Epic Family Dinner Ideas List: Free Printable
I’ve cooked five million meals in the last month. Or at least it feels that way.
Of course, spending time at home is an awesome opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, but my inspiration on healthy dinner ideas has been lacking.
So, one day, I was thinking “what should I cook for dinner tonight?!” And I found myself wishing I had a big list of meals for dinner. One that also had crockpot, vegetarian, and pantry ideas.
Have you wished for this too?
Well, good! Because now there is one! Below is a list of common dinners (or meals for lunch).
*The list also includes notes for making things healthier. For example, it’s easy to use lettuce wraps or sweet potato buns in place of bread, and cauliflower rice adds an easy vegetable to many dishes.
Without further adu, check out the extensive dinner list divided by types of meals!
Then, print the FREE download at the end and check out the desserts!
200+ List of Meals for Dinner
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Great American Food for Dinner
We must start with the American classics!
- Shephard’s Pie (try cauliflower or sweet potato topping)
- Pot Pie
- Pork chops
- Pan baked bell pepper, sausage, and potato
- Fish (salmon, cod, etc) and sides
- Meatballs with rice or noodles (try whole wheat noodles)
- Sloppy Joes (try on sweet potato)
- Hot dogs or brats (try sweet potato buns)
- Burgers (try on lettuce wraps and choose turkey burgers for a lighter meat)
- Steak and sides
- Baked ham
- Grilled chicken breasts (marinade in Italian dressing, Ranch, or Dijon mustard)
- Roasted whole chicken or turkey
- Ribs and sides
- Pork Loin and sides
- Grilled or boiled shrimp and sides
- Chicken and rice casserole
- Beef roast and sides
- Macaroni casserole
Scrumptious Mexican Food Dinners
These common Mexican dinners are anything but ordinary!
- Tacos (use lettuce wraps, stuffed peppers or zucchini boats)
- Fajitas (try lettuce wraps)
- Nachos (try sweet potato chips)
- Enchiladas (try zucchini enchilada boats)
- Taco soup
- Stuffed peppers
- Black bean and rice bowls
Delicious List of Italian Meals for Dinner
Italian food is comfort food at its finest!
- Spaghetti and meatballs (try spaghetti squash noodles)
- Baked ravioli
- Homemade mac and cheese
- Lasagna rolls (try zucchini)
- Homemade pizza (load it with veggies)
- Chicken parmesan (use whole wheat noodles)
- Beef stroganoff
- Chicken fettuccini alfredo (try zucchini noodles)
- Tuna casserole
- Ricotta stuffed shells
- Beef ragu
- Homemade pizza
- Chicken gnocchi soup
Healthy & Hearty Soups
Great hearty soups are a must on any excellent list of meals!
- Butternut squash soup (our all-time favorite)
- Chicken noodle soup (you can take out the noodles and add cauliflower rice)
- Tomato soup
- Potato soup
- Taco soup (Also a great make-ahead freezer meal idea)
- Carrot soup
- Sweet potato soup
- White chicken chili
- Minestrone soup
- Corn chowder
- Meatball soup
- Beef pho
- Zuppa Toscana soup
- Leek and cauliflower soup
- Chicken tortilla soup
- Brocolli cheddar soup
- Tomato bisque soup
*We have found that soups are fast AND extremely flavorful in the instant pot!
Salads & Sandwiches Meal List
Leftovers of soups, salads, and sandwiches also make SUPER easy make-ahead lunches for the next day.
- Cobb salad
- Panini (on whole wheat bread)
- Caesar salad
- BLTs (try lettuce wraps)
- BBQ chicken salad
- Taco salad
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Basil tomato grilled cheese sandwiches (use a white cheese)
- Meatball subs (use whole wheat buns)
- Our FAVORITE spinach strawberry salad
- French dip sandwiches (on whole wheat buns)
- Philly Sandwiches (on whole wheat buns)
- Chicken salad sandwiches
- Pear and pecan salad
- Greek gyros
- Egg salad sandwiches
- Pulled pork sandwiches
- Southwest chicken wraps
- Asian lettuce wraps
- Ham and swiss sliders
- Reuben sandwiches
- Wraps of any kind
Read here for amazing salad combos: 11 Delicious Green Salad Recipes
Awesome Crockpot Dinner Ideas
- Honey sesame chicken
- Pulled pork
- Beef and broccoli
- Pot roast
- Chicken tortilla soup
- Salsa chicken (chicken breast with broth, salsa, & taco seasoning – great Mexican food filling!)
- Whole chicken in the crockpot
- Chicken potato soup (pictured above)
- Pork chops
- Crockpot chicken pot pie
- Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
- Butter chicken in the crockpot
- Chicken enchilada soup
Find more slow cooker ideas here: 12 Weeknight Crockpot Dinners
Great Vegetarian/Vegan List of Dinner Ideas
- Taco soup/chili without the meat
- Spaghetti (use zucchini noodles)
- Asian fried rice (try cauliflower rice like in the picture below!)
- Quesadillas (use whole wheat tortillas)
- Homemade pizza without the meat (try whole wheat pita bread for a SUPER fast version!)
- Soup (pick from above!) and salad
- Rainbow stew (Read this book FIRST with the kids and make it a fun family project!)
- Vegetarian lasagna
- Bean and veggie burritos
- Shrimp with zucchini noodles in a cashew sauce
- Tuna patties
- Black bean (or quinoa) burgers
- Risotto (can use cauliflower rice)
- Pesto noodles
- Homemade mac & cheese with veggies
- Crab cakes
- Rice and beans
- Lentil curry
- Loaded baked or sweet potatoes (without meat)
- Vegetarian stuffed peppers
Family Dinner Meals to Use Up What You Have
In this list of meals for dinner, these ideas are marvelous for cleaning out the freezer, fridge, or pantry. Mix and match using what you have!
- Loaded baked or sweet potatoes
- Skillet stirfry (add sauce or pesto to spice it up!)
- Skillet hash (use potatoes or sweet potatoes)
- Salads – throw in what you have in the fridge!
- Omelets and other egg dishes
- Oven bakes (throw lots of your leftover veggies in to roast with a protein)
*Do you have leftovers you don’t know what to do with? Leave a comment below and I’ll help brainstorm ways to use them up! 😊
Shake it Up Ideas
One day a week, we crave variety and a meal that’s not like the others.
- Snacky Dinner (veggies and dip, popcorn, fruit, cheese and crackers, see this list of snacks)
- Breakfast for dinner (eggs, french toast, pancakes, sausage, quiche)
- Grilled/baked foil packets (like you’re camping!)
- Homemade or store-bought chicken nuggets
*Try these super fun family dinner activities to mix it up even more!
Side Dishes for Your Main Entrees
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed cauliflower
- Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Biscuits (with whole wheat or alternative flour)
- Sautéed spinach (we love it with raisins and walnuts)
- Steamed broccoli
- Glazed carrots
- Sautéed green beans
- Zucchini or squash noodles
- Any kind of roasted veggies
- Creamed spinach
- Baked brussel sprouts
- Sweet potato fries
- Baked spaghetti squash
- Grilled vegetables
- Sauteed zucchini and squash
- Corn on the cob
List of Meals For Dinner Free Printable
I keep this list handy for meal planning sessions! Put it in your recipe binder, or use this free printable to help with your weekly meal plan.
But wait, what about dessert?
Don’t we all love something a little sweet after dinner? Try one of these healthy, or not so healthy options with your next meal!
- Sautéed apples or pears
- Fruit cobbler
- Fruit crisp
- Pudding (try avocado pudding)
- Cake or cheesecake
- Watermelon (the perfect summertime dessert!)
- Fruit pizza
- Fruit dipped in chocolate
- Chocolate mousse
- Ice cream (or banana ice cream)
- Dole whip (pineapple and coconut milk)
- Pie (fruit, pumpkin, pecan, key-lime, chocolate, etc)
- Oatmeal bars
- Lemon squares
- Chocolate fondue
See these healthy holiday treat ideas for more!
Looking for the quickest ideas?
I know you’re busy! If you’re looking to cut your kitchen time in half, these make for the best weeknight dinners because they take the least amount of prep work:
- Sausage, Bell Peppers, and Onion Bake
- Carrot Soup
- Stir Fry or Hash
- Breakfast for Dinner
See 15 more quick and easy weeknight dinners here >>
Mom Survival Tip: Rotating our meals weekly has made life 1000x times easier! Hello, Taco Tuesday 🙂
To Consider With the List of Dinners
Finally, cooking more brings a new-found chance to find meals that your family loves. So, don’t be shy! Get in the kitchen and mix up your meals. Plus, try some new healthier variations and see what they say.
Now, it’s time to get planning!
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find favorites to make for years to come!
What’s on your list of meals for dinner? I’d love to know and add it to this giant dinner list!
Other healthy posts and resources you may enjoy….
- 17 Useful Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget – save money while you eat well.
- 21 Fast & Healthy Weeknight Meals – for when you need to get dinner on the table fast!
- The Free “Get Your Life Back” Email Challenge
- The Full Digital Personal Growth Planner
- The Free Resource Library