Spaghetti, mac n cheese, hamburgers, chili, tacos…repeat! Feel like that’s your weekly menu every week? It’s so easy to get stuck making the same old meals every week. I know, they are kid-friendly, you know everyone will eat it, no recipe is needed, and you just don’t have to think about it too much. All the things you want in a meal! But it does get kinda boring after a while. And while having a nice, new selection of dinner options would be awesome, do you really want to spend time with new recipes and ingredients you don’t already have? Maybe someday, but not for today.
So maybe I can just give you a little inspiration, a list of ideas to make you go, “Hmmm, we haven’t had that in a long time!”
We all can get in a dinner idea rut, where we tend to keep making the same meals over and over. Let’s face it, it’s easier! We don’t need a recipe, don’t need to spend much time thinking, we typically have the ingredients on hand or automatically buy them every week. Plus we know they’re dinners our families will eat. So what’s the solution to getting out of this rut, without having to look all over Pinterest and get discouraged because the beautiful meals we pinned are just too much effort some days.
So I’ve put together a list of easy, no-recipe-needed meals for you to refer to whenever you need to. No, it’s not anything fancy…that’s not what we need! I want you to look over the list when you need a little inspiration, a few moments of, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that!” or “We haven’t had that in a long time!” And that’s all this list is for.
Simple. Easy. And exactly what you need.
- chili with cheese and Fritos
- burrito bowls (with any ‘taco’ meat and rice)
- tuna noodle casserole
- mashed potato/gravy/corn/chicken tender bowl
- pierogies (sauteed; dip in sour cream or salsa; or with veggies)
- fried rice
- rice bowls (add absolutely anything you like! My kids love it with grilled chicken and Italian dressing)
- chicken salad (use fresh or canned chicken)
- quesadillas (any combo of cheese, meat, veggies, and black or pinto beans, plus salsa or sour cream for dipping)
- stuffed peppers
- ravioli or tortellini in spaghetti sauce or Alfredo sauce
- pasta primavera (any pasta, mixed with Alfredo sauce and any veggies)
- loaded baked potatoes (top with broccoli, cheese, bacon, and sour cream)
- grilled cheese with bacon/tomato/turkey/ham
- make-your-own subs
- sloppy joes
- pulled bbq pork or bbq chicken (my kids’ preference!) on Hawaiian rolls
- meatball subs
- chicken tender subs with melted cheese
- chicken tender parm subs with mozzerella & spaghetti sauce
- chicken/bacon/ranch wraps (can use fresh or canned chicken, or frozen chicken tenders)
- tuna melts
- tuna melt quesadilla (yep, make them exactly the same way, but between two tortillas. Yum!)
- reubens or turkey reubens
- bagel. croissant, english muffin, or dinner roll…for any sandwich…instead of bread!
- sausage with peppers and onions
- chili cheese hot dogs
- chicken caesar salad wraps
- taco salad
- antipasto salad (lettuce/eggs/provolone/salami/black olives/veggies…)
- chicken salad (throw in sliced green grapes and a little dill…delicious!)
- egg salad
- tuna salad
- cobb salad (lettuce/cucumber/eggs/avocado/bacon/corn/black beans)
- green salad with chicken strips
- Greek chicken salad (to your regular green salad, add chicken, feta, mild banana peppers, and black olives)
Breakfast for Dinner!
- waffles (add fruit & whipped cream for a fun change!)
- egg scrambles with veggies & cheese
- french toast or french toast sticks for dipping
- egg/bacon/cheese or sausage/cheese breakfast sandwiches on english muffins
- egg and bacon bagel sandwich
- make-your-own breakfast burrito (tortilla filled with any of the items you throw in an omelet)
- bagel pizzas (seriously, just sauce and mozzerella on a sliced bagel and into the oven!)
- english muffin pizzas
- naan bread pizza (get creative with chicken, veggies, feta, banana peppers, or go traditional)
- thick pita bread pizzas (same idea as above!)
- calzones (everyone can make their own)
- Mexican pizza (two tortillas stacked and filled with refried beans and taco fixings, topped with cheese)
So there you have it! An easy, go-to list when you’ve just run out of ideas. This is also a great Plan B list, when you come home and have no time (or energy!) Cuz, y’know, we all have those days!