Potluck Etiquette Everyone Should Know

    A potluck seems like the perfect way to throw a party. At least in theory. It can be easy or it can be a disaster, depending on how guests act. Want to help make the next one you attend a breeze? Follow these rules and you'll be the best potluck guest anyone could hope for!

    Bring a Dish.

    There are no exceptions. None. You bring something to a potluck when a friend invites people over and uses the words "pot" and "luck" right next to each other in a sentence. Nothing is less helpful than someone showing up without bringing anything. It doesn't have to be fancy if you're not the most gourmet chef and it is not allowed to be pizza from the parlor down the street (unless MAYBE you asked your host or hostess and they thought it was a good idea).

    Don't Hesitate to Help!

    When your backyard is full of hungry people, even when others are helping out with food there is still a lot to do. Be the helpful guest. Someone has invited you into their home (or backyard). Be a pal and help them get ice to the cooler, restock plates, refresh chip bowls, etc. It can be super stressful to be the host(ess) of a party. Help them want to throw another party in the future. You can't be the only one who throws a good bash, you want to attend them, too!


    Each person is bringing a dish. One. Which means they didn't intend for every person to have a plateful of whatever they made. Only take a little of each thing. Everyone wants to try Sarah's pie and everyone wants some of Peter's BBQ corn salad. Want to be a stellar quest? Bring a little printout paper that has a reminder on it for everyone. Something like "Don't be a dish hog! Everyone wants to try that!" is simple and gets the message across to those hungry guests. Place at the food table by the plates so people see it before they start loading their plates up.

    Seriously, though...

    Bring a dish. Yes, we are saying it again. It is very serious. Can't think of something to make? Well, try this easy recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip. Scale up depending on how many you wish to serve. Bring a sliced baguette to serve alongside.


    • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, see Cook's Note*
    • 1 (12-ounce bag) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 cup grated smoked gouda
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 4 ounces cream cheese
    • Tortilla chips, for serving


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Place the spinach in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible; set aside.

    Chop the artichokes into bite-size chunks.

    In a large bowl, add the spinach, artichokes, 1/2 cup Parmesan, gouda, mozzarella, garlic, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese and mix until combined. Pour into a baking dish, top with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and bake until the edges are bubbly and light golden brown, about 25 minutes.

    Allow the dip to cool slightly before serving with tortilla chips.

    *Cook's Note: A quick way to thaw out spinach: microwave for 3 minutes, covered.

    If you decide to give this great recipe a try, let us know how it turned out! Or if you have any other great recipes or ideas for potlucks, we'd love to know them! Show us on Facebook, Twitter, or leave us a comment here!