Casseroles are the poster child for comfort food and because they can feed a hungry crowd, they're frequently given as a food gift. Whether you're bringing food to new parents, an under-the-weather relative, or friends who just relocated, every gift casserole (and really, any meal you bring to someone) needs three things that make the gift of food even better. Here's what you need to know.
1. A Disposable Pan
Do your best to give a gift casserole in a dish that doesn't need to be returned to you. For most of us that will mean picking up a few aluminum baking pans from the grocery store, but if waste is a concern, look to your local thrift store for baking dishes that you can gift. Just be sure to tell the recipient that the casserole dish doesn't need to be returned.
2. A List of Ingredients
Obvious, yes, but having lots of loving friends bring us food after our daughter was born taught us the importance of the list of ingredients. I had to do an elimination diet while breastfeeding, and it wasn't always easy (or polite) to text friends at all hours to ask if their casserole had dairy. The list of ingredients doesn't need to include amounts, but try to make it as complete as possible.
3. Cooking Instructions
Don't assume that your gift casserole recipient knows how to reheat a lasagna. Tape the cooking or reheating instructions right on the casserole. Bonus points if you also include freezing and thawing instructions in case they have a bounty of casseroles.