What’s For Dinner Tonight? 45 Meal Ideas
Avoid the question “what’s for dinner tonight” by using these easy, healthy recipes for the whole family! These quick and simple dinner ideas are a busy mom’s lifesaver. Likewise, these dinner recipes that are healthy, loaded with nutrients, and simple to make.
I hate the question “what’s for dinner tonight”? It’s normally only asked at about four pm, Consequently, this is too late to make anything significant or scramble ingredients together and it drives me nuts. Naturally, I prefer to have a plan or at least some staples prepped in the fridge to whip together an easy meal (like this Tangy Lemon Noodle Bowl!). However, that doesn’t always happen.
What’s For Dinner Tonight? How to Keep Dinner Ideas Simple
In an ideal world, dinner ideas would simply be rotated between the same 8-10 simple dinner recipes and just swapping out the sauces or veggies. However, for my husband, there are only so many “stir fry’s” or “curries” he will eat (boo!).
So last year I decided to record what we had for dinner for two full months. I didn’t want to create a meal plan (been there done that) or shop for specific ingredients each week (too much effort for this mama!). All I really wanted to do was come up with a list of 40 ish meals that would, at the very least, give me some start as to what’s for dinner tonight.
Indeed, below is a list of 45 simple dinner ideas we had over the course of two months.
- Some of these dinner ideas are ones you need to plan
- Other dinner ideas are of mash-ups from the fridge (my specialist)
- All are healthy
- Most are dairy-free and gluten-free
This list of what’s for dinner tonight meals isn’t to give you a meal plan (though here is a great 30-day meal plan for easy, simple dinner ideas). Nonetheless, these simple dinners are here to give you a few ideas on nights you’re stuck.
Where possible, I’ve linked to a recipe but the truth is sometimes it was just random things thrown together. Hence, if you have any questions about how I made those random things, please drop a comment below and I’d be happy to explain!
So while the question “what’s for dinner tonight” will never be eliminated from or homes, hopefully, this list gives you a few more answers in your arsenal!
What’s For Dinner Tonight? Two Months Of Meals From My Family To Yours
Pork chops With Spaghetti Squash With Tomatoes Onions & Mushrooms
I cooked the squash, shredded it, and sautéed the onions and mushrooms. Then combined it all together in a pan with chopped tomatoes.
I am a curry freak (like freak). So, I tend to whip it up often. Specifically, here are nine of my favorite curry recipes for tasty, healthy dinner ideas.
A simple, summertime meal perfect for a “what’s for dinner tonight” situation. Swap out the veggies in the chickpea salad for whatever you have and call it a day.
Chicken Stir Fry
All I do for this simple dinner recipe is saute any veggies I have in the fridge, and top it with a protein (chicken, meatballs, tofu anything). Finally, I add my favorite sauce of:
- Avocado oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Soya sauce
- Sesame oil
Who doesn’t love chili? It’s quite possible the best and easiest comfort food ever. This chili recipe is probably the most simple, very basic option around
Peach & Ginger Chicken On Rice With Whatever Salad You Can Make From The Fridge
I used real peaches in place of the peach jam. Second, I also only used the dressing from that salad dressing, not the full recipe itself (I’m lazy and the salad seemed fancy).
Mushroom Coconut Alfredo On Soba Noodles With Chicken
I made this up. A combination of coconut milk, parm (or cashews), and spices with sautéed mushrooms and topped with chicken. Finally, pour it all over soba noodles (which are my favorite noodles. However, Nora cooks has a great vegan alfredo!
Beet, Carrot & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Put all those items in a bowl with chickpeas and sprouts and top with a lemon dressing.
No recipe, just your classic family meal!
You do need ingredients for this healthy dinner idea but they’re so interchangeable! Namely, use whatever veggies you have in the fridge. As for the squash, if you don’t have it, grab noodles! We’ve eaten it on edamame noodles and chickpea noodles. Still delicious.
Chicken With Rice, Broccoli & Tomato
Cook everything and throw it together. If you used canned tomatoes there should be enough of a sauce.
I mostly follow the recipe above but I use coconut milk or greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
What’s For Dinner Tonight? Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken On Rice
This is a slow cooker recipe so you do need a bit of notice to make it.
Sausage and Soup
No recipe for the soup as it was a “use all things in the fridge” soup! First begin with garlic and onions as the base and normally any and all random veggies plus broth and rice.
Curry Chickpea Wraps With Tomato Salad
Tomato salad is one of my favorites. All sorts of tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Thus, easy and delicious! As for the wrap, most people have chickpeas kicking around in the cupboard so it’s an easy one.
Chicken & Mushroom Rice Bake
No recipe just a lot of things mixed together! First, saute the mushrooms with some garlic and make a sauce of coconut milk and parm. Second, cook the chicken and rice. Finally, throw it all together and call it dinner.
This is normally a weekend meal so that it can simmer on the stove and be utterly tasty! Consequently, we make a huge batch and put half in the freezer.
Quinoa Veggie Bowl With Orange Miso Sauce
Put random veggies into a bowl (carrots, tomatoes, peppers etc) with cooked quinoa and top with the dressing. Similarly, I use honey instead of agave.
What’s For Dinner Tonight? The Ultimate Help For Busy Moms!
If you’re looking for even easier, healthy dinner recipes, check out The Busy Moms E-Cookbook, where I’ve gathered 30 healthy dinner recipes that can be made in thirty minutes or less. From easy vegan tacos to beef and quinoa chili, simple chicken pasta to a bok choy and mushroom bowl. Indeed, these dinner recipes share a few things in common:
- They are healthy and simple to make
- All of the recipes are dairy-free or could easily be made dairy-free
- The majority of the recipes are gluten-free
- All of the recipes are real-food based and focus on nutrients not fillers
- They’re all tasty!
To make dinner-time even LESS stressful, I’ve also included several bonus tips on food prep, pantry staples and how to make healthy eating simple. Grab your copy of The Busy Mom’s E-Cookbook
Taco Salad With Greek Yogurt
Honestly, for this dinner idea, I simply cook up some ground beef and make a bowl with tomatoes, rice, peppers, and beef. Finally, I top it with yogurt or avocado and salsa.
Chicken Pesto On Soba Noodles
I make my own pesto with spinach, walnuts, and olive oil. For the pasta, I like to add mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.
This dinner recipe works on spaghetti squash to make it low carb or on noodles or even rice. Grab ground turkey or beef and whip it up. Under thirty minutes so that’s a win.
One-pan dinner recipes are a god-send! Grab a veggie or two, some potatoes, chicken and a sauce and toss it in. Namely, one-pan dinner are simple and perfect for when you’re in a rush.
A great answer for “what’s for dinner tonight” these grilled hummus wraps take about ten minutes. Pair it with a salad or any side dish if you like but I normally just make two wraps and call it good.
The recipe is from the Oh She Glows Original Book and easily one of my favorites. It’s a recipe I make a big batch of and freeze for crazy nights.
Meatloaf & Roasted Veggies
Everyone has a classic meatloaf recipe they love. Thus, whip one up and have it with a side of roasted veggies.
My girls love this quick dinner and so do I! Saute up some peppers and onions, cook the steak and top it with avocado. Done.
What’s For Dinner Tonight? Veggie Pad Thai On Spaghetti Squash
I swapped zucchini noodles for spaghetti squash and it was great! likewise, even my hubby enjoyed it!
Spicy Sausage & Veggie Pasta
A made-up, simple dinner idea. Cook up garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and peppers. Finally, toss it with tomato sauce, and cooked sausage on top of your favorite noodles.
If you have some cooked chicken in the fridge this cobb salad is a tasty one. In fact, it can be a healthy twist on a classic dish.
One of my favorite dinner ideas for summertime because we always have so much zucchini! Also, this healthy dinner idea comes together in fifteen minutes. However, it has a kick to it, you’ve been warned.
Homemade Chicken Wings & Roasted Veggies
We always have a bag of chicken wings in the freezer so if I remember to thaw them we just toss them in chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, and a teeny bit of cayenne. Then, we cook them on the barbeque.
What’s For Dinner Tonight? Homemade Pizza!
I alternate between using spelt wraps as the “crust” or if my hubby is feeling fancy he will make the crust and then it’s all personal toppings!
I am famous for making random noodle bowls. First, grab some veggies and roast them. Second, pick a protein (whatever you have cooked). Third, grab a base: I like to use soba noodles but any will do. Finally, top it with a tangy lemon dressing, a miso dressing, or when in a pinch: balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil.
Sesame Chicken With Broccoli On Rice
We make sesame chicken a lot. It’s an easy dinner recipe and great for leftovers!
Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
This is one of my favorite meals and you can find it in The Busy Mom’s Cookbook!
Jambalaya is such an easy weeknight meal because it’s really just “all the things”.
What’s For Dinner Tonight – Grilled Anything!
This is our summertime staple. We grill up veggies (normally peppers or zucchini), chicken, and potatoes. It’s great because everything is in one spot. Likewise, it’s simple and tasty.
Marinated Chicken, Broccoli & Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
Make or use store-bought pesto and top the mushrooms with that, chopped spinach, and sundried tomatoes. Finally, bake them with the chicken and steam some broccoli.
You can make your own falafel or grab one of the box variations. Then, roast some veggies, make some rice, and hopefully, you have some tzatziki on hand!
Easy. Simple. Always a hit. Likewise, chicken fajita bowls are amazing too!
Grilled Veggies & Chicken Wraps
We normally have leftover chicken in the fridge. Thus, it makes a quick what’s for dinner tonight meal. Whip up a chicken salad with paleo mayonnaise, pickles, and garlic powder. Then, make sandwiches or wraps with veggies on the side.
This is a great one for the cooler months. On the other hand, we do make it a lot in the summer. First, start with onion and garlic and literally add whatever you have left in the fridge. Then, flavor and season as needed and then let it cook.
Another curry recipe, but only because curry is awesome.
Finally, there we are. Two months’ worth of meal ideas. They’re definitely random, sporadic, and some thrown together. However, we were fed, healthy, and happy! I do prefer to cook large amounts so I like to keep enough in the freezer from stews and curries to have leftovers – it’s just smart!
Nevertheless, if you want a few more healthy dinner ideas, check out this 30-day, dinner meal plan.
Don’t forget to pin the answer to “what’s for dinner tonight”!
If you’re looking for something for dinner tonight, hopefully, this list can help you out with a few ideas! However, don’t be shy about trying something new either, that’s half the fun!