17 Potluck Dishes That Travel Like a Dream

Bring on the bumps in the road.

December 20, 2018
Photo by Mark Weinberg

There are few occurrences more crushing—in the scheme of party foods, at least—than finishing a perfectly executed, complex recipe, only to realize you have zero idea how to transport it to your target event. (Say, your neighbor's annual Chrismakkuh party.)

I speak from experience. This happens every year with my mom's "angel pie"—a lemon curd and whipped cream number that's nested in a meringue crust so fragile, it quakes at a distant sneeze. We've tried packing it into a cardboard box and surrounding it with an elaborate packing peanut-crumpled paper situation, using a dish towel pulley system to free it at the potluck. We've tried walking it places at a snail's place. We've even tried strapping it into a car seat, like a newborn.

This year, I propose we try something new: keep the delicate pie at home (more for us, anyway!) and pack something super easy to transport for the holiday party circuit. From extra-swoosh-y dips and ornate cheeseballs to baked pastas and brown butter blondies, we've got lots of options for recipes that travel so well, you'd think they were a lifestyle blogger.

Here are the top 17 on my list:

Apps & Snacky Things

Entrées for Everyone

The Sweet Stuff

What's your go-to dish when you know it needs to travel well? Let us know in the comments!

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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.