Dinner's On You! - Carolina Country

Dinner's On You!

9 recipes plus 4 tips to help you deliver dinner to a neighbor in need

Dinner's On You!

Whether feeling low, recovering from surgery or welcoming a new addition, we could all use a helping hand sometimes. When your neighbor is in need, a homemade meal brings comfort and encouragement. In times like these, we think that’s more important than ever.

With that in mind, we’ve cooked up a list of our favorite recipes below to drop off with a friend. We chose these 9 with easy reheating or freezing in mind. What's more, here are a few tips for delivering a meal to a front door near you.

Tip 1: The more, the merrier

Short on time? If you’ve got your own family to feed, double the recipe. Preparing twice as much food typically won’t increase cook time, so you can help out both families at the same time.

Also consider using inexpensive foil pans—your recipient won’t have to wash or return your dishes, and the meal will be lighter to carry. Find roaster pans with lids at most grocery stores (in multipacks too!).

Tip 2: Choose your recipe wisely

When you select your recipe, be sure to consider any dietary restrictions or food preferences. Our Pork Tenderloin Sheet Pan Supper is both dairy- and gluten-free, and our Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie has less carbs that the original. For a vegetarian option, try our Mexican Lasagna without the beef — mushrooms make a nice substitute for meat. You can also think about what meals may be needed most. If breakfast, our Veggie Egg Casserole might fight the bill.  

Adapting a recipe to deliver is simple. For meals prepared in a skillet or a crockpot, prepare as directed and transfer to a foil pan. For sheet pan meals or casseroles, go ahead and bake right in the disposable dish.

Tip 3: Make storing and reheating a breeze

Include instructions for reheating the meal for flexibility. Have your recipient cover the dish in foil, then pop the pan in the oven at 350 degrees until hot. This also frees you up to cook and deliver the meal whenever is most convenient.

If your neighbors don’t need dinner on the night you stop by, they can freeze it for later. Most dishes will freeze well for up to 3 months — just thaw to reheat. If they plan to freeze, we suggest spraying the pan before cooking. Leave about a half an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion, and seal well with aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

Tip 4: It’s all about the extras

Consider including some additional items with your main dish to round out the meal. A handwritten note, including any instructions and a list of basic ingredients, is always a nice touch. Add in some cutlery and napkins, and use a bag with a wide, gusseted bottom to keep the dish from spilling on its way to the kitchen.

You could also throw together a side salad or easy dessert to go along with the meal. This colorful slaw is eye pleasing and won’t get soggy as quickly as a standard salad, or try a homemade dressing in a separate container, like our Sweet ’n’ Spicy Chili Vinaigrette. Does your friend have a sweet tooth? A colorful zipper bag or giftable tin full of our Raspberry Swirl cookies is a great add-on.

Whatever you decide to prepare, be sure to include the most important ingredient. In hard times, a meal prepared with love goes a long way toward getting friends back on their feet. Check out our top 9 recipes for delivering homemade dinner:

Hungry for more?

There's more than 1000 recipes in our Carolina Kitchen — plus a new one each week.

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