59 Weeknight Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

You’ll have no problem gathering everyone around the table with these delicious ideas.

July 07, 2022

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All Our Best Recipes

Cooking a family-friendly meal on a busy weeknight is no small task. If you’re anything like us you’ve got a handful of main dishes you can rely on, some go-to ideas for chicken and a few solid pizza recipes that work their way into the rotation every once in a while. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut though, which is why it never hurts to have a few extra choices in your back pocket. That’s the idea behind these picks. We’ve rounded up a few ideas that you may not have considered before: easy dump dinners, crave-worthy baked pastas, fun breakfast-for-dinner recipes and more. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend these crispy pork chops, breaded in a Panko coating that isn’t hard to prep at all. We throw in some Italian seasoning since it’s a staple in many spice cabinets but feel free to use whatever you like and have on hand.

Get the Recipe: Baked Pork Chops

20-Minute Instant Pot Pizza Frittata

This pizza-frittata mash-up is crazy-easy to make, thanks to your Instant Pot ®. Shredded provolone and grated Parmesan work best for this frittata because they stay suspended perfectly in the egg base and add just the right umami flavor. We serve the frittata with a simple spinach salad for a fun and family-friendly meal.

Get the Recipe: 20-Minute Instant Pot Pizza Frittata

Pasta with Cauliflower-Parmesan Butter

A simple, vegetable-packed meal that will get dinner on the table quickly and make everyone in the family happy. Creamy butter is loaded with cauliflower and salty Parmesan cheese, then blended smooth, making it perfect for picky vegetable eaters.

Get the Recipe: Pasta with Cauliflower-Parmesan Butter

Skillet Taco Pizza

Every night can be pizza night when it’s so easy to prepare at home. Use store-bought pizza dough to cut down on time and serve with your favorite taco toppings.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Taco Pizza

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

You can have this creamy and comforting pasta with chicken on the table in just 30 minutes and best of all, it all cooks in one pot — you won't even need to boil water first! It's packed with tender chicken thighs, bell peppers, and onions, and finished off with a creamy tomato sauce.

Get the Recipe: One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Hamburger Steaks with Onion and Mushroom Gravy

This recipe is an update of the classic Salisbury steak. With additions like smoked paprika in the beef mix and lightly caramelized onions in the gravy, this version will be a new family favorite to enjoy with a side of mashed potatoes.

Get the Recipe: Hamburger Steaks with Onion and Mushroom Gravy

Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

Enjoy all your favorite Tex-Mex flavors in a comforting casserole that's fast and easy to throw together.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

Blended Beef, White Bean and Squash Burgers

This smoky, juicy burger is a three-in-one combination of a classic beef burger, a veggie burger and a bean burger. It's a delicious and easy way to cut down on meat while still getting lots of satisfying flavor. After you've tried this version, put your own spin on it by subbing in your favorite spice blend instead of the paprika, garlic and onion powder used here.

Get the Recipe: Blended Beef, White Bean and Squash Burgers

Shrimp Stir-Fry

This shrimp stir-fry recipe is simple and fast. It cooks in about 5 minutes, so be sure to prep all your ingredients and cook the rice in advance.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Stir-Fry

Ohio Turkey Chili

There's nothing more Ohio than Valerie's Cincinatti-style chili spaghetti.

Get the Recipe: Ohio Turkey Chili

Spinach-and-Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Frozen spinach is clutch for pulling off these tender stuffed chicken rolls, since, unlike fresh spinach, it won't shrink up when it cooks. Just defrost the spinach in the microwave, then wring it out in a clean kitchen towel before mixing it with your sauteed mushrooms, garlic and fresh ricotta.

Get the Recipe: Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Waffle Chicken Fingers

Combine chicken and waffles for an inventive take on a classic.

Get the Recipe: Waffle Chicken Fingers

General Tso’s Taco Bake

Eddie says, “I love using rotisserie chicken because you can just pick it up, it’s easy and you don’t have to worry about cooking.” He coats the chicken in a sweet sauce inspired by his favorite takeout dish, then stuffs the meat into crunchy taco shells.

Get the Recipe: General Tso’s Taco Bake

Caesar Salad with Shrimp

Ree’s simple yet elegant salad is the ultimate meal when you need to impress in a hurry. She whips up a quick homemade dressing, which she lets seep into quartered hearts of romaine. Artfully arranged shrimp and baked garlic croutons add the final, crowd-pleasing touch.

Get the Recipe: Caesar Salad with Shrimp

Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Artichokes

Chopped rotisserie chicken stands in for whole chicken breasts in this timesaving skillet dinner from Food Network Magazine. Though the process is simplified, all of the usual accoutrements are here: San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Throw in some thawed artichoke hearts for more meaty texture.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Artichokes

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Sunny uses quick-cooking chicken tenders and cuts them into bite-size chunks for her easy, satisfying pot pie.

Get the Recipe: Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Pasta Pizza

Store-bought pizza dough makes Trisha's tortellini-topped pizza a breeze to make.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Pizza

Lazy No-Bake Lasagna

True to its name, Valerie’s lasagna requires next-to-no effort. Bonus? The dish is prepared in just one pot, which is so important when you don’t want to wash dishes at the end of a long day.

Get the Recipe: Lazy No-Bake Lasagna

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Here's a family dinner trick from Ree: Make meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later. When you and the fam need to eat next, just pop them out and cook them in this quick Asian-inspired sauce.

Get the Recipe: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

A true one-pot wonder, Ree’s chicken curry comes together in just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Halibut Fish Tacos

Start a new taco night tradition — forgo meat and cheese fillings in favor of fresh fish and vibrant salsa verde.

Get the Recipe: Halibut Fish Tacos with Cilantro Savoy Slaw

Pork and Pineapple Grain Bowl

These bowls are packed with so much flavor it's almost unbelievable you can make them in only 40 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Pork and Pineapple Grain Bowl

Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are packed with a flavorful spinach and ricotta filling and nestled in a cozy roasted butternut Alfredo sauce. There's no better way to eat your veggies!

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells

Chicken Tamale Pie

Food Network Kitchen turned classic tamales into this shepherd's pie-style casserole with a cornmeal topping.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tamale Pie

Bacon-Tomato Linguine

A brighter riff on carbonara, this cheesy, bacony weeknight pasta feels somehow more substantial thanks to the addition of tomatoes and basil.

Get the Recipe: Bacon-Tomato Linguine

Turkey and Green Bean Stir-Fry

Food Network Magazine's stir-fry is full of Asian flavors. Hold back on the chile paste or sambal for a milder dish.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Turkey and Green Bean Stir-Fry

Make-Ahead Chicken Tetrazzini

Need a night off? This family-friendly chicken and pasta casserole can be made up to a day in advance and stored in your refigerator until you're ready to bake it.

Get the Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken Tetrazzini

Lighter Taco Skillet

Ree's taco skillet dinner is delicious and easy, and thanks to ground turkey, a lighter (but still satisfying) way to feed the fam in one fell swoop.

Get the Recipe: Lighter Taco Skillet

Pasta e Fagioli with Chickpeas

Comforting pasta e fagioli, or pasta and beans, gets a weeknight makeover in this easy version that uses chickpeas instead of the usual cannellini.

Get the Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli with Chickpeas

Eggs in Purgatory

To some it's eggs in purgatory. To others, it's shakshuka. To us, it's super delicious tomato-baked eggs that make the perfect casual weeknight dinner!

Get the Recipe: Eggs in Purgatory: Shakshuka

Pizza Pot Pies

Giada De Laurentiis transforms a family favorite, cheesy pizza, into individual pot pies loaded with chicken and broccoli.

Get the Recipe: Pizza Pot Pies

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole

Turn prepared gnocchi into a satisfying meal with the addition of peas, ham and a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas

Foil-Packet Chicken Fajitas

Bring your favorite restaurant dish home with these personal-sized foil-packet fajitas. They take no time to prepare, clean-up is a breeze and they are totally customizable, so even the pickiest eater will dig in.

Get the Recipe: Foil-Packet Chicken Fajitas

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

Using ground chicken, make Giada's zesty meatballs to serve in a hearty pasta dish with orecchiette and fresh mozzarella.

Get the Recipe: Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Here's what to make if you are craving everything an egg roll has to offer crunchy vegetables, savory pork and a sweet, tangy sauce but want to cut back on the carbs. This recipe comes together quickly so be sure to have all the ingredients prepped before you begin.

Get the Recipe: Pork and Vegetable Bowl

Fast Fake-Baked Ziti

Rachael Ray's crowd-pleasing pasta is cooked on the stove and needs only a few minutes under the broiler to get the cheese bubbly and brown. She serves it with a super-quick salad of fresh spinach and artichoke hearts.

Get the Recipe: Scuderi Kids' Fast, Fake-Baked Ziti

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Try a new take on the casserole — a standby one-dish dinner. This one combines hearty ground beef with cheddar and egg noodles.

Get the Recipe: Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Pork Chops with Roasted Kale and Walnut Pesto

This recipe makes more pesto than you will need, but the leftovers will not go to waste. Try adding a spoonful to scrambled eggs, mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread, toss with some hot pasta and pasta cooking water, or even stir a bit into your favorite brothy soup.

Get the Recipe: Pork Chops with Roasted Kale and Walnut Pesto

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Cook pork shoulder low and slow for hours with brown sugar, spices and a little apple cider vinegar until it becomes smoky and pull-apart tender without ever entering a smoker.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli

Melissa's veggie-packed pasta can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli

Crispy Pork Chops with Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

This dinner for four is ready in just 40 minutes thanks to boneless pork chops. Plus, change up the everyday roasted sprout with a quick honey-Sriracha sauce.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Pork Chops with Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp is perfect for workdays because it cooks up fast. Take, for instance, The Pioneer Woman's shrimp tacos; they're ready from start to finish in just 16 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Tacos

Beef and Black Bean Sliders

Melissa d'Arabian stretches her dollar by subbing some of the beef for mashed black beans in these kid-sized burgers.

Get the Recipe: Beef and Black Bean Sliders

One-Pot Super Easy Fusilli

This dinner is as simple as dumping everything into a pot — dry noodles, tomatoes and all — and letting it simmer. The liquid from the stock will absorb into the pasta and create a rich, flavorful sauce.

Get the Recipe: One-Pot Super Easy Fusilli

Salmon and Polenta

Salmon fillets are perfect for family dinners. Serve them with grilled polenta, a sweet and comforting carb alternative to potatoes, which take forever to cook.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Salmon and Polenta

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Can you believe The Pioneer Woman's version of chicken Parmesan is not only lighter but also takes just 16 minutes to cook?

Get the Recipe: Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Meatball Marsala

Why should chicken have all the fun? Give meatballs the Marsala treatment and prepare to be amazed (and in only 40 minutes).

Get the Recipe: Meatball Marsala

Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

Ree's pasta salad is loaded with bacon and cheese, so even the kids will devour it.

Get the Recipe: Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

Oven-Fried Chicken

If traditional fried chicken is a family favorite in your house, try this healthier take. Oven-"fried" chicken is still nice and crisp, but with less fat. And because it’s made in the oven instead of fried on the stovetop (which requires constant supervision), it gives you more time for dinner prep.

Get the Recipe: Oven-Fried Chicken

Barbecue Mac and Cheese

Damaris adds barbecue sauce and beer for a twist on this classic dish. Shred your own cheese for the creamiest mac and cheese – pre-shredded packages often includes cellulose to help prevent clumping, but can leave you with a gritty cheese sauce.

Get the Recipe: Barbecue Mac and Cheese

Mexican Tortilla Pizzas with Chorizo

Creamy avocado and smoky chorizo crumbles unite over a crunchy baked tortilla in this easy Mexican pizza recipe. Refried beans stand in for classic tomato sauce, and Oaxaca cheese makes an excellent substitute for standard mozzarella.

Get the Recipe: Tortilla Pizzas with Chorizo

Fish Sticks with Broccoli

These 35-minute fish sticks from Food Network Magazine provide the perfect excuse to introduce your family to new flavors: Serve them with sweet Thai chili sauce instead of ketchup — it has a slight kick but isn't super-spicy.

Get the Recipe: Fish Sticks with Broccoli Rice

Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Ellie proves that white meat isn't the only "good-for-you" part of the chicken. She uses bone-in chicken thighs and removes the skin, brushing the meat with a tangy glaze.

Get the Recipe: Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowls

These Asian-style rice bowls make a great stand-in for takeout. Set out toppings like cilantro, scallions and pickled jalapenos so everyone at the table can pick and choose.

Get the Recipe: Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl

Chicken Noodle Soup

Thanks to the help of quick-cooking chicken breasts, Ree's pot of comforting chicken noodle soup is ready in just 35 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup

Fontina Risotto with Chicken

A whole cup of grated fontina takes Food Network Magazine's easy risotto recipe to new levels of indulgence. Stir in some diced smoked chicken to complement the cheese's nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Fontina Risotto with Chicken

Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken

Bring the family together for a whole chicken dinner. Tyler's recipe is simple and classic: He stuffs the cavity with lemon, garlic and herbs and roasts it over new potatoes that absorb the bird's flavorful juices.

Get the Recipe: Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken With Baby Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Introduce the kids to nutrient-rich spaghetti squash by serving it like pasta with juicy meatballs and a quick homemade marinara.

Get the Recipe: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Adding canned pumpkin to crowd-pleasing creamy Alfredo sauce gives a boost of flavor and nutrients.

Get the Recipe: Tortellini With Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce