Crowd-Pleasing Tips & Recipes for a Perfect Thanksgiving Potluck

Thanksgiving meal table
Marcus Nilsson/Galeries/Corbis

When we host Thanksgiving dinner, we absolutely love when a friend or family member offers to bring a dish. Well, why not take this idea to the next level this year? That's right -- we're talking about a Thanksgiving potluck. From appetizers and salads to side dishes and desserts, there are plenty of choices, and each person probably has a recipe he or she wouldn't mind sharing or showing off. 

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Hosting a potluck Thanksgiving is simple, but here's the key -- make a basic menu first and then be specific about what guests should bring! This eliminates the potential for receiving a half a dozen green bean casseroles but no stuffing or mashed potatoes. 

And not to worry about the non-cooks on the guest list. Anyone who prefers to stay out of the kitchen can bring a few bottles of wine or sparkling cider -- or they can call their favorite bakery and order a delicious pumpkin or apple pie. Give guests lots of notice so they can gather their ingredients (or call their caterers), and then sit back, relax, and enjoy a festive holiday dinner without all the extra fuss!

More from CafeMom: 20 Easy Thanksgiving Sides That Take Less Than 30 Minutes 

We've even taken the guesswork out of Thanksgiving potluck planning with this cool slideshow of all the menu must-haves for a well-rounded holiday meal. This could be the best Thanksgiving yet!  

Holidays holiday entertaining thanksgiving