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40 Easy Family Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights

We’ve rounded up 40 of the best but easy family dinner ideas from the Instant Pot to 30 minutes or less meals we’ve got you covered.

Weeknights are busy for families. Juggling jobs, school, extracurricular activities, errands, and other commitments. While dinner should be a time for families to relax and connect, it’s sometimes one more stressful element of the day. We often throw in the towel and zip through the drive through or call in for take-out so we can just get everyone fed.

Easy Family Dinner Ideas For Busy Weeknights Featured

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We’ve put together a list of recipes for meals that can be prepared in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, recipes that are 10 ingredients or less, 30-minute meals, sheet pan meals, and more. Some are healthy, some maybe not as much, but we guarantee they are all delicious. We’ve even thrown in a few that make large portions so you can save some for a heat-and-eat meal later, and as many as possible that won’t come with an excessive grocery bill.

Enjoy your family dinners again with these weeknight dinner ideas. You might find your new favorite recipe, or even one that the kids can throw together themselves (score!).

Weeknight Dinner Tips

When we say easy, we mean easy — We all know that when a recipe calls for time spent skewering cubes of meat, spiralizing vegetables, or lining individual cups of the muffin pan, the time commitment significantly increases for us home cooks. Stick to recipes that don’t require these extra steps.

Buy pre-sliced products. Seriously. You won’t regret it. I used to think whole was fresher and better, but the stress I’ve saved myself by eliminating that extra time spent cleaning and chopping (not to mention the extra cutting boards and knives that I’ll have to clean up later) has been a sanity saver. Shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, prechopped broccoli, shredded lettuce – it’s all in my veggie drawer so I can just throw a handful in and go.

The same goes for shredded cheese. Yes, some recipes will say freshly-grated. It’s 100% acceptable to use pre-grated.

Use your slow cooker, pressure cooker, instant pot, and air fryer. I have one of those combo rice-cooker/slow cooker machines from Costco and I randomly throw rice in the pot to keep in the fridge for when we need a quick side dish. I also regularly use it for slow cooker carnitas, pot roast, mongolian beef, and soups. It’s a life saver.

Make things ahead of time, and double the batch. I know you’ve heard it before, but making an extra meal on Sunday night will get you fed fast on Tuesday, and when there are leftovers in the fridge, you’ve always got something to take for lunch or for tomorrow nights meal.

Easy Family Dinners for Busy Weeknights

When weeknights get busy, get dinner done in minutes. Here's a list of easy meals that will feed the family quickly, so you can enjoy less time cooking and more time together.

Heidi Deal
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