Traveling for Thanksgiving? Bring One of These Travel-Safe Dishes

Thanksgiving is an entire holiday centered around food. Of course we’re into it.

If there’s one part of Turkey Day that we’re not so into, though, it’s getting to your final destination. Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year, with friends and family trekking impressive distances to spend the holiday with their loved ones, often with several dishes in tow. This is where it gets tricky—your perfect pumpkin pie is hard-pressed to remain pristine after several hours on the road, and even worse, a flight.

Don’t fret. We have you covered this year, with a full set of Thanksgiving dishes that will travel particularly well, from hors d’oeuvres to dessert. Get your containers and aluminum foil ready—it’s time to cook…and then pack.

Seasonal soup

Soups make great, portable offerings for the holidays for a few reasons. You can reheat them quickly in the microwave or on stovetop without taking up too much space in your host’s chaotic kitchen. Soups won’t lose their texture or consistency the way that other reheated dishes might. And—best of all—they’re super easy to throw together the night before you leave. For peak fall vibes, you can’t go wrong with this Tuscan Ribollita Soup.

Veggie dip

Fall is peak cauliflower season, so this cauliflower-based variation on the classic spinach + artichoke dip has more of a Thanksgiving feel. The best part about this dip is that it’s so versatile—you can serve it with pita, crackers, or crudités, or even serve over pasta for a last minute entrée dish if your host is short on mains.


Tartines (aka toast and toppings) can be adapted in so many ways based on your taste (see: this exhaustive list). You can prepare each component in advance, bring them in separate containers, and assemble them quickly in the corner of a busy kitchen once you reach your destination . In just a few minutes, you’ll have a beautiful appetizer that looks like it took all day to make (you can tell people it did, we won’t say anything).

Cranberry sauce

This side dish is a Thanksgiving staple, but most people who are hosting a big holiday meal don’t want to waste time making their own. So, it’s the perfect dish to bring with you! Once you have the basic recipe down, cranberry sauce is easy to customize with spices, fruits, peppers, and more. Add fresh ginger—you won’t regret it.

Hand pies

Hand pies—like this jammy variety—hold a ton of advantages over your standard pie. First, they travel so easily. You can stack them in a big container and toss them in the backseat of your car, with no risk of something crushing a delicate lattice crust. Second, by the time you get around to dessert, everyone is typically stuffed to the brim with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and the like, so hand pies are the perfect pre-portioned dessert that everyone can find a little room to fit in. And finally, making small individual hand pies means that you can make one batch of dough but include various fillings, so you can capture all flavor prefs at your Thanksgiving table without having to serve up five different full pies (because who has time for that?).


Spoonbreads (this recipe is a winner) travel better than their corn bread counterparts, which tend to get crumbly when packed in containers and jostled on the road. This recipe reheats well, and also tastes great at room temp. Plus, if there are any leftovers, spoonbread tastes great the morning after alongside some eggs and bacon, or just with a drizzle of syrup.

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