With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I wanted to do a post about transporting food for your feast. My family meets in North Jersey for Thanksgiving, with most of us bringing a side or dessert along with us. My aunt and uncle who host Thanksgiving still get stuck with a lot of the work, but every little bit helps. This year, I am still trying to decide what dessert I will bring. Although my number one job is still to mix up my grandpa’s famous recipe for Bloody Mary’s; priorities!
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My friends and I also met for a “Friendsgiving” last year. It was potluck, with the hosting house making the turkey and the rest of us signing on to do sides, drinks, and desserts. It was so fun to see a spectacular Thanksgiving meal come together as people brought in their creations, dish by dish.
Keeping cold foods cold and warm foods warm while traveling is crucial and can be kind of difficult. Also trying to choose what to bring can be tough too; you don’t want to bring something that requires a lot of assembly when you arrive. I have included some of my favorite past recipes below that would be perfect for Thanksgiving, along with how to pack up the food for travel. As a member of the Target Influencer Network, I thought it would be helpful to include some Target products that help make transporting the food and drinks a lot easier as well!
I brought this Applejack-Spiked Hot Apple Cider to Friendsgiving last year and it was a hit! Just prepare at home and fill a Thermos (like this 40 oz Thermos). If you want, you can bring a carafe to transfer the cider to for serving, or for short distances you could just use the carafe to transport as well.
Pumpkin Eggnog is the perfect way to enjoy the flavors of fall. This is served cold, so be sure to store it in the Thermos already chilled. You can stir in the pumpkin vodka before leaving, or keep it separate so that you also have a non alcoholic version to serve.
Every year around Christmas, my aunt and uncle serve Wassail, a mulled wine that is just so comforting. So why not extend its usage to Thanksgiving as well? This is best warm so keep in the Thermos. You may want to warm it up when you arrive as well. It works great kept in a slow cooker on low; this 2 quart Crock Pot would be great and not take up a lot of room!
Every Thanksgiving dinner needs cranberry sauce! And there is nothing wrong with the canned version. But, if you want to add some pizzazz to your cranberry sauce this year, this Slow Cooker recipe is really tasty and makes a bunch.
The best part is that it is really easy to transport. Just spoon the cranberry sauce into a 24 oz. Ball jar, screw on the top tightly, and you’re good to go. Cranberry sauce should be kept refrigerated, so just pop it into a cooler, like this Igloo Roller Cooler, with some ice packs and it will stay cold while traveling.
This Green Bean Casserole with Mushrooms replaces the traditional canned mushroom soup and tops it with homemade onion rings. This can surprisingly travel pretty well! You just might need to reheat it when you arrive. I’d suggest putting it under the broiler for a minute or two before serving to crisp up the onion rings as well. The Anchor Hocking Bake ‘N Take is perfect for transporting this meal and any other casseroles you may have; the 6-piece set has 2 baking dishes with lids, a hot-or-cold pack and an insulated carrying case. You can cook the casserole in the baking dish and then transport it inside the case.
These Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Apples are a great spin on traditional potatoes. The sweetness of the apples balances out the flavor from the Horseradish Cheddar cheese making this one people will come back for seconds (or thirds)! To transport, keep the mashed potatoes separate from the topping. Store each in an airtight container, such as containers from Sterilite’s Ultra-Seal line. You can make this a day or so ahead and just reheat when you arrive at your destination. After heating each component separately, top the mashed potatoes with the bacon and apple mixture.
These Mini Preserves Tarts can be made a couple of days ahead of time. My family sets up desserts buffet style, and everyone goes down the line taking a little bit of everything. These mini tarts are great for our set up, allowing us to have a tiny bite without taking up too much precious space on our plates. We can always come back for more if we want!
Because the crust can be a bit delicate on these, the best way to store them would be in a shallow container with a lid so that they can be arranged flat. I love using my Pyrex Storage Set to transport tarts and the like; I usually use the square containers and just line up the tarts inside. This Rubbermaid Food Storage Container would work great as well if you’re making a few batches!
Trifles can be a bit more difficult to transport but this Gingerbread Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle is worth the extra care. Be sure to get a sturdy trifle bowl like this Luigi Bormioli Footed Trifle Bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Be sure to bring some extra crumbs and pecans in case you need to fix the top when you arrive. If you are traveling a relatively long distance and need to keep it cold, put it in your cooler first and fit the ice packs around it. Add in a towel in the empty spaces to keep it from moving around too much.
These Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are one of my favorite desserts I’ve ever made. They are that good! Traveling with them is easier than you’d think. You can either keep them in the container you baked them in, cover with plastic wrap, and cut when you arrive, or you can cut them up and place a layer in a container like the Ziploc Versa Glass Container. To stack additional bars, add a layer of wax or parchment paper on top of the bars, add more bars, and repeat.
Do you have any other tips for transporting food or have a specific food that you are trying to transport and don’t know how? Leave a comment below!