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Church Ladies’ Favorite Potluck Recipes: Salads

Part 1 of 4 in the Series

Have you ever noticed that when you have a potluck dinner at church, you will find some of the best dishes you have ever eaten? Because of this, I decided to start a series to share some of these wonderful dishes. This is the 1st in the series – Church Ladies’ Favorite Potluck Recipes: Salads. Enjoy!

Church potluck recipes salads
Photo taken by Engin Akyurt at Pexels.

Church Potluck Meals

Potluck meals have a way of bringing people, families, and communities together. In fact, I have heard that potlucks really became popular during the Great Depression because the people shared what they had, which gave them a variety.  They would have community gatherings and have soup suppers which fed large groups.  The food was great, and the fellowship was inexpensive entertainment. 

I have attended potlucks at family gatherings and family reunions.  We have had potlucks at friends’ homes and for some of our family’s meals, but when I hear the word Potluck, I think of a church social. 

My Church Potluck Experience

I don’t really remember that much about the food at church suppers and potlucks when I was growing up, but as an adult, I really appreciated them.  Church ladies are some of the best cooks and have always had the best-loved recipes.  They are also eager to share them with others. In fact, if you have never owned a church cookbook, you are missing out!  These cookbooks are put together when a church family submits their favorite recipes and compiles them into a cookbook.  They are real treasures! 

Church Ladies’ Favorite Potluck Recipes Series

I want to showcase some of these delicious recipes and the ladies who make them. This post shares some of the salads from our last church potluck. After this one, there will be Side Dishes, Main Meals, and Desserts. 

1 – English Pea Salad (Brenda McDaniel)

This English Pea Salad is delicious.  Notice the Deviled Eggs around it as well.  Brenda sprinkles them with a little bit of dill, which puts them over the top for me!

Church ladies' favorite potluck recipes English Pea Salad



  1. In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until well blended.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula, gently combine the peas, hard boiled eggs, and cheese.  Pour the dressing over the top of the peas and fold together, just until well blended.
  3. Refrigerate the salad for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, gently stir the salad and add the chopped bacon. Garnish with additional chopped bacon, cheese, and sliced hard-boiled eggs.

2 – Broccoli Salad (Cindy Haynes)

This Broccoli Salad is very creamy and has the perfect sweetness! I could eat this as the main course – or dessert.

Church ladies' favorite potluck recipes Broccoli Salad


  • Dressing Ingredients


  1. Combine broccoli, grapes and purple onion, and mix well.  
  2. Pour dressing mixture over the broccoli mixture and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  3. Add bacon and sunflower seeds just before serving.  All amounts can be adjusted to personal taste.  Serves approximately 8.
  4. Dressing Instructions

  5. Combine milk and sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved. 
  6. Add vinegar and stir.  Milk will thicken.  Pour over broccoli mixture.
  7. Some people use mayonnaise instead of Half & Half.

3 – Fruit Jell-O (Carole Stanley)

I have had Carole’s Fruit Jell-O on several occasions, and I never get tired of it. Sometimes I have it as a salad and then go back and get more for dessert.

Church ladies' favorite potluck recipes Fruit Jell-O Salad



  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil; turn off burner, and dissolve Jell-O in hot water.
  2. If strawberries are still frozen, put them in the Jell-O and water.  After the strawberries are thawed, add pineapple, bananas, and pecans.
  3. Pour half of the mixture in a bowl and set in the freezer until firm.
  4. Spread sour cream over the top, then pour the remainder of the mixture in the bowl and refrigerate until all is firm.

4 – Cherry Salad (Barbara Finley)

My grandmother made something similar to this, so when I had Barbara’s Cherry Salad not too long ago, it brought back sweet memories!  This is another one I can eat as a salad and then again as dessert.

Church ladies' favorite potluck recipes Cherry Salad



  1. Combine all ingredients and chill. (Easy Peasy!)


Clever Tips for Your Next Potluck

  • For a cute presentation, put your disposable pans in Fancy Panz.
  • If you make a slow cooker recipe, use a slow cooker/crock pot with a locking lid to transport it to the potluck.
  • Put your food on a rubber boot tray in the car to catch any spills when transporting your dishes.
  • You might not want to experiment with a new recipe when taking it somewhere. (Experience talking!)
  • Label the meal if it fits certain dietary restrictions, such as sugar or gluten free.

Whether it is your next church potluck or you are just coming together with friends and family to feed a hungry crowd, I hope some of these church ladies’ favorite potluck recipes will be on your menu. As you all bring something different, everyone will have a little variety. Find a delicious recipe that you love and share it with your corner of the world. 


church potluck rules quote
Found on Pinterest

Other Favorite Potluck Recipes

8 Jalapeno Appetizers

Jill’s Family Favorite Bean Dip

How to Make Zesty Pasta Salad

Until next week…

Have a Grace & Joy-Filled Day!



disclosure: affiliate links are used on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you purchase an item, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Home with Grace and Joy. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

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  1. Susan,What A Wonderful Idea. I Loved All The Salads You Shared From Your Church. You Are Such An Amazing Lady. I Do See All Your Posts But Do Not Always Comment. Thank You For All You Do. Love You .

    1. Awww, you are so sweet! I love and appreciate you so much! I would love to include one of your recipes in an upcoming post. I still need desserts if you want to share!

  2. Church cookbooks are THE best cookbooks, Susan! I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s been so much fun to follow along on these old recipe posts. They’re bringing back such fun memories from my childhood and from church suppers back in our hometown. I can’t wait to revisit these ideas, CoCo

    1. I do love these vintage recipes, especially the easy ones! I have a few extra copies of some church cookbooks. I think I will share them at Christmas! Have a blessed day!

  3. Your post brought back so many wonderful memories of church potlucks or of a luncheon after a funeral service held in a small town. So much love goes into these dishes! My mom had a collection of church cookbooks and I have several… they are the best! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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