of these grilled cheese sandwich recipes.
  2. Western- Think meat! Serve ribs or brisket, baked beans, corn on the cob, and big mugs of cold lemonade and root beer. Throw your boots on and get your grill ready! Oh, and don’t forget to play some classic country music to give it an ole Western feel.
  3. Submarine Night- This theme allows your guests to create their own sub sandwich masterpieces. Provide the sub rolls and sides and have guests bring their favorite sandwich ingredients. Everyone will love getting to customize their own sandwich. Be sure that someone brings chips to the party as well.
  4. Fall Cornucopia- Fall is a great time for warm, comforting food or breaking out the crock pot. Being harvest season, it’s all about apples and pumpkins for this event. Encourage guests to bring their favorite fall dish, crockpot meal or harvest-inspired dessert.
  5. Night at the Movies- Make it a movie night with friends and neighbors. For a large crowd, break out the movie projector. This is more of a movie snack-style potluck that calls for popcorn, Milk Duds and any other movie theater-inspired snacks.
  6. Crock Pot Meals- Who knew there were so many meals that can be prepared in a crock pot? Crock pot recipes make cooking easy since you throw everything in the slow cooker and let it do the work. It’s an easy option that will be sure to inspire some creative meals to share.
  7. Casseroles- Casseroles create comfort any time of year, but on a cold evening this theme will leave everyone feeling warm, fuzzy and full. When someone brings a lasagna, you can have fun debating whether it counts as a true casserole or a pasta dish.
  8. Meatless Mondays- Vegetarian options take center stage on Meatless Monday (or whichever day of the week works for your event). But meatless doesn’t have to be tasteless. Encourage guests to step up their game and bring their best meatless dish ranging from tofu pad Thai to a meatless pasta option.
  9. Which Came First?- Let chickens and eggs inspire all the dish creations this evening. You can debate the chicken and the egg question over a meal of dishes prepared with either chicken or an egg. From chicken pot pie to a quiche this theme makes for some tasty foods.
  10. Cinco De Mayo- This Mexican-inspired theme is always a fun and festive event. Be sure to break out some mariachi music. Guacamole, tacos, enchiladas and chips are pleasing any time of year, but especially around Cinco de Mayo!
  11. Grilled Cheese- Gourmet cheeses, bread, and fun extras like bacon and tomato brought by your guests will make for a delicious and gooey evening. Make a menu board with some grilled cheese suggestions for inspiration.
  12. Rest in Peace- This theme might be too dark for some, but if you're up for a great discussion ask your guests to bring their best representation of what they'd want to eat if they knew it was their last meal. This could be a fun theme that pairs best around Halloween.

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  1. Takeout Night- What could be easier? No one has to cook anything! Guests pick up a carryout dish and show up ready to eat. You're going to be everyone's favorite host or hostess!
  2. Nothing but Noodles- So many of us associate noodles with ease and comfort. Noodle dishes can range from spaghetti to a pesto pasta dish. Be sure to make a request for some gluten-free options and the possibilities of hot and cold dishes are endless.
  3. Best Story - Everyone loves a great story! What food do you remember from a momentous occasion like getting engaged, going into labor, receiving an adoption referral or getting into your top college? Ask your guests to replicate that dish and be prepared for a night of great storytelling.
  4. City Theme- Most large cities have distinctive foods they're known for across the country. Chicago's deep-dish pizza or Philadelphia's Philly Cheese Steaks are just two examples. Let your guests choose a favorite city to represent!
  5. Super Bowl- Celebrating the Super Bowl is fun even if you’re just watching for the commercials. Focus on the “bowl” part by having your guests serve their dish from a bowl or just go for a football theme. If you are planning appetizers, be sure to try some ideas from our list of best Super Bowl appetizers.
  6. Rainbow Meal- Design a meal that involves every color of the rainbow. Your table will be a feast for the eyes with this beautiful theme. Make sure to create a sign up so every color is represented and encourage your guests to wear the color of their dish or rainbow clothing.
  7. Roots- Get to know your guests even better when they bring a dish inspired by their heritage. Of course, you could also take this literally and serve dishes prepared with roots. Sweet potato casserole anyone?
  8. Wine & Cheese- Study up on your wine and cheese pairings. Each guest could be assigned a region to ensure a variety of both delectable options. To step things up a bit, break out your charcuterie board and have guests bring some of their favorite cheeses, crackers, sausages and fruits to fill the board.
  9. Stick It- Pick a theme where everything goes on a stick. The possibilities are endless, but all food must be served on a stick. Whether you go with finger-style foods or shish kabobs, it's easy to accommodate all your guests’ eating preferences. Include vegetarian and gluten-free options and don't forget some tasty dips!
  10. Pinterest Potluck- Do you have a recipe board on Pinterest full of ideas you've never tried? Your guests probably do too, so use this potluck event to bring Pinterest to life by making this a “Pinterest Only” potluck.

Put some thought into your potluck theme, and then run with it! Be sure to decorate and even select music and other creative ideas to go all out in your theme. You’re sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.

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Potlucks are a fun and easy way to bring people together and share your favorite dishes.. Maybe it’s the food or the friendship, or perhaps it’s the creativity that adds something that makes it all more enjoyable.. People can bring their favorite international meal and share stories about the inspiration for their dishes.. Another option is to allow folks to bring their favorite pizza but allow carryout options to make it easier.. Plan a fun night of frying and throw in some unexpected offerings.. Which means it’s time to serve up grilled food, chips and dips, and sandwiches.. The menu and decorations will bring back memories of the good old days.. You’d be surprised how creative you can get with some of these grilled cheese sandwich recipes.. Provide the sub rolls and sides and have guests bring their favorite sandwich ingredients.. Encourage guests to bring their favorite fall dish , crockpot meal or harvest-inspired dessert.. It’s an easy option that will be sure to inspire some creative meals to share.. Include vegetarian and gluten-free options and don't forget some tasty dips!

Spice Up Your Office Parties!   An office potluck is a great way to change up monotonous lunchtime routines. Choose one of these unique party themes and create a sign up to get the party start…

Brunch Most office potlucks are scheduled over lunch, but why not change it up and host a breakfast food only potluck.. Have everyone bring their best dish to the next office potluck.. One is to have everyone make his or her favorite salad to share.. The other is to assign salad ingredients, allowing folks to create their own personalized salads from a variety of ingredients provided by co-workers.. Participants have to bring in their favorite takeout dish.. Fried chicken, green bean casserole, baked beans, mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, and dinner rolls will be the top dishes.. noodle theme. Italian. murder mystery. Comfort Food. Breakfast for Dinner. Mexican. Hawaiian. Chinese. Crockpot Foods. Grill Out. Tailgate. Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks. Rice Bar. Western. Around the World. Gourmet. Finger Foods. Seasonal (Fall foods, summer foods, etc). Alphabet (pick a letter and everyone makes something that starts with that letter, or everyone is assigned a different letter). Soul Food. Food from the Past. Pick a Country. Favorite Movie Foods. Gilligan’s Island. Last Meal (anything from what you would want for your last meal to what famous people had for last meals to what inmates requested for last meals to what Jesus had at the last supper). State Fair. White Trash. What came first (chicken and egg dishes). Super Bowl (must be served in a bowl). New Orleans. Mom’s Best Dish. Rainbow Meal. Monochromatic Meal. Best Story (food that has a great backstory). Favorite Book Food. Stuffed Food. 5 Ingredients or Less. Unlikely Fusion (mix two different countries or ingredients). Round Foods. Elvis Dinner. Sausage Fest. Chili Cook-Off. Mystery Can (Bunch of cans, take off labels, each person gets a can and must base their dish on that). Rolled Foods. Random Holiday themed (Meatloaf week, ice cream day, waffle day, etc.). College Food. Just 1 Part of the Meal (just appetizers, just desserts, etc). Earth, Wind, Fire, Water. Salad Bar. Picnic Foods. Baked Potato Bar. Chili Bar. Special Ingredient (pick a special ingredient that has to be in every dish, or everyone bring their “secret ingredient” dish). Kid Inspired Food. Casseroles. Last Name Meal (everyone brings something that starts with the first letter of their last name). Food on a Stick. TV Show Theme. Shaped Food. Lunchbox. Hell’s Kitchen. Restaurant Copycat. Bar Food. Draw a Country (each person draws a country and makes something from that country). Take me out to the Ball Park. Pop day (related to pop, or have pop in the name). English High Tea. Fire and Ice (Spicy or cool foods). Sweet and Sour. Budget Stretchers. Meatless Monday. Takeout Tuesday (Everyone bring their favorite takeout). Diner Food. Garden Party. Brunch. Campfire. Fish. Portable Food. Individual Pizza Party/ Pizza Bar (have crusts and all the toppings, people top their own, bake and enjoy). What is your favorite theme?

Use these fun fall potluck theme ideas & free printables to help you organize a seasonal potluck, Friendsgiving party, or your family Thanksgiving meal!

If you’re looking for some creative and fun Fall or Thanksgiving potluck theme ideas, check out the inspiration below!. I think many of us also tend to have the idea of gathering on our minds this time of year, and since potlucks are one of my absolute favorite ways to gather, I thought I’d share a bunch of fun Fall potluck theme ideas to help you get together with others.. Every potluck is far more fun with a theme!. Whether you’re getting together for a casual neighborhood potluck, planning a potluck with your coworkers to breakup your work day, hosting a football-watching potluck, or just organizing a fun gathering with family and friends over good food, I hope these creative themes help you enjoy cooking up some yummy food and have fun sharing delicious recipes with others!. Who doesn’t love pies this time of year?!. You may find that most of the foods that show up at this potluck will be yellow…cheese-filled dishes happen to be a lot of people’s family favorite.. Take your potluck back in history to the 1600s and have everyone bring a dish that may have been served at the first Thanksgiving, or, perhaps decide to have everyone prepare their foods using similar cooking methods.. Similar to Pie Night, all of the foods have to be soup – including dessert.. Have a Halloween-style potluck where everyone has to bring foods themed around costumes, pumpkins, etc.. Traditional Thanksgiving Favorites. When we hosted our regular weekly potlucks in College Station , even though all of us would find ourselves eating these same foods within a week at our respective families’ Thanksgiving gatherings, we loved this theme for our potluck with our friends – it gave us a chance to taste each other’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes and try each other’s renditions of traditional foods like mashed potatoes, turkey & dressing, and sweet potato casserole.. Have everyone bring a dish that incorporates some of these fall flavors.. Main dishes, sides, and dessert – all in the slow cooker.. Have main dishes of stew, casseroles, or creamy soups, lots of bread for sides, and I think we can all agree that most desserts are pretty comforting.

Thinking of organizing a potluck party? Here are 40 potluck ideas, tips and themes to make sure it goes off without a hitch! 

If you’re thinking of getting your friends together and organizing a potluck party, here are 40 potluck ideas, tips and themes to make sure it goes off without a hitch!. Meatless Meals: Throw a vegetarian potluck, asking everyone to bring a meatless dish.. Whether you’re throwing a potluck party in the summer, fall, winter or spring, you’ll get to enjoy seasonal dishes that your friends love to make!. Potluck Sign Up Sheet – Create a Google Sheet so people can sign up for their dish and see what everyone else it bringing.. Use these potluck ideas, tips and themes to throw a potluck your friends will love!

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When deciding what to bring to an office potluck, consider the environment, the available equipment, and the number of people at the potluck.. Your coworkers’ dietary restrictions and the time and date of the potluck can help you decide what to bring to your work potluck.. Similar to the vegetable tray, most food stores have some kind of combination of fruit salad or fruit trays that you can use for your potluck event.. Other snacks like pretzels, cheese doodles, different flavored chips, popcorn, and others can also make for an easy dish and a quick snack for individuals to grab.. A chili is a great option for the office potluck as it’s a relatively easy dish to make and travels and reheats well.. Grilled cheese is so easy to make and can pair well with other dishes at the potluck.. Most soup recipes can feed a crowd, making them a great option for an office potluck.

Planning a 50th birthday party theme for adults is one of the hardest tasks on the to-do list! Do you want elegant or laid-back? Fun or fancy? What would the guest of honor like? What would they hate? There are so many questions to answer! Explore 10 awesome 50th milestone birthday party theme ideas for adults.

Choose a theme that fits the time of year when you have no other ideas!. So, when you are thinking of 50th birthday party theme ideas, think about who will be invited.. What does the guest of honor do for a living?. A fun idea for everyone!. Perfect for those who appreciate timeless design, as well as those who favor some glamour in their lives.. Impress your friends with just how good you look when you clean up by throwing a black and gold party!. This 50th birthday party theme is one that everyone will love.

There are nearly endless possibilities when it comes to this type of get-together. These potluck party ideas will turn an ordinary dinner into a festive feast!

When you want to get a group of people together but don’t know what to do, have a potluck!. To help your guests with ideas, choose a theme like vegan comfort food or vegan appetizers and desserts.. Peerspace is the easiest way to book the perfect potluck party space.. Ask guests to bring a dish that represents every major holiday of the year.. Ask guests to bring the dry goods or non-perishable, canned ingredients involved in making the dish they are bringing along with the actual dish.. Gather a list of all food allergies and dietary restrictions like vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, halal, and dairy-free, then send them out to everyone who is invited.. The best way to organize this type of potluck is to have each guest privately submit the dish they are bringing to the host.. Find potluck venues › Source: PeerspaceAsk each guest to represent their favorite movie with one dish.. When it comes to potluck party ideas, this one is perfect for movie buffs and for celebrating the release or anniversary of a major movie.. You should also create a shared Google spreadsheet or a group chat where everyone can share what they are bringing, so you don’t end up with seven pasta salads and 12 bowls of mashed potatoes.. Book thousands of unique spaces directly from local hosts.


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