10 of My Favorite Meals to Bring to a Friend in Need

published Apr 25, 2017
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Recently I’ve had quite a few friends who are going through tough times. Whether it’s a joyful transition, like a new baby; or a rough patch, like chemotherapy, I’ve found that the best thing I can do is to bring them food. After all, feeding someone in their time of need is one of the oldest, purest acts of love.

I look for recipes that are relatively easy, as well as nutritious and delicious — a win-win for you and your friend. I try to find food that’s comforting yet healthy (no plain chicken breasts, but no heart attacks on a plate, either), affordable, and easy to transport and store. It’s easy to default to pasta-and-canned-soup casseroles, but I’ve found it’s also nice to send something a little tastier and more nutritious.

Here are a few meals that have worked well — no casseroles included!

Tip: Many people I know have had MealTrain accounts created for them. The purpose of MealTrain is to help friends and family create a schedule of meals for a person who’s currently unable to make themselves dinner every night. It’s a brilliant system; users can even put in allergies or preferences so that you know your bringing something that will actually get eaten.

1. Mexican Quinoa from Simply Quinoa

This dish is perfect for vegetarians and it also has only five ingredients, which is a major plus!

2. American Goulash from Spend with Pennies

Goulash is great because it’s typically made in huge batches. Feeding a family of five with a new baby? This one’s a winner. It’s also super kid-friendly! Grab a baguette to go along with it and call it a day.

3. Baked Macaroni and Cheese from The Country Contessa

This homemade macaroni and cheese is the quintessential comfort meal, and unlike other homemade mac and cheeses, it doesn’t call for fancy artisan dairy. You could throw in some veggies or send along an easy salad-in-a-bag to make it a little more nutritious.

4. Weeknight Enchiladas from Budget Bytes

Enchiladas are easy to freeze or reheat, and this particular recipe has a super cost-effective list of ingredients.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

5. Breakfast Frittata from Kitchn

Bringing a breakfast? A frittata is hard to screw up, and it’s easy to transport. It also tastes great reheated!

6. Skinny Spinach Lasagna from Pinch of Yum

I sometimes try to avoid doing classic pasta dishes since spaghetti is usually someone’s default when they can’t do much, but this lasagna recipe has the added benefit of spinach. Nutrition is often the last thing people think of when they have a broken leg or a new baby, so sneaking extra veggies into meals is a great way to show you care. It’s also meatless, which can lower your grocery bill!

This recipe for cheesy chicken and sweet potato wedges has been a big hit. Making your own wedges instead of buying frozen at the grocery store is a simple way to make the meal heartier and more homemade. And the ingredient list? Short and sweet.

8. Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup from Minimalist Baker

Nothing says comfort food like this classic. Send along supplies for grilled cheese sandwiches to make this meal the ultimate hug. It’s another recipe that’s great for herbivores.

This is the world’s easiest meal to make. It’s also healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly —t he total “unicorn” package. It can easily be reheated with a touch of olive oil over a stove.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas from Kitchn

Fajitas are always a crowd-pleaser. Make a batch and send them along with a package of tortillas. This particular recipe doesn’t call for a ton of fancy ingredients and includes lots of veggies.

Do you have a go-to recipe that you make for friends or family going through a tough time? Share in the comments!