Potlucks are a great way to bring people together, share a delicious meal, and if everyone brings something it normally lowers the overall cost of dinner for everybody! There are so many different fun ways to organize potlucks around a theme rather than just asking everyone to bring something random and worrying about who’s bringing what and will there be enough food or will it all be desserts or is everyone bringing salsa and chips?

If you’re looking for a great organizational tool for your potlucks you should check out Potluck which is an online platform that includes a dashboard with item/task selection, a chat section for guests, and photo swaps space to look back on—Potluck has it all. I was able to get an intro tour of this web-based platform that is launching soon if you’re interested! Meanwhile, check out these 10 killer ideas for great harvest-season potlucks. 

1. All the holidays at once

Liz Abere

Have each person pick a holiday (can be US official or not) and bring a dish that’s normally made on that day! Some examples are pumpkins pie from Thanksgiving, Hamantaschen from Purim, and 15 other ideas from holidays around the world

2. Toast it up!

bread, toast, butter, fish, sandwich, study, snacks, radish, snack
Denise Uy

Have each guest bring a different bread and topping for some great toast mash-ups. Some suggestions: rye bread, sourdough, multigrain, cinnamon raisin, vegan cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, strawberries, ricotta, radishes, avocado, arugula, etc. Get creative with your combos!

3. Hometown Hero’s

bacon, french toast, cinnamon, toast, syrup, maple syrup, butter
Kristina Rossi

Have each guest bring a dish famous in your hometown or state. Some examples would be deep dish pizza, from Chicago; buffalo cauliflower with Buffalo NY sauce, Boston clam chowder, Maine lobster rolls, maple creamies from Vermont, New Orleans Po Boys and beignets, St. Louis toasted raviolis, bison burgers from the Dakotas, and so much more! 

4. Mama Mia Movie Night

sauce, cake, sweet, syrup, honey, pastry, baklava, Greece, Greek food, European food
Julia Gilman

This can be done with any movie but pick a film and match your dinner to the show! Have a movie dinner night and enjoy your potluck while watching a show. For a Mama Mia night try making falafel, pita bread, tzatziki sauce, a cucumber salad, and baklava for dessert.

5. Match the Meal (color coordination) 

pasture, sweet, berry, strawberry, Healthy, Fruit
Tess Tarantino

This is a fun one, have each guest pick a color to wear and bring a dish to match! Some ideas include: Red as a fruit bowl with strawberries, raspberries, apples, cherries. Yellow a giant cheese platter. Green a gorgeous pesto veggie salad. Brown bring bread or a rice dish. Black take control of desert by making chocolate cake.

6. Dinner with a Book

peppermint bark, Ghirardelli, chocolate bar, candy, Christmas, hot chocolate, books, popcorn, holiday, most wonderful time of year, Winter
Bre Larranaga

Similar to the movie idea, pick a book and match a meal to the story! This can be really fun for book clubs or if you have that one cookbook you never use take an opportunity to try some new recipes from it and maybe invite some friends to join! If you’re a die hard Percy Jackson fan try making a bunch of blue foods, or if you just picked up “Where the Crawdads Sing” try making gumbo and cobbler. Here’s a list of 30 book inspired recipes to check out!

7. Soup Sampler

cream, soup, bread, sweet
Kendra Valkema

A great one for fall and winter, have each guest bring a different soup that they love and have a tasting! Some fan favorites include vegan broccoli cheddar, butternut squash, tomato bisque, “chicken” noodle, vegetarian bean chili, and more.

8. Wine and Poetry 

wine, tea, alcohol, juice, sweet, cocktail, liquor, Sangria, Spain, Barcelona, red wine
Amelia Hitchens

A more drink-focused meal and better in smaller groups (2-5 people), have each guest bring a bottle of wine of their choice and their favorite poem. Make a little snack board and sip on some wine, share your poetry, and try writing some of your own! 

9. High Time for Tea Time

genmai cha, loose leaf tea, green tea, tea, tea pot
Jocelyn Hsu

Think English high tea—tiny finger sandwiches, a surplus of pastries, a platter of meats and cheese, hot tea or coffee…basically all you could want for a potluck brunch on a Sunday morning or afternoon repas. 

10. Around the world in one night 

sushi, rice, fish, seafood, burrito
Jane Yeo

There is so much fun food across the world that most people  have never even heard of! Pick a random country and make a dish to bring for this travelers dream potluck. Need some inspiration? Check out these awesome creators who have cooked their way around the world! Here’s some from TikTok, a blogger, and a list of the national dish from every country.