What's the One Dish You Bring to Every Gathering?

C'mon, everyone has a signature recipe.

November 15, 2018
Photo by Jenny Huang

Earlier this year, I launched a campaign to make my dad's Thanksgiving stuffing a year-round event. So far, I have a campaign manager (my older sister, Zoe), and one fervent supporter (my little sister, Clem). Here's why we think it has year-round potential as a party dish:

  • You can prep the whole thing in advance, chill or freeze, then bake with a little more liquid added when you're ready to serve.
  • It's a "kitchen sink" recipe—you can swap or skip the sausage, sub in any nuts or seeds or dried fruit you like, lose the mushrooms, add some oysters, or if you're bringing it over to my apartment and want me to beg for seconds, add a whole lot of cheese over the top.
  • It travels like a dream. The more it gets jostled around, the better it tastes—I swear.
  • Not only does it feed a crowd, but it's also painfully easy to double (or triple) if you need a bigger batch.

Since I hit the campaign trail—which mainly involves feeding my loved ones warm bites of the stuffing—it's really taken off. In fact, these days, I'm rarely welcome at a potluck without it.

Every home cook has a dish like this in their arsenal—the one for which you suspect, on some level, your friends and family invited you. It always disappears first, and yet it's the topic of conversation long after guests have started trickling out of the event. For my mom, it's her lemon meringue angel pie. For my great-grandma Ethel, it was stuffed cabbage. For my friend Joan, it's these insanely crispy, secret-recipe chicken thighs basted in olive oil and lemon and—I fear I've already said too much.

Cue our latest contest. We're dying to know: What's the recipe that you are asked to bring to every gathering? Not only do we want you to let us know your signature party dish in the comments—which we desperately do, we can't handle too much suspense—but we'd also love alllll of the deets in the form of a recipe submission to our contest, "The Recipe You're Asked to Bring to Every Gathering."

Submissions are now open, until Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. ET. Here's a bit about what we're after:

  • We want to see your stars. Which means hearty apps, entrees, stellar sides, and all the desserts fit to sample. We're less interested in snack-y fare for this go-around (no offense to snacks, still love you).
  • Crowd pleasers, pretty please. You may be asked to bring a bag of ice to your friend's dinner party every. Single. Time. That's nice of you and all—and your friend might want to get a to-do list system going—but we're after the info on that show-stopping dish you're known for, far and wide. Not necessarily the thing you literally bring to every party. (Though we hope you never forget a little thank you gift!)
  • Hang onto those drinks. We're all about a party cocktail, but our latest contest is about the eats. We want your recipes for food-centric dishes, not beverages.

How to Enter

There are two ways to show us what you've got. First, make sure you’re signed in. Then:

  • If you have a recipe already on the site, go to that recipe page, hit “Edit Recipe” (under the photo), scroll down, hit “Submit my recipe to a contest,” select the latest contest ("The Recipe You're Asked to Bring to Every Gathering"), and save.
  • If you want to add a new recipe, head to your own profile page, select “Recipes,” click “Add a Recipe,” upload it, hit “Submit my recipe to a contest,” select the latest contest, and save.

We read every submission and test as many as possible. But that’s a lot of reading and a lot of testing. We’re counting on you to help, too. Peruse the submission pages and make (and favorite!) any recipe that catches your eye. Then, share feedback on the recipe page. We take all this feedback into account as we narrow down to the top five, which will be announced on Dec. 15.

For a full refresher on how the whole contest process works, check this out.

Best of luck and get ready for those holiday parties!

What do you bring to every gathering? Let us know in the comments, and enter our contest if you have a recipe.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.

1 Comment

Eric K. November 16, 2018
Hm, I bring Nigella's Guinness gingerbread to a lot of holiday parties. Here's the recipe: