Add these side dishes for Thanksgiving potlucks to your buffet table for the best holiday party ever. Plenty of potato recipes, fresh vegetables, homemade dinner rolls, and Thanksgiving sauces to fill your plates with delicious bites.
The Thanksgiving feast is notoriously tricky to cook and requires an "all hands on deck" approach to the meal prep if you plan to do it yourself at home.
That's one of the many reasons a Thanksgiving potluck party is so popular, every guest can share in the bounty by bringing a dish from home to add to the buffet table.
Planning a Thanksgiving potluck is also a great way to celebrate the holiday with your chosen family and friends as part of a simple Friendsgiving before the separate family feast.
I loved sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with my co-workers during our annual office potluck. It was a great time to test out a new recipe to see if it was worth cooking for my family later and to get some fresh ideas from their favorites, too!
Whatever your reasons are for throwing a potluck, I hope this list of easy sides to bring will help make the meal even more memorable.
- What to Bring to a Thanksgiving Potluck
- Best Potluck Side Dishes to Bring
- Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Stuffing
- Roasted Gnocchi with Butternut Squash
- Wild Rice Pilaf
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Mash
- Cheesy Cornflake Potatoes
- Acorn Squash with Apples
- Crock Pot Corn Casserole
- Italian Sausage Stuffing
- Fresh Green Beans
- Green Bean Casserole
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
- Rosemary Pull Apart Rolls
- Bread Machine Crescent Rolls
- Homemade Applesauce
- Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Homemade Gravy
- Slowcooker Turkey
- Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
- Glazed Baby Carrots
- Apple Pear Salad
- Roasted Carrots
- Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese
- Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Snicker Salad
- Grape Salad
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- Cornbread Croutons
- Thanksgiving Potluck Treats
- Crescent Roll Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake Bars
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Shortbread Pecan Bars
- Apple Crumble Bars
- Apple Crisp Bars
- Easy Pumpkin Pie
- Easy Pecan Pie
- Apple Pie
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- More Thanksgiving Ideas
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What to Bring to a Thanksgiving Potluck
When choosing your recipe to bring to a potluck party, it is important to remember a few things:
1. Choose Food that Travels Well:
You'll probably be driving this dish somewhere, make sure it can be packed and transported safely.
2. Serving Temperature:
Depending on the timing of your prep vs the serving, your dish may need to be kept warm or reheated.
Crockpot recipes are awesome for this because you can just show up and plug it in.
If you want to make a dish that needs to be served warm, you should always check with the host a few days in advance to see if there will be room in the oven. If not, plan to arrive to the potluck with the dish already heated up and ready to serve.
3. Serving Accessories:
Don't count on the host of the potluck having enough serving spoons and spatulas for countless potluck dishes. Be prepared and show up with everything needed to serve your side dish to company.
Thoughtful things to bring include:
- Serving Spoon/Spatula/Fork/Tongs
- Knife for Cutting/Slicing Portions
- Any Condiments that Make it Extra Delicious: Honey, Dressings, Spreads, Sauces, or Seasonings
- Extra Napkins or Individual Serving Plates
Best Potluck Side Dishes to Bring
Now let's get to the good stuff!
Here are my Top 50 favorite Thanksgiving potluck recipes to help make your party spectacular:
Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
Classic sweet potato casserole is such a traditional Thanksgiving dinner recipe.
This make ahead version is perfect for bringing to a potluck party because you can freeze it in advance and then just bake it before serving.
While it tastes amazing piping hot, it keeps its crispy texture on top even when it cools down and still tastes great on a buffet table if you can keep it even slightly warm.
Crockpot mashed potatoes had to have been invented with potluck parties in mind!
You can cook them at home and they'll transport to the holiday dinner right in the slowcooker itself.
Crock Pot Stuffing
You can make this Crock Pot stuffing recipe the day before and then just let it bake for 2 hours in the slowcooker before you serve it at the potluck.
BONUS: Use the keep warm setting and the stuffing will stay piping hot on the buffet table.
Roasted Gnocchi with Butternut Squash
Crispy roasted gnocchi with butternut squash, fresh sage, and parmesan cheese is a surprising new Thanksgiving recipe for us this year.
I'm in love with the golden brown crispy texture of the gnocchi and the sweetness of the butternut squash when paired with salty parm.
This would be a thoughtful meatless main dish to bring for your vegetarian friends.
Wild Rice Pilaf
My easy wild rice pilaf can be dressed up for a Thanksgiving potluck if you add dried cranberries and chopped pecans to the mix.
Or you can just let the tender carrots and celery stand on their own with that savory rice blend.
I love how these Crock Pot scalloped potatoes still get a golden brown edge when they cook right in the slowcooker itself.
The cheesy potatoes will keep warm on the buffet table for a couple hours.
Sweet Potato Mash
One of the best things about a potluck party is having some unique additions to the buffet table. If someone else is already bringing a classic sweet potato casserole, you could bring my sweet potato mash with pineapple.
This creamy sweet potato mash has juicy chunks of pineapple which is a nice complement to all the heavy, rich dishes for the holiday.
Cheesy Cornflake Potatoes
This cheesy potato casserole with cornflakes on top is also known as "funeral potatoes" and is a potluck party staple.
You can bring it in a 9x13-inch baking dish or you can prep the potato filling in a slowcooker and serve the crispy cornflake topping on the side.
Acorn Squash with Apples
While potatoes are often the Thanksgiving side dish heroes, don't forget about delicious acorn squash.
This easy slowcooker recipe mixes acorn squash with sweet apples, brown sugar, and dried cranberries for a delicious and easy side dish.
Crock Pot Corn Casserole
I scaled this Crock Pot corn casserole recipe to feed a crowd because I know that most people love to add it to a potluck buffet table.
Sweet Jiffy corn muffin mix with canned corn and cheddar cheese is a hearty and satisfying side dish to pair with other Thanksgiving dishes.
Italian Sausage Stuffing
My mom's Italian sausage stuffing recipe has been my favorite since I was little. This would make an amazing potluck contribution because you can make it ahead the day before and then just heat it up before serving.
It travels really well in its baking dish covered in foil.
Fresh Green Beans
When all the dishes on the buffet table involve butter and cream and cheese, sometimes it is nice to offer just a plain, fresh green bean side.
If you make my air fryer green beans with a touch of olive oil and seasoning, they get amazing crispy edges and tasted fantastic warm or at room temperature.
Toss them with a little fresh lemon zest for an extra special touch.
Green Bean Casserole
If you're like me, it's not Thanksgiving without green bean casserole. I look forward to that crispy onion topping for weeks.
You can easily make this a potluck side dish by making my Crockpot green bean casserole so it stays hot throughout the dinner.
Crock Pot Creamed Corn
If you've never had homemade creamed corn before, you absolutely need to give this slowcooker recipe a try.
With a mix of whole kernel corn and canned creamed corn in the mix, the texture is so perfect.
Rosemary Pull Apart Rolls
My rosemary pull apart rolls can be baked ahead and frozen if you want to save time. Just thaw them in the fridge overnight and then warm them in the oven before serving.
Homemade dinner rolls beat anything you'll buy at the grocery store by a long shot and you'll be the hit of the potluck.
Bread Machine Crescent Rolls
You can make piles of these fluffy crescent rolls so easily when you make the dough in the bread machine.
So much more satisfying for the bread basket than the smaller refrigerated crescent rolls.
With really big potluck parties, sometimes it is nice to contribute a thoughtful side dish that gets overlooked.
My homemade applesauce tastes more like chunky cinnamon apples and is an easy recipe that shows you cared enough to put in a little effort for what you brought.
Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier
While there will always be the "can-berry" crowd at the Thanksgiving table, my easy homemade cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier is the easiest upgrade you've ever seen!
You can make this gorgeous sauce with fresh cranberries in just minutes and it looks fantastic on the buffet table.
Cranberry Brie Bites
The awesome thing about these cranberry brie bites is that they travel well and can be served warm or at room temperature and still be utterly delicious.
They'd make a very fancy addition to an office potluck.
A good gravy can make or break a Thanksgiving dinner. Bringing homemade gravy to a potluck would make you a true super hero.
You could make my slowcooker turkey breast in advance and use the drippings to make this gravy.
Just freeze the turkey meat for easy dinners later, nothing will go to waste. You can pick any of these leftover turkey recipes when you're ready to use it.
Potluck parties are all about the sides, but somebody has to bring a main dish, right??
One year I made TWO of these easy slowcooker boneless turkey breasts instead of one giant turkey to feed a crowd. I just set up two Crock Pots side by side on the kitchen island.
We wanted more of the white meat and this recipe makes such tender turkey.
Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
It's not a potluck party unless there's a pan of baked mac and cheese. Pretty sure that's a law if you live in the south!
Every single kid at the party is going to thank you for this one. Most grown-ups, too.
Glazed Baby Carrots
If you want to bring my glazed baby carrots to a potluck, I suggest one of these options:
- Keep Warm in a Slowcooker: Assemble the recipe but then place in a small crockpot to keep warm at the potluck.
- Bring the Ingredients and a Saucepan: If you're celebrating a potluck Thanksgiving at a family member's house and you KNOW they'll have room at the stove for you, bring the ingredients and your own saucepan and make it fresh while you're there. Just double check with the host first.
Apple Pear Salad
This festive fall salad is an excellent choice for a potluck party because it can be assembled in advance, travels well, and can be served at room temperature with no problems.
You can roast these carrots in advance of the potluck and then transport them in a baking dish covered with foil to keep warm.
They'll warm up well with a few minutes in the oven if that's an option for you, too.
Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese
Fun Fact: Citrus flavors pair amazingly well with rich, savory turkey and Thanksgiving side dishes.
Make this refreshing citrus salad with chopped pistachios and a sprinkle of goat cheese on a bed of green lettuce. It's a delicious vegetarian option for the potluck, too.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
I love how the lines between "appetizer" and "side dish" get totally blurred at a potluck party.
This cranberry cream cheese dip with peppery crackers combines some of my favorite Thanksgiving flavors in one easy make ahead dish.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
While dinner rolls are usually more traditional, surprise your friends and family with a basket of homemade cranberry orange muffins for the potluck table.
This would be an awesome option if your Thanksgiving potluck starts earlier in the day, too.
Once all the basic side dishes are covered, there's room to play with a potluck menu. Put a smile on everyone's face when you show up with the classic Minnesota salad: Snicker Salad!
Is it a side dish? Is it a dessert? Let the potluck party people decide.
Bright red grapes, a sweet cream cheese dressing, and crispy toasted pecans make for a lovely fall side dish that would be right at home with the Thanksgiving goodies.
Bake a pan of buttermilk cornbread and you can transport it to the potluck right in the baking pan for safe travels.
Pack a bottle of honey and some whipped butter for the perfect garnishes when serving it at the buffet table.
With so many rich side dishes on the table, sometimes a light green salad is a relief to see but don't be that person who brings a bagged salad to a potluck. It's not hard to just put in a little bit of effort to make your contribution special.
The best way to dress up a container of salad greens is to bake a batch of homemade cornbread croutons, you can even use a pan of cornbread you bought at the grocery store bakery to make it quicker.
Dress the salad with my buttermilk herb dressing and some dried cranberries, too.
Thanksgiving Potluck Treats
While technically these goodies fall under the Thanksgiving desserts category, I feel like at a big holiday potluck, all rules are off when it comes to what to put on your plate.
I've seen my own husband and kids fill their plate with main dishes, sides, and something sweet all at once on their way through the buffet line.
A 9x13 dessert bar is so easy to bring to a potluck. You can slice them into small bite-sized servings for "just a taste" sampling or let friends slice more generous portions. Here are a few of my favorites that could work like a tiny side dish or a sweet ending to the meal.
Crescent Roll Cheesecake Bars
The crispy cinnamon topping to these cheesecake bars make them especially perfect for Thanksgiving.
They're easy to slice and a tiny square would be absolutely delicious.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake Bars
Pumpkin gooey butter cake bars are also incredibly easy to slice into smaller squares and the chewy cake-like base and light pumpkin filling on top would make a tasty bite for the buffet.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
My cranberry bliss bars are nice and tart and not too sweet.
The gorgeous red and stark white color will make them stand out in the sea of golden brown sides.
Shortbread Pecan Bars
If it has pecans on it, it goes on my plate for Thanksgiving. I absolutely love these shortbread pecan bars with their crispy, chewy texture.
Apple Crumble Bars
Easier than pie, these fresh apple crumble bars could work as an apple side dish or you can drizzle them with caramel and put them firmly in the dessert category.
Apple Crisp Bars
The chewy oat topping on these apple crisp bars are hiding chunks of butterscotch mixed in with those apples. YUM.
Easy Pumpkin Pie
What's a potluck without a Thanksgiving pie?? This easy pumpkin pie could be sliced into very thin slices for sampling on the buffet table.
Easy Pecan Pie
If you want to make the whole pie instead of my pecan bars, you'll love this gorgeous pecan pie. It is one of my best make ahead travel-friendly Thanksgiving desserts.
A travel-friendly apple slab pie is fun to serve at a potluck because the slices get cut into squares. You can set the whole pie out with a knife and a spatula or pre-slice the squares onto serving plates for the buffet table.
Salted Caramel Sauce
If you show up with a jar of this salted caramel sauce in your hand, your Thanksgiving potluck host is going to swoon. If it's a big potluck? Make two jars because there won't be a drop left.
Everyone will be looking for just about anything to drizzle it on but you can suggest they start with almost any of the desserts listed above!
More Thanksgiving Ideas
Now that you're ready to cook for your Thanksgiving potluck party, what about the rest of your holiday?
Don't miss my other easy Thanksgiving recipes for your family feast: