Dinner Exchange Meal Ideas

Through dinner exchange clubs, hectic mamas exchange main-dish meals, prepared for the freezer. In one evening, you may get home with as many as 12 meals, depending upon how many people are in your group. When planning dinner ideas, consider the preferences of the other group members, and understand any allergies they’ve as well.

One-Dish Meals

Casseroles and soups work well for meal exchange clubs because components are generally basic and everything enters one container. Chili, beef burgundy, lasagna, chicken enchiladas, baked ziti, chicken pot pie, chicken and rice, chicken Alfredo or beef minestrone are just a few possible choices. When trying to find ideas, open your favorite casserole or household meal cookbook. Think of the one-pot meals you regularly cook for your family.

Savory Meats

Another alternative is to supply prepared or marinaded meats along with any necessary sides. For example, make pulled barbecue pork and offer a package of burger buns. Make fajita meat with peppers and onions and supply tortillas. Marinade meats in a durable plastic bag. Try tequila lime chicken, bourbon-glazed pork tenderloin or teriyaki chicken. Don’t prepare marinaded meats, however offer detailed directions for future food preparation. Prepare any required side dishes, such as rice or veggies, and send them in a plastic bag as well.

Quantities and Containers

Before your very first dinner exchange, go over amounts required for each household. One quart supplies 4 1-cup servings, enough for a family of 4. Use non reusable containers that don’t have to be returned, such as aluminum baking pans or sturdy freezer bags. Supermarket delis sell affordable plastic containers, as well. For an affordable foil container, try this technique: line a baking dish with 2 layers of foil. Add the casseroles and wrap the foil over the top. Freeze the casseroles and then remove them from the baking dishes. Use freezer tape or sticky notes to identify meals with the name of the dish, components, baking guidelines and the date.


Food security is a top priority when making meals for a supper exchange group. Wash your hands and clean all surfaces before cooking. Wash cutting boards, knives and counter tops after cutting and managing meat. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, and refrigerate or freeze any food within Thirty Minutes of food preparation. Some foods, such as potatoes, carrots, cream cheese and sour cream, do not freeze well. Search for dishes that do not include these items, or add them when reheating the meal.

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