Take a Meal Recipe

Did you sign up to take a meal and now you need a take a meal recipe? Maybe your friends just had a baby or someone’s past, you want to be able to help and food seems to be the way to do it. But what do you do next? If you’re like me as a new mom maybe you stare at the cupboards frantically or glance into the freezer as panic overtakes you. Why in the world did you ever volunteer to do this?

Take a Meal Recipe doesn’t have to be hard

I realized with time the older women in the church had a reputation for one or two classic meals. When I went over to their house or they brought a meal I wished and hoped that they would bring that one thing. The longer I thought about it the more I realized what these women had done was quite clever. Rather than feeling like they have to take something new every time they have guests or someone has a new baby, they have one classic dish and take that one thing over and over. This allows them to become excellent at making that thing and relieves them of the decision fatigue that comes from trying to decide what to take or cook.

(Find my summertime grilling favorites here! or our famous grilled sourdough pizzas!)

So I found my “Classic Dish”

I really wanted protein after I have a baby. I also noticed a lot of our friends had the common dietary restrictions of dairy and gluten. We were also on a budget and couldn’t drop $50 every time we wanted to take a meal. Was there one recipe that I could make that would meet all of these needs?

Other Complicating Issue

Another problem I had was trying to make sure that I got to a person’s house at mealtime with food that was still hot. Oftentimes that landed right in the middle of our own chaotic family mealtime. Our metro area is very large and I could spend an hour in the car driving to and from someone’s house for a meal. People would be hungry until I arrived with food and that made me incredibly nervous. As a young mom I often run late. The recipe I settled on was one I could go early, put it in their oven, start the time, and it would be ready exactly when they wanted to eat without making my own little ones go hungry.

Roasted Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

The Take a Meal Recipe I found that met all these needs was a roasted sheet pan dinner. I assemble it into a to-go baking sheet, leave early and put it into the oven at their house around 4:00 o’clock, and I’m back to my house in time to eat with my family! It uses Chicken Drumsticks which is a budget-friendly meat. It’s Gluten and Dairy free, so it checks every single box. It’s taken a little time, but I’d like to think I’ve perfected the recipe and I would love to pass it on to you!

  • Package of Chicken legs laid out in the pan.
  • Cube potatoes and generously scatter them down the center.
  • Top with frozen green beans.
  • Sprinkle your favorite seasoning on top (my go-to is Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)

When I arrive at the house I put it in the oven at 450 and set a timer for one hour.


If you’re the only person bringing a meal that week I choose my sides with care, but if I know there’s a whole Meal Train I’m a little looser. The main dish has protein, starch, and veggie, so it’s pretty complete! Here are some side ideas if you really want to do more:

  • Brownies
  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Apple Sauce
  • Rolls
  • Salad
  • Baked Beans

If you’re looking for other meal ideas to use as a take-a-meal recipe I have these amazing Freezer Meals.

If this was helpful check out the Pantry Inventory

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