Meal Planning,Recipes

95 family dinner meal ideas

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What’s for dinner???

The most asked question in this household. Every day, after school, both my 6 & 8-year-olds ask me this question. It drives me bonkers because if I answer, they will most likely say “oh gross, I don’t like so and so”.

The joys of having kids! I swear, they have only gotten pickier recently, but too bad for them. I always say that I do not cook for them specifically, I cook for the family. If they don’t like an item, they can pick it out. However, they must eat a good amount of the meal in order to have any dessert. If you are interested in how I deal with picky eaters, I did create a video here: How To Deal With Picky Eaters

As you may know, thinking of new meal ideas can become a little daunting. There thousands upon thousands of recipes and to make it more challenging, there are multiple versions of 1 meal type. You can scroll forever just on Chicken Pot Pie recipes. How do you find the ONE for you and your family? Luck, recommendations or simply just picking one the top results?

My method? Pretty much just trying the top results. I click on a recipe, check the ingredients and decide if I have all of them and if myself/family will enjoy it. Another step to me selecting a recipe is how much prep or effort it will take to make and cook.

If you have been following my blogs, you know that I’ve been sharing most of the meal links that I can find in my posts:




The problem with those blog posts is that you have to look at each one. I thought, why not have a blog post with all the links together. One quick little bit of information before I start. I wanted to share a select few food bloggers I do enjoy following. I don’t always use their recipes, but they are great for meal ideas too.

  1. Confessions of a Meal Plan Addict. Steph is a Canadian food blogger and she loves to incorporate many veggies in her meals. She even finds ways to be sneaky (by the way, my favourite recipe on her blog is the Sneaky Spaghetti sauce). If you like spicy food or enjoy adding a bit of a kick of spice, she has many options in her blog.
  2. I Heart Naptime – love following Jamielyn on Instagram and did you know she has a meal planning Facebook Group called Naptime Foodies? If I am in a funk and don’t have any ideas for meals, I’ll quickly jump over to her group page and see what she has listed on her plan for the week. If you can snag her cookbook, make sure to make her granola and banana coconut chocolate chip muffins.
  3. Happy Money Saver – Big fan here! I discovered Karrie when I bought her cookbook that has nothing but freezer meals/food/dessert (everything) recipes. The recipes are not only delicious, but the book offers the measurements you need if you want to double, triple or more your recipe. My favourite recipes in her cookbook are the Meatloaf & Pizza Crust.
  4. Mom On Time Out – Trish is a blogger that has a large number of recipes on her blog. You can search for any recipe, and she will most likely have it or some version that could work. Most recipes are easy to make and if you go to her blog, please search for the Dinner Rolls, they are easy and I make them all the time.

Ok, now let’s get to the meal ideas/inspirations and recipes.

Beef Options :


Meatballs (for a super simple method, buy pre-made frozen meatballs)

10. Chili

11. Taco Spaghetti by Plain Chicken

12. Homemade Hamburger Helper by Countryside Cravings

13.Tex-Mex Beef Rice Skillet by Yellow Bliss Road

14. Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry by Budget Bytes

15. Sloppy Joe Casserole by the Bakermama

16. Brown Sugar Meatloaf by Fox Valley Foodie

17. Pot Roast by Life Made Simple

18. Instant Pot Beef Stew by Life Made Sweeter

19. The Best Beef Street Tacos by The Berry Basics

20. Chili Dogs

21. 8 Minute Spicy Beef And Broccoli (Pressure Cooker)

22. Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

23. Beef Barley Stew

24. Homemade Shepard’s Pie

25. Beef Soup

Pork Options

26. Brown Sugar & Garlic Pork by Dinner then Dessert

27. Creamy Pork Chops Joy in the Kitchen

28. Pulled Pork by Kevin & Amanda

29. Sweet & Sour Pork by Flavorite

30. Pork Carnitas by My Kitchen Escapades

31. Sweet Southern Slow Cooker Ham by Eat Pork

32. Fall Off the Bone Ribs by Tornadough

33. Ham Fettuccini Bake by the Country Cook

34. Ham & Hash Brown Casserole by Written Reality

35. Sweet Potato Ham & Corn Chowder by Cooking Classy

36. Slow Cooker Ham And Potato Soup

37. Maple Mustard Glazed Ham

38. Ham and Pea Tetrazzini Casserole

39. Old School Coca-Cola Pork Loin

40. Hot Ham & Swiss Croissants


Poultry Options:

41. Chicken Carbonara by Busy Creating Memories

42. Slow Cooker Smothered Chicken Legs by Mommy’s Fabulous Finds

43. Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki by Fresh Family Recipes

44. Chicken Parmesan Casserole by Thriving Home

45. Honey BBQ Chicken Wraps by Tastes Better From Scratch

46. Simple and Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs by The Coffee Mom

47. Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken and Rice by The Coffee Mom

48. Chicken Teriyaki Cobb Chicken Salad by The Berry Basics

49. Balsamic Chicken Penne (similar to Kelsey’s restaurant)

50. Creamy Parmesan Herb Chicken Mushroom (no cream option)

51. Classic Whole Roasted Chicken In The Oven

52. Spaghetti & Sneaky Sauce

53. Chicken Pot Pie

54. Chicken Quesadillas

55. Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

56. Chicken Caesar Wraps

57. Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

58. Turkey Noodle Soup

59. One-Pan No Peek Chicken & Rice

60. Spatchcock Chicken

61. Creamy Chicken Alfredo Bake

62. Instant Pot Recipes: Honey BBQ Wings made in an Electric Pressure Cooker

63. General Tso Chicken


Chicken Nugget Pot Pie

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Seriously The Best Chicken Thighs

Other Options:

64. Easy Brie and Spinach Quiche by The Curious Frugal

65. Pizza Roll Ups

66. The Best Dinner Rolls

67. Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos



I also tried multiple recipes from different cookbooks. Here are the ones I have tried with their page number from the book:

Seriously Good Freezer Meals – Happy Money Saver

68. Brown Sugar Meatloaf (p. 210) with Mashed Potatoes & Peas

69. Chicken Parmigiana (p. 139) with Fettuccini

70. Crescent Chicken Divine (p. 135)

Yum & Yummer : Ridiculously Tasty Recipes That’ll Blow Your Mind, But Not Your Diet! – Greta Podleski 

71. Indian Coconut Curry Chicken with Rice (p. 152)

72. Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin (p. 190)

73. Maple Butter Sweet Potatoes (Y&Y p. 215)

Dinner Made Easy – Six Sisters’ Stuff

74. Taco Salad Casserole (p. 8)

75. Best Pork Chops (p. 58) with

76. Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Casserole (p. 154)

77. Slow Cooker Maple & Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin (p. 115)

78. Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Beef Stew (p. 112)

79. Baked Taquitos (p. 109)

80. One Pan Taco Skillet (p. 132)

81. Fiesta Pork Chops (p. 170) with rice bake

82. Brown Sugar Honey Salmon (p. 17)

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives – The Pioneer Woman

83. King Ranch Turkey  (p. 196-198)

84. Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup (p. 176-177)

85. Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs (p. 185-187)

86. Corn Bread (p. 311-313)

 87. Granola Bars (p. 5-7)

I Heart Naptime – Jamielyn Nye

88. Chicken Hot Pie (p. 110)

89. Baked Ziti (p. 122)

90. Coconut Banana Muffins (p. 46)

91. Broccoli & Bacon Salad (p. 77)

92. Breadsticks (p. 53)

93. Balsamic Carrots (p. 64)

94. Granola (p. 18)

95. Shredded Chicken Tacos (p. 140)

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