Our 13 Best Funeral Foods for Those in Need
These comfort food recipes will help take one thing off the minds of your loved ones during a difficult time.
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Funeral foods are best described as easy, comfort food recipes you can make and take with you to a funeral, wake, or other gatherings after someone has passed as a gesture of compassion and support. Casseroles are one of the best options out there when it comes to food for funeral receptions, so we've included a wide variety below. Additionally, we've included some easy-to-make sheet cakes and some other shareable dishes that are sure to help comfort those in mourning.
When someone has just lost a loved one, the last thing on their mind is food or cooking. The reality of the situation, however, is that food has a way of offering comfort, and it's the least the rest of us can do to help take care of our friends and family during the first few days of a passing. Be prepared with a list of comforting recipes and other funeral food to take to a grieving family when tragedy strikes.
Please also be sure to check out these great resources below for tips on freezing food. This information will come in handy for those who want to make multiple meals at once and save and defrost them later.
We love hearing from you: Tell us about your favorite comforting dish below and keep the conversation going!
Table of Contents
These shareable dishes are classic recipes you'll recognize because they make an appearance at almost every potluck. You've probably even made them before. Deli salads are popular for a reason. They're easy to make, easy to share, and comforting to eat. Choose from one of the 4 below, and just keep it in the fridge till you're ready to go.
For more shareable recipes, try our Easy Potluck Recipes: 14 Potluck Ideas For Sides, Desserts and More Free eCookbook
We can't say enough good things about casseroles! They're just so easy to make and the possibilities are endless. The casseroles below are handpicked favorites of ours, because of their ability to put a smile on our faces and our... is it possible for a stomach to smile? If so, we're pretty sure these comforting casseroles could do the job. Make a tough time easier to get through with family, friends, and funeral foods like these.
You might also enjoy this collection: Church Potluck Dishes: 15 Best Casserole Recipes for a Crowd
Make and Take Desserts
Desserts may not be the first thing people think to make for their grieving loved ones, but they shouldn't be overlooked. While the casseroles and deli salads above are more substantial, desserts are very comforting too! Some people crave savory dishes, some crave sweets. For the latter, we've collected a few of our favorite, easy dessert recipes that we hope will bring comfort in trying times.
For more make-ahead casserole ideas, check out the full collection: Our Very Best Casserole Recipes
How to Freeze Food Properly and Other Food Freezing Tips
Check out the articles below for lots of great tips for freezing meals. And for more tips on how to freeze meals that will come in handy all year long, check our article Easy Freezer Cooking Tips and 21 Freezer Meal Ideas.
Simplify your life with our collection, Dump and Go Dinners: 22 Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas + 4 Bonus Dump Desserts
Food for a Crowd: History of the Potluck
Ah, the potluck. We've all probably been to a few in our day. Everyone brings a dish and shares in a meal together. Nice concept, but where did it come from? Let's take a look at the history of this tradition.
It began back in the Middle Ages as a term used to describe an impromptu meal one would serve to travelers or unexpected guests. In a time when very little was thrown out, these guests would be served leftovers or the "luck of the pot." On occasion, a potluck referred to a communal meal made by several people, where each cook brought something to contribute. This was usually thrown together in a pot and has been called "stone soup" and other variations over the years.
Americans adapted this tradition around the late 19th century and the concept of people each bringing a prepared dish to share took hold. Today, potlucks are held for all sorts of reasons. Holidays and other large, celebratory gatherings often prompt the need. Having a potluck is a super cost-effective way to provide food for a crowd, and in theory, everyone should have plenty to munch on and leave fully satisfied.
1. People with diet restrictions or allergies are more than likely not going to be able to eat much at a potluck.
2. Potlucks are often free-for-alls, which leads to duplicate dishes. Did you want 6 chicken casseroles? Because here they are.
3. Sometimes, no one is manning the event or the person in charge doesn't have the proper food-safety training. How long has that mayonnaise-based potato salad been sitting out? Yikes!
Be a Pro at the Potluck:
1. If you volunteer to bring food, make sure it's ready to serve when you get there. Don't bring something that will need to be defrosted or reheated.
2. Bring all the tools you'll need; don't expect them to have tongs or a serving spoon.
3. Don't show up with a bag of groceries and expect to cook there.
4. If you don't want to cook, bring something else! Showing up empty-handed is bad etiquette. This is what store-bought fruit, veggie, and cookie trays were invented for.
5. If you are hosting the potluck and people leave their dishes with you. Make sure to wash and return them in a timely manner.
6. If you are attending a potluck, on the other hand, bring disposable containers when possible to avoid lost or broken dishware and easy clean up.
Cake mix cakes are the easiest on the planet. See all the easy recipes in our "17 Effortless Recipes With Cake Mix" eCookbook
What is the most comforting dish you've ever made or eaten?
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