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How to Organize a Meal Train for a Friend or Loved One in Need of Support
If someone in your life could use a little help, dinner is a great place to start.
Turkey-Pumpkin Chili
Rating: Unrated 6
Is there a recipe that shouts “fall” more than a chili made with turkey and pumpkin? Probably not, and this delicious dish has ample spices to draw out the savory side of the pumpkin and cannellini beans to add body to each hearty bowl. If you want a fresh herb to sprinkle on top, try cilantro, which comes from the same plant as the coriander seed, which infuses the base of the soup.
Curried Chicken Soup
Rating: Unrated 2
Chicken noodle soup gets an upgrade in this curry-spiced version of the classic comfort food dish. Curry powder adds welcome depth of flavor, while baby spinach adds a fresh twist. The key to this recipe’s quickness is using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, which means that the meal comes together in around a half an hour. Psst… Don’t skip the step of toasting the curry powder before adding the broth—it’s essential to unlock the spice mixture’s flavor.
Turkey-and-Rice Meatballs
Rating: Unrated 16
These family-friendly meatballs come together quickly—just turkey, rice, olive oil, and seasoning are required—and taste great with a crunchy kale and apple salad. The lemony tahini dressing is a winner—its creamy texture adds welcome richness to the plate. Pro tip: A freezer that’s stocked with these turkey-and-rice meatballs is your friend. Make with the salad as written below, or serve them stirred into a brothy soup, twirled into pasta, or beneath a blanket of melted cheese atop a garlic-rubbed roll. Thanks to their flexible flavors, they’re at home in many dishes.
Slow-Cooker Ragù With Spaghetti Squash
Rating: Unrated 1
A slow cooker makes easy work of a Bolognese-inspired sauce, thanks to its gentle approach to cooking the ingredients, which infuses each bite with deep, rich flavor. But, the genius part of this recipe is cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker at the same time. It’s an easy, hands-off dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavor, despite being gluten- and dairy-free (unless you shower it with cheese, of course).
Feta and Watermelon Grain Bowls
Rating: Unrated 3
This fresh vegetarian dinner recipe tastes like the peak of summer. Cubes of juicy watermelon mingle with creamy avocado and nutty farro, to create a healthy, easy dinner salad. Each bite is studded with pops of salty feta and herbaceous cilantro. This healthy grain bowl would also work well served as a side to anything you have going on on the grill. Simply cut the watermelon and avocado into smaller chunks and toss everything together. It would taste great alongside grilled salmon, planks of crispy tofu, or grilled steak. P.S. You’ll use the “pasta method” to boil the farro, which means you add the grains to already boiling water. It’s a quicker way to cook all sorts of whole grains, like brown rice and barley.
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More Make-Ahead Meals

Eggplant Panzanella
Rating: Unrated 7
What’s better than a salad that is mostly croutons? That’s a rhetorical question. A Panzanella is just that, a traditional Italian salad that features cubes of deliciously toasty, grilled bread. The pieces then soak up a bright, lemony vinaigrette and the juices of cherry tomatoes. Meaty eggplant makes this Panzanella hearty enough for dinner, while baby kale adds fresh crunch. But what ties all these elements together is a shower of shaved Manchego cheese and fragrant fresh dill. Make ahead tip: This dish can sit up to an hour in advance at room temperature. The bread will get softer as it soaks up the juices, so if you like soggier pieces, this is the move for you.
Spring Pasta Salad
Rating: Unrated 1
This flavorful and quick pasta recipe features the best of spring’s bounty. Peppery radishes and crisp sugar snap peas nestle up to casarecce, a twisted type of pasta that allows the delicious sauce to cling to its folds. (If you can’t find it, another short, textured shape such as penne or gemelli will work well.) A honey-mustard vinaigrette—spiked with shallot and lemon zest, thank you very much—coats each bite, while a shower of mint and salty ricotta salata at the end adds a bit of decadence. Serve with rosé or white wine and enjoy the quick prep time and minimal dish clean up.
Spicy-Sweet Tofu With Couscous
Rating: 5 stars 5

This quick vegetarian dinner takes its cues from traditional Moroccan ingredients like spicy harissa paste, fluffy couscous, fragrant mint, and crunchy almonds. In just twenty minutes, you’ll make a fast and delicious lemony pilaf with currants, almonds, and mint. All that’s left to do is crisp tofu in a skillet and braise it in a honey-spiked harissa sauce. The result is shockingly flavorful, given that it comes together so quickly. Shopping tip: Harissa comes in a range of spice levels. Look for “mild” if you are sensitive, or adjust the amount to taste. If you want to add a vegetable, try cauliflower or broccoli, which can stand up to the vibrant flavors.