30 No-Cook Potluck and Picnic Recipes
Assemble these recipes—great for potlucks, picnics or light family dinners—without turning on the oven or range. They are the perfect way to help you keep your cool.
Stuffed Party Pinwheels
Our recipe actually makes two different kinds of tortilla spirals—one flavored with curry powder, the other with garlic and herbs.
24-Hour Tex-Mex Salad
Layered salads, popular in the 1970s and 1980s, are making a comeback. Assemble this easy potluck salad in either individual jars or a clear salad bowl, dressing and all, then refrigerate.
Marinated Cheese Cubes
Pantry ingredients turn ordinary Monterey jack into a deli-style party snack that tastes even better when you make it ahead. You can prep it three days in advance.
Chicken Banh Mi
Layer rotisserie chicken with crisp veggies, mayo and zippy sesame dressing on a soft roll for this easy version of the popular Vietnamese sandwich.
Nutty Apple-Cherry Slaw
Nuts and fruit add crunch and color to cabbage tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. This beautiful twist on traditional coleslaw is best served right away for maximum crispness, but it will hold for up to 24 hours.
Tropical Tomato Salsa
Try this sweet, colorful salsa-made with tomato, mango and melon-over chips, fish or chicken.
Ricotta and Parmesan Spread
Fresh herbs season this ridiculously simple spread from BelGioioso Cheese in Wisconsin. It keeps well in the fridge and is delicious with cherry tomatoes or other vegetable dippers, as well as crackers or baguette slices.
Fresh Corn Salad
Mix sweet dressing, fresh veggies and spicy jalapeños to create a fresh-tasting potluck salad that has only 77 calories per serving.
Basic Chicken Salad
We call this chicken salad "basic," but thanks to lemon juice and fresh green onion and parsley, it's anything but boring. Don't hesitate to bring it to your next picnic.
Chunky Fresh Tomato Salsa
Try this blender tomato salsa with grilled fish or chicken, or as an appetizer with chips.
A garnish of pomegranate seeds and mint gives spark to this refreshing dip; it'’s a healthy choice you'll be glad to have in your recipe box year-round. Serve with pita chips, crisp breadsticks or vegetables.
Orange Chicken Coleslaw Salad
This unusual recipe combines orange marmalade and soy sauce to make a sweet-and-salty dressing for chicken, cabbage and crunchy ramen noodles. Serve the mixture over a bed of fresh spinach for a nutrient-packed dish.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
Discover the savory potential of watermelon in this five-ingredient salad.
Cucumber Bites with Herbed Cheese and Salmon Mousse
The recipe makes half the bites with pink salmon mousse filling and half with white herbed cheese. If you like, streamline by choosing just one filling and doubling its ingredients. This recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Everyday Annie.
Fresh herbs, tomatoes and avocados create a refreshing salsa. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.
Layered Asian Salad
Sweet, citrusy homemade dressing adds amazing flavor to a veggie layer salad, and it has fewer than 50 calories per serving! Chill salad and dressing separately up to 24 hours before serving.
Layer Provolone and Parmesan cheeses with fresh cilantro, mint, a chile pepper and sliced cucumber for a refreshingly light sandwich.
Chicken Taco Salad
Pick up a rotisserie chicken and a few veggies, and in 20 minutes, you can serve this colorful, crowd-pleasing salad.
Waldorf Chicken Salad
All the traditional Waldorf ingredients are here: apple, grapes, walnuts, celery and mayo. This is a great choice to pack for weekday lunches or picnics.
Blackberry Salad with Creamy Feta
Toss juicy blackberries with shredded mint leaves, tangy feta and pickled onions for a surprisingly delicious combination. The salad pairs perfectly with grilled meats.
Savoy Cabbage Salad
A refreshing ginger vinaigrette seasons this cabbage side salad. The noodles are added uncooked. They soften some while chilling, but still add crunch.
Cucumber and Apricot Sandwiches
This crunchy, fruit-studded cream cheese sandwich makes a great picnic snack.
Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes
Stuff cherry tomatoes with a filling of avocado, cream cheese, pesto and lemon juice for an easy make-ahead appetizer. Tip: Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato to help these nibbles stand upright!
Garden Slaw with Spicy Asian Dressing
This side-dish salad tastes great with burgers or pulled pork sandwiches. Or you can toss the slaw with shredded chicken or chopped cooked ham for a main-dish salad.
Black Bean Salsa
This salsa does double duty as a tortilla dip or a meat topper. Serve with a slotted spoon over grilled pork, smoked bratwursts or sausages, grilled chicken or salmon.
Cucumber-Honeydew Salad with Feta
This healthy no-cook potluck salad is full of fruit and vegetable goodness. Feta adds a tang to the sweetness of honeydew melon. With only 20 minutes of prep time before an overnight chill, this recipe is great for picnics and parties.
Black-Eyed Pea Relish
This easy and versatile relish requires only 15 minutes of prep, then an hour of chilling time for the flavors to meld. Sweet and hot peppers add contrasting flavor. Try the relish with pita chips, as a topping for grilled chicken breast or by itself.
Ham and Mango Sandwiches
These little fruit-and-ham sandwiches are easy to tote to a picnic or potluck.
A refreshing blend of berry, apple and citrus juices makes for a delicious sipper that's light on calories. Pierce the berries to ensure juice release. This drink can also be spiked with vodka or light rum for an adult beverage.