30 Comfort Meals to Bring to a Friend in Need

Sometimes, there’s just someone in our lives who needs a really big, big hug through food. Maybe a friend just had a new baby or you know someone who is sick, grieving, or just has too many balls in the air to juggle. Help a friend find their way again through the gift of an ultra-cozy comfort meal!

Woman holding a pot of soup

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Food is a love language. It says “I love you” and “I see you” and “I am there if you need it” and also sometimes just, “Hi. Here. Tacos.” And that is enough. Food has the words when sometimes we don’t.

Maybe you want to drop something off for a friend juggling the world with a new baby or just moved into a new house and who knows where all the kitchen boxes wound up?! Maybe someone is sick or grieving (see our recipes in our Feeding a Broken Heart series for more ideas) or just completely overwhelmed by the managing-life of it all.

There are a lot of reasons why a meal or two or five is the best way to show up for someone, whatever the need may be.

We have a collection full of meals (and extras! hello, snacks and treats!) that travel well, keep or freeze well, and require very minimal effort on the part of the recipient. Vegetarian options, baked goods, freezer stocks for the gift that keeps on giving…it’s all here.

Just a little way to offer a little comfort and care, and feed the people you love.


In This Post: Everything You Need To Make a Cozy Comfort Meal


Comfort Meals

Crockpot carnitas on a plate with lime.

Easy Crockpot Carnitas

A super simple take on a staple of Mexican cooking. Tender shreds of juicy pork slow-cooked in heavy spices, citrus, beer and salsa. Your friend can just pop all that beautifully cooked meat under the broiler so each bite is complete with perfectly browned, crispy edges and then pile on all their favorite taco bits!

How to package it:

  1. Cook the carnitas yourself, remove meat from the crockpot, cool, and store in a large plastic bag.
  2. Buy and prep all the other fixings: tortillas, chopped cilantro, diced onion, lime wedges, some shredded cabbage, guacamole, chips and salsa, maybe a pre-made batch of margaritas??
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to spread the carnitas on a sheet pan, and broil in the oven until warmed and crisp.
Yellow curry in a bowl with rice and a fork

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with Potatoes

Super creamy and lush, totally flexible spice level, and impeccably savory with a teensy bit of sweet. This Thai-inspired curry is just what the doctor ordered. Plus, the homemade yellow curry paste makes enough for several batches of this dish so you can send that along too!

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish, let the curry cool, and store in a large disposable container.
  2. Prepare a batch of rice (or buy a couple pouches of microwavable rice for a quick option) and pick up some naan to have on the side. Send along any extras you have of the homemade yellow curry paste in a jar so that they can pop it in the freezer for another batch of this curry later on.
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to rewarm on the stove or in the microwave.
White hand dunking bread into chicken wild rice soup

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Basically a hug in a bowl. Super creamy, savory goodness with tender shreds of chicken and perfectly cooked veg. Wholesome piles of deliciously satisfying wild rice throughout. Send along some warm crusty bread because who needs spoons.

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish, let the soup cool, and store it in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Prepare a loaf of No Knead Crusty Bread (or pick up some bread at the grocery store) for extra soup swoopy fun!
  3. Deliver the soup with a small pint of whole milk in case the soup needs a couple spashes to thin it out when reheating. Send instructions to reheat the soup on the stove or in the microwave until warmed.
Swedish meatballs in a bowl with cranberries and cucumbers.

The Best Swedish Meatballs

The texture of the meatballs is lush and delicious, the gravy is creamy, silky, slightly tangy perfection. And if you really want to say “I love you,” maybe tuck in some buttery mashed potatoes and a little sweet pickled cucumber in the bag too?

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish and store covered in a disposable 9×13 pan. Note that the gravy will thicken over the course of a few hours, which makes for perfect Swedish meatballs.
  2. Prep the sides: mashed potatoes, a zippy cucumber salad, and a side of cranberries or lingonberries.
  3. Deliver with instructions to rewarm the meatballs in the oven for a few minutes or in a pan on the stovetop.
Sunday chili in a bowl with a spoon.

Sunday Chili

Chili is a love language. Especially when it is mega-thick, chunky but nothing too giant, smoky, warm, just a little bit spicy with deep rich flavor, and not just all beansbeansbeans. Cozy, easy, super delicious, and extremely scoopable so don’t forget those tortilla chips.

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish, let the chili cool, and store it in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Buy and prep all toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, red onion, and cilantro.
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to rewarm the chili on the stove or in the microwave.

Country Chicken Stew

This one tastes like care and patience and love.  Rich, slow country stew with juicy shreds of chicken, tender bits of carrot and cabbage, smoky bacon, and almost creamy beans. The whole chicken is cooked in the stew so the broth is superb, the texture is everything, and it is all just begging for bread dips and swoops.

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish, reserving the lemon juice or red wine vinegar for just before serving. Let the stew cool and store it in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Prepare a loaf of fresh crusty bread and package up some garlic herb butter to serve with it.
  3. Deliver the stew with instructions to rewarm it on the stove and to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving.
Chicken enchilada casserole being scooped with a spatula

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This one is a super simple 5-ingredient stunner that will heat up beautifully when the time is right. All the warm, cheesy deliciousness of a more-involved enchilada prep but instead a super simple stacking method that will give you a pan of “I am here for you” ready to deliver in no time.

How to package it:

  1. Fully layer and assemble the casserole in a well-oiled disposable 9×13 pan.
  2. Prepare the casserole toppings: cilantro, lime, avocado, and sour cream.
  3. Deliver the casserole with instructions to pop it in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered with foil, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Send a note to let the casserole rest for 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven.
White chicken chili in a bowl.

Sarah’s White Chicken Chili

Back that chili-as-a-love-language thing but this time, creamy dreamy, and oh so special. This chicken chili is a decidedly not authentic, cheap-thrills, big flavor situation and please trust every step because it starts with bacon and ends with cream cheese and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN IS PERFECT.

How to package it:

  1. Make the recipe from start to finish, let the chili cool, and store it in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Prepare the chili toppings and sides: cilantro, green onion, cheese, and tortilla chips or cornbread.
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to rewarm the chili on the stove or in the microwave.

Vegetarian Meals

Creamy Tomato Lasagna Florentine on a plate with a fork.

Creamy Tomato Lasagna Florentine

The sauciest of lasagnas, where you kind of scoop it out with a spoon and bask in the glory of all the tomato sauce swirling around the perfectly chewy noodle edges, a creamy garlicky spinach layer peeking out here and there, making its way through all the bubbling cheese.

How to prepare:

  1. Assemble lasagna completely in a greased disposable 9×13 pan. Cover with foil.
  2. Pick up a Caesar salad kit to include on the side or grab some salad greens and whip up a simple green salad.
  3. Deliver the lasagna with instructions to pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, to remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, and then to let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Red curry lentils with rice and bread in a plate with a spoon.

Red Curry Lentils

Comfort comes in a lot of forms: a big sweater, cozy socks, a weighted blanket or a heaping bowl of these saucy, spicy, creamy red lentils. Made in the instant pot with some warm curry spices, a can of tomatoes, and a bit of coconut milk. Once steamy rice is involved, you have easy delicious comfort food.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the recipe from start to finish, let it cool, and store in a large disposable container.
  2. Pick up a bag or two of microwaveable rice pouches and cut up some cilantro for a topping.
  3. Deliver the curry with instructions to warm the lentils in the microwave before serving.

Simple Homemade Tomato Soup

So simple, so delicious and it almost always leads to grilled cheese which…well, really is the best gift. You’ll start this from-scratch classic with bacon so they’ll know you mean it! Also, everything gets blended up with a touch of cream, so it’s a real huggable treat.  Smoky, rich, creamy, velvety perfection.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the recipe from start to finish, let it cool and store in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Buy and prepare grilled cheese sammies to have on the side. Place a slice of cheese between two pieces of sandwich bread and butter the outsides of the bread.
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to reheat the soup on the stove or in the microwave and to cook the grilled cheese sandwiches in a pan or griddle.
Sweet Potato Curry in a bowl with rice.

Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

On a scale of *very* to *runs out of room screaming*, how intimidated are you by the thought of making your own curry from scratch? GOOD. You are a real person with well-adjusted fears! But, seriously, you can totally do this. It’s easier than you think and will be so, so worth it for whoever gets to eat this beauty.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the recipe from start to finish, let it cool, and store in a large disposable container.
  2. Pick up a bag or two of microwaveable rice pouches (so quick! so easy!) and chop up cilantro and peanuts for toppings.
  3. Deliver the curry with instructions to reheat it on the stove and serve it over rice.
The large rustic bowl of cheesy tomato sauce ziti.

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

We know, sometimes a baked pasta can get dry or (eep!) gritty or dare we say, snoozy – well, NOT. THIS. It is so saucy, so creamy, possibly criminally cheesy and easy easy easy. It is a baked pasta masterpiece that will make anyone smile.

How to prepare:

  1. Cook the sauce and pasta, and prepare the mascarpone cheese. Layer the ziti in a disposable 9×13 pan and cover with foil.
  2. Prepare a Brussels and Kale Caesar Salad to have on the side and include pasta toppings, like parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  3. Deliver the pasta with instructions to bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the baked ziti is warm and bubbly.
Spoon scooping sweet potato stew

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

An amazing little soup/stew is a little bit spicy and a lot bit creamy. It’s nutritious and so delicious, warm, and welcoming that one might just want to crawl right in the bowl. (Though we wouldn’t recommend that.)

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the soup from start to finish, let it cool, and store in a large disposable soup container.
  2. Chop cilantro and peanuts for soup toppings to include. You could also include a simple green salad to enjoy alongside.
  3. Deliver the soup with instructions to rewarm it on the stove or in the microwave.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie in pan with spoon.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Who doesn’t want to nestle beneath the warm cover of some creamy mashed potatoes? Honestly sounds better than a weighted blanket. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW COZY? Rich, delicious, totally vegetarian and heats up beautifully.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the mashed potatoes, veggies, and gravy. Assemble the shepherd’s pie in a disposable 9×13 pan.
  2. This is a pretty hearty meal, so no sides are really needed. Maybe just include a bottle of red wine to lean into the cozy vibes this shepherd’s pie delivers on.
  3. Deliver the meal with instructions to finish baking in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes with a quick minute or two broil at the end to get the potatoes browned on top.

Baked Goods

No Knead Bread held by hands.

Miracle No Knead Bread

The easiest of easy with none of the kneads and all of the warm, crusty, carby, rip-apart beauty. Bread can’t fix it, but man, it sure helps. You can whip up the dough for this one and hand it off for your friend to bake up fresh the next day, or deliver fresh and hot out of the oven knowing that warm bread says everything you need to say.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the recipe from start to finish, let the bread cool, and store in a plastic bag.
  2. Deliver the bread with instructions to rewarm it in the oven and slather a slice with butter.
Pistachio loaf being held by white hand square

Pistachio Loaf

Super tender and densely textured, almost blondie-like, and a very pleasing diversion from a more typical sweet bread. Hints of coconut from the flour, the nuttiness of the pistachios, the sweetness that is not overly sweet…wowowow, it’s all just so good. Whoever gets it will thank you forever.

How to prepare:

  1. Bake the recipe from start to finish in a disposable bread pan.
  2. Deliver with instructions to enjoy the loaf warm or cold and to store it in the fridge or at room temperature.
Cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork.

House Favorite Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Exquisitely gooey, soft, pull-apart, cinnamon-slathered, perfectly glazed little pillows of sheer joy and wonder. They take a little time, a little patience, a little love and a lot of butter to bring together but every single second is worth it. Plus this recipe makes enough dough for three batches so send that along as well for the gift keeps on giving.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the unbaked cinnamon rolls and place in a disposable 9-inch round pan. Prepare the cream cheese glaze and store in a small plastic container.
  2. Deliver cinnamon rolls with instructions to bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Include a note to warm the glaze and spread it on the rolls once they come out of the oven.
Stacked lemon poppyseed zucchini bread.

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread

Zested lemon for fresh, bold, citrusy flavor and a full gorgeous cup of olive oil in the batter to make a deliciously dense, luscious and soul-warming zucchini cake? Bread? Doesn’t matter. Yum. Such a treat for everyone.

How to prepare:

  1. Bake the recipe from start to finish in a disposable bread pan.
  2. Deliver with instructions to enjoy the loaf warm or cold and to store it in the fridge or at room temperature.
Juicy berries, a luscious cheesecake layer, and some heavy streusel on top a muffin.

Triple Berry Cheesecake Muffins

There are three types of juicy berries speckling this masterpiece which is not a muffin, not a cheesecake and not an exorbitant pile of streusel. IT IS ALL THREEEEE! A fluffy, dense, crumbly, juicy, sweet, super snackable way to say you care.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the muffins from start to finish, let them cool, and store in a plastic bag.
  2. Deliver the muffins with instructions to store at room temperature.

Special Treats

Strawberry white chocolate cookies on a sheet pan

Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies

For when you want to give them something they’ve probably never had before.  A perfectly soft, intensely buttery cookie speckled with chewy bright little bits of strawberry and silky-sweet white chocolate chips. Just, so good.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare cookie dough, roll into balls, and flash-freeze dough on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. After that, store cookie dough in a plastic bag.
  2. Deliver cookies with instructions to bake in the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until the edges look cooked but the middles are slightly soft and puffy. Include instructions for the cookies to rest on the sheet pan for a bit after removing them from the oven.
Favorite-Browned-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-Square

Favorite Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thin, crispy golden edges with a chewy gooey centers and a deep rich almost caramelly flavor thanks to a hefty amount of beautiful, patiently browned butter.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare cookie dough, roll into balls, and flash-freeze dough on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. After that, store cookie dough in a plastic bag.
  2. Deliver cookies with instructions to bake in the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until the edges look cooked but the middles are slightly soft and puffy. Include instructions for the cookies to rest on the sheet pan for a bit after removing them from the oven.
Fork cutting into slices of apple cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Sure apples can go in many things but pretty sure they were made for apple cake. Warm, so light and fluffy, and so very perfect for your care package. The magic cinnamon-sugar crisp layer up top will be calling their name for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the cake from start to finish in a disposable 9×13 pan and let the cake cool.
  2. Mix up some honey butter to be served on top of the cake.
  3. Deliver with instructions to enjoy the apple cake warm with a bit of melty honey butter on top. Include a note to store any leftovers covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Pouring cold brew into a glass

Cold Brew

Do not underestimate the importance of coffee in someone’s time of need. And this homemade cold brew is such a nice way to stock their fridge with a smooth, mellow little caffeine boost at the ready. Maybe throw in some oat milk and homemade vanilla mint syrup, too?

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare cold brew from start to finish. Include a bit of homemade vanilla mint syrup, too, if you’d like. Store in a quart-size glass mason jar.
  2. Deliver with instructions to serve the cold brew over ice and to keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Carrot cake coffee cake on a plate with a fork square

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake

A little breakfast cake that really means it. An exquisite little carrot cake topped with a thick crumbly cinnamony streusel layer that sits just perfectly under the swath of honey butter that melts over the top for serving.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the cake from start to finish in a disposable 9-inch round cake pan and let the cake cool.
  2. Whip up a little honey butter mixture to go with the cake.
  3. Deliver with instructions to enjoy the cake warm with a bit of melty honey butter on top. Include a note to store any leftovers covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Spoonful of Chocolate Granola on a baking sheet.

The Ultimate Chocolate Granola

A nice healthy base of oats, almonds, and unsweetened coconut flakes, with a desserty twist thanks to the cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil and chocolate chips melted all up into the clusters. Why not sprinkle with crunchy turbinado sugar and flakes of sea salt to finish?

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare the granola from start to finish and let it cool on the sheet pan to let it get nice and clustery. Store in a large plastic bag.
  2. Pick up a large container of yogurt to serve with the granola.
  3. Deliver with instructions to enjoy with yogurt or in a big bowl by itself.

Freezer-Friendly

Baked Chicken Meatballs on a sheet pan with sauce.

Best Anytime Baked Chicken Meatballs

These are perfect because they are put-in-literally-anything meatballs. Could be served with spaghetti, popped into a Swedish meatball prep, thrown on a sandwich or just snacked on right off the baking sheet. Such a win.

How to prepare:

  1. Bake the meatballs from start to finish, let them cool, and store them in a large plastic bag.
  2. Prepare some pasta with red sauce and a simple green salad to go alongside.
  3. Deliver with instructions to warm the meatballs in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Cauliflower Walnut Vegetarian Taco Meat on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon.

Cauliflower Walnut Vegetarian Taco Meat

Legit better-than-meat taco meat. In some sort of vegetarian magic spell, it manages to be crisp, spicy and so smoky, roasty delicious. Good old fashioned plant-eating at its finest.

How to prepare:

  1. Bake recipe from start to finish, let it cool, and freeze in a large plastic bag.
  2. Buy and prep sides for veg taco bowls: corn salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, and a bag of microwaveable rice.
  3. Deliver with instructions to reheat in a large skillet. Include instructions to add a bit of water to the pan if they want it to resemble more saucy-style taco meat.
Meal prep breakfast sandwich.

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches

The perfect little freezer send-along. Fluffy baked eggs with bacon and spinach, topped with cheese and tucked into toasty english muffins. Get these little sammies all baked, stacked, wrapped and ready for your friend to grab-and-heat a quick, wholesome little breakfast any day they need it.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare sandwiches from start to finish and wrap in aluminum foil to freeze.
  2. Deliver with instructions to reheat frozen breakfast sandwiches still wrapped in the foil in the oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
Chipotle Turkey Burrito held by hands.

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos

As long as you’re making some meal-prepped breakfasts, why not toss in some spicy little grab-and-go burrito lunches? Chipotle-spiked ground turkey, black beans, any veggies you got (sweet potato is a real gem here), and cheese all wrapped in big flour tortillas and stocked in their freezer.

How to prepare:

  1. Prepare burritos from start to finish and wrap in aluminum foil to freeze.
  2. Deliver with instructions to reheat the frozen burritos in the microwave, making sure to fully remove the foil before microwaving. Include a note to first defrost them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then heat for 1-2 minutes.

Everything You Need For Delivering Yummy Food


We see you working hard to bring that special person a meal to boost their spirits and make them feel loved and cared for. The gift of a homecooked meal (or treat!) is a special one, friend!

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