Delicious Side Dishes That'll Steal the Show at Your Next Potluck

Thanksgiving Sides: Root Vegetable Gratin
Photo: Iain Bagwell

When it comes to any potluck, the side dishes can make all the difference between a ho-hum supper and a real crowd-pleasing feast. Like with homemade cornbread and sweet tea, there's no such thing as too much when it comes to your potluck side dishes. We're talking a table lined from end to end with cheesy scalloped potatoes, creamy green bean casserole, cool broccoli-and-grape pasta salad, and maybe some fluffy corn pudding. Our gatherings showcase the best of our fresh vegetable casseroles and classic comfort dishes, and it's never a bad idea to keep a running list of delicious and easy side dishes for a crowd. These easy-to-make and easy-to-take potluck sides deserve a spot at your next neighborhood, church, or family affair.

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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

Though fresh renditions come out every season, it's hard to beat this traditional recipe for squash casserole. The bright yellow squash, creamy sauce (made from cheese, mayonnaise, and eggs), and crunchy, buttery cracker topping keeps everyone coming for more.

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Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

It's almost too easy to mix up this popular pasta salad, but the colorful ingredients—including broccoli and grapes—along with the tender farfalle pasta and tangy-sweet dressing makes for a potluck staple.

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Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole

Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole

Why settle on just one fresh vegetable when you can have all three? This summertime trio of zucchini, squash, and corn—bound together with a cheesy, creamy filling—deserves a spot at any supper.

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Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

This lavishly rich casserole gets scraped clean at every family supper, potluck, or holiday. For a slight twist, try Gruyère cheese instead of Parmesan.

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Slow-Cooker Green Beans

Thanksgiving Sides: Root Vegetable Gratin
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Beans Recipe

These easy slow-cooker green beans not only free up precious stove-top space, but also remind us of the traditional green beans our grandmothers used to make. And there's something about bacon that just makes everything a little bit better.

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Southern Pimiento Mac and Cheese

Southern Pimiento Mac and Cheese
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Southern Pimiento Mac and Cheese

As we all know, pimiento cheese tastes good with just about anything. Why not incorporate it into a delicious macaroni and cheese recipe for a flavorful twist? Our thoughts exactly.

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Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole

An old-school broccoli casserole is a longtime pillar of the Southern supper, and we especially adore this tasty version with fresh broccoli and mushrooms—and without even a dollop of creamy canned soup.

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Field Pea and Pasta Salad

Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Field Pea and Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is packed full of fresh summer veggies and tender farfalle, tossed with a vinegar-based citrus Dijon dressing. It makes for a versatile summer potluck side dish.

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Wild Rice with Mushrooms

Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms

With the addition of sautéed sweet onion and fresh mushrooms, this wild rice dish becomes a total standout side at any gathering. Rice is one of those simple, yet favorite side dishes that always works.

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Tee's Corn Pudding

50 Best Thanksgiving Tee's Corn Pudding
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding

With only eight ingredients and very little hands-on time, this classic corn pudding recipe is a busy cook's dream. Switch things up each occasion with one of our updates: Savory Corn Pudding, or Three-Cheese Corn Pudding.

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Summer Squash Casserole

Summer Squash Casserole
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Summer Squash Casserole

This summery side pairs perfectly with any Southern lineup. Sharp Cheddar cheese and fresh breadcrumbs finish the fresh veggie with a creamy, crunchy twist.

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Penne with Green Beans and Tomatoes

Penne with Green Beans and Tomatoes
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Penne with Green Beans and Tomatoes

How pretty and bright this pasta salad is—you'd never know it's only five ingredients, including the zingy Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette. Serve this dish up at a summertime potluck for rave reviews.

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Old-School Green Bean Casserole

Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole

When you don't know what to bake and take, you can always make green bean casserole. The traditional Southern side dish doesn't disappoint with its epic creaminess and French fried onion topping.

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Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans

When you think the potluck could use a cool side dish, this crisp, fresh salad of shaved Brussels sprouts, Honeycrisp apples, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pecans will become an easy crowd-pleaser. The light dressing on this slaw is made with lemon, olive oil, and a touch of honey for sweetness.

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Au Gratin Potato Casserole

Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Southern Living

Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Cassreole

This no-fuss cheesy, creamy potato casserole will comfort and impress at your next family gathering. You can make it easy with frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, and cornflakes cereal.

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Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce

Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Grits and Greens with Brown Butter Hot Sauce

Grits aren't just for breakfast, especially down here in the South. This grits bake gets delicious flavor from stewed greens and a spicy, buttery sauce—resulting in a creamy side dish that works for any meal of the day.

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Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

There's no occasion when a melty, creamy dish of macaroni and cheese won't be heartily appreciated—and this classic recipe will feed a hungry Southern crowd without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.

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Southern-Style Potato Salad

_Southern-Style Potato Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Southern-Style Potato Salad

Packed with onions, celery, sour cream, and bacon, this classic Southern side dish is sure to send your taste buds on a ride. Any potluck gets a bonus point for having this essential salad on the lineup.

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Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries

Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries

This fresh side dish is loaded with sweet dried cherries, chopped scallions, fresh parsley, tangy lemon juice, crunchy toasted pecans, and crumbly feta cheese. It'll serve as a filling, yet sophisticated addition to your potluck table.

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Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up

Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up

This layer-free, super easy tamale pie makes the perfect quick-fix dish to bring to the potluck. It's packed with a filling of ground beef, cornmeal, tomato sauce, and corn that gets finished with a layer of gooey cheese—for a more filling side dish that'll be appreciated at a crowded occasion.

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Cornbread

Ben Mim's Perfect Cornbread Recipe
Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread

Browned butter give this cornbread its "perfect" title. Southern spreads can always use a few full dishes of this classic comfort food.

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Hot Potato Salad

Hot Potato Salad
Helen Norman; Styling: Carrie Purcell

Recipe: Hot Potato Salad

This casserole exists as the perfect marriage of potato salad with a bubbly, cheesy gratin. The ingredients are few and no-nonsense, and the bacon gives an epic finishing touch.

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Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans

Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans

This smoky-style baked beans recipe lets the savory flavors of bacon, chipotle, and paprika really stand out in a way just plain brown sugar wouldn't.

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