I love a good potluck!!!! Not only do I love to experience the variety of other peoples cooking, but I love the community aspect of it. People coming together to share in the burden of feeding each other is my kind of a good time.

However, as a family with food allergies, going to potlucks can sometimes leave us feeling….well…..hungry! More times than not, we can’t eat a lot of the food brought to potlucks. So, I quickly learned to bring a complete meal for our family. Something that we all love to eat, will fill us up, but that others will also enjoy – whether they have allergies or not. 

I figured I would share with you 6 of our tried and true potluck dishes – in case you have any potlucks coming up this holiday season. This blog is also for those of you who DON’T have food allergies but want to bring something to your next potluck that anyone can enjoy.

Without further ado, here are 6 of our favorite potluck dishes to bring…

1. Baked Potato Bar

I list this first because this is our favorite!  It is what we bring to 9 out of 10 potlucks.

Now, many of you may not associate baked potato bars as allergy-friendly because most people put butter, cheese, and sour cream on their baked potatoes. Obviously, that’s not allergy-free. But, what I love most about a Baked Potato Bar is that it can accommodate those with or without food allergies by providing self-serve toppings. 

When we bring a baked potato bar to a potluck, we bring toppings for people with and without allergies. We bring dairy-based cheese and sour cream for those without allergies. And then we bring margarine, bacon, fresh chives, and avocado slices for those with or without allergies. If we are at our home, we also include sautéed veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, and tomatoes which all make fantastic potato toppers (if you have never tried sautéed veggies as potato toppers, you really should sometime!). In addition to baked red potatoes, we also bring baked sweet potatoes for those paleo friends or others who don’t consume white potatoes.

For ease of cooking and transport, I cook my baked potatoes in my Oster Roaster Pan. It works perfectly for this! If you want to read more about how much I love my Oster Roaster Pan and the other ways I use it, check out this blog.

Here is a simple recipe for how to cook baked potatoes from Alton Brown. I follow similar instructions, except I put them in my Oster Roasting Pan rather than the oven.

2. Taco Bar

I have to include this because, seriously, who doesn’t love a good taco bar??? I don’t think I need to tell you how popular you will be if you bring tacos to your next potluck.

We love to bring tacos to a potluck for all the reasons I love to bring a baked potato bar – it’s something anyone can enjoy. Like with baked potatoes, I bring toppings that can be enjoyed by people with or without food allergies.

When we bring tacos to a potluck, we typically bring flour and corn tortillas, some type of meat (typically pork carnitas or salsa chicken – just ignore the cheese pictured), dairy-based cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, purple onion, avocado or guacamole, beans, jalapeno, and bell peppers. Though it does involve a lot of chopping, it is otherwise a very simple meal to bring. In our home, we share the load of chopping as much as possible. Check out this blog to hear how I get everyone to pitch in around my kitchen.

3. Ham and Bean Soup

Of all the things I cook, I have to say this is my very best recipe. I’m not an amazing cook, but I think I could compete with almost anyone with this recipe. It is so delicious!!! When I finished chemo, I made this soup for the staff at my Oncology office – to thank them for taking such good care of me. I’m not bragging when I say that I got rave reviews. The nurses brought bowls into the patients receiving chemo and they told me that I nourished their souls with the soup. Staff members were asking for leftovers. So, you get the idea….it’s a good recipe!!! 

Super simple and very cheap! Unless you don’t eat pork for personal or health reasons, you really need to try this recipe sometime!

4. Taco Soup

What I love about Taco Soup is that it is one of the easiest things that I ever cook – without sacrificing on being healthy and tasty! Most people love it and it’s SUPER cheap to make, so it makes a good potluck item.

There are lots of recipes out there, but this is the one that I use. It’s incredibly versatile, so adapt it to your tastes and what you have on hand. 


  • 1 pound of ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • ½ onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 2 cans corn
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 8 cups chicken broth – homemade or store bought
  • Optional – 2 cans of tomatoes (I never put these in, but others like them so I am including them)
  • ***2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • ***1 Tablespoon cumin
  • ***1 Teaspoon paprika

***Adjust seasonings to taste

Optional toppings:

  • Fresh avocado chunks
  • Fresh cilantro 


  1. Heat oil in skillet – add onion and garlic – stir for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add ground meat – cook until done.
  3. Put meat mixture into soup pot. I use my Instant Pot. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can use a crock pot or a soup pan on the stove.
  4. Add the remaining soup ingredients.
  5. If using Instant Pot, close lid and press “soup” button.
  6. If using crock pot, cook on Low for about 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  7. If using stovetop, cook for about 30 minutes.
  8. Serve into bowls.

If desired, top with avocado chunks and fresh cilantro.

5. Roasted Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

One of our favorite meals here in our home is roasted chicken and roasted vegetables. So yummy!  Also, bonus points that it is simple and cheap! The trifecta.

Check out this blog to learn how to roast a chicken. Here is a good place to look for roasting veggies – of course, you can substitute almost any vegetable in this recipe – just alter the cooking time accordingly. Our personal favorites are roasted beets and cauliflower. If you have never tried roasted beats or cauliflower, you need to!   

6. Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots

Another great roasted option is roast, potatoes, and carrots. It’s also delicious and simple. Not nearly as frugal as roasted chicken, but still reasonable enough to make the cut. Check out this simple recipe – you can make it in the oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot!


I hope these suggestions got your wheels turning for some great potluck dishes you can bring as you attend parties this holiday season and throughout the year.

I would love to hear, what are your favorite dishes to bring to a potluck?



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