When a friend or church member needs a meal because of the loss of a loved one, illness, moving, or a new baby, which meal to do you bring? Here are 25 meals for someone in need.

There’s something about receiving a meal at a time of need that makes it an incredibly generous gift. A meal is an act of service and love, it’s practical, and it’s a reminder of the care of the person who is giving it.


I cannot say how much I recommend Once a Month Meals. This program walks you through exactly what you need to do to cook a whole batch of meals for the freezer. I’ve been freezer cooking for years, and it makes it so easy to take a meal to someone when all I need to do is grab it out of the freezer, add a bag of Steam Fresh vegetables, some bread, and away I go.

Build a Menu is another helpful program I’ve recently discovered. This program allows you to build the week’s meals based on which grocery store you shop.

If you are coordinating the meal efforts, check out Take Them a Meal, a program that organizes meals for someone in need. This makes it so easy for friends and family to sign up for a meal time without the need to bother the person who just had a baby or is in a time of crisis.

Tips for Taking a Meal to Someone in Need

As a pastor’s wife (and a church member), I’ve taken many meals to people who needed it, and I’ve also been blessed to be the recipient.

Here are a few tips to make it easier for you and especially helpful for them.

  • When possible, bring the meal in containers that don’t need to be returned. Your friend in need many be receiving many dishes, and one less to give back makes life easier. If you do need to bring a dish, be sure it is well labeled with your name.
  • Send along paper plates, plastic forks, and napkins. Again, this small act of generosity goes a long way for the family who won’t need to do extra dishes.
  • Consider bringing breakfast or lunch items instead of dinner. Often, many people bring dinner but food needs to be prepared for other meals, too. Bring helpful items like cereal, or consider a breakfast casserole. Sandwich fixings are often appreciated. Once when we were going through a difficult time, a friend brought over a huge box of yogurt, sandwich fixings, string cheese, and cereal. I still remember her generous gift.
  • Inquire if there are food allergies, restrictions, or strong preferences. Often young moms are breast feeding and don’t want any food that are too spicy.
  • I often joke about lasagna as the classic take-to-a-friend dish. Once after the birth of one of our children, we received lasagna on 5 different nights! I prefer to take something besides lasagna for this reason, but then again lasagna is very yummy and a special meal most of us don’t prepare often.
  • Consider a meal for the freezer. That way, your friend in need can cook the meal soon or save it for later if she is getting a lot of meals currently.


25 Meals for Someone in Need

These 25 meals for someone in need will become classics in your kitchen. Be sure you double it and make enough for your family, too.

  1. Chicken Potato Bake – A hearty chicken and potato dish.
  2. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – Make this spaghetti with meat as a one pot dish in your Instant Pot.
  3. Chicken and Rice Casserole – A comfort food classic.
  4. Chicken Pot Pie Casserole – A family favoite meal, baked into a casserole.
  5. Turkey Rollups – A Costco copycat, these sandwich roll-ups include turkey, cream cheese, and cranberry.
  6. Cheesy Meatball Casserole – This pasta one-dish uses pre-made meatballs so it’s fast and easy.
  7. Chicken Caesar Salad Pinwheels – Another roll-up sandwich, these give the yummy flavors of Caesar Salad in a sandwich.
  8. Chicken Parmesan Casserole – All the super comforting flavors of Chicken Parm, in a quick and easy casserole that works fresh or can be popped into the freezer.
  9. Family Favorite French Dip – This French Dip cooks in the slow cooker, so you can easily make enough to bring plus extra for your own dinner. (Note: I’ve brought this meal to families a number of times, and it’s always a hit.)
  10. Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole – The most amazing comfort food, families will love this homemade mac and cheese.
  11. Chicken Noodle Casserole– All the flavors of chicken noodle soup in a hearty casserole. This recipe reminds me of Chicken Pot Pie, but with noodles instead of pie crust.
  12. Cheesy Tortellini Spinach Bake – This creamy baked dish includes bacon, fresh spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
  13. DIY Sub Sandwich Ring – Bring this sub sandwich for a family in need and they will have enough for several lunches. The sandwich bread comes together quickly with pre-made dough.
  14. Taco Hand Pies – These little hand pies use pre-made crust so they come together quickly. Kids and adults will love these.
  15. Cheeseburger Casserole – This casserole has all the flavors of a cheeseburger, cooked into a noddle dish. It even has pickles! My family likes this recipe.
  16. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels – These roll-up sandwiches look amazing to me, but I like spicy food. Be sure to check with the family before bringing these yummy sandwiches.
  17. Chicken Enchilada Casserole – This casserole only has 4 ingredients and is great for families that want to eat healthy. Serve with taco fixings.
  18. Chicken Fajita Pasta – All the flavors of chicken fajitas, baked into a creamy casserole.
  19. Italian Pinwheels – With provolone, ham, and salami, these sandwiches have the flavors of a hearty sub sandwich.
  20. Hamburger Casserole – A quick, hearty dish topped with lots of cheese.
  21. Best Ever Meatloaf – A delicious staple recipe with a yummy tomato glaze.
  22. Classic Lasagna – The lasagna! A hearty, classic dish.
  23. Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne – Classic flavors of ranch and bacon baked into a casserole.
  24. Taco Bake – A delightful, classic casserole with taco flavors.
  25. Easy Shepherd’s Pie – Ground beef and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.

What recipe do you recommend bringing to a family in need?

25 Meals for Someone in Need|The Holy Mess