The 25 Worst Foods To Bring To A Party Gallery

Listen, there are plenty of delicious dishes to bring to a party. You don't have to resort to bringing flavorless foods, controversial ingredients, or something that's premade at the grocery store and actually quite sad. And you don't have to be a master chef in order to bring an impressive potluck dish. Some of the best dishes and the biggest crowd-pleasers are oh-so-simple. (See: Buffalo chicken dip.)

No one wants to show up to a party empty-handed. But, if you're tempted to bring these 25 awful foods as your guest, you may be better off...

A Completely Unassembled Dish

You're bringing over a chicken Caesar salad, and that's a perfect dish to bring along! However, your chicken breasts are still raw and unseasoned, your cheese is a block, and your dressing is still half anchovies (in the can). Prepare your dish (as much as possible) in advance. Your host will need the kitchen.

An Entrée

Unless you're specifically asked to prepare a turkey or bring along a Honey Baked Ham, bringing along a main dish (particularly a protein or a roast) is an insult to your host's cooking.

Bagged Candy

Listen, we love Skittles and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups just as much as the next person. But unless you're coming over to pass out Halloween candy or are filling up a piñata, rolling up with a bag full of Smarties is a little odd.

Blue Cheese

Some people cannot get enough blue cheese on their burgers and crackers. Others think this cheese smells like a dirty foot. If you're in charge of the cheese plate, stay away from the Roquefort.

Chips and Jarred Salsa

If you're in charge of chips and salsa, don't be lazy. Salsa is super easy to make from scratch, and these 13 recipes prove it.

Crudité Platter

Listen, vegetables and plant-based diets are going to be a huge food trend this year, but showing up with chopped broccoli and carrots from the grocery store is a bare-minimum effort.

Coconut-Based Desserts

Some people can't get enough of coconut cake and coconut cream pie, others think this fruit is a vile food substance. If you're in charge of bringing dessert, opt for something universally adored like chocolate instead.

Diet Food

If you follow a specific diet, then it's perfectly acceptable for you to bring a gluten-free dish to share — as long as you're open about what you're serving. Making "mashed potatoes" that are actually 80 percent cauliflower is a no-no. People will notice. And they will be angry.

Divisive Vegetables

We can't get enough roasted Brussels sprouts and find bacon-wrapped asparagus to be an elegant (and simple) appetizer. But these foods are a thing of fear to many. Avoid them.

Drinks That Are Just for You (or Some)

Unless you're going to a very specifically stated BYOB party (in which case, you're probably in college), bring alcohol for everyone to enjoy or no alcohol at all. If you bring a bottle of craft beer just for you and a buddy, that's pretty exclusionary and rude to your fellow guests (and no way to make new friends).

Foods That Are All Presentation, No Flavor

Your cake? Stunning with all its piping and sugar flowers. Your caprese salad? Expertly stacked and full of beautiful, bold colors. But the flavor? It's not there. Don't forego taste for style.

Kale Chips

If you're in charge of bringing chips, subbing out delicious, greasy potato chips for the healthier kale chip alternative is a real bummer. Keep your healthy snacks for your own lunch.


We love repurposing turkey for turkey salad and second-day bread for croutons, but those reimagined dishes are not meant for sharing.

Lettuce Wraps

Not only do lettuce wraps not travel well, but unless your friends (and host) are a bunch of health nuts, people will miss bread. Bring the carbs.

Mayonnaise-Based Dishes

Mayonnaise-based dishes, such as creamy macaroni salad are classic party foods. But have you ever left them out in the sun? These classic party sides will turn real quick.

Pineapple Pizza

Shelled Nuts

Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are great bar snacks and are great for a cocktail party. However, if they're still in their shells, those shells will get everywhere. And your host will hate you.

Stuffed Olives

Not only are olives a food that people either love or hate, but bringing them to a party could start a riot. If you're going to go this route, at least bring an entire antipasto plate.


Sushi is a great lunch option. What it is not is a food that can sit out for long periods of time or a food that travels well.

Trail Mix

Unless the party you're attending is actually a weekend of camping, leave the trail mix for your lunchbox.

Tuna Salad

It's smelly. Need we say more?

Vegan Food

Say what you want about vegan alternatives or how much of a trend meat substitutes are this year. Vegan food (especially vegan versions of party favorites) will make people very, very sad.

Very Saucy Ribs

Ribs are delicious. They are the perfect cookout food and can easily be transported nicely in a slow cooker, if need be. However, you have to watch the sauce. Ribs can get very messy very quickly.

Very Saucy Wings

See: Very saucy ribs. Consider a crispy wing recipe instead.


Listen, the 24 aforementioned things are really, really bad to bring to a party. But it's even worse to show up empty handed. Consider at least bringing a bottle of wine — or one of these 25 delicious party dishes.