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15 Easy Meals To Take Someone After Surgery

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Need an easy meal to take to someone after surgery? Here are my suggestions for the best ways to be there for your friends through food. These suggestions stem from my own post surgery meal experiences after my daughter had a major surgery.

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My Post Surgery Meal Experience

After my daughter had back surgery to correct her scoliosis, things were hectic, exhausting, and stressful.  

I had never been through something so difficult myself…and I wasn’t the one who had had surgery.  Seeing your child in pain and knowing you can do nothing about it is one of the hardest things emotionally I have ever experienced. 

So with myself and my husband being practically tied to her bedside after the surgery, it helped to have some meals made by our friends and family to help us out while we were helping our daughter recover.

I found that there were certain things I liked and disliked about the meals we received. This post’s goal is to help others by giving post surgery meal ideas and tips to help you better serve your friends and family with meals in disposable containers.

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Easy Meals to Take Someone after Surgery

1//  Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Roast chicken and vegetables post surgery meal ideas

My Family Roast Chicken And Vegetable Recipe

Don’t shy away from roasting a chicken. Believe it or not, it is an easy meal to take to someone. And is pretty hands off once you season the chicken. But if it is not your thing, consider getting a roasted chicken from the grocery store.

The beauty of making a roast chicken meal to take someone after surgery is that it is versatile.  They can eat the chicken and vegetables as a meal the first night.  Then maybe the next day for lunch they can make a quick chicken wrap.  It is also easy for the rest of the family to use as a meal without asking for help. I always roast my chicken and vegetables in a tin like this one so I can just take it out of the oven and take it straight over to the patient’s house.

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2//  Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

Pot Roast and vegetables post surgery meal ideas

Believe it or not, with the right recipe, Pot Roast is another easy meal. And it is a versatile meal for the post surgery person.  It can be eaten as a meal, as leftovers, or as sandwiches in the following days. Try this Classic Pot Roast Recipe.

My favorite way to make Pot Roast is in the crockpot. Then I transfer it into a disposable tin to take to my friend or family member. This allows for an easy meals after surgery. They just have to warm it up.

3//  Soup

soup post surgery meal ideas

Any soup is a quick and easy meal to bring someone. Throw all your ingredients in the crockpot and cook for a few hours before taking it over.  Or purchase a soup that you know is good from Panera. I like to transport and deliver my soups in these disposable containers so the surgery patient doesn’t have to worry about dishes or getting things back to me.

Brothy soups are great dinners are great dinners to take someone after surgery. Especially for people who had a gastrointestinal surgery.  Thick and hearty soups are perfect for patients who need the calories post surgery.  Just make sure you know how much salt and fat can be used if the surgery has restrictions.

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Here are some brothy soup ideas:

Here are some hearty soup options:

4//  Lasagna

lasagna post surgery meal ideas

Lasagna is a hearty and comforting meal that can feed a family for a few days on leftovers.  Be sure to check if the patient would prefer meat or cheese lasagna.  You can even make it gluten free with these noodles, or as individual portions that can be frozen with a large muffin tin. Try this Worlds Best Lasagna.

My favorite way to make lasagna for others is in a muffin tin so they have individual portions. They can freeze them and pull them out to microwave them whenever they need something quick to eat.

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5//  Quiche

quiche post surgery meal ideas

A premade quiche can be a quick and easy go-to post surgery meal idea.  Not only can you just cut a slice, but you can eat it cold or hot.  So the no-cook option makes this post surgery meal idea a great one. Try this spinach quiche recipe.

Use a disposable pie tin to make your quiche so they can just throw the pan out when they are finished.

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6//  Chicken Fried Rice

chicken fried rice post surgery meal ideas

Chicken fried rice is quick and easy to make for you, and is quick and easy to eat for the patient.  The fried rice holds up well in the refrigerator and is easy to warm up in single portions without taking the entire dish out.  And besides being tasty, it also has some protein and vegetables for a full meal. I transport the rice using disposable soup containers with lids. Try this Chicken Fried Rice Recipe.

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7//  Chicken Fajitas Meal Kit

fajitas post surgery meal ideas

Grill some chicken, steam some peppers and onions and send some flour tortillas.  And don’t forget the best part of fajitas…all the ‘fixin’s’. Make sure you also deliver the guacamole, sour cream, cheese and anything else that sounds good on a fajita. Try this chicken fajitas recipe.

8//  Cheesy Chicken And Broccoli Casserole

chicken and broccoli casserole post surgery meal ideas

All in one dish meals are easy to make and deliver to friends and family.  One of our family favorites to both eat and deliver to friends and family is this cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole.  To make it a complete meal, add rice or quinoa as a carb. Try this delicious cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole.

9//  Chili

chili post surgery meal ideas

The great thing about chili is that it is hearty and filling.  Make a big batch in the crock pot, keep some for yourself, and deliver individual containers to your family and friends who are post op. Use these soup containers to make things easy on your friend or family. Try this Best Classic Chili Recipe.

10//  Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers post surgery meal ideas

For a protein and vegetable packed meal that can be warmed up individually, think stuffed peppers.  Stuffed peppers are delicious and easy to make for you.  But they offer versatility as a post surgery meal because they can be warned up individually as needed or as an entire meal. Try this Stuffed Peppers recipe.

11//  Taco Casserole

taco casserole post surgery meal ideas

An easy alternative to making individual tacos is a taco casserole.  By putting all the ingredients together in the casserole, all the recipient needs is a taco shell or better yet, tortilla chips to spoon the casserole over.  Try this taco casserole.

12//  Enchiladas

enchiladas post surgery meal ideas

Enchiladas can be made as a post surgery meal idea or a pre surgery freezer meal.  In other words, you can make, cook and deliver the enchiladas ready to eat, or help out by making, rolling and freezing the enchiladas in a disposable tin that your friend or family member can cook themselves when needed. Try this chicken enchilada recipe.

13//  Mini Meatloaf

mini meatloaf post surgery meal ideas

Mini meatloaf can be made ahead and then delivered as a post surgery meal that can be heated up quickly and eaten when short on time and energy. Try these mini meatloaves.

14//  Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

baked ham and cheese sandwiches post surgery meal ideas

One of our favorite things to eat is these baked ham and cheese sandwiches.  They are filling and warm, making them perfect as comforting food after surgery.  This is a twist on the traditional ham and cheese sandwich that makes it delicious and loved by all who eat it. Try these baked ham and cheese sliders.

15//  Crockpot Carnitas

carnitas post surgery meal ideas

A great way to take someone a meal after surgery is to just split your own meal. Carnitas are super easy to make in your crockpot and then divide up to take to your friends and family.  Just don’t forget to take them the toppings too:  guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, cilantro lime slaw or anything else you think they may like. Try these slow cooker carnitas.

Vegetables For Post Surgery Meals

After my daughter’s surgery, I can tell you that the one thing we lacked in our diets were vegetables.

We had spent 3 days and nights eating hospital food and whatever we could find or bring from home.  

So when my in-laws brought us a roasted chicken with an extra dish of steamed vegetables and also a salad…I was thrilled.  

Funny thing is, my father-in-law had had a recent surgery, and they said the one thing they missed the most during that time was having some fast vegetables to make.

So insider tip…don’t forget to add some vegetables to those post surgery meal ideas above.

Some steamed veggies or a large salad can go a long way to making a complete and healthy meal.

post surgery meal ideas brownies in a pan

Dessert Ideas To Add To A Post Surgery Meal

Homemade and fresh baked cookies and brownies were our favorites after my daughter’s surgery.  My aunt actually made us a strawberry pie, but the strawberries went bad before we even had a chance to make it through a quarter of the pie.

post surgery meal being delivered to someone

Tips For Easy Meals To Take To Someone

When taking someone a meal after a surgery, there are a few things to think about if you want your meal to be a blessing instead of a curse. Making the right recipes for after surgery meals can really make a difference in someone’s recovery.

Use Disposable Containers

When delivering a meal, make it easy on the person who just had surgery by giving them food in disposable containers. That way they don’t have to do dishes or worry about returning things to you when they are recovered.

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Do they have any diet restrictions post-surgery?

Some surgeries may have restrictions on solid food or fat or salt content that the patient can eat after surgery.  Other surgeries just want to make sure the patient is getting plenty of high calorie meals.  So checking on what diet the patient is expected to eat after their surgery can really help make your meal a home run for them.

Do they have any allergies?

As much as you think you are helping, if you give a meal to someone after surgery that is full of dairy products and they are lactose intolerant, then that meal won’t do them much good.  So check beforehand if they have any allergies you should avoid.

How many people are you cooking for?

If you are cooking a post surgery meal for someone who has a family, then it can be really helpful to make something the whole family can eat…as long as the patient can also eat that meal with their post surgery diet restrictions. Some of the best meals to take to a family are listed above.

Do they have body limitations?

If the person you are making post surgery meals for had shoulder surgery that makes it hard for them to lift something that would need two hands for balance…like a heavy casserole, then try opting for something more lightweight. 

You can break down a large lasagna into 4 mini- lasagnas using small tins like this.  Or make individual meatloafs in a jumbo muffin tin like this one and then just deliver the “meatloaf muffins” in a disposable tin or gallon size sealable bag that they can pull from easily to warm the muffins up individually.   This will help the patient be able to make their food independent of help from anyone else.

Can they be up long enough to do dishes?

Knee, foot, hip, and back surgery can affect how long a person can stand to do things like dishes over the first few days.  I recommend sending your meal in a container your friend does not have to wash or give back to you.  That way they can just eat it and then rest.  These disposable tin pans are perfect for your post surgery meal ideas.

How complete can you make the meal?

The closer the post surgery meal is to ready to eat without having to cook or make anything additional, the better.  Receiving a meal like beef and noodles but having to actually cook the noodles can be an inconvenience.  Instead, try to find a way to turn it into a casserole that is all cooked, or opt for something different all together.

Giving A Meal To Help A Friend

Cooking is a common way to show someone you love and care about them. And what a better way to show your friends and family that you care about what they are going through by making them a meal with a post-surgery recipe. Know that the time it takes you to make that one meal is time your friend or family member can spend recuperating.

Meals For Someone in Need

Making and giving a meal to someone coming home from the hospital is great way to show them love and compassion. Help them know they are not alone in this tumultuous time in their life with the above post surgery food ideas.

Happy Cooking!

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