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50 Make-and-Take Meals for New Parents (Or Anyone) in Need

Gift these dishes to a new parent, neighbor or family member in need, and you'll gain superhero status for sure. These easy recipes require just 15 minutes of hands-on time, so you can be at their doorstep in a flash.

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Asparagus Ham Dinner Exps Tham17 14208 B11 08 5b 5

Asparagus Ham Dinner

I've been making this low-fat ham dinner for my family for years, and we always look forward to it. With asparagus, tomato, pasta and chunks of ham, it's a tempting blend of tastes and textures. —Rhonda Zavodny, David City, Nebraska
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Best Ever Banana Bread

Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of my best banana bread recipe. It really is amazingly good! —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Farmer’s Casserole

Between family and friends, we average 375 visitors a year! This casserole is handy—you can put it together the night before, let the flavors blend, then bake it in the morning. —Nancy Schmidt, Center, Colorado

Editor’s tip: Consider setting up a meal train to help support the grieving family. You could bring this recipe or one of these other meal train ideas.

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Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The slow cooker not only makes this an easy meal but keeps the pork tender, saucy and loaded with flavor. —Beki Kosydar-Krantz, Mayfield, Pennsylvania
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Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can't beat the best buttermilk pancake recipe for a down-home hearty breakfast. Pair it with sausage and fresh fruit for a mouthwatering morning meal. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan
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Honey Chicken Stir Fry Exps Dsbz17 21369 B01 18 5b

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

I'm a new mom, and my schedule is very dependent upon our young son, so I like meals that can be ready in as little time as possible. This all-in-one chicken stir fry recipe with a hint of sweetness from honey is a big time-saver. —Caroline Sperry, Allentown, Michigan
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Fruit Cup with Citrus Sauce

This fruit salad is so elegant that I serve it in my prettiest crystal bowls. With its dressed-up flavor, it's perfect for a special event, but easy enough for every day. —Edna Lee, Greeley, Colorado
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Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba
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Family Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta Exps Ft19 44476 F 1211 1 7

Family-Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta

I created this cheeseburger pasta recipe to satisfy a craving. What a delicious, healthy classic! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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My Mother's Mac and Cheese

I remember my mother sending me to the store for 15 cents worth of cheese. The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic wheel covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of her cooking is like food for my soul. —Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon
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French Dip

For a sandwich with more pizzazz than the traditional French dip, give this recipe a try. The seasonings give the broth a wonderful flavor, and the meat cooks up tender and juicy. This slow-cooked version will soon be a favorite at your house, too. —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
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BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

Kids can have fun helping to prepare these mini meat loaves in muffin cups. For extra spice, we sometimes add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 cup of salsa. —Linda Call, Falun, Kansas
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Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

The spices really liven up this filling chicken tortilla soup. I often double the recipe, freezing leftovers for future dinners or quick lunches. —Anne Smithson, Cary, North Carolina
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Overnight Blueberry French Toast

Blueberry French toast is a year-round treat. Show off your crop of fresh berries in the summer or use frozen berries to warm up on a chilly morning. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes and Corn

Fresh corn and basil make this dish taste like summer. I think it's a good one for bringing to picnics or gatherings, but it's great along with any side dish for a weeknight dinner! —Sally Maloney, Dallas, Georgia
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Chili Mac Casserole Exps Dsbz17 15634 C01 13 1b

Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Scalloped Corn

This comforting casserole features sunny corn kernels tucked into a creamy custard. My mom got this recipe and many other excellent ones from her mother. By the time this crowd-pleasing corn dish left the table, my father, sister, brothers and I would have almost scraped it clean. —Sandy Jenkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Rhubarb Blueberry Crumble Exps167220 Th2847295b03 01 6bc Rms 1

Rhubarb-Blueberry Crumble

Rhubarb and strawberry often go together, but blueberries give rhubarb a fresh and summery touch. — Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
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Quick Cherry Turnovers

Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa
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Asparagus Beef Lo Mein

This springtime beef lo mein recipe is as easy as it gets. Ramen noodles make it extra fun. —Dottie Wanat, Modesto, California
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Creamy Caramel Dip

Because I feed three hungry people in my family (my husband, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and our two boys), I love satisfying snacks that are easy to make. We all appreciate this cool, light fruit dip. —Karen Laubman, Spruce Grove, Alberta
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Cherry Tomato Salad

This recipe evolved from a need to use the bumper crops of delicious cherry tomatoes we grow. It's one of my favorite cherry tomato recipes, especially at cookouts. —Sally Sibley, St. Augustine, Florida
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Roasted Cumin Cashews

Kick up parties and get-togethers with this well-seasoned snack. The cashews are sweet, salty, crunchy...and oh, so munchable. —Martha Fehl, Brookville, Indiana
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Deep-Dish Pizza

My family devours this crusty pan pizza with easy-to-swap toppings. Use a combination of green, red and yellow peppers for extra color. —Patricia Howson, Carstairs, Alberta
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Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps Exps Sdam17 161897 D12 09 5b 1

Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Raita, an Indian condiment made with yogurt, elevates this vegetarian dish to a satisfying gourmet wrap. If you're in the mood to experiment, try diced mango or cucumber for the pineapple and add fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Chewy Honey Granola Bars

There's sweetness from the honey, chewiness from the raisins, hints of chocolate and cinnamon, and a bit of crunch. To save a few for later, wrap individual bars and place in a resealable freezer container. When you want a satisfying treat on short notice, just grab one and let it thaw for a few minutes. —Tasha Lehman, Williston, Vermont
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Quick Barbecued Beans

Baked beans are a simple, classic recipe, and cooking them on the grill adds great smoky flavor. —Millie Vickery, Lena, Illinois
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Roasted Vegetable Dip

While my children were always very willing eaters, I came up with this recipe to get them to eat more veggies and enjoy it. The dip doesn't last long in our house. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this quinoa salad together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers, too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Spiced Apricot Baked Oatmeal

Eat these spiced oatmeal squares while they’re still warm for a cozy morning treat. I freeze mine in single servings so I can grab, microwave and go when I get to work. I’m not afraid to say I have the best breakfast in the office. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Quick Tacos al Pastor

We loved the pork and pineapple tacos from a food truck in Hawaii. My husband, a high school football referee, gives my version a thumb’s up. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Creamy Skillet Noodles with Peas

I’ve made this creamy noodle side for years. Since kids and adults go for it, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. —Anita Groff, Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
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Delectable Granola

Here's a great make-ahead recipe! Be sure to remove from the cookie sheets within 20 minutes after baking so the granola doesn't stick. —Lori Stevens, Riverton, Utah
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Curried Egg Salad Exps Sdam17 245 B12 08 2b 1

Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
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Turkey White Chili

Growing up in a Pennsylvania Dutch area, I was surrounded by excellent cooks and wonderful foods. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes like this change-of-pace chili. —Kaye Whiteman, Charleston, West Virginia
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Easy Asian-Style Chicken Slaw

From the first time I made this chicken dish, I knew it was a winner—the bowl came back to the kitchen scraped clean. This one-dish wonder works every time in my house! —Bess Blanco, Vail, Arizona
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Simple Shrimp Pad Thai

Here's my shortcut version of pad thai. Stir in soy sauce and brown sugar, add a sprinkle of cilantro and roasted peanuts—no one will guess the secret ingredient is marinara sauce. —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Hurry-Up Biscuits

When I was young, my mom would make these biscuits with fresh cream she got from a local farmer. I don't go to those lengths, but the family recipe is still a real treat. —Beverly Sprague, Baltimore, Maryland
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Corn Chowder with Potatoes

I developed this soup out of two others to create my own low-calorie recipe. It turned out so well that I entered it in my county fair and won a blue ribbon. —Alyce Wyman, Pembina, North Dakota
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Balsamic Three Bean Salad Exps164481 Sd143204d12 06 1b Rms 4

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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Pesto Chicken Turnovers Exps171125 Sd143205a01 31 1bc Rms 3

Pesto Chicken Turnovers

When it comes to food, I'm all about anything in a pocket—pita bread, bierocks, empanadas and more. These Italian-inspired turnovers are great for dinner and even better the next day. For smaller ones, use a single crescent roll with a level tablespoon of filling. —Greg Munoz, Sacramento, California
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Havarti Turkey Hero

This is not your ordinary sandwich! Everyone loves the combination of chutney and chopped peanuts. I like to make this when I have company in the afternoon or at night after a game of cards. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Hearty Italian White Bean Soup Exps Ssbz18 175005 B04 10  6b 2

Hearty Italian White Bean Soup

A bowlful of this soup is so satisfying, it's hard to believe it's actually good for you, too. I crave it all the time. With lots of beans and potatoes, it's filling and even hits the spot with meat lovers. —Kristina Krummel, Elkins, Arkansas
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Buffalo Sloppy Joes for Two

Lean ground turkey makes this a lighter sloppy joe than the standard ground beef version. A hefty splash of hot sauce and optional blue cheese provide an authentic Buffalo-style flavor. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Roasted Herb & Lemon Cauliflower

A standout cauliflower side is easy to prepare with just a few ingredients. Crushed red pepper flakes add a touch of heat. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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New Mexico Green Chili Breakfast Burritos Exps67408 Thhc2377564c06 28 3bc Rms 4

New Mexico Green Chile Breakfast Burritos

Back when I lived in the Southwest, we wrapped everything up in a tortilla. Breakfast burritos in every possible combination are very popular in New Mexico. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Nuts and Seeds Trail Mix

A filling blend of nuts, seeds, chocolate chips and dried fruit keeps you healthy by the handful. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington
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Broccoli Slaw

Here's my favorite twist on broccoli salad. It's so easy to make and has an irresistible tangy crunch. —Konny Thomas, Citrus Heights, California
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Crunchy Peanut Butter Apple Dip

My mom got this peanut butter dip recipe from a neighbor years ago. She always made it for us kids in the fall when apples were in season. Now I make it for my children. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Bars

Colorful dried cherries and pistachios star in this take on seven-layer bars. To switch it up even more, try cinnamon or chocolate graham cracker crumbs instead of plain and substitute pecans or walnuts for the pistachios. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now an executive editor at Taste of Home, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for more than a decade. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Uno with her family.
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