The Best Dishes to Bring to a Party
NSC Photography/Shutterstock

The Best Dishes to Bring to a Party

You’ll be the best guest ever with these dishes as your date
The Best Dishes to Bring to a Party
NSC Photography/Shutterstock

It’s been a long, long year. Slowly, but surely, the weather is starting to warm up and friends and family members are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which means one thing: it’s party season once again. If you’re like us, it’s been a long time since you’ve gotten together with others. You may not be sure what to bring to a party anymore — or remember what a party even is. But don’t worry. Whether you’re going to a potluck, a cookout or just want to help the host, we have the 30 best foods to bring to any party, from appetizers to side dishes to dessert.

Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket

Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

What can make perfect pigs in a blanket even better? A little bagel inspo. Puff pastry, stuffed with cream cheese and hot dogs, rolled and topped with everything bagel seasoning —  it’s everything you never knew you always wanted.

For the Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket recipe, click here.

Vida Verde’s Guacamole

Vida Verde’s Guacamole
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

You don’t have to go to one of the best Mexican restaurants in America to have high-quality guacamole. Make it at home with simple, fresh ingredients.

For the Vida Verde’s Guacamole recipe, click here.

Easy Seven-Layer Dip

Easy Seven-Layer Dip
Megan Betteridge/Shutterstock

Though maybe best known as one of the best recipes for game day, seven-layer dip (you know, the one with refried beans, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, black olives and scallions) is actually great for any occasion. Don’t like black olives? Don’t sweat it; here are some ideas for easy swaps.

For the Easy Seven-Layer Dip recipe, click here.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs
Courtesy of McCormick

While there are plenty of creative ways to make eggs, you have to go with deviled eggs for parties. Guests will appreciate the simplicity (and deliciousness) of this appetizer.

For the Deviled Eggs recipe, click here.

Easy Homemade Hummus

Easy Homemade Hummus
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Hummus is a deeply underrated dip. When you think about it, this salty, creamy combination of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice goes with everything. Celery and carrots? Yep. Chips? Yep. Pita? Yep. Pretzels? Yep. Serve with a selection of dippers and enjoy.

For the Easy Homemade Hummus recipe, click here.

Cheddar Bacon Cheese Ball

Cheddar Bacon Cheese Ball
LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images Plus

Cheese balls are one of those retro dishes nobody makes anymore (but should). This cream cheese concoction has the added benefit of highlighting one of the most beloved food combinations: bacon and cheddar.

For the Cheddar Bacon Cheese Ball recipe, click here.

Ultimate Party Meatballs

Ultimate Party Meatballs
Courtesy of Eggland's Best

There are a lot of unique takes on the simple meatball, but for party purposes, it’s best to keep it classic with beef and pork meatballs served in a sweet and tangy sauce. Serve in a slow cooker to keep these meatballs warm and have plenty of frilly toothpicks nearby for an old-school presentation.

For the Ultimate Party Meatballs recipe, click here.

Crispy Sauerkraut-Ham Fritters

Crispy Sauerkraut-Ham Fritters
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/Food styling

Traditionally a food eaten for good luck in the new year, sauerkraut balls are an underrated fried food appetizer. The salty combo of ham, sauerkraut, pickle and potato will surely become a family favorite.

For the Crispy Sauerkraut-Ham Fritters recipe, click here.

Pretzel Bites With Spicy Cheddar Dip

Pretzel Bites With Spicy Cheddar Dip
Courtesy of Blue Apron

Pretzels and cheese dip are one of the best stadium foods around. You can be party MVP by bringing these to any gathering. Making your own pretzels from scratch will guarantee you a spot in the major leagues.

For the Pretzel Bites With Spicy Cheddar Dip recipe, click here.

Idaho Potato Skins

Idaho Potato Skins
Courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission

Cheese is always a guaranteed party pleaser, and what better way to get the gouda times rolling than with classic potato skins? Spuds are topped with bacon, chives, sour cream and, of course, plenty of ooey, gooey melted cheese.

For the Idaho Potato Skins recipe, click here.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip
NSC Photography/Shutterstock

You know it, you love it, and everyone you know loves it, too. One of the most irresistible dip recipes on the planet, Buffalo chicken dip requires just a handful of pantry staple ingredients. Meat free? Make our bean-based vegetarian buffalo dip instead.

For the Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, click here.

Cheese and Macaroni Pie

Cheese and Macaroni Pie
Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal

This take on one of your favorite comfort foods uses one of those secret ingredients that elevate mac and cheese: cream cheese. It works perfectly as a side dish for the holidays or a barbecue.

For the Cheese and Macaroni Pie recipe, click here.

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad
Courtesy of McCormick

Fruit salad is a profoundly underrated party side. It can fit any occasion and adds a splash of color and sweetness to any plate, be it full of turkey, barbecue or sandwiches. Use this fruit salad’s use of vanilla as a template, but feel free to use whatever fruit may be in season.

For the Very Vanilla Fruit Salad recipe, click here.

Creamy Tricolor Slaw

Creamy Tricolor Slaw
Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

If you’re looking for no-cook sides for steamy summer days, it’s hard to beat a classic creamy coleslaw. Red cabbage, green cabbage and orange carrots make this side dish surprisingly pretty too.

For the Creamy Tricolor Slaw recipe, click here.

Deluxe Mushroom Green Bean Casserole

Deluxe Mushroom Green Bean Casserole
Courtesy of French's

Though it’s usually reserved for the holiday season, green bean casserole should be served all year long. After all, it is one of the best casserole recipes of all time.

For the Deluxe Mushroom Green Bean Casserole recipe, click here.

Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad
Taimy Alvarez/Sun Sentinel

Perfect for cookouts, picnics or any outdoor soiree, this creamy potato salad pairs perfectly with our 50 best burger recipes.

For the Creamy Potato Salad recipe, click here.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans With Bacon

Slow Cooker Baked Beans With Bacon
Courtesy of McCormick

If you’re going to a cookout, baked beans are an absolute must-have. This recipe uses a slow cooker to make the sauce extra thick and fragrant from the mix of bacon, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, garlic and cinnamon.

For the Slow Cooker Baked Beans With Bacon recipe, click here.

Scalloped Golden Potatoes With Rosemary and Thyme

Scalloped Golden Potatoes With Rosemary and Thyme
Sea Wave/Shutterstock

One of our all-time favorite potato side dishes, scalloped potatoes pair well with just about anything, from prime rib to grilled chicken to barbecued ribs.

For the Scalloped Golden Potatoes With Rosemary and Thyme recipe, click here.

Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Broccoli and Bacon Salad
CreativeI/E+ via Getty Images Plus

Broccoli, bacon and cheese is an iconic combination, and this vintage-inspired mayo-dressed salad uses all three for a crunchy, salty, creamy revelation.

For the Broccoli and Bacon Salad recipe, click here.

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad
Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal

A party classic for the ages, this mayo-based macaroni salad has a touch of tang courtesy of mustard, giving it a total best-of-both-worlds vibe.

For the All-American Macaroni Salad recipe, click here.

Dark Chocolate Tart

Dark Chocolate Tart
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

This dark chocolate tart will please lovers of pie, cake and decadent chocolate desserts. It’s perfect for elegant weddings, baby showers, birthday parties and dinner parties.

For the Dark Chocolate Tart recipe, click here.

New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake

New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake
Arx0nt/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Almost everyone loves a good cheesecake, and this easy-to-follow recipe is perfect for birthdays, holidays, cookouts, dinner parties or any time you're in charge of bringing dessert.

For the New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake recipe, click here.

Sour Cream White Cake

Sour Cream White Cake
sutteerug/iStock/Getty Images Plus

While there are plenty of creative things you can make with boxed cake mix, the best thing to make is, of course, cake. But few ingredients take that boxed mix to the next level like sour cream.

For the Sour Cream White Cake recipe, click here.

Chocolate Chocolate Pecan Brownies

Chocolate Chocolate Pecan Brownies
Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune

Chocolate is the name of the game in this gooey brownie recipe, which uses four different kinds of chocolate: unsweetened, bittersweet, white and cacao nibs.

For the Chocolate Chocolate Pecan Brownies recipe, click here.

Perfect Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie
Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune

Often thought of for the Thanksgiving table, apple pie is an absolute classic that can (and should!) be served all year long. After all, there's nothing more American than a perfect apple pie.

For the Perfect Apple Pie recipe, click here.

Vegan Cookie Pie

Vegan Cookie Pie
Momma Chef/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Plant-based eaters deserve a good dessert, too, and this chocolate chip cookie "pie" has some creative swaps. Heck, this dish is so good, you might even consider going vegan after making it!

For the Vegan Cookie Pie recipe, click here.

Blood Orange Cake

Blood Orange Cake
Bill Hogan/ Chicago Tribune; Styling by Corrine Kozlak

This pretty pink cake uses a surprising ingredient for its blood orange flavor: soda! If you can’t find blood orange soda, feel free to use raspberry, grapefruit or blackberry soda instead.

For the Blood Orange Cake recipe, click here.

Red Velvet Truffle Fudge

Red Velvet Truffle Fudge
Courtesy of McCormick

This red velvet fudge is one of the best edible gifts to give during the holiday season. But really, you should share the love (and the chocolate) all year long.

For the Red Velvet Truffle Fudge recipe, click here.

Chocolate-Crusted Key Lime Pie

Chocolate-Crusted Key Lime Pie
kdow/E+ via Getty Images Plus

Key lime pie is one of the most iconic desserts in America, especially if you’ve spent any time in Florida. This tart, cream-based pie filling is balanced with a fun new addition to this recipe: a chocolate crust.

For the Chocolate-Crusted Key Lime Pie recipe, click here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling