40 Classic Summer Potluck Recipes Like Grandma Used to Make
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.
Impress at Your Next Potluck With These Grandma-Approved Recipes
Heirloom Tomato Pie with Parmesan-Buttermilk Crust
Classic Deviled Eggs
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.
Classic Fresh Field Peas
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.
Old-School Squash Casserole
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.
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.
Classic Pimiento Cheese
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.
Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
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.
Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
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.
Classic Baked Beans
Recipe: Baked Beans
These slightly-smoky Baked Beans pair well with anything coming off the grill.
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.
Fresh Corn Spoonbread
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.
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
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.
Picnic Egg Salad
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.
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
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.
Ham and Noodle Casserole
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.
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.
Mama Mae's Ambrosia
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.
Buttermilk-Hot Sauce Brined Chicken
This recipe explains why Grandma always kept a spare carton of buttermilk in her fridge.
Party Puffs with Ham Salad
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws
These snacks may be unassuming, but your guests will be munching on these nostalgic cheese straws all night long.
Homemade Onion Dip
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.
Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
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.
Mac and Cheese with Ham
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.
Tee's Corn Pudding
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.
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.
Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit
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.
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Grandma would never tell you, but she made her cakes so fluffy by adding mayonnaise. Now the secret's out.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
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.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
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.
Luscious Lemon Bars
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.
Creamy Peach Icebox Cake
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.
7-UP Bundt Cake
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.
Southern Buttermilk Pie
Recipe: Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie
When your guests see this Classic Buttermilk Pie, they'll all want to skip straight to dessert.
Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
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.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
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.
Key Lime Pound Cake
Recipe: Key Lime Pound Cake
The bright, acidic flavor of key lime brings a pop of summer freshness to a classic, decadent dessert.
Coconut Cream Pie
Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie
Packed full of nostalgic flavors, this pie tastes like the Southern summers of our childhoods.
Reunion Pea Casserole
Recipe: Reunion Pea Casserole
Packed with lots of different summer veggies and tasty cheeses, this casserole's got a little bit of everything.