April 20, 2024


Cooking Is My World

10 easy potluck sides, mains, desserts to bring to your next barbecue


All-Season Peach Cobbler

The season for outdoor gatherings has arrived. Potlucks may seem easy, but making anything in big batches can be a challenge. Even if you’re using some of your most time-tested recipes, scaling them up to serve a crowd can make them fall short of the mark. Here, we’ve done the work for you with crowd-pleasing recipes that won’t take you all day to make. 

Pantry peach cobbler

This batter-based peach cobbler recipe is insanely easy. It calls for canned peaches, which means no slicing, pitting or peeling required. It’s more than just easy — it’s delicious, too. When you use drained canned peaches, you end up with a sweet, almost custardy center and golden-brown, caramelized edges. This cobbler is great served warm or at room temperature. You can serve it with ice cream, or just plunk it down on the picnic table and forget about it. Get the recipe

How to: Make the best creamy potato salad ever

Bob Armstrong Chili con Queso

Bob Armstrong Chili con Queso

This easy-to-make appetizer is basically a chili con queso with taco meat, guacamole and sour cream. It’s a crowd-pleaser, even if your crowd is very picky. You can either mix cooked taco meat into the cheese mixture or place everything on top and let your guests customize their own bite. Another plus: You can make and keep this dish warm in a slow cooker, making it easy to transport and perfect for your potluck. Get the recipe

Pimento potato salad

Potato Salad

People tend to be very particular about how potato salad is made. We have thoughts on sweet relish, mustard and whether onions should be white, green or red. This potato salad, made with butter and pimento, is anything but pedestrian. Be prepared for the purists to complain, though once they taste it they’ll be in love. Get the recipe

Old-fashioned macaroni pie

Anne Byrn’s Macaroni Pie

Mac and cheese just might be the most loved side dish in the South. It’s at home with fried chicken or barbecue and even on the Thanksgiving table. But this iconic Southern dish has its roots in something a bit different: the original macaroni pie. This version from Anne Byrn turns out a dish that’s somewhere between a spaghetti casserole, cheese custard and mac and cheese as you know it. Get the recipe

Carolina Gold rice pudding with strawberries

Carolina Gold Rice Pudding with Strawberries

Carolina Gold rice is a medium-grain, aromatic rice from the South Carolina Lowcountry. When stirred, it releases starch similar to that of Arborio rice. For that reason, it’s a perfect substitute for risotto and this sweet and seasonal rice pudding. While rice pudding is commonly served chilled, try this one when warm to enhance its inherently creamy texture. Fresh strawberries add a summery touch. Get the recipe

Classic deviled eggs

Deviled eggs

With mustard, capers and sour gherkins, these deviled eggs tend toward tart rather than sweet, which means they’re perfect in our eyes. You can add your own twist with a variety of garnishes, but this recipe, when followed to the letter, will turn out a classic deviled egg that everyone should love. Get the recipe

Buffalo chicken dip

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

This classic Buffalo chicken dip remains one of Southern Kitchen’s most popular recipes. It hits all the right spots: It only takes about 15 minutes to throw together, then about 45 minutes or so more to bake and rest, and has only five ingredients. What more could you ask for? If you’d like less heat, feel free to cut down on the hot sauce. But remember: cream and cheese work together well to temper the impact of spicy food on your palate. Get the recipe

Bourbon and Coke baked beans

Bourbon and Coke Baked Beans

Bourbon and Coca-Cola combine for a classic baked bean flavor with a twist. Turn this into a vegetarian or vegan dish by using vegetarian baked beans, eliminating the ground beef, and stirring in 12 ounces of meat substitute crumbles in the last 20 minutes of baking time. Get the recipe

Classic corn casserole with a kick

Hot corn casserole

This ultra-simple recipe for “Hot Corn” blends cream cheese and butter with canned shoepeg corn, green chiles and diced jalapeños. As easy as a side dish gets, it can even be made all in one casserole dish. You’ll only need a knife to chop the jalapeños and a spatula to stir it all together. Get the recipe

Pickled jalapeno pimento cheese


Pimento cheese, also known as the “paté of the South,” has long been a staple of Southern potlucks. Our recipe brings together the best classic flavors of this dip: cheddar cheese, peppers, mayonnaise and cream cheese. It then adds a dash of cayenne pepper and diced pickled jalapeño pepper for heat, but you can leave it mild if you’re a purist. Get the recipe


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