5 Fresh Ways to Potluck Like a Pro This Holiday Season

5 Fresh Ways to Potluck Like a Pro This Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means the holiday potluck season is upon us. Whether it’s last-minute magic you need, or a few fresh ideas to delight a crowd – these recipes are the perfect inspiration for your next holiday potluck.

Short-Notice Showstoppers

On more than one occasion, my husband has sent me a frantic two-part text; first apologizing he neglected to mention a potluck happening in a few hours, and a plea to whip up something to save the day.

If you too find yourself scrambling for a quick but fresh idea, the following three recipes are short-notice lifesavers that pull together in 15 minutes or less. 

Festive Tortellini Skewers – 2 ways

Recipe by: Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman

With beautiful cherry tomatoes, spinach tortellini and jewel-green pesto, this easy recipe is as festive, as it is delicious.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons jarred pesto
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 packages spinach tortellini, cooked and cooled
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 package wooden skewers


  • Mix together olive oil, pesto and vinegar in a bowl.
  • Thread 1 tortellini, 1 cherry tomato and 1 mozzarella cube per skewer.
  • Lay skewers on a platter and lightly drizzle dressing over them with a spoon.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate. Sprinkle on the minced parsley just before serving.

You can also skip the skewers altogether – toss everything in a serving dish, and serve. It’s still pretty and just as tasty.

Best Beer Dip

Not your standard potluck dip, this savory treat will have guests clamoring for more.


  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup your favorite beer (you can also use nonalcoholic beer)
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pretzels (Or – use baguette slices, carrot sticks, or crackers)


  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, beer and dressing mix until smooth.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese. Serve with pretzels or choice of dipping side.

Ginger-Spiced Pecans

Bring the lovely aroma of a holiday market indoors with this easy crowd-pleasing favorite.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt


  • In a large nonstick frying pan, melt butter over moderate heat. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar, ginger, and salt. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the pecans in the pan and cook, stirring, until the pecans are coated with the sugar mixture and are browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t cook them too long or the sugar will begin to melt.
  • Put the pecans on a baking sheet and spread them out to cool.

holiday potluck

Twist on a Tried and True Favorite 

Crockpot dishes are a mainstay at any potluck, particularly meatballs. But for a fresh take, skip the standard grape jelly-combo, and go for this comforting, easy Swedish Meatball recipe instead.

In It, to Win It

If we’re being honest, sometimes a potluck is a competition, and you need to pull out all the stops to win. Embrace your inner chef and impress guests with Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn, a gourmet recipe courtesy of Chef David Danielson, Executive Chef of the Kentucky Derby.

No matter which dish you choose, these recipes are sure to be a hit at your next holiday potluck!

Written by Kristi Adams

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