If you’re looking for some easy and affordable ‘bring a plate’ ideas for your next party, look no further! Find favourite dishes and simple small plate ideas that are perfect for a potluck or party food table. These bring a plate ideas for a party are simple and, most importantly, they are delicious! So whether you’re looking for an appetiser, main dish or dessert, you will find plenty of inspiration!
Easy Bring A Plate ideas for a party
You are invited to an event and the host says “Bring a plate”… cue panic!
Sound familiar? It’s a pretty common scenario, but fear not, we have plenty of easy bring a plate ideas for a party or social function that will get you sorted quickly!
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, “Bring a Plate” simply means to bring a dish of food to share with other guests.
It is often seen as an inexpensive way to cater for a large number of people, as everyone brings something to contribute.
Another common term you might hear is “Pot Luck” which essentially works the same way, with each person contributing to the meal at social gatherings.
These school birthday treat ideas (aside from cupcakes) might give you some good ideas too!
Tips For Party Share Plates
So now that we know what “Bring a Plate” means, let’s look at some tips to make sure your dish is a hit with everyone!
The first tip is to consider the theme or cuisine of the party.
If it’s a summer BBQ, then you might want to bring something fresh and light like a salad or nibblies that can be served at room temperature. On the other hand, if you’re attending winter dinner parties, a casserole or bake could be a perfect choice.
It can be hard to know what to bring when you aren’t sure what everyone else is bringing, but don’t stress! If it’s a large group of people, there is sure to be a little bit of doubling up on party plates!
It is important to consider the following questions:
- What is the theme or type of gathering? Choose a dish that suits the theme or occasion
- Does your dish need to be heated or chilled? If so, will there be facilities for this
- Is it at a public place or at a friend’s home? This may impact the type of serving dish you use compared to disposable paper plates or foil trays
- Are there dietary requirements you need to consider? Many schools have rules around nuts or if you have your own dietary needs, consider making a dish that you know you will be able to eat in case there aren’t a lot of options otherwise
- Finger foods or main dishes? There is a lot of difference between snack foods and contributing to the main meal
- Kids, adults or both? Catering to the age groups of the guests is essential! Kids won’t eat your famous spicy chilli but adults might love it!
Bonus Tip: If you are using your own serving ware and dishes instead of disposable options, make sure they are labelled or identifiable in some way. So often there are unnamed dishes and serving utensils left after a share plate event.
So what are some easy ‘bring a plate’ ideas? Here are 70+ of our favourites!
Charcuterie Board Or Party Platters
A charcuterie board is always a winner! It’s simple to put together and you can tailor it to suit any themed party or event!
You can include cured meats, soft cheeses, hard cheeses, crackers, bread, olives, fruit, nuts and dip. Add little bowls to your board with nuts, dips and quince paste and decorate with fresh herbs for the perfect cheese platter.
If you’re short on time or not confident in your culinary skills, you can even buy a pre-made one from the supermarket!
Party platters are a classic for a reason! It’s easy, it can be done cheap and everyone loves snack food to nibble on as they mingle!
And your party platters don’t need to be savoury with meat, cheese and crackers either! Put together a fruit platter or a dessert platter instead, using a simple wooden board or tray for an instant crowd-pleaser.
Find loads of inspiration for putting together the perfect cheese plate, charcuterie or party platter with these delicious ideas.
Healthy Bring A Plate Ideas
Just because everyone is bringing a dish to share, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a healthy event!
There are plenty of delicious and nutritious options that will be a hit with everyone, not just the health-conscious guests. Especially when using seasonal produce to make it a little different each time.
Some of our favourite healthy snack plate ideas and light dishes to share include:
- Vegetable sticks and dip
- Hommus and crackers
- Sushi rolls
- Fresh fruit platter or fruit salad
- Deviled eggs
- Zucchini and corn fritters
- Tortilla pinwheels
- Cheesy garlic bread
- Prawn cocktail cups
- Mini veggie pizzas
- Vegetable kabobs
- Seasoned roast vegetables
You could even do a healthy twist on classic party food like pigs in blankets or mini quiches! Just use healthier ingredients like wholemeal pastry or swap the sausage for veggies.
Savoury Bring A Plate Ideas
If you’re looking for some more hearty and filling dishes to bring to a party, then these savoury options will be perfect!
Some great savoury crowd-pleasers for BYO plate events include:
- Spicy meatballs
- Mini quiches or savoury tarts
- Spring rolls
- Sausage rolls and party pies
- Pizza scrolls
- Chicken or beef skewers
- Mini pizzas
- Savoury muffins
- Cobb loaf dip
- Mexican layered dip
- Mini hotdogs
- Mini pasties
- Chicken nuggets
- Pull apart bread
- Guacamole and nachos
- Jalapeno poppers
Main Dish Ideas For A Pot Luck Dinner Party
If you’re attending a potluck dinner party, then you’ll need to bring a dish that can serve as the main event!
Luckily, there are plenty of options for delicious main dishes that will feed a crowd. And bonus points if it’s something that can be easily reheated or served at room temperature.
If you have a favourite dish you make often that would easily serve a crowd, why not bring that instead of worrying about coming up with something new and different.
Here are some share dishes to inspire you:
- Potato bake
- Slow cooker dishes like chilli con carne or goulash
- Vegetarian quiche or frittata
- Macaroni and cheese
- Savoury mince
- Pesto pasta
- Pasta salad
- Shepherds pie
- Potato salad
- Chicken wings – try these deliciously easy Vietnamese fish sauce wings
- Feta and tomato pasta bake
- Sliders or mini burgers
- Pulled pork
- Fried rice
- Tuna mornay
Dessert Plate Ideas
Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Desserts are always a popular choice when it comes to bringing a plate dishes and there are so many options to choose from for a dessert table!
Make sure if you are bringing a chilled dessert that there is somewhere to keep it refrigerated until serving because the last thing you need is melted ice cream cakes dripping off the food table!
Instead, room temperature desserts are great ideas if you aren’t too sure about food storage options.
If you want to make something quick and easy, then why not try one of these dessert ideas that are sure to be a hit with everyone!
- Brownies – Try these Oreo brownies
- Sweet muffins
- Mini cheesecakes
- Chocolate dipped strawberries or other fruit
- Pavlova or mini pavlovas
- Rocky road
- Chocolate biscuits
- Cake pops
- Cinnamon scrolls
- Chocolate truffles
- Caramel tart
- Turkish delight slice
- Candy platter
- Rice Krispy treats
- Jelly cups
- Oreo cheesecake bars
- Anzac biscuits
Bonus Tip: If you’re short on time or not confident in your baking skills, then you can always buy some pre-made desserts from the local supermarket! Plate them up yourself to give them a homemade look or just keep it simple and rock up with the packets ready to place on the table!
Make sure to also check out these delicious lunch party food ideas for more ideas on what to bring to your next social event!
Bringing a plate to a party is an easy way to contribute to the menu and share your favourite dishes with friends. Whether you’re looking for some healthy bring a plate ideas for a party, or want to bring something sweet, we’ve got you covered! With so many delicious options to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone for your next bring a plate request!
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