Asked to bring something to a party, cookout, or Thanksgiving dinner? Skip the crockpot in the trunk and go with one of these recipes that travel well instead. With everything from easy breakfast recipes to make ahead desserts, these dishes that travel well include something for just about every occasion whether you’re going to a neighborhood pot luck, Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner or your sister-in-law’s for Christmas.
Holiday Recipes for Dishes that Travel Well
It doesn’t matter the time of year; it seems like there is always a reason to get together with family and friends! And more often than not, you’ll be asked to bring a dish to the party to share. We’ve all either heard the horror stories — or worse, been the subject of one! — in which we spent hours painstakingly baking and decorating cookies that looked like unicorns only to have them ruined on the drive over.
We polled our Facebook readers for their favorite holiday recipes they take when they travel, and these 30 came out on top. These foods have all been proven to travel well in the car, making them ideal potluck dishes to bring to your next event. I’ve broken them up into three different categories, so you can easily find a dish that works for you.
If none of these potluck recipes work for you, just pick something that won’t be disturbed by a sharp turn or hard brake. And make sure it’s something that tastes good whether you serve it at room temperature or cold.
If you really want to bring something that you’re worried might be disturbed when you travel, take the advice of our Facebook readers: Bring the ingredients separately and assemble the dish when you arrive. This works great for things like salads, veggie plates, and even cheeseballs.
Breakfast Recipes that Travel Well
This sausage breakfast casserole can be made ahead of time and tastes good even when it’s lukewarm. Put it together the night before then bake it right before it’s time to go.
Bake up some fresh bread like this apple bread with streusel topping the day before, then just wrap tightly on the trip.
These egg muffins are one of my go-to breakfast items because you can make them the day before then just reheat. The hash brown crust gives them a nice little crunch.
Like the casserole above, coffee cake is great because you can transport it in the same thing you cook it in. If the recipe calls for icing like this maple walnut coffee cake, just bring it with you.
A fruit platter or fruit salad is a good choice if you’re looking for healthier options. Try this recipe with the lime glaze for added flavor.
Muffins are another ideal choice and these strawberry coffee cake muffins are calling our name. Make ahead of time and transport in one of those cupcake carriers or a muffin tin.
These breakfast sliders are all made right in a single casserole dish and taken out individually when served. Bring the entire casserole dish and let people serve themselves.
Make up a full batch of these breakfast burritos, fully wrapped, then just reheat the morning of. Transport in a large storage container that doubles as a way to take any extras home.
Another great choice is homemade scones like these almond and cranberry ones. They can be made ahead without getting dry if use follow the tips in this recipe.
Homemade cinnamon rolls are a comfort food favorite and if you leave them in the pan, they travel great. Take it up a notch this year and try these festive eggnog cinnamon rolls for a holiday party.
Appetizers that Travel Well
Go traditional with a cheese plate but take it up a notch by making these easy Parmesan crackers.
Mix things up with a non-traditional cheeseball like this cranberry, Gorgonzola, and walnut option.
Either put together a simple veggie tray with dip at home or bring your veggies and assemble something more fun like this Santa veggie tray once you arrive.
One of our readers swore by deviled eggs and taking them in a deviled egg carrier (that she only uses twice a year). Spice them up with a little bacon and jalapeno like this recipe.
Pigs in a blanket are a favorite with kids and adults. To make your recipe go further, try these small versions instead.
You can’t ever go wrong with dip and dippers. Think chips and salsa, this spinach artichoke dip with fresh bread, or even just the standard ranch dip with potato chips.
If you want to do something that travels well that’s still pretty, try these caprese salad skewers or anything skewered ahead of time.
Make the wonton cups for these buffalo chicken dip cups the day before, then just add your dip as soon as you get to the party. They’re always a hit and a fun take on an old favorite.
A bowl of candied nuts can be made up in just a few minutes and eaten just as quickly. Not sure how to candy nuts? Follow this recipe for how to candy pecans and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Meatballs are another huge crowd pleaser and these easy Italian meatballs are one of my favorite recipes. Take the teriyaki sauce along in a small dish to add when you arrive.
Desserts that Travel Well
Skip the cute decorated cookies and go with these soft and chewy molasses cookies or another cookie that tastes better than they look instead.
Make up a batch of these turtle cookie bars and either transport in the pan and cut when you arrive or cut and layer on a plate wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.
Fudge is always a special treat. Whip up a batch of this Nutella fudge then just transport to the party in a large storage container or stacked on a plate.
Make something like these pumpkin rolls or this pecan pie roll that can be made ahead of time and then wrapped up tightly for transport.
Cheeseballs aren’t just meant to be appetizers. Pair chocolate and nuts in this chocolate toffee cheeseball for a sweet crowd pleaser.
Make upgraded brownies with this delicious mud pie brownie recipe. No one will ever know you started with a box.
This death by chocolate poke cake is made for chocolate lovers and for transporting in a car. Cover the top with a casserole dish cover or tin foil.
A dump cake is a great choice because it’s not supposed to be pretty. Bake this hot chocolate dump cake ahead of time and bring ice cream or whipped cream to serve alongside.
One final option is any sort of sweet popcorn but this Grinch inspired popcorn is our top choice. Bonus points if you set it up alongside a Grinch doll.
More Great Recipe Ideas
Still need more recipe ideas? Check out these Traveling Mom favorites: