RISE & RUN is an instant NY TIMES BESTSELLER! Now available anywhere books are sold. RISE & RUN is an instant NY TIMES BESTSELLER! Now available anywhere books are sold.


Potluck Dinner Parties for Runners

Potluck Dinner Parties for Runners

Menu Ideas for your Next Potluck

By Natalie Bickford, MS

School is back in session and that means cross country season is finally here! Many of you have been training all summer for the fall season to begin and now it’s time to show off all those miles and hills you’ve been logging!

One of our favorite parts about team sports like cross country is the pre-race potluck dinners shared around a table with your teammates. Not only are you fueling your body for the race, but also boosting that team spirit and camaraderie to get you pumped up for race day.  

Whether you’re training for that fall marathon or gearing up for a cross-country meet, a nourishing pre-race meal shared with friends and teammates gets your mind and body ready for the big race. We put together 3 sample potluck dinner menus to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook some delicious, nourishing pre-race potlucks!

Post your potluck dinner party photos on Instagram with hashtags #rfespotluck and #runfasteatslow and we’ll repost our favorites!


Photos by Alan Weiner

Potluck Inspiration

RFCFES = Find these recipes in Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.

RFES = Find these recipes in Run Fast. Eat Slow.

Menu 1:

This fall inspired menu will leave you fueled up for race day and excited for our favorite season! We love the sweet and salty Sweet Potato Hummus for complex carbs and protein. Take that pasta dinner up a notch with our easy Turkey Trot Meatballs and Basic Marinara Sauce. Finish it off with a Ginger Molasses Cookie for a sweet iron-packed treat!


Sweet Potato Hummus + chips + carrots/celery (RFCFES, p. 195)

Simple green salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette (RFCFES, p. 186)

Turkey Trot Meatballs + Basic Marinara Sauce (RFCFES, p.147 + p. 182)

Spaghetti and/or Brown Rice

Ginger Molasses Cookies (RFCFES, p. 208)


Menu 2:

We love this menu because it’s super fun and interactive. Everyone can pick and choose and assemble their own bowls. All you need is a base, vegetables, a protein source, and a yummy sauce or two. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered -- check out our Power Bowl guide in RFCFES for more ideas!


DIY Power Bowls (RFCFES, p.122)

Brown rice

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Chicken (RFCFES, p. 137)

Purple Cabbage Slaw (RFCFES, p. 165)

Sunday Sweet Potatoes (RFCFES, p. 161)

Garlicky Guac (RFCFES, p. 177)

Smoky Summer Salsa (RFCFES, p. 176)


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (RFCFES, p. 207)


Menu 3:

This simple menu will fill you up with complex carbs (sweet potato), healthy fats (avocado), protein (chicken) and calcium-rich greens (salad). End it with the crowd-pleasing, indulgent Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups for an extra boost of antioxidants. The perfect nourishing meal to fuel you up for the big race!


Simple Salad with Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette (RFES, p. 169)


Sweet Potato Fries (RFES, p. 161) or Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower (RFCFES, p. 162)

Oven ”Fried” Chicken (RFCFES, p. 134)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (RFCFES, p. 210)

Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Portland, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Find Natalie at nataliecooks.com. 


Follow @elysekopecky

Follow @ShalaneFlanagan