Don’t get caught bringing store-bought.
Of all the food-centric gatherings that occur in the South, church potlucks are some of the most cherished events. We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a hint of competition at every Southern potluck, even the ones that follow Sunday service. Everyone knows that the church homecoming celebration calls for Sunday’s best—in attire and recipes. What is it? Exactly what it sounds like: old church members who’ve moved away visit the church to share in worship and fellowship with current church members over a traditional meal. Like most Southern potlucks, these dinners are filled with casseroles, “salads” that don’t contain a speck of green, and overflowing dessert tables. These timeless recipes are going to be a hit year after year.
Classic Sweet Tea
Recipe: Sausage Balls
It only takes 30 minutes to make eight dozen of these savory bites, so you have plenty to freeze for later.
Basic Deviled Eggs
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls
Recipe: Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls
This recipe from our November 1995 issue is still our favorite. It has few ingredients, can be made ahead, and produces a high yield, which makes it the ultimate potluck roll recipe.
Basic Pimiento Cheese
Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad
Picnic Egg Salad
Recipe: Picnic Egg Salad
We paired this 15-minute, 5-ingredient recipe with a sliced baguette for a twist on old-school egg salad sandwiches, but tea sandwiches would make for easy serving, too.
Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Mama's Fried Chicken
Rum Baked Beans
Recipe: Rum Baked Beans
Make these baked beans up to two days ahead and bake just before the event. Just a half a cup of rum adds a sweet, smoky element to this five-bean recipe.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
It would be concerning to arrive at a Church Homecoming and discover no one made mac and cheese.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Casserole
You won’t waste time peeling and slicing potatoes for this recipe. Frozen hash browns and other store-bought ingredients make this crowd-pleaser easier than ever.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
This recipe from our November 1990 issue is full of pantry staples that can easily be swapped with the ingredients you have on hand.
Recipe: Hashbrown Casserole
Cornflake cereal-topped casseroles are as standard at Southern gatherings as “yes mam” and “yes sir.”
Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Old-School Squash Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole
Creamy, buttery, and topped with Ritz crackers—that’s how we take our yellow squash in the South. Healthy? Not exactly. Amazing? Every time.
Classic Candied Yams
New Tuna Casserole
Recipe: New Tuna Casserole
The new version of tuna noodle casserole has the flavor you love from the original. We’re not retiring this recipe any time soon.
Recipe: Pineapple Casserole
You’re six ingredients, one dish, and around 30 minutes away from digging into this sweet and savory side that will make you think of Easter dinner at Grandma’s.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Recipe: Strawberry-Pretzel Salad
Remember this recipe? We guarantee you’re not the only one. Nostalgic churchgoers will clean this dish off (after making their kids try it, of course).
Salted Caramel Banana Pudding
Hello Dolly Bars
Recipe: Hello Dolly Bars
This beloved bar recipe packs the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. Save one for yourself at home because they’ll be gone quickly at Homecoming.
Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing
Easy Peach Cobbler
Heavenly Key Lime Pie
Recipe: Heavenly Key Lime Pie
The name doesn’t lie—this pie is positively divine, which makes Church Homecoming the most appropriate setting for serving.
All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
So Good Brownies
Recipe: So Good Brownies
There will never be a Church Homecoming without a batch of warm, homemade brownies present—ever.
Classic Southern Pound Cake
Luscious Lemon Bars
Recipe: Luscious Lemon Bars
Lemon squares will never go out of style at Southern gatherings. Make these ahead and freeze for up to one month.