Classic Summer Potluck Recipes Like Grandma Used To Make

Reunion Pea Casserole
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Everyone knows that Grandma is always life of the party. We can never resist Grandma's homemade treats–from the dips and snacks she'd tide us over with until dinner, to the casseroles big enough to feed twenty. This summer, channel your Grandma's entertaining energy and try out some of these classic recipes. From fresh appetizers and hearty main dishes to decadent desserts, we've got you covered with a variety of courses and prep times.

Short on time? Whip up a quick batch of fan-favorite Pimiento Cheese or a simple Ham and Noodle Casserole. Really looking to impress? Try to replicate Grandma's famous Heirloom Tomato Pie with Parmesean-Buttermilk Crust. Plus, we're revealing all the tips and tricks Grandma would never share (how did she get that chocolate cake to be so moist and fluffy, after all?). Not only will these big-batch dishes impress the crowd at any potluck, but they'll transport your guests right back to their own Grandma's kitchen.

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Heirloom Tomato Pie with Parmesan-Buttermilk Crust ​​​​​

Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Pie

This stunning, colorful, and savory pie will be the star of your summer potluck spread. If you're looking for a quicker fix, feel free to use refrigerated pie crust, but we recommend pairing this pie with an unforgettable homemade Parmesan-Buttermilk Crust.

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Classic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Classic Deviled Eggs

If you're on appetizer duty, this classic dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Feel free to spruce your eggs up with extra seasonings or toppings, like garlic or crumbled bacon.

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Whipped-Cream Corn Salad

Whipped-Cream Corn Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Whipped-Cream Corn Salad

Fresh corn is truly the star of this corn salad. In addition to fresh kernels, you'll need just a little bit of salt, pepper, and heavy cream to pull this recipe together,

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Classic Fresh Field Peas

Classic Fresh Field Peas
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Classic Fresh Field Peas

Brighten up the summer potluck spread with this light, fresh pea dish. You can also choose to forgo the ham and bacon drippings to please a vegetarian audience.

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Old-School Squash Casserole

Old-School Squash Casserole
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole

Nothing says "summer cookout" like a classic squash casserole. Plus, with a base of fresh squash, we think this dish qualifies as healthy.

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Best-Ever Succotash

Best-Ever Succotash
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Best-Ever Succotash

It may be a bold claim, but we're willing to say that this succotash is simply the best ever. With a colorful confetti of corn, tomato, and okra, this dish is a staple at all our summer cookouts.

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Classic Pimiento Cheese

Basic Pimiento Cheese
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese

No party is complete without a bowl of pimiento cheese. For an extra kick of spice, add one finely chopped, de-seeded jalapeño to your pimiento cheese mixture.

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Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

Candied Jalapeños
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad

Don't mess with the classics. Combining the staple ingredients of potatoes and mayo with fresh lemon juice, diced jalapeño, and hard boiled eggs, this potato salad is perfect for picnics.

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Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham

Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
Jen Causey

Recipe: Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham

On some summer days, it's just too hot to turn on your oven. This chilled Macaroni Salad with Ham is the perfect no-bake solution.

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Classic Baked Beans

Baked Beans
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Baked Beans

These slightly-smoky Baked Beans pair well with anything coming off the grill.

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Cocktail Meatballs

Quiche Lorraine
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Cocktail Meatballs

Nobody can resist a tray of hot, saucy cocktail meatballs. Be sure to bring a carton of toothpicks so guests can help themselves to this party-favorite appetizer.

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Fresh Corn Spoonbread

Cranberry-Pecan Pilau
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Fresh Corn Spoonbread

Fresh chives, parsley, and thyme add a nice herbaceous flavor to this cornbread, and yogurt makes the bread's texture thick and creamy.

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Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Southern Living

Recipe: Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

There's no better potluck party trick than bringing out a big pot of gumbo. This easy one-pot dish makes twelve servings and, to make it portable, can easily be served in mugs.

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Picnic Egg Salad

Picnic Egg Salad
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Picnic Egg Salad

Feel free to double this recipe for a big batch of egg salad. Minced radish adds a nice crunch to this classic summertime dish.

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Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole

Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole

With turkey, bacon, and cubed Texas toast, this casserole has everything we love about Kentucky's famous sandwich in crowd-pleasing form.

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Ham and Noodle Casserole

Ham and Noodle Casserole
Jen Causey

Recipe: Ham and Noodle Casserole

With extra flavor from canned cream-of-onion soup and chive-and-onion cream cheese, this casserole is anything but boring. Plus it's oh-so-easy to throw together for a quick potluck fix.

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Turkey-Noodle-Poppyseed Casserole

Turkey-Noodle-Poppyseed Casserole Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Turkey-Noodle-Poppyseed Casserole

Every Southern Grandma has a poppyseed casserole recipe in her entertaining repetoire. This vintage dish is a great make-ahead option and can be stored in the freezer until you're ready for the party.

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Mama Mae's Ambrosia

Mama Mae's Ambrosia
Southern Living

Recipe: Mama Mae's Ambrosia Salad Recipe

Ambrosia Salad may be famed as a winter holiday treat, but this fresh fruit salad will delight your crowd all year long.

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Brined Grilled Chicken with Dipping Sauces

Buttermilk-Parmesan Ranch Sauce
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Brined Grilled Chicken with Dipping Sauces

This recipe explains why Grandma always kept a spare carton of buttermilk in her fridge.

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Party Puffs with Ham Salad

Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Party Puffs with Ham Salad

Ham salad never goes out of style. These stunning party puffs will add some color to your potluck spread!

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Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws
Lee Harrelson

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

These snacks may be unassuming, but your guests will be munching on these nostalgic cheese straws all night long.

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Homemade Onion Dip

Homemade Onion Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Homemade Onion Dip

To this day, my nana still has this dip on her table for every holiday, no matter the season. It's not a party without it.

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Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Put a fresh spin on Grandma's favorite chicken salad with these simple stuffed tomatoes. They're perfectly portioned and only require five ingredients.

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Mac and Cheese with Ham

Baked Smokin’ Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Recipe: Mac and Cheese with Ham

Nobody can resist Grandma's mac and cheese. Even the pickiest of eaters are sure to swoon over this simple casserole.

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Tee's Corn Pudding

50 Best Thanksgiving Tee's Corn Pudding
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding

When you're serving a crowd, grilling a bunch of corn on the cob can just be too complicated. This spoonable corn pudding brings out the sweetness of corn in a party-friendly dish.

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Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks Recipe
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

We love any excuse to break out the slow-cooker. Start these greens in the morning and leave them to cook low and slow all day long.

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Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit

Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit, biscuits recipe
Photo: Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit

Homemade biscuits are an essential part of any summer potluck. Slice these biscuits in half to make mini sandwiches or serve them all on their own for a crowd-favorite side.

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Grandma would never tell you, but she made her cakes so fluffy by adding mayonnaise. Now the secret's out.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

No potluck dessert spread is complete without a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Guests won't be able to resist this nostalgic classic.

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Banana Pudding Poke Cake

When tasked with baking for a crowd, sheet cake is our go-to solution. We love this creative, mess-free take on Grandma's favorite banana pudding recipe.

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple-Upside Down Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

If your childhood summers didn't include a warm slice of Grandma's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, you're seriously missing out. Here's your chance to try this beloved Southern classic.

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Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars
Southern Living

Recipe: Luscious Lemon Bars

Grandma would never show up to a party empty-handed, and these lemon bars are a go-to solution for a crowd-pleasing, portable dessert.

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Creamy Peach Icebox Cake

Creamy Peach Icebox Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Creamy Peach Icebox Cake

This icebox cake is as easy to make as it is delicious. We use both peach preserves and fresh sliced peaches to get a lovely, concentrated peach flavor.

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7-UP Bundt Cake

Sugared Lemon-Lime Zest
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: 7-UP Bundt Cake

Before baking powder became a widely-used leavening agent, amateur Southern bakers used soda pop as their secret ingredient. This retro Soda Cake will take you right back to Grandma's kitchen.

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Peach Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Easy Peach Cobbler

Raise your hand if this is just one of those desserts that you can't live without. Replicate Grandma's famous peach cobbler with this easy recipe– and don't forget to top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Southern Buttermilk Pie

Classic Buttermilk Pie
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Southern Buttermilk Pie

When your guests see this Classic Buttermilk Pie, they'll all want to skip straight to dessert.

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Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
Southern Living

Recipe: Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

To ensure that everyone will get a taste of this beloved dish, cut your fudge into bite-sized pieces. Or just double the recipe.

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Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

This isn't just a holiday dessert– we're baking these classic peanut butter kiss cookies all year round. They're an irresistible party treat that'll transport you right back to Grandma's kitchen.

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Key Lime Pound Cake

Key Lime Pound Cake
Jen Causey

Recipe: Key Lime Pound Cake

The bright, acidic flavor of key lime brings a pop of summer freshness to a classic, decadent dessert.

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Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
Southern Living

Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie

Packed full of nostalgic flavors, this pie tastes like the Southern summers of our childhoods.

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Reunion Pea Casserole

Reunion Pea Casserole
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Reunion Pea Casserole

Packed with lots of different summer veggies and tasty cheeses, this casserole's got a little bit of everything.

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