Potlucks are an occasion where friends and/or families come together, bring food, and celebrate! They’re also more fun than the usual parties. After all, there are different types of food, and potlucks have a more casual feel. But what is a good item to bring to a potluck, exactly?
If you’re getting stressed about what dishes to bring, we feel you. The short answer is three parts: potluck ideas should be something that’s an easy recipe, can be made ahead of time, and something so delicious everyone will like it!
And in this article, we’ll further explore what you can bring, whether you’re going to office potlucks or a family one. These potluck dishes will make everyone’s taste buds dance with joy–guaranteed. That’s especially if you’re tired of the usual Grab or FoodPanda offerings and want something that feels, well, not fast food.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Good Items To Bring To A Potluck: Appetizers
If you’ve been chosen to bring appetizers to a potluck party, consider these easy appetizers. And when we say easy, we mean easy to make and love!
These crispy, golden spring rolls with a savory mixture of ground pork, onions, carrots, and spices are a staple at Filipino gatherings. These finger foods are so popular there are many memes on Facebook about people being Sharonians and taking them home!
Don’t believe the memes? Serve them with a side of sweet chili sauce, and watch this appetizer disappear in seconds!
And if you want to make some of the best Lumpiang Shanghai ever, enroll in our Pinoy Handaan class by Chef Anthony Ang. You’ll get lumpia that’s meaty, juicy, and definitely not dry!
Here’s another easy appetizer to make. And not only is it simple to whip up, but it’s also filling and flavorful! The tender pork goes very well with the bite-sized crispy tofu, especially when you eat them with a tangy soy-vinegar sauce.
Your fellow potluck attendees might not even notice how much they’re eating until they’ve cleared out the entire container!
Chicken Inasal Skewers
The usual chicken recipes in Philippine cuisine are creamy chicken dishes that are made for main courses. So why not break the mold and serve chicken for appetizers? You can do it with these chicken inasal skewers.
They’re marinated in calamansi, soy sauce, and different spices that make them burst with flavor. The grilling process adds a delicious smoky flavor as well. Top it off with an accompaniment of spiced vinegar, and you have a certified crowd pleaser on your hands!
To make sure you get a really delicious marinade, enroll in Sinugba Specialties by Chef Anthony Ang. You’ll get the recipe for the marinade he uses in his restaurants–that means it’s really, REALLY good!
Good Items To Bring To A Potluck: Main Courses
When deciding what dish to bring as a main course, choose one that will make your fellow diners say, “Sarap!” Here are three inspirations that can be the answers to the question of what to bring to a large potluck.
Aside from lechon baboy, adobo is arguably the most well-known Filipino dish in the world. Marinated in a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices, the chicken is simmered until tender and infused with rich flavors. Don’t forget to serve it with steamed rice for a complete adobo experience!
Hey, if it’s good enough for international celebrities, it’s more than good enough for potluck food!
Kare-Kare is a beloved Filipino dish known for its creamy and nutty flavor. This stew that you can make in an instant pot has various types of meat and is cooked with a luscious peanut sauce and tender vegetables. You then serve it with bagoong (shrimp paste) on the side.
It’s a delicacy that’s sure to impress everyone at the potluck table.
For a tangy and comforting dish (especially during rainy seasons), bring Pork Sinigang to the potluck. This sour soup features pork, vegetables like kangkong and radish, and is flavored with tamarind for its signature sourness.
There’s a reason it was named “Best Soup in the World” back in 2021–the combination of savory, sour, and hearty flavors makes it a crowd-pleaser.
Good Items To Bring To A Potluck: Desserts
What is a good thing to bring to a potluck? Sweet treats! No potluck is complete without a selection of desserts, agree?
Indulge your fellow potluck-goers with these delightful desserts that will satisfy their sweet tooth. And as much as we love halo-halo, it’s far from an easy potluck idea. The ones below are, though!
Add a touch of nostalgia to your potluck dessert choice with Bibingka, a traditional kakanin that is one of the well-known holiday recipes in the Philippines. This moist and slightly sweet cake is made with glutinous rice flour and coconut milk and topped with salted eggs and grated coconut. And while this delightful dessert is usually only seen during the Christmas season, who says you have to wait, right?
A silky smooth custard topped with a rich caramel sauce, leche flan is a Filipino dessert that’s a certified crowd favorite. Its velvety texture and sweet taste will leave everyone reaching for seconds.
Admit it–even you’ll get tempted while bringing this out from your oven when you see it glistening on top of your sheet pan!
Another way to add nostalgia to your potluck event is to bring cake rolls. These have always been staples in Filipino bakeshops and always remind us of our good old days, agree? They also come in different flavors, making them versatile for any discerning palate and for any event.
Of course, if you want to make sure that you’re bringing nothing but the best cake roll to your potluck, enroll in the Timeless Cake Rolls course by Chef Jimbo de Panadero. You’ll learn to make five flavors that will win you fans for sure!
What are some vegetarian options to bring to a potluck?
If you’ve been reading the recommended items, none of them are vegetarian options. Don’t worry: there are plenty of potluck recipe ideas that vegetarians can eat. In Filipino cuisine alone, you can bring vegetable pancit, ginataang kalabasa or lumpiang gulay.
That’s one thing to consider before finalizing what to bring: ask if anyone has any special requests (i.e. they’re vegetarian) or any dietary restrictions (i.e. they’re on a keto diet).
Can I bring store-bought items to a potluck?
Absolutely! If you don’t have time to cook or prepare a dish from scratch, you can still contribute by bringing whatever you can. Get a pan pizza delivered, or buy whatever you can from the convenience or grocery store. You’d be surprised at the options some grocery stores have–you’d be hard-pressed to decide what to bring.
That’s the fun about potlucks–as long as you bring the food you’re assigned, you’ll be very much appreciated!
Are there any traditional potluck customs?
We’re not sure about it in other countries, but for Filipinos, there are common, albeit unsaid ones. One is to make sure to bring your share, not just eat. The other is to help set up and distribute plates and utensils. And if you’re in an office potluck setting, think of it as a way to make a good impression on your bosses and officemates.
When it comes to choosing a delicious dish to bring to a potluck, the options are abundant. Whatever you bring, make sure it’s something that you know your friends and family will enjoy. As long as it’s delicious, you’ll be sure to be a hit!
And more importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun with your eaters goers. After all, that’s what potlucks are all about, right?
Oh, and one last thing: if you do bring drinks, paper plates, and utensils, you’ll definitely be the hero of the event!
Have a delicious time!
Wait, I’m not convinced! I want a different kind of potluck item to bring!
You might be sick of fast food and still love the usual potluck cuisine (after all, they’re Filipino food). But at the same time, you–and fellow attendees–just might want something else still a bit different.
In this course, you’ll learn three delicious recipe ideas that Chef Max himself brings to potlucks:
- Flavorful Chicken Kiev
- Creamy and Savory Beef Stroganoff
- Tanatlizing Rumaki
And as an exciting bonus, you’ll even get a recipe for making a refreshing Tequila Sunrise cocktail–because potlucks aren’t just about food, right?
These unique dishes will definitely grab the attention of your fellow potluck goers. And when the get curious and taste them… oh, believe us, they’re going to ask for a lot MORE!
This cooking class is also great to add to your food business offer. When people find out about it, you might just be the one they go the next time they’re looking for food for a potluck they’re going to.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy and get to cooking Potluck Hits today!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!