8 Fun, Creative Ideas for Potluck Themes

Friends having a potluck dinner party

Let’s be real: eating out gets SO expensive! But, it’s hard to find other ways to eat with friends without putting the burden all on the person hosting. That’s why we came up with these 8 easy, creative ideas for potluck themes!

Whether it’s a chilly winter night or a lazy summer day, these easy potluck ideas are the perfect way to hang with your friends, try new foods, and have a memorable night! 

btw don’t forget to save all of your potluck pics and fav moments in Connexions!

No matter how many people you invite, these dinner party themes are affordable, unique, and, most importantly, fun! 

Let’s dive into these 8 creative ideas for potluck themes!

a potluck party with adults

Ideas for Potluck Themes 1: Mystery Recipe

This dinner party theme is a super fun combo of potluck and game! 

First, everyone picks one of their favorite recipes and writes it out for another person. The twist is they leave out the name of the recipe and any info that’d give it away! 

Then, everyone switches recipes and does their best to make their dish.

Finally, bring all of the dishes together, reveal what each recipe was supposed to be, and see how everyone’s creations compare!

There are so many spins you can add to this game, but it’s helpful to make sure there’s a balance between appetizers, bigger dishes, and sweets.

Overall, just have fun with it and see what happens!

And, depending on how good of chefs your group is, maybe have a few takeout menus on hand… 

Fun Potluck Ideas 2: Childhood Favorites

This food theme idea doubles as a great way to get to know your friends better too!

The assignment is for each person to recreate their favorite dish from childhood, then have a nostalgic potluck together. Have everyone present their dish and tell a story about why it was their favorite as a kid, then dig in!

Add a fun twist to this idea for a dinner party theme by playing the Baby Photo Game too! It’s one of the easiest games to throw together and fits the nostalgia of this potluck idea perfectly!

Looking for more unique ways to connect with your friends? Check out these 6 Fun Indoor Things to do with Friends!

eggs painted like emojis for a potluck theme

Ideas for Dinner Party Themes 3: Emoji Cookoff

Okay, I’ll be honest: this one of our ideas for potluck themes is totally ripped off from an episode of Hell’s Kitchen.

But, it looks so fun in the episode I just had to add it to this list!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Split into 2 or 3 evenly sized teams
  2. Similar to the mystery recipe games, each team writes out a recipe for another team. However, the twist this time is the recipe has to be written only using emojis!
  3. Swap emoji-fied recipes and work as a team to decipher and cook your recipe
  4. Present your dishes, see how they stack up to the original recipes, and chow down!

An emoji cookoff is totally one of the most creative, fun potluck ideas!

Easy Potluck Ideas 4: Crockpot Creations

Crockpot recipes have taken off on Pinterest and branched into every meal: snacks, breakfasts, lunch, soup, appetizers, entrees, and even desserts!

When it comes to fun dinner party themes, this is definitely one of the cheapest ideas! Assign everyone a crockpot ready meal to prepare, then come together to enjoy your feast.

If only a couple people in your group have crockpots, then pair off into teams and work together to get ingredients and cook.

Don’t forget to figure out who will wash all the crockpots!

gif from it's always sunny in philadelphia of "the gang" chanting "dishes" after a dinner party

Ideas for Potluck Themes 5: Recipe Secret Santa

Secret Santa isn’t just for Christmas with this potluck party theme!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Everyone chooses one of their favorite recipes and prints it out

Speed things up by using a QR generator to just print scannable codes to each recipe!

  1. Put the recipes or QR codes into bowl and mix them around
  2. Each person picks a secret santa recipe from the bowl
  3. When you have your dinner party, present each meal and take turns guessing who put in which recipe
  4. Reveal the secret santa behind each recipe and dig in!

This is one of my favorite ideas for dinner party themes, because it doubles as a fun, creative way to get to know each other better!

women in pajamas for a pajama party potluck theme

Food Themes for Parties 6: PJs & Pot Pie Potluck

Who doesn’t love alliterative potluck themes?!

Tell your friends to wear their PJs and bring their coziest pot pie to the party! And, if you and your friends are competitive, make it a cookoff and vote for the best pot pie!

Remember to take plenty of pictures in your cozy fits and upload them to Connexions!

Ideas for Dinner Party Themes 7: Pun Party

This is one of the most fun ideas for potluck themes, and it definitely requires creativity from you and your friends!

Have everyone bring a pun-tastic food of their choice, then enjoy the food and the puns! 

Here are a couple ideas to help you start brainstorming:

  • Lettuce always be friends salad
  • Something to taco ‘bout
  • Life is what you bake it

This is definitely one of the funniest ideas for dinner party themes!

cheese fondue for a potluck idea

Fun Potluck Ideas 8: Fondue and Frights

Who doesn’t love a gooey bowl of cheese fondue or a decadent helping of chocolate fondue?! 

Round up your friends and delegate who will make the fondues, who’s bringing the dipping snacks, and who’s grabbing the booze. Then, come together to feast on your fondue and watch a scary movie together!

Once, I accidentally spent $60 on fondue in Switzerland, so this is definitely a more affordable (and cozier!) way to enjoy the metly magic of fondue! 

Themed dinner parties with your friends are definitely cheaper than eating out- and they can be a lot more fun! These 8 ideas for potluck themes, like emoji cookoff, recipe secret santa, and pun party, are the perfect way to keep them interesting! Don’t forget to upload all of your pictures and memories to Connexions!

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