General Support
Top 7 Recipes for the Perfect Meal Train

If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, you can support them by starting or participating in a meal train. Meal trains can be incredibly helpful for anyone who doesn’t have the time or energy to invest in cooking. 


Grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking can start to feel like a massive burden if you’re going through a rough patch in life. By coordinating a meal train with friends and family, you can help ease the burden your loved one is facing. 


In our latest article, we’re covering:


  • How to assemble a meal train
  • Top 7 meal train ideas
  • Bonus recipes for side dishes and desserts

How to Assemble a Meal Train

Is this your first time participating in a meal train? Make sure you read this.

spaghetti with fresh basil and tomatoes on a fork. recipes for meal train
Dishes that are easy to store and transport are great for meal trains.

People may set up a meal train for a number of reasons. Parents who have just welcomed a new baby into their lives can significantly benefit from a meal train. Someone who is recovering from an injury or illness may also need a little help with cooking and food arrangements. 


Whatever the reason you may have for organizing a meal train, you can follow this simple guide to ensure its success.


  1. Reach out to the person or their caregiver to offer your help and determine if there’s anything they need specifically.
  2. Ask about meal preferences and dietary restrictions.
  3. Select a date range for the meals.
  4. Create a sign-up sheet and schedule for all volunteers using a free platform like Give InKind.
  5. Stay in touch with other volunteers and the recipient throughout the meal train process.

7 Delicious Meal Train Dishes

Great meal train recipes are easy to make, store, and transport.

two people prepare spaghetti. recipes for meal train
Setting up a meal train is simple with free tools like Give InKind.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup has long been hailed as the ultimate comfort food, and it’s a wonderful choice for a meal train when supporting someone in need. This classic dish is not only delicious but also packed with nourishing ingredients that can provide much-needed comfort and healing. The warm broth helps soothe sore throats and provides hydration, while the chicken offers a good source of protein. The vegetables and noodles provide essential nutrients and contribute to a well-rounded meal. Whether the recipient is recovering from an illness, going through a challenging time, or simply in need of a warm and comforting meal, Chicken Noodle Soup offers a familiar and comforting taste that can bring both physical and emotional comfort.

Ground Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is a fantastic choice for a meal train when looking to provide a hearty and comforting meal. This classic Italian dish offers a delicious combination of flavors and textures that can bring comfort and nourishment to someone in need. Layered with pasta, flavorful meat or vegetable fillings, rich tomato sauce, and creamy cheese, lasagna provides a satisfying and complete meal. Its versatility allows for customization to accommodate dietary preferences or restrictions. Additionally, lasagna can be easily prepared in advance and reheated, making it convenient for both the recipient and the meal train organizers. Whether it’s to support a family during a challenging time or provide sustenance during recovery, a warm and comforting dish like lasagna can truly bring a sense of love and care to those who need it most.

Turkey Wraps

When it comes to providing a versatile and satisfying option for a meal train, Turkey Wraps are an excellent choice. These delightful handheld creations offer a combination of flavors, textures, and ingredients that can cater to various preferences and needs. Packed with lean, protein-rich turkey, fresh vegetables, and a variety of condiments, Turkey Wraps provide a wholesome and balanced meal. They are easily assembled with soft tortillas or wraps. Making them portable and convenient for individuals who may need to eat on the go or prefer a lighter option. Turkey Wraps provide a delicious and hassle-free solution that will definitely be appreciated during a meal train. Whether it’s for a busy parent, a recovering friend, or someone in need of a nutritious and flavorful meal.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs is a beloved and timeless classic that makes for a comforting and satisfying meal in a meal train. This hearty Italian dish consists of pasta, meatballs, and a savory tomato sauce that brings warm nostalgia to the table. Spaghetti & Meatballs is a crowd-pleaser that appeals to people of all ages, making it an excellent choice when providing a comforting meal for a family or individual in need. The combination of pasta and protein-packed meatballs offers a well-rounded and filling option. Additionally, it’s a dish that can be easily prepared in larger quantities. This makes it convenient for a meal train. Whether it’s to support a friend, lift the spirits of a loved one, or provide sustenance during a challenging time, Spaghetti & Meatballs brings not only nourishment but also a sense of home-cooked comfort to those who receive it.

Side Dishes

You can enhance your meal by adding some savory side dishes.

Side Dishes

foil pans of macaroni and cheese, beans, and broccoli & cauliflower are on a table. People scoop servings into to-go containers. recipes for meal train
Don’t forget to add some side dishes to complete the meal.

Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to comforting and versatile side dishes, Mashed Potatoes are a tried and true favorite. They can bring warmth and comfort to any meal train. These creamy and fluffy potatoes are a classic staple that pairs well with a wide range of main dishes. Mashed Potatoes offer a comforting taste and smooth texture that is both familiar and satisfying. They provide a source of carbohydrates, which can provide energy and comfort during times of need. Additionally, Mashed Potatoes are easy to prepare in large quantities, making them suitable for sharing and accommodating various group sizes. Mashed Potatoes are a comforting side dish that bring a sense of home-cooked warmth and nourishment to those in need. Whether it’s to complement a hearty roast, a comforting casserole, or a simple protein.

Roasted Vegetables

When providing a nutritious and flavorful side dish for a meal train, Roasted Vegetables are an excellent choice. This simple yet delicious preparation method brings out the natural flavors and textures of a variety of vegetables. This makes them a tasty and wholesome addition to any meal. Roasting vegetables enhances their sweetness and creates a satisfying caramelization that adds depth to their taste. Roasted Vegetables offer a vibrant and nutritious accompaniment. Whether it’s a medley of colorful bell peppers, hearty root vegetables, or seasonal favorites like Brussels sprouts or asparagus. Because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, they contribute to a well-rounded and balanced meal. Roasted Vegetables are a versatile and delicious and healthful option that bring a burst of flavor and or nourishment to a meal train.

Green Bean Casserole

This classic and beloved dish that brings comfort and a pop of green to any meal train. Combining tender green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions, creates a delightful medley of flavors and textures. The green beans offer a fresh and nutritious element, while the rich and savory mushroom sauce adds a satisfying creaminess. Topped with irresistibly crunchy fried onions, Green Bean Casserole provides a delightful contrast of textures. Its familiar and comforting taste makes it a favorite among both young and old alike. When served during holiday gatherings or as part of a comforting meal, Green Bean Casserole brings a sense of nostalgia and homestyle goodness to the table. It’s a perfect choice to add a touch of warmth and familiarity to a meal train. And offering a side dish this good will definitely be enjoyed and appreciated.

Now you have an idea where to start thinking of recipes for meal train.

A meal train is a great way to show support and provide practical help for a loved one in need. Ready to start a meal train? Visit Give InKind to get started today.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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