drop-off meals to bring to a friend
no casseroles here!
I’ve been promising this list for a VERY long time… a master list of meals that make great drop-off meals for new parents, sick or grieving friends, or whoever in your life needs a pick-me-up in the form of a home-cooked meal. This is not your average list of lasagna, chicken and rice casserole, baked ziti, and enchilada recipes. These meals will be a serious treat for the recipient, without causing you to be stuck in the kitchen all day long.
first of all, cookie dough
First things first, dropping off a bag of frozen cookie dough with the meal will cement yours as the best-drop-off-meal-ever. This way, they can bake one cookie at a time, which is nice especially if they’re getting a lot of meals dropped off and are inundated with food and sweets.
Use a small cookie scoop (or a spoon) to roll the dough into balls, then freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a ziploc for transport, and they won’t stick together!
Coronado Cookies // this are one of my most popular, repeat-cooked recipes. I have a follower who has won her company’s Christmas Cookie Bake-Off three years in a row using this recipe!
Gluten-Free Coronado Cookies // I also developed a gluten-free version, and it is phenomenal. Be sure to get GF cornflakes or really any crunchy flaky gluten-free cereal!
Salted Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies // a delicious, elevated oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
how to drop it off?
Let’s first talk about what container to drop off the meal in. I’m going to link my favorite $24 Lodge cast iron skillet here, which is a perfect drop-off vessel for one-pot meals AND you can tell the recipient to keep it as a gift. It’s great because they can reheat the meal right in it, and then they either have a brand new cast iron, or if they already have one, they can gift it to the next friend in need of a meal.
Another option is to buy a stack of restaurant-style to-go containers, and always send meals in those. I love these ($24 for 50). Great to have around for sending leftovers home with people after dinner parties!
the best drop-off meals
Meatballs and Orzotto // This is a perfect drop-off meal. To reheat, the recipient can just throw it in the oven, covered with foil, at 300°F for 15 minutes. Stir and serve.
Thai Basil Beef Bowls // This is great because the recipient and their family members can lay out the containers of beef, rice, sauce, and veggies and build their own bowls. In a sea of casseroles, this meal will stand apart.
Beef Bulgogi Bowls // Same logic applies for these beef bulgogi bowls — your recipient will love the flavor explosion here, and the option to build their own meal, after receiving lasagna and chili from 500 other people.
Chopped Asian Peanut Salad // Drop-off food can be really carb-heavy and unhealthy. I know I would love it if this salad showed up on my doorstep. Throw the entire salad into one container, and keep the dressing separate.
Healthy-ish Turkey Bolognese // a What To Cook favorite, this Healthy-ish Turkey Bolognese is such a great drop-off meal. It actually makes enough sauce for 10 servings, so you can feed your family too, or send them one serving for tonight, and one to stash in their freezer for later. I’d go ahead and cook the pasta (especially if it’s for a new mama!), just cover it with a damp paper towel in an airtight container.
Creamy but Cream-less Tomato Soup and Cheddar Biscuits // Tomato soup is excellent comfort food, but paired with these cheddar biscuits? Out of sight. Be sure to tell them to reheat the biscuits (a few minutes in a 350°F oven should do the trick) for the yummiest results.
Sheet-Pan Poblano Steak Fajitas // Another great “choose your adventure” drop-off meal. You could even make a batch of rice so that they have the option to make tacos or burrito bowls. Cheat by buying really great store-bought guacamole and salsa to send with it.
One-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Stew // This recipe ROCKS. It makes a huge batch, so you can snag some for your own dinner. Full of plant and animal protein. It is really delightful. Also a great vegetarian option with the vegetarian swaps!
One-Pot Cheesy Cajun Chicken and Rice // Again, gift this in a cast iron skillet, cover it in foil, and instruct them to reheat in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken, and stir the rice over low heat on the stove if not warm enough.
One-Skillet Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie // Ok, this is the most casserole-y option of all, but it is delicious comfort food and it deserves a spot here. Another great option for gifting a cast iron skillet!
What are your go to drop-off meals?! Favorite ways to drop off a meal? Let’s get a list going in the comments!