My friend recently shared a recipe in a group text and everyone responded with the same universal feeling of being in a cooking rut. We all get stuck in our own routines. The same rotation of 3-5 recipes each week and it can quickly get really old. With a family to feed, we need recipes that are quick, easy and generally well-liked by the majority. We want to try to squeeze some vegetables and protein in there and in the end have something yummy to eat together and enjoy each other’s company. Sitting down at the table at the end of the day to share a meal together as a family is a wonderful way to bond and connect after a day of moving in a million different directions.
If you’ve also been in a cooking rut, today’s post is for you. We are sharing our favorite easy family friendly recipes to help inspire you in the kitchen.
Easy Family Friendly Recipes
Baked potato nights were one of my favorites growing up. My mom would wrap them in tin foil to bake and tell me they were little gifts that we would get to open later. There is just something so nostalgic and lovely about that memory. We still love a baked potato night in our household and it’s fun to switch up toppings each week. Try these different variations to mix up your baked potato night each week: ham & broccoli, taco (ground beef, sour cream, cheddar) with sweet potato or russet potato, Italian veggie (zucchini, tomatoes, cheese), cottage cheese & roasted tomato, bacon & avocado and tomato pesto. The options are endless!
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables
Another classic and simple weeknight meal in our home is roast chicken with potatoes and vegetables. I throw the roast chicken in our crockpot in the morning so it can slow cook all day. Then I broil it briefly to get that skin nice and crispy. Whip up some mashed or baked potatoes and vegetables to pair with it for a delicious, comforting meal for those cold winter months. Another great thing about a roast chicken is it makes for great leftovers. You can make chicken enchiladas, quesadillas or chicken salad to snack on for the week. And don’t forget to save the broth in the croc pot! This is so nourishing for our bodies! You can sip on a cup each morning and it’s a great way to give your gut a good boost.
Homemade pizza is another fun and easy one that everyone in the family will enjoy. Grab your favorite dough from the grocery store and have everyone in your family choose their favorite toppings: pizza sauce, pesto, cheese, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, broccoli, etc. You can each make your own personal pizzas or make big pizzas for the family to share. Everyone will enjoy adding their toppings and then tasting the yummy result!
We usually eat pasta once a week in our house, and there are lots of different variations and recipes to choose from. For super quick weeknight meals, have some Annie’s Mac & Cheese on hand in the pantry. We also love the Banza Mac & Cheese made with chickpea pasta, if you are looking for a healthy protein rich meal without the gluten. For the most part, kids love pasta so this is always usually a crowd pleaser. Sneak in some veggies for those who resist by trying this Pasta with Cauliflower Parmesan Butter. We love casseroles because they usually last for several meals. This Veggie Pasta Bake is a staple in our family. We like to add sausage and sub out for chickpea pasta. This Pesto Pasta Bake is another favorite! This is a favorite go to pasta sauce for your weekly pasta nights! And of course one of our favorite takes on pasta, the classic chicken parm, check out this recipe!
Tacos, Burritos Fajitas & Quesadillas
Another go-to meal for us weekly is some variation of tacos, fajitas & quesadillas. Everyone loves the toppings– cheese, sour cream, lettuce, lime, avocados, peppers, tomatoes, olives, and salsa. Here are some more fun topping ideas! We always make a pot of white rice and black beans for tacos and then use leftovers to pre-make burritos for lunches for the week. Taco salad is another favorite of ours and a good way to use up leftover beef. It’s key to make a yummy homemade dressing with lime! This Quinoa Taco Casserole is another favorite in our family!
Here is a friend’s foolproof burrito recipe:
Cook ingredients in instant pot for 12 mins. with 10 mins natural release or crockpot on low for 8 hours.
Layered ingredients in pot in this order:
- 1 onion chopped
- two boneless skinless chicken breasts
- can of black beans drained
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- half jar of salsa
Cook rice separately when you’re ready.
- Layer rice
- Use tongs to shred chicken as you need it per burrito & filling
- Add sour cream
- Add cut up avocado
- Add Chipotle Tabasco (for an extra zip)
This recipe from my mother-in-law is one of my favorites too! So easy to whip up in a jiffy and so flavorful and delicious! I like to add feta and potatoes as well. Yum!
Sandwiches for Dinner
For those nights when you’re feeling drained and stumped, how about a delicious BLT sandwich? If you’re feeling ambitious you could add in turkey, cheese or avocado. A tuna melt is another simple sandwich for dinner idea. Add pineapple or tomato and make an open-faced sandwich to grill in the toaster or oven. Nothing hits the spot like grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold fall or winter day. Get tomato soup from your local market and fixings for grilled cheese. Keep things simple and I’m sure your family will enjoy!
Breakfast for Dinner
When in doubt breakfast for dinner. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I have no problem doing breakfast for dinner. You could make pancakes, eggs and bacon, waffles, French toast or heck even cereal if you’re just too tired to make any effort. This blender recipe for Banana Oatmeal Pancakes is one of our favorites. Bonus they are gluten-free, dairy-free and baby friendly!
Soups and Stews
This Black Bean Corn Chowder makes for such an easy and delicious meal for those cold days. If you’re vegetarian skip the bacon! This instant pot Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup super simple to whip up and was delicious paired with some crusty sourdough. Another favorite is this yummy lasagna soup.
This Dump and Bake Chicken Parmesan is exactly as described a quick and easy dump of ingredients in one dish. Easy prep and clean up is key with little ones! Not to mention it makes for a delicious cheesy meal that everyone in your family will enjoy. Throw some spinach or other veggies for a little more nutritional value.
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