10 Meals to Take to a Friend in Need
These days of a pandemic can seem so isolating and the need for human connection is real! This is especially the case for people going through hard life events such as as postpartum, surgery, death in the family, or simply just trying to survive with a bunch of kids at home. If you have a friend you know if dealing with any sort of issue and they live close enough to drop off some food, do it! It can be such an easy way to show you care and will be one more thing they don’t have to worry about. I love a good casserole dish you can drop off to reheat, but I also love a spread of different things that they can throw into a bowl with some fresh ingredients too. I am sure your first thought is a lasagna or pasta, but we are going to think nourishment and variety here! Below you will find my 10 ideas for meals to take to a friend in need, from recipes to additions you can pick up at the grocery store.
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the extras that are great to add to any meal delivery to really take it up a notch!
1) Greek Food Spread
- Chicken Shawarma, Slow Cooker Greek Chicken or if you have my cookbook, the chicken from the Loaded Greek Lunch Bowl or the Gyro Meatballs!
- Tahini Sauce
- Tomato Cucumber Salad – Mix together 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes and 1 cup chopped cucumbers with 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Rice (any kind, basmati or brown)
- Bag of chopped romaine lettuce (or the recipient’s fave salad mix)
- Feta Cheese
- Pita Bread
2) Taco Bar
- Salsa Chicken or any ground meat cooked with taco seasoning
- Fiesta Salad with Salsa Vinaigrette
- Pre chop all veggies in baggies, except the avocado & make vinaigrette.
- Rice with a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro
- Shredded cheese or cotija cheese
3) Dijon Chicken & Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Dijon Chicken
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Boil 6-7 yellow potatoes until fork tender (12-14 mins)
- Combine in a bowl with 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 3 tbsp ghee, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp salt
- Blend with an immersion blender or mash!
- Bagged Salad
4) Spring Veggie Shepards Pie
- Spring Veggie Shepards Pie
- You can make this recipe but not bake yet. Write a note for them to preheat their oven to 400 degrees and bake for 30 minutes if coming from the fridge.
- Bagged Salad with dressing & toppings included
5) Whole30 Cheeseburger Casserole
- Whole30 Cheeseburger Casserole
- You can use shredded cheese instead of cashew cheese if they aren’t dairy free and leave off the lettuce.
- Pack the shredded lettuce separately and don’t bake the casserole yet.
- Write a note for them to preheat their oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes if coming from the fridge, then top with the lettuce after cooking.
- Bag of frozen french fries if they are fry people!
6) Pulled Pork Sandwich Spread
- Pulled Pork & Cole Slaw
- Sweet Potato Buns (if they like a grain free option)
- Fruit Salad
- Bagged Salad or if it is around fall, make this Roasted Harvest Veggie Salad
- Good BBQ Sauce
- Brioche Buns
7) Fresh Summer Foods
- Asparagus Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Grilled Chicken
- I recommend grilling about 2-3 lbs of chicken breasts with just some oil, salt and pepper. They can have it with this meal and as easy leftovers.
- Creamy Caesar Bacon Potato Salad
8) Spaghetti & Meatballs done right!
- Matt’s Famous Italian Turkey Meatballs
- Spaghetti (regular, gluten free, whatever they need & will love)
- When making spaghetti ahead for someone, toss it with a little bit of oil to keep it from all sticking together and leave instructions for them to reheat with a splash of water in the microwave)
- Jar of GOOD marinara
- Parmesan cheese
- A bagged salad with dressing with toppings included
9) Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
- Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
- This recipe I used a paleo biscuit but you can also buy any roll of biscuits and pack those with everything for them to throw on top before baking at 400 degrees for 30 minutes out of the fridge.
- Bagged Salad with dressing & toppings include
10) Asian Inspired Dinner Spread
- Orange Chicken Meatballs
- Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein or Cauliflower Fried Rice (or both)
- Regular or Brown Rice
- Frozen Egg Rolls
- Bottle of either Soy Sauce, Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
- Grain Free Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Orange Clove Almond Flour Loaf Cake
- Healthier Samoa Bars
- Store bought cookies (oreos, milanos, etc)
- Cookie Dough (preferrably in a bag in pre rolled balls to keep in the freezer)
- Bag of candies (m&m’s, skittles, any of their faves)
- Fresh Fruit, chop it if you can!
- Nut Free Oatmeal Energy Balls
- Maple Donut Energy Balls
- Orange Vanilla Energy Balls
- Honey Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Store Bought Crackers or Chips they like
- Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Bread
- Date Cinnamon Roll Wheat Bread
- Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes
- Caramelized Fennel & Date Chicken Sausage
- Pre-made smoothie bags
- Fill baggies with some frozen fruit & spinach
- Tell them to pour it into a blender with any milk they have & add peanut butter if they like.
- Wine or ingredients to make their favorite cocktail (if they drink of course)
- Pack of sparkling waters
- Jug of cold brew or your favorite coffee ground
- A few kombuchas
- Pack of your favorite tea
- If it is in the colder months, this Paleo Hot Chocolate Mix
If you found this 10 Meals to Bring to a Friend in Need post helpful, pin the image below so others can find it too!
This is seriously one of the best posts on the internet. Thank you!
Wow, we love hearing this! Thank you!
This is so thoughtful and handy to have saved!
So glad you like it, enjoy!
Love this! They all look amazing. Thanks so much Kelsey.
Great post. I will save and share.
This is the best post ever!! We have so many friends expecting babies soon and I can’t wait to put some of these together for them. Thank you!
I hope they all enjoy!!
Thank you so much for this!! I always stress about what to bring to friends in need- this makes it super easy. Saving as a favorite!!
So glad it could help!!
LOVE this!! I’m always at a loss when the time comes to show up, but now, I’ve pinned your post to my Pinterest Board “Proactively Anticipating the Needs of Others”! Thanks Kels!!!!
Perfect board for this!!
These all look amazing, and the way you broke down the process makes it so much less overwhelming – haha!
I’m so glad!!
Thank you!! These all look fantastic!
I always struggle with additional ideas besides the main dish so I LOVE that these include them!! Love this list!!
Looks delicious! I hope someone brings me this stuff after I have my baby.
Yes! Send this to your friends!
Such an amazing idea! Thank you. These look easy and delish!
Loved this post, I did the first one for a couple friends today and it was so easy and they loved it, thanks Kelsey!
So helpful and well thought out! I love making meals for friends in need, and this is the perfect guide to help make that possible. Way to go!
This is probably the sixth time this year I have referred to this post to guide me in what to take to a friend! Thank you for creating such an excellent guide! I love many of your recipes, but it’s the day-to-day things you do and what I am eating today that have enjoyed impacted my life!
Wow, you must be the favorite on the block!
Love this post. I use the recipes but also as a template! I always include a batch of Little Bits baked oatmeal for other kids in the house and a quick and easy breakfast for the new mama.