Here you can find several tried and true easy dinner ideas for your family can eat in a week. Many of us are taking our kids to their evening events, which means we need to have simple, healthy meals that don’t take a ton of time to make. Today, I’m sharing a few of our weeknight favorites. Join me for an episode of “what we eat in a week.”
It is autumn, which means everything is about comfort and warmth. Whether we are curling up on the couch or gathering around our table, we want to feel the coziness of the season.
Not only are we ushering in the cooler weather, but we are also inviting more warmth to the table. The kids come in from the chilly outdoors and have a hankering for the comfort of a warm dish.
As my kids have gotten older, dinner times seem to change. We used to always have slow evenings around the table, but these days we have to be more intentional.
Busy evenings also means that I have had to be better about meal planning and creating recipes that are simple, yet nourishing.
What makes for an easy dinner
What makes a meal qualify as easy? When you have a lot of to-dos on your evening calendar, you need dinners that can be made ahead and that will nourish little bellies.
One requirement is that it doesn’t require tons of ingredients and it turns out delicious every time. These meals need to be unfussy, but packed full of flavor!
What makes an easy weeknight dinner even better is if it’s a one pot meal. That means it is simple to throw together and it minimizes the number of dishes that need to be cleaned!
What makes a meal good for a family
What does make a meal good for a family? This is a question all mothers answer with when they are picking meals to make.
I always judge a meal based on whether my kids will enjoy the meal, or put up a fight. These meals are tried and true in our home, which means when everyone bellies up to the table everyone leaves the table satisfied.
Most weeknight meals have a meat, veggie, and starch of some sort. When you have these three elements, you know that your kids get the vitamins and minerals they need, but also won’t be hungry in an hour.
Prepping Easy Weeknight Dinners
As life gets busier, the need for make ahead dinners becomes more important. I find that afternoons are the best time for me to prep dinners.
During the school year, I can’t feed my family meals that have to be prepared last minute. My schedule requires that I be able to make these dinners ahead of time and have them ready when we walk in the door from our activities.
Ways to Make Mealtime Easier
- Meal Plan– I shared how I meal plan and even included a video so you can see how basic and simple my plan is.
- Order or Buy Groceries- Some people like to buy groceries as needed. That works for me as long as I have a flexible schedule, but when I’m in a busy season, I need everything on hand ahead of time. I use an online grocery program to have things delivered to my house. I shop once and get everything I need for the week. This makes meal time less stressful.
- Make double and freeze some- I think freezer cooking is always a good idea. So many recipes can be doubled and then you can freeze some for later.
- Pull out meat at the beginning of the week- If you freeze your meat, make sure to look at your meal plan and pull out what you will need for the week. Put it in the refrigerator so you always have meat ready to cook.
Watch the Video of me prepping these meals
Links to a few Easy Dinner Idea recipes:
Here are some links to a few of the easy dinner ideas I shared in my video. Not listed is hamburgers, because that’s pretty self explanatory.
Chicken Noodle Soup– recipe from this cookbook which I HIGHLY recommend. It is full of seasonal inspiration and it’s a book I flip through every few months. This chicken noodle soup is the quintessential comfort food. It’s actually more of a chicken stew that you can have with dumplings or even served over mashed potatoes. My family always moans with delight as they eat this… even the kiddo who claims to “not like soup.”
Goulash Recipe– this was my first time making goulash and the entire family loved it. It was an easy dinner to make, used simple ingredients, and stretched a long way. This could, easily, feed us for two meals.
Chicken Pot Pie– I used leftover chicken noodle soup/stew for this recipe. Any time I can repurpose a previous meal and make it into something else, I like to do that. It ensures that nothing goes to waste and my family doesn’t get tired of eating the same thing.
Street Tacos– We have tacos every week. It’s an opportunity to lay out tons of veggies on the table for toppings and to mix things up. We have a variation of beef, chicken, or pork tacos each week. Sometimes, we do street tacos for an easy dinner and have these add ins to go on top: red cabbage slaw, refried beans, corn, shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and cheese.
Other Easy Dinner Ideas:
Homemade Pizza on Homemade Crust- this crust is our tried and true crust. It is amazing and, if you follow the directions, it’ll turn out every time.
Homemade Taquitos– These are so delicious and can freeze easily for later meals when you need something quick. I usually double the recipe.
Sausage, Onions, and Peppers– This dish packs a powerful punch when it comes to flavor, but it is so simple to throw together.
Need some Breakfast Ideas? Try these!
- Simple Overnight Oatmeal Bake for Kids
- Easy Homemade Biscuit Recipe without Baking Powder
- Easy Fluffy Pancake Recipe without Buttermilk
- The Perfect Sourdough French Toast
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Thank you for joining me. I hope you and your family enjoy these easy dinner ideas.