With school starting again soon and all the chaos that goes with it, I wanted to share some easy weeknight dinner ideas to help you get a delicious healthy meal on the table with less work and time. I have tried to include a little of everything so that you can rotate and use them as needed, and customize the dinner ideas as well.
Don’t feel overwhelmed – planning ahead is key
These are great for prepping on the weekend, and then just taking everything out and making the meal. I highly encourage getting your kids involved to help. Even if you make each of these full on the night you want to eat them, the prep work will be very short if you even have one extra pair of hands helping. They can help you with dinner and then you can play a game or help them with homework while it’s cooking. A great way to spend quality time with your kiddos or even your spouse.
I hope this helps you get a meal plan set up so you can plan ahead and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals. I have outlined one week of easy weeknight dinner ideas and there are a lot more recipes here or in our Recipe List (family meal ideas for each day).
Easy weeknight dinner ideas
Monday: Baked Ziti Recipe (great freezer meal or make-a-head option)
Tuesday: Rice Bowl Recipe (with veggies and teriyaki chicken) (prep all the veggies and protein ahead of time for a quick meal)
Wednesday: Kalua Pork Recipe (made in the slow cooker and rice cooker)
Thursday: Chicken Taco Avocados Recipe (use leftover chicken or quickly cut and cook some for these delicious tacos)
Friday: Easy Salisbury Steak with Gravy recipe (easy to make and fun for kids to help)
Along with these easy weeknight dinner ideas, I want to share some tips. Planning meals for busy weeknights can save you time, money, and stress.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a menu plan:
- Assess Your Schedule: Take a look at your week ahead and identify the busiest nights. On those days, opt for quick and simple meals that require minimal prep and cooking time.
- Keep a Recipe List: Maintain a list of your favorite weeknight recipes that are easy to make and have been successful in the past. This way, you won’t have to waste time searching for new recipes every week.
- Embrace Leftovers: Plan to cook larger portions so you can enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner on the next busy day. Leftovers can be a real time-saver!
- Choose One-Pot or Sheet-Pan Meals: These types of meals minimize the cleanup and make your life easier. Stir fries, one-pot pasta, and sheet-pan dinners are great options.
- Prep Ahead: Take some time on the weekend or the night before to do some meal prep. Chop vegetables, marinate meat, or even cook some components of the meals in advance.
- Theme Nights: Consider assigning a theme to each day of the week. For example, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, or Pasta Wednesdays. This can simplify your meal planning and make it more fun.
- Freezer Meals: Prepare and freeze meals in advance. This way, you can simply thaw and reheat them on busy nights.
- Utilize Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: These appliances are fantastic for busy weeknights. Throw in the ingredients in the morning, and by the time you get home, dinner is ready.
- Make Grocery Lists: Once you’ve planned your meals, create a grocery list based on the ingredients you’ll need. Stick to the list to avoid unnecessary purchases and save time at the store.
- Be Flexible: Sometimes unexpected things happen, and you might not be able to follow your plan. Have some backup options, such as frozen pizza or canned soup, for such situations.
I hope this list of recipes and these tips help you on your quest to enjoy more home-cooked meals with your family. Pin the image below to save this post. And be sure to leave a comment with any tips or recipes you love!
Easy weeknight dinner ideas
Find even more great recipes for easy weeknight dinner ideas here https://www.lovebugsandpostcards.com/category/recipes-in-the-kitchen