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40 Comforting Funeral Foods For Those in Need

For tough times, comfort food is the hug we all need. Bringing dishes like baked sandwiches, cheesy potatoes and pasta salads are a great way to show your love and support.

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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This yummy baked spaghetti casserole will be requested again and again for potlucks and family gatherings. It’s especially popular with my grandchildren, who just love all the cheese. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland

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Editor’s tip: Consider setting up a meal train to help support the grieving family. This recipe is a great meal train idea to bring.

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Cuban Sliders

These wonderful little rolls are baked until lightly toasted and the cheese melts. The leftover King's Hawaiian ham sliders keep really well in the fridge, and they make a lovely cold snack. Followers of my blog, houseofyumm.com, go nuts for these! —Serene Herrera, Dallas, Texas
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Three-Cheese Hash Brown Bake

Serve up comfort food for breakfast with this cheesy casserole featuring frozen hash browns. It requires just 10 minutes of prep before you pop it in the oven. —Nancy Sidhu, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Sweet Pepper Pesto Pasta

What’s a family gathering or potluck without at least one pasta salad? This one's great freshly made or for several days after. We like it warm or cold. —Karen Hentges, Bakersfield, California
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Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad

Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama
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Chicken & Cheese Noodle Bake

This is the recipe my daughters and I often make for new parents when they come home from the hospital. With its creamy spaghetti filling and melted cheese topping, this casserole holds a nice cut and comforts hungry tummies. —Fancheon Resler, Bluffton, Indiana
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Quick & Easy au Gratin Potatoes

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania
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Lime-Honey Fruit Salad

Nothing is more refreshing to me than a seasonal fruit salad enhanced with this simple honey-lime dressing. —Victoria Shevlin, Cape Coral, Florida
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana
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Chicken Zucchini Casserole

A co-worker shared this chicken zucchini casserole recipe that was originally her grandmother's. When I make it, I use pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store and fresh zucchini my neighbor gives me from his garden. —Bev Dutro, Dayton, Ohio
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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Folks who love the flavor of the classic cookie will enjoy that same great flavor in these chocolate chip bars. This blondie recipe can be mixed up in a jiffy, tastes wonderful, and is perfect for occasions when company drops by unexpectedly or you need a treat in a hurry. —Rhonda Knight, Hecker, Illinois
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Hot Antipasto Sandwiches

I usually make this popular dish as an appetizer for holiday get-togethers. But I also like to serve it with salad as a satisfying meal. —Lisa Berry, Fayetteville, West Virginia
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for the cranberries, cilantro for the parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois
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Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Impress dinner guests with this delightfully different take on traditional cranberry sauce. The nuts add a tasty crunch. —Dorothy Angley, Carver, Massachusetts
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Midwest Meatball Casserole

I've relied on this recipe many times as a soothing finish to a hectic day...and since I usually have all the ingredients on hand, there's no last-minute rush to the store, either. —Judy Larson, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Tuna Mushroom Casserole

I love to serve this dressed-up version of a tuna casserole. The green beans add nice texture, color and flavor. The first time I made this dish, my uncle asked for seconds even though tuna casseroles are not usually his favorite. —Jone Furlong, Santa Rosa, California
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Lemon Bars

These easy lemon bars are a delightful recipe from my mother's file. I've been serving it for many years. This easy lemon bar recipe has a wonderful tangy flavor, and they're always a hit. The color and shape make them a nice addition to a platter of cookies. —Etta Soucy, Mesa, Arizona
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Favorite Cheesy Potatoes

My family loves these potatoes. I make a large batch in disposable pans and serve them at all our get-togethers. The holidays aren't the same without them. It's also a super recipe for Christmas morning brunch. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright pasta salad. This tricolor toss-up with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Chicken Florentine Casserole

Creamy and comforting, this chicken and spinach bake is sure to be a hit at dinnertime. The toasty bread crumb topping delivers a bit of a crunch. —Dori Jackson, Gulf Breeze, Florida
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Pizza Noodle Bake

Here’s a family-pleasing casserole that comes together in a snap, making it perfect for a weeknight meal. Double the recipe and freeze one for later! —Bernice Knutson, Soldier, Iowa
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Honey-Melon Salad with Basil

Put the taste of summer in your salad! Loaded with juicy cantaloupe and honeydew, and glazed with a sweet honey dressing, this dish will be gone in minutes. Watermelon is a tasty addition, too. —Khurshid Shaik, Omaha, Nebraska
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Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

I got this easy chicken cordon bleu recipe from a friend years ago. I freeze several half recipes in disposable pans to share with neighbors or for when I'm pressed for time myself. —Rea Newell, Decatur, Illinois
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Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom's and his mom's recipes, and this potato and egg salad the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad

Tortellini and a Parmesan dressing give this layered salad an unexpected twist. It's great for a potluck. —Dennis Vitale, New Preston, Connecticut
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Ham & Cheese Potato Casserole

This recipe makes two cheesy, delicious casseroles. Have one tonight and put the other on ice for a future busy weeknight. It's like having money in the bank when things get hectic! —Kari Adams, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Cranberry Waldorf Gelatin

We enjoy this easy-to-make salad in the fall when apples are in season. Their crisp freshness adds so much to a favorite dish. — Debbie Short, Carlisle, Iowa
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Italian Cheese Loaf

Here's a deliciously different sandwich. It's yummy warm from the oven or off the grill at a cookout. The cheesy filling is complemented by a mix of garden-fresh ingredients and crusty bread. I usually serve it with a salad and onion rings. —Mary Ann Marino, West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate-Glazed Brownies

These moist and fudgy squares are bursting with such rich chocolate flavor, you'd never know they're low in fat. They're ideal for taking to bake sales and family gatherings. For holidays, I like to dress them up with colorful candy sprinkles. —Deb Anderson, Joplin, Missouri
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Potluck Taco Casserole

This is the dish I most often take to potlucks, and the pan comes home empty every time. It has the irresistible taco taste that everybody craves. —Kim Stoller, Smithville, Ohio
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Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

This versatile side dish is so good with grilled steak, and is delicious with other meats as well. A creamy cheese sauce and crunchy topping make this potato casserole popular for family dinners and potlucks. —Teresa Stutzman, Adair, Oklahoma
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Church Supper Spaghetti

Because this recipe feeds so many, I often take it to church dinners and potlucks. This colorful dish also comes in handy when we have lots of help to feed on our farm. —Verlyn Wilson, Wilkinson, Indiana
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Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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Authentic German Potato Salad

This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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Turkey & Spinach Stuffing Casserole

I know dried cranberries may seem like an odd ingredient to include in this dish, but they add just a hint of sweetness that makes an easy casserole so special. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Lemon Pound Cake Loaves

My family always asks for this love-me-tender lemon loaf cake. Sometimes, I shake things up and make cupcakes with the batter. So awesome for brunch! —Lola Baxter, Winnebago, Minnesota
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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

I love peanut butter and chocolate, so I combined recipes to blend the two. This chocolate peanut butter cake is heavenly served plain or topped with ice cream. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.

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