Yummy Recipes that Travel Well and Look as Good as They Taste

Cindy Richards Avatar
Big multigenerational family at dinner
Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi for Shutterstock

From easy brunch recipes to make-ahead desserts, these dishes that travel well include something for just about every occasion, whether you’re going to Grandma’s house for a family get together or meeting your posse to plan your next girlfriend getaway.

We polled our Facebook readers for their favorite holiday potluck 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 dishes to bring to your next event.

We’ve broken them up into three different categories — brunch, appetizers and dessert — 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 on the drive over. 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.

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Brunch Recipes that Travel Well

Bake up some fresh bread like this apple yogurt bread with streusel topping the day before, then just wrap tightly for the trip.

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.

Like the casserole above, coffee cake is great because you can transport it in the same vessel you used to bake it. If the recipe calls for icing — like this maple walnut coffee cake — just bring it with you and drizzle it over the top just before you serve.

These sausage, egg, bacon, cheese breakfast sliders are all made and served from a single casserole dish.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are a comfort food favorite and if you leave them in the pan, they travel great. Take it up a notch for a Christmas party potluck with these festive eggnog cinnamon rolls.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Use this Rachel Ray Casserole Lugger to transport these dishes. It’s as pretty as it is efficient!

Opting for Individual Servings

These individual strawberry coffee cake muffins are calling our name. Make ahead of time and transport in a cool cupcake carrier or a muffin tin.

Make up a full batch of these breakfast burritos, individually wrap them for easy serving at the potluck, then just reheat the morning of the party. Transport in a large storage container that doubles as a way to take home leftovers.

Another great choice is homemade scones like these almond and cranberry ones. They can be made ahead without getting dry if you follow the tips in this recipe.

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-cheeseball like this cranberry, gorgonzola and walnut option.

You can always put together a simple veggie tray with dip at home or bring your veggies and assemble it at the party to avoid worrying about your pretty arrangement surviving the drive. At Christmas, go for a holiday-themed presentation like this incredibly cute Santa veggie tray.

You can’t ever go wrong with dip and dippers. Think chips and salsa, spinach artichoke dip with fresh bread, or even just the standard ranch dip with chopped veggies.

A bowl of candied nuts can be made up in just a few minutes and eaten just as quickly. Try these easy-to-make-and-carry spicy Southern pecans.

Individual Appetizer Recipe Ideas

If we learned anything during a pandemic, it is that we don’t always want many hands dipping into the same tub of dip. In that case, try one of these more individualized appetizers.

Try this cute 7-layer dip in individual serving cups.

Pigs in a blanket are a favorite with kids and adults. To make your recipe go further, try these small versions instead.

Skewers are a great option for easy-to-serve individual portions. Try these these antipasto skewers or, our favorite, these tropical chicken skewers.

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 jalapeño like this recipe.

Desserts that Travel Well

Skip the plate full of cute decorated cookies and go with these individually wrapped waffle cookies.

Individual dessert cups are always a pretty sight on a potluck table. These individual tiramisu cups are as easy to transport as they are yummy to eat.

Fudge is always a special treat. Whip up a batch of this no-bake Nutella fudge. To transport and serve, you can leave it in the pan or cut it and wrap individual pieces.

Truffles are simple to make, simple to transport and come in their own individual serving cup. Try these brownie peppermint truffles for a fun holiday twist.

What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Try these individual crustless pumpkin pies or pumpkin whoopie pie for individual servings. Now that we think about it, why do we have to wait until Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie is good all year round!

Make upgraded brownies with this delicious mud pie brownie recipe then cut and individually package the brownies before you transport them. No one will ever know you started with a box.

One final option is any sort of sweet popcorn but this Grinch-inspired popcorn is our top choice. Package it into individual servings. Bonus points if you set it up alongside a Grinch doll.

Desserts that Must be Shared

Some things are better when shared. This death by chocolate poke cake is one of those things. It’s made for chocolate lovers and for transporting in a car.

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.

Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of SheBuysTravel.com. She also is the mom of two now grown kids who have traveled with her since that first, fateful plane ride when one preschooler discovered a barf bag in his seat pocket and his sister, finding none in hers, demanded, “I want a barf bag too!” She has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, an editor at Chicago Parent and Catalyst Chicago and an instructor in the graduate school at Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
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2 responses

  1. This came at the perfect time! Four parties tagged with the dreaded “potluck” invite! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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