Cook it…Fast or slow!
Do you prefer Slow Cooker or Instant Pot? Get my secrets for meals that bring your family to the table!

30+ Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas — family friendly!

All the quick and Easy Dinner Ideas you need to get through this week! Quick prep, sheet pan, crockpot and one pot meals that will please the whole family!

With all the things that have started up this month, I feel like we are smack dab in the middle of chaos. (Yep, there’s a reason this list of easy dinner ideas is popping out now).

To be honest, I was so excited for Christmas to be over and to start fresh in January. Get back to routine, have a little time for things that aren’t Christmas concerts, parties, plays or gatherings, and maybe breathe a little. Read a book.

But it doesn’t seem to have gone quite the way I had hoped.

Instead, it feels like we’re running all over the place, all the time.

Which isn’t all bad, really.

Over the last few years (okay, FIVE years!), I have worked and worked and worked on my blog and it’s been a little isolating. Over the last couple of years, my goal has been to leave the house a little more.

Breathe some fresh air.

See some fresh faces.

Talk to someone other than myself. In person.

But that doesn’t mean the introvert in me doesn’t get exhausted at the very thought of putting on real pants.

easy dinner ideas collage

All that to say — life is crazy.

It is for all of us, and it never seems to change. So let’s embrace the crazy and make our lives simpler where and when we can!

I’ve stockpiled all kinds of easy dinner ideas that will get us through this chaos, maybe even with a relatively healthy and family-friendly meal on the table regularly enough.

Below, I want to share a few tips and tricks to get you on your way to dinner table bliss in no time 😉

How to prep your pantry for easy dinner ideas:

We live a ways out of any larger town, which means when I stock up I stock up, because I need to be prepared if I don’t want the kids eating cereal for dinner every night. Here are some of the things I keep on hand to make dinner time a breeze:

  • Canned fruit: peaches, pears, mandarin oranges, and pineapple are our favorites.
  • Canned vegetables: tomatoes, corn, peas, mushrooms, beans if you’re into that sort of thing. (To be honest, I prefer most veggies frozen over canned)
  • Canned protein: beans, tuna and chunked chicken breast are great options!
  • Grains: we always have rice (a few varieties), quinoa, lentils and barley on hand to fill out any meal
  • Know what your go-to’s are and keep them handy. For us? That’s tomato sauce, crackers, and maybe a few emergency cans of soup to fill out my list.

How to stock your freezer for easy dinner ideas:

  • Meat, chicken seafood: because we’re out of town and grocery shopping is not always convenient, I buy meat, chicken and seafood when it’s on sale and freeze for a meal down the road.
  • Frozen fruits and veggies: buy your favorites and keep them ready — they won’t spoil for ages!
  • Extra loaves of bread, bagels, and English muffins — when all else fails, we’ve got toast and eggs for dinner!
  • Freezer meals: whenever possible, I’ll make a double batch of any recipe that freezes well and save it for later because some nights you need that. Cut your future self some slack! Even with the longest list of easy dinner ideas in the world, there are still going to be some nights it just won’t happen.
  • Don’t tell anyone this, but I will occasionally stock a couple of frozen pizzas because you just never know, and we don’t have the option of takeout.

One Pot Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage

one pot baked ziti overhead in large pan with white towel on the side

One Pot Burrito Bowls

one pot burrito bowls close up with wooden spoon stuck in

Hamburger Soup

hamburger soup in pot with metal scoop scooping some up

One Pot Chicken Enchilada Pasta

one pot enchilada pasta close up overhead with fresh parsley and green onions garnish

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

one pot turkey chili mac in grey pan with wooden spoon stuck in and blue towel in background

One Pot Lemon Chicken, Spinach and Asparagus Orzo

 one pot lemon chicken orzo overhead with wooden spoon in pan and lemon slices

Healthier Slow Cooker Hamburger Helper Recipe

hamburger helper recipe in slow cooker with metal spoon stuck in pasta

One Pan Chicken Lasagna

one pan chicken lasagna overhead in black pan with crispy bacon on top

Sloppy Joes

sloppy joes with white shredded cheese on white bun with white towel in the background

Cashew Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

sheet pan cashew chicken dinner with red peppers and broccoli

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

instant pot mac and cheese in pressure cooker with metal scoop scooping some out

Italian Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes

crockpot chicken and potatoes in slow cooker with spinach and roasted red peppers

Paprika Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

paprika chicken sheet pan dinner with little potatoes and fresh tomatoes and zucchini

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

crockpot chicken spaghetti in slow cooker with metal spoon stuck into pasta

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

instant pot swedish meatballs close up on wooden spoon with pressure cooker in the background

Sweet & Sour Slow Cooker Smokies Recipe

sweet and sour smokies in white crockpot with metal spoon scooping some

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

instant pot butter chicken with rice in metal bowl with naan stuck in the side

Sausage Tortellini Soup

sausage tortellini soup in grey dutch oven with fresh parsley sprinkled on top

Easy Roasted Tomato Soup

easy roasted tomato soup in white bowl with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and grilled cheese in the background

One Pot BBQ Chicken Chili Mac

one pot bbq chicken chili mac in red pot with wooden spoon stuck into pasta

Pizza Soup

pizza soup overhead in two white bowls with croutons on top

7 Ingredient Chicken and Rice Bake

chicken and rice bake overhead in white baking dish on grey marble background

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

quick chicken noodle soup in white bowl with crusty bread in the background

Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

slow cooker spaghetti and meat sauce in crockpot with metal tongs pulling some spaghetti up

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

pesto pasta salad overhead in white bowl with wooden spoons on the side

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

buffalo chicken pasta bake in clear glass baking dish with metal spoon pulling up a scoop

20 Minute Taco Salad

20 minute taco salad with avocado fresh tomatoes corn black beans and cheese

Taco Lasagna Recipe

taco lasagna recipe overhead in white baking dish with avocado chunks and fresh tomatoes on top

Sausage Egg Casserole

whole sausage egg casserole sliced on grey plate

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

bacon cheeseburger casserole on grey plate close up with title

Sheet Pan Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes

sheet pan sausage and peppers with red onions and potatoes

Taco Tater Casserole

taco tater casserole in clear glas sbaking dish with olives and dollops of sour cream on top
easy dinner ideas collage short

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

Read More

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply