Food

9 Easy Family Meals We’ve Loved to Death

I was emailing with my friend Mindy the other day and signed off the way I always do with certain friends…

“What’s for dinner tonight?”

As a food writer, I’m in the business of family dinner, so it’s a good way to discover new and exciting dishes that my husband and teenage kids might like. Mindy works full time, has three daughters and is a great cook, so she’s usually reliable for some inspiration. This is what she wrote back:

We are having the dreaded Chili Mac. I can’t eat a bite because I’ve been making the thing for soooo many years, but the girls love it because it’s both chili and mac and cheese and it fuels the swim practice. I’ll give you that one, if you give me your easy recipe that you hate!

I knew exactly what she meant, and I immediately replied with a link to Diana Henry’s Mustardy Baked Chicken. In 2015, we had this so often in my house that it became known as, ominously, “The Chicken” before we agreed as a family to suspend it from the rotation. I made The Chicken at least once a week for a year because I always seemed to have the ingredients on hand, and the high return on investment (i.e., its mega-deliciousness) was completely out of proportion to how quickly it came together. Wow, was it a crowdpleaser. But what’s that they say about too much of a good thing?

Mindy’s idea got me thinking. Just because we’re all sick of making our own easy family dinners doesn’t mean our friends would be. In fact, if a meal was hated by a great cook only because it suffered from overuse, it was probably a pretty solid indication that we were actually in the presence of a genius weeknight meal. So, I started asking everyone I knew: What’s the easiest family meal that you’ve loved to death? As predicted, the replies came back fast and furious.

From our Joanna: Simple chicken quesadillas or spinach quesadillas. “They take two seconds to make, it’s easy to leave certain ingredients out for kids, and of course everyone loves them. But omg I’m so sick of this dinner.” (My reaction: Totally making this tonight.) “We also make tons of scrambled eggs,” she adds.

From magazine vet Pilar Guzman: an old Emeril recipe for Moroccan chickpea stew. “I still crave this dish weekly,” she says, “It’s my kids who are sick of it because I make it so often. It’s delicious and infinitely riffable.” And don’t let the long ingredient list fool you, she says. “You can skip the celery, eliminate chickpeas even. It’s all about those spices and tomatoes.”

Chowhound’s Hana Asbrink hasn’t quite reached the breaking point with her family’s favorite dish — chilled zaru soba noodles with a simple tsuyu sauce — but she’s definitely worried about it. “It’s so easy to throw together,” she says. “You can add scallions and wasabi to amp up the ‘soup.’ I’m hard pressed to find refreshing dishes to eat on muggy New York days, but I better come up with something else soon because I know the clock is ticking.”

Chris Morocco, senior food editor at Bon Appetit and father of two young kids replied, “Ours are pasta and meatballs, chicken katsu, or tacos filled with Amy’s refried beans and cheese (and nothing else). Those are in such heavy rotation, I am sick of everything, HELP!”

And it’s hard to imagine Smitten Kitchen‘s Deb Perelman getting tired of anything that appears on her table, but she’s got one: chicken milanese with escarole salad. “I probably make this once every two weeks, which is way more than I ever would if I were single,” she says.

For a dinner enthusiast like me, it felt like my birthday! Or like I was hosting a giant clothing swap, and here was a friend giving me that perfect black cocktail dress in exchange for my tired old Levi’s.

Easy Family Meals I Hate

Take ’em! Please!

So, what are you dreading for dinner tonight? I’d really love to know.

P.S. A Trader Joe’s breakfast hack and family dinner ideas.

(Photo illustration by Maud Passini.)

    • julia says...

      So good! I love this recipe too and the person who gave it to me warned that her family was sick of it bc of how often she made it. So I’ve tried to limit to once a month.

  1. Natalie M says...

    A modified version of the pasta aglio e olio dish Jon serves Scarlett in Chef. 5 years and 3 kids later, I still make this once a week. Spaghetti, olive oil, anchovies, 10+ cloves garlic, spinach, salt, pepper chili flakes, lemon and parsley (and whatever other herbs we have on hand – that small rotation may save us from growing tired). We like it, the kids like it (Scarlett, like, REALLY liked it). What can I say?

  2. lillian says...

    my 15 min dinner: tuna rice bowl. I prepare the tuna on a skillet, just drop a can of tuna without the oil, add 1 1/2 tsp of sugar, 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of mirin. break it into pieces and stir a little to distribute the soy/sugar/mirin into the fish until the liquid evaporated, like 2 min. Assembling is easy: cooked asian white rice (but swap to whatever you prefer, quinoa, brown rice, etc), topped with a layer of the tuna, avocado cubes, julienned cucumbers (no seeds), nori strips, black sesame and tuna. Serve it with miso soup and sriracha. :)

    • L says...

      This sounds so good! I’m going to try this asap. Thank you.

  3. Kirstin says...

    Abused and temporarily retired:
    1. Giada’s Penne with beef and arugula. Double the greens.
    2. Old Cooking Light recipe: Penne with chopped (uncooked) fennel, apple, and jarred tuna (the good stuff in the tunafish aisle…think it’s Spanish?), tons of lemon zest (from at least 4-5 lemons) and all the juice from those lemons. Oh, and a little bit of the pasta water.
    Still in rotation:
    1. I’m embarrassed to admit this but I found a recipe years ago in People magazine by Jake Pavelka from the Bachelor. It’s just roasted chicken but the marinade is perfection. Just olive oil, tons of lemon zest, a little lemon juice, tons of grey poupon mustard, big chunks of chopped onion, 3 smashed whole garlic cloves, oregano, and salt and pepper. How long ago was he on that show? That’s how long I’ve been making it, and my husband requests it the most of anything I make.
    2. Pre chopped stir fry size chicken breast pouch from Wegmans. Brown in pan with S&P. Pour in a mixture of chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, lime zest and juice, and tons of white balsamic vinegar. Then add rice to the pan (I use Coconut Rice from Wegmans….and you really need some coconut flavor for this dish so if you don’t have coconut rice then add some coco milk). My husband eats this by itself in a bowl……and I use less and eat it over kale.
    3. Greens and beans: Hot/spicy turkey sausage (squeeze out of casing and cook/brown), add tons of minced garlic, any kind of canned white beans, chicken broth, dry white wine, and escarole or kale.

    Thank you for so many new ideas!

    • Lisa R says...

      OMG I remember Jake!! And Vienna! LOL And Kasey! (guard and protect her heart) 😂

  4. Anna says...

    This pasta salad https://www.goodfood.com.au/it-pro/frank-camorra-the-power-of-pasta-makes-a-classic-summer-salad-20151112-gkxbsw is absolutely ADORED by my children (5yo and 2yo) who request it weekly. My husband is sick of it so I now only make it once a month and whenever he is on a work trip. It is so easy though! (Tips: I skip the rosemary to eliminate a step; the recipe as written uses heaps of oil so I put only 60ml of EVOO in the dressing and pan-fry the salmon; and I use a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut cos lettuce. Have also made this with fusilli if you don’t have gnocchetti). We also love this pasta that my 5yo has banned https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pasta-with-no-cook-tomato-sauce/ because we made it so often this summer! So we are wearing this one out, just waiting for the “no more, Mummy!” to move on to winter soups… https://thedesignfiles.net/2018/11/julias-easy-bucatini-with-lemon-mascarpone/

  5. Martini says...

    What a relief to find so many others that dread making meals even though we actually still enjoy cooking. Thank you. You are not alone.

    Our retirement budget is tight so I cook 99% of the meals. I try to cook meals that will stretch to the next day/night. It helps.
    I also make quick “just a bite of this or that” dishes like potato salad, cole slaw or tuna salad…easy no cooking dishes. Hard boiled egg sandwiches, egg salad, deviled eggs, work wonders. Grilled cheese sandwiches gussied up and fresh tomato soup.
    All of these are plain staple-type cheap foods but they can all be made more appetizing with favorite additions.
    And God bless breakfast for dinner. Amen.

    • katie anne says...

      “What a relief to find so many others that dread making meals even though we actually still enjoy cooking.”

      YES. I love cooking, and find that I am weary of both the dailyness of cooking meals for my family and the pickyness of my young children (including one with food allergies). Cooking (and shopping and cleaning dishes and packing lunches) is such a labor of deep love, and it is refreshing to not feel so alone in this endeavor.

  6. Definitely mac and cheese (baked in the oven) with grilled turkey steaks(?) :)

    dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com

    xoxo <3

  7. Leah says...

    This reminds me of Laurie Colwin’s essay on “the same old thing” — we all get tired of what we cook all the time, how wonderful to get so many new ideas!

  8. This is a genius post!! (Along the lines of getting friends to tell me which recipes they make when we both own the same cookbook – I make a note in my cookbook)

    I have a number of brainless meals and I think only various members are sick of various meals, so I think I’m still winning!

  9. Paige says...

    A sauté of chicken sausage, grape tomatoes, peppers, and basil—it cooks while the water boils for gluten-free gnocchi or penne.

    Also on heavy rotation: zucchini and yellow squash (super thin slices) with bell pepper, onion and tons of oregano, with a generous squeeze of lemon. It sautés in the time it takes to cook the rice (used to be cous cous, but we’re celiac, so…). Top with feta

    Serve both with ridiculously thin slices of apple sprinkled with lots of cinnamon and a smidge of sugar (it is embarrassing how often people ask me for this apple “recipe”).

  10. Jennifer says...

    My youngest son, Joey, is wild about this pasta sauce I make by combining cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in our high speed blender. Sometimes I add roasted squash or cauliflower to the mix if I have some. We heat it slightly in a pan, add water if it gets too thick, then throw in pasta and eat immediately. I’ve grown very indifferent to this meal, which used to be a favourite. We call it “Pasta Joey”.

  11. Anna says...

    After many, many years of making cashew cream pasta weekly, I’m only now just starting to get sick of it. I’ll keep making it though, because it’s SO easy and the kids will reliably eat it.

    https://easyanimalfree.com/post/pasta-in-cream-sauce

  12. Tricia says...

    I try to have a sliced up loaf of whatever my favorite type of bread is (currently the soft French loaf from Whole Foods) in the freezer. I pull out however many slices I need, brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, or Parmesan if I have it. Pop it in the toaster oven for maybe 5 minutes and cover it with Trader Joe’s bruschetta tomato mixture. Maybe some basil and more parm too. The toasts are also delicious with Brie and whatever is on hand, apples, grapes, baby carrots, a salad.

    Usually with a glass of wine too.

  13. Hannah says...

    https://food52.com/recipes/64161-joy-the-baker-s-olive-oil-braised-chickpeas-more-or-less

    I’ve been making this weekly for a year and I’m just starting to get tired of it. So easy, so delicious. Braising in olive oil makes the chickpeas magical. Open cans of chickpeas, dice and sauté and onion, cut up some olives and lemon slices, add capers, pop it all in a roasting pan and pour in the olive oil. I find lots of smoky paprika is key. Then, after you’ve eaten it all, we use the olive oil leftovers for dipping raw veggies or cooking eggs.

  14. Karen says...

    Brinner (breakfast for dinner): sourdough toast, topped with sauteed spinach and an over-easy egg, sprinkled with sriracha. Heaven.

    Korean Beef – essentially I sautee a bunch of veggies (broccoli and shredded cabbage for sure, corn, zuch, mushroom), and throw some brown rice in the rice cooker. The meat is sauteed (half ground beef/half ground turkey), and once cooked I throw in a sauce that’s soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sriracha. I have no idea why or how such a simple sauce is so incredible, but it works. To serve: rice, veggies, meat, and chopped green onion. My girls prefer tofu over the meat, so this actually ends up being a pretty labor-intensive meal for a weeknight, but I make it happen!

  15. Emily says...

    Jenny,
    I appreciate all these ideas so much! Could you pretty please do a roundup of what to pack for school lunches soon? I alternate between PB&J and ham/turkey/cheese rollup. I need your help and creativity!

    • cg says...

      Whatever we eat for dinner is lunch the next day for the Huz and Kiddo. It’s just the three of us, but I cook for five (I get lunch provided at work).

  16. Denise says...

    Now I’ve got to make some chili mac . . .

    Our two favorites: breakfast for dinner (pretty much any breakfast food, but the family fave is “camper’s breakfast” which is hashbrowns mixed up with scrambled eggs and bacon) and creamy italian chicken (1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, one packet of italian dressing mix in a cup of water – throw in the crockpot on low; shred chicken when cooked through, add one package of cream cheese and one can of cream of chicken soup and stir. Allow to heat through and then serve over rice or pasta). Or by itself. It’s delicious, and EVERYONE will be excited when they walk through the door and smell it. When my son moved out he requested a rice cooker and crockpot so he can make it himself!

  17. Carmen says...

    This was the most comforting thing I’ll read today. Thanks for sharing the booooring dinner struggle, Jenny and COJ!
    P.S. Ours is taco night. So yum– but ugh, so many times over. It’s endearing when my kids muster a polite but muted “Oh look. Taco night. Great.”

  18. Justine says...

    Oooh yes. I’ve had a version of this with that sticky, clear, reddish sweet chilli sauce on top. So good. Great idea to make store bought veggie burgers more interesting. Like the asian slaw idea (maybe inside the bun). Super, thanks.

  19. Marla says...

    My kids favorite – Coconut soup – use up any grilled steak, chicken, pork or tofu. This recipe comes together in less than 20.
    Thinly slice leftover meat, set aside. In a soup pot saute onions or chopped scallions, ginger (from the jar), garlic (from the jar) and one jalapeno (optional but yum!). Add in some sliced veggies such as carrots, pea pods, bok choy, mushrooms. Whatever you have on hand. Add in the sliced protein and a Tbsp of soy sauce. Add 3 cups of broth (veggie or chicken) and one can of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 minutes to combine flavors. Serve each bowl topped with fried onions from the salad topping section of the market – get two bags because we all keep adding them to the top of soup as we eat it down!

  20. Justine says...

    Pescatarian family here.

    1. Red Lentil – Daal with potato, carrot and tomato; topped with fresh thin apple slices, toasted hazelnut and cilantro. Cooked Sunday – 2 meals

    2. Tofu – Roasted veggie tray with halloumi, pan fried tofu and arugula salad

    3. Fish – Haddock baked in almond flour, flour tortillas, citrus slaw and avocado

    4. Fish – One sheet roasted Salmon/Trout, broccoli and carrot strips with rice cooker quinoa

    5. Cheese – Mini pizzas topped with arugula salad

    6. Fish – White fish in white wine sauce with cherry tomatoes and basil, with rice cooker quinoa

  21. Marla says...

    Best on the grill but can be made stovetop:
    Tropical Burgers
    Hamburgers brushed with teriyaki sauce while grilling served with grilled pineapple. Simply cut a fresh pineapple into spears, rings or chunks on a skewer, lightly drizzle with olive oil and grill for a few minutes each side until nice grill marks appear. You could also throw together a little asian slaw or asian cucumber salad. Great warm weather meal. My kids loves this.

  22. Taylor says...

    A go to we have all the time is sourdough bread with curried peppers & tofu. Take a pan and fry up peppers (We use the bagged small colorful ones from Aldi). Chop up with an onion and fry on the pan with olive oil. Fry up chopped tofu (if we don’t have tofu we make scrambled eggs instead). Add salt pepper, and curry spice to everything in the pan. Whisk up some aioli sauce (mayo, olive oil, lemon juice). Toast up sourdough slices, swish on some aioli and top with the tofu and veggie mixture. Super-Fast, and super delicious!

    • Ashley says...

      Chickpea and Peas. Sounds weird but sooo good. You can add creme fraiche, chives, prosciutto, or whatever. Or not. Got the recipe from this site years ago as a 5 ingredient easy dinner. We make it weekly and add toasted breadcrumbs and lemon zest.

  23. Caroline says...

    Ours is Pesto turkey meatballs (for the meatballs:ground turkey, oats, about half a jar of green pesto; put them in a deep pyrex dish with 1 large jar of any tomato sauce, cover with lid and put in oven on high for 25 minutes).

  24. ToniaS says...

    We make taco salad a lot…

    A base of crunchy lettuce (we make our own easy dressing out of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mustard, a little grated garlic and s&p), beans (or whatever meat we have on hand–ground beef, venison, ground turkey, or diced chicken, cooked up with a packet of taco seasoning), and then loads of fresh toppings (tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream, salsa, crumbled corn chips, olives, diced red peppers, etc.)

    It’s easy, fresh, healthy, and everything can be put into a tortilla for the kids if they prefer that over a salad. We mix it up sometimes by making different homemade sauces to douse it all in, but it can be as simple or complex as you have energy for and it’s always yummy no matter what.

  25. Charlotte says...

    Quesadillas are on constant rotation here as well!
    My whole family also loves turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and corn/broccoli, and I AM SO SICK OF IT. But every time I make it they all say how yummy it is and have clean plates.
    Our other go to is lemon butter salmon in foil packets in the oven with rice and veggies – it sounds way more fancy than it is and I even use frozen salmon filets so it’s ready to go for a quick weeknight meal.
    I’d love to make more casseroles and soups but my kids (4 and 6) are leary of all the ingredients mixed, even if it’s ones they love! Someday!

  26. Emma says...

    This pasta carbonara recipe (with bacon and peas!) is super easy, and delicious, but after having made it dozens of times I’m pretty sick of it. Of course, my kids request it constantly…
    https://food52.com/recipes/214-daddy-s-carbonara

  27. Kara says...

    Lemon Garlic Butter Poached Salmon:
    -in a ramekin, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the microwave
    -mix in 2 big, minced cloves of garlic, half a lemon’s juice, a pile of salt and pepper, some dried herbs (dill if you have it, or herbs de Provence, or basil, or all of them) and whisk it all together with a fork
    -Pat the salmon dry and put it skin down on a big enough piece of parchment paper that you can fold the paper into a closed pouch (do this with the paper in or on some kind of baking pan)
    -pour the butter mixture over the salmon, fold the paper pouch closed
    -bake at 375 for 15 minutes or a little less/more, depending on your oven
    -serve with potatoes or rice and spoon some of the butter lemon garlic sauce over the starchy side

    This comes together with minimal dishes in under 20 minutes, and I wish I could say the summer is coming to retire it along with all oven cooking, but you can make it outside on the gas grill if you swap tin foil for the parchment paper, so we’re doomed regardless

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sounds so delicious!!

    • Sarah says...

      I grew up eating this! Oh man, this brings me back. This was definitely a dinner my mom made at least once a week when we could afford it. Now, though, I live too far from Seattle for the good stuff and always ask her to make it when I’m home. Sometimes she’ll add a splash of white wine to the sauce. Thanks for bringing back some memories :)

  28. cg says...

    Bake TJs breaded chicken, cook up a small pot of rice, cook up some Japanese curry from a box. Serve together as a faux chicken (katsu) curry.

    Chop up a bunch of boneless chicken thighs, brown in pan, dump in a bunch of random chunky chopped veg, pour in a jar of TJs Thai curry sauce (I use half and half for to make medium spiciness for my daughter’s palate), serve over rice.

    Again with the chicken (chopped, boneless), throw in a bunch of random veg (again), scoop in generous tablespoon or two of black bean, garlic sauce, add some gochujang (spicy), serve over rice or noodles, or zoodles.

    Bake salmon sprinkled with garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. If desired, brush teriyaki sauce on top for the last minute of baking. Serve w/ whatever, but we usually eat with with a salad, sometimes rice.

    Lastly, a super easy, on a pinch meal is to grab hot deli chicken tenders, bagged lettuce, avo, marinated artichoke hearts or pickled veg, and any other veg available (tomato, cucumber, etc). Chop everything, and toss with some Boursain herbed cheese -always a family fav, and soooooooo easy and quick.

  29. Jess. says...

    A menu I could eat every day, but my kids are not having it:
    peanut sauce on pasta with a side of glazed carrots
    (1/3 cup peanut butter, 2T veg. oil, 1 T soy sauce, cayenne pepper to taste, 1/2 t sugar, 1 T balsamic vinegar, 1 large clove garlic, pressed–Add to 8-12 (to 16) ounces pasta, loosening with pasta water).
    It’s so good! Why don’t they love me??!?

    A menu my children would eat every day, have requested every time I ask what they want for dinner, want for their birthdays, etc. We have served this for Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s easy enough for a weeknight. We skip the apricots, and always use dark meat chicken, typically with the skin removed. Delicious with broccoli.
    https://www.marthastewart.com/1018662/skillet-chicken-apricots-and-capers

    A meal we eat constantly and feed our guests, and still nobody is tired of it. I fry 1/2 piece of turkey bacon, flip it, add the okonomiyaki mixture, then flip the whole thing. We just mix hot sauce, mayo, BBQ sauce and use that to dress (Kewpie mayo is too sweet for me; my kids don’t like bonito).
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/05/japanese-cabbage-and-vegetable-pancakes/

  30. Maggie says...

    Pasta e fagioli soup with sausage. I like to make something on Sundays that we can eat on Monday too, so it’s usually a big roast or a soup, and this soup just kept feeling like the perfect thing for about a year – and now i don’t even want to think about it!

  31. CW says...

    My six and two year old have very specific tastes in veggies, EACH veggie being prepared A DIFFERENT WAY. Boiled frozen peas, canned green beans, fresh carrots and steamed broccoli. My two year old will only eat the first two. ALL I WANT IS A HUGE PAN OF HIGHLY SEASONED ROASTED VEGGIES, but most nights I end up popping open a can of green beans and tossing some crunchy carrots on a plate with a few spoonfuls of taco meat. Taco meat… always taco meat.

  32. LT says...

    Love this post! Please do it again in the future! I’m in such a rut for meals (and never have time to cook), I’ve actually turned to Freshly for meal delivery but the cost is surely going to get old.

  33. Erin Andrews says...

    Ok, I’m a single gal but I have a very select rotation of options for dinner every week. And I’m starting to get sick of them but I. can’t. stop. Even though it’s only me that I’m cooking for and I can choose whatever the heck I want! It’s just too easy and my grocery list never changes. My go-to is two fried eggs on toast spread with hummus and nutritional yeast and a literal shower of arugula. I simultaneously crave and despise it. Help!!!

    • Elle says...

      Spread avocado instead of hummus and sautée up some cherry tomatoes and kale instead of arugula. Sprinkle with TJs everything But the Bagel and indulge. Same but different. I’ll try your hummus version next :)

    • OMG this is me. Exactly.

  34. Lauren says...

    Okay you guys are you ready for this? In our family we have allergies to chicken, turkey, all fish, hazelnuts, walnuts,eggs, gluten and dairy.

    Meal planning is a real challenge, needless to say.

    I didn’t have any experience with food allergies until I married my husband (who has the majority of them) and then our children inherited some as well. It’s been a learning curve for sure. I would love to hear how families with allergies handle meal planning. That’s something I’ve never seen discussed exactly.

    As always, I love checking in with you guys on the daily ❤️

    • Sandra says...

      Yes! Our family is a hot mess at meal time–I’m a vegetarian who has developed some food intolerances (possibly undiagnosed allergies or IBS–still trying to figure it out), my husband has a super long list of things he just won’t eat, and surprise!, our son is a really picker eater. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I look longingly at posts where someone plops a lasagna and a salad on the table and calls it a day. It sounds so lovely and communal, but it isn’t happening in our family at this point.

    • Marisa says...

      OMG- that’s just too hard!!!! I thought it was enough that I have a vegetarian daughter and a son who will only eat read meat! My husband is allergic to shellfish, too :) I usually make a “base” meal and alter to suit each person individually!

    • Jenny says...

      Lauren, you should check out Love and Lemons
      https://www.loveandlemons.com/recipes/
      Many of the recipes are vegetarian and there are many that are GF/DF, and there are ways to limit your search by these catergories! Good Luck!!!

    • Allison says...

      omg, and i thought it was hard when we went gluten free for my daughter’s celiac disease! the only suggestion i can think of is vegan? Oh She Glows (blog and two cookbooks) is awesome – really great meals and a lot are (or can be made) gluten free.

    • Lisa says...

      My fiancé has a ton of food allergies and it’s such a struggle (all nuts, SOY – its in everything processed not just asian food, and a ton of fruits like stone fruit, strawberries, apples, mangos, coconut etc. – he used to also be allergic to seafood but not anymore thank god.)

      I feel like we eat the same thing all the time too, and the flavors I gravitate towards he can’t have (I love anything asian, coconut based etc). We eat a lot of chicken and roasted veggies. New sauces help too, but so many sauces have soy sauce or nuts so that can be hard to find new ones.

      I pray our future kids don’t get these allergies, it’s really scary.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Haha.

    • Annelise says...

      Just want to say that coconut aminos as a sub for soy sauce (add extra salt to the recipe) save our dinners (especially for marinades come grill season)! Check out Nom Nom Paleo, Grazed and Enthused, Against all Grain, Oh She Glows and there’s others too for allergen free recipes. It’s a huge learning curve but it can be done. It really helps to get a couple substitutions down so you can venture in to “normal” cooking again. I am a big fan of making a main dish everyone can eat and sides that are customized (i.e. a soup we can all eat but I’ll have potatoes with mine and some will have theirs over noodles, or we make burgers but I have regular & gf buns, same deal with burritos – easy to customize who gets what but basic components are the same).

    • Erin says...

      This! We manage different allergies (dairy, egg, peanuts, treenuts and mustard seed – which is in SO many things, and luckily have outgrown soy). It’s a challenge, but it does get easier!

      I use these sites a lot – Minimalist Baker (especially for baked goods!), Love and Lemons, Skinnytaste, and some that others have mentioned below. I also just started looking at Dinner: A Love Story and so many recipes looked great and would need minimal substitutions, if any. With dairy and egg allergies, I often start with vegan recipes – and then add meat if it makes sense/we want to. Finding good substitutes for dairy/egg products has also helped in certain recipes! Although it took some taste testing to find good substitutes :)

      Good luck! I’d be happy to share more of our specific meals if you’re looking for ideas.

  35. Meg says...

    What a great post! I plan to save this post and come back to it when I’m stuck about what to make for dinner. I make this salmon recipe once a week, usually with broccoli and noodles. It is so good and everyone loves it, but I am definitely getting tired of it! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/teriyaki-salmon-sesame-pak-choi

  36. Meghan says...

    In Winter: Hamburger Gravy spooned over mashed potatoes – First put pot full of water and potatoes on the stovetop and turn the heat UP. Let it boil while you make the rest of this…put butter and chopped onion/garlic in a skillet to brown, add ground beef and spices – I usually add Rosemary/Thyme. Sprinkle some flour or arrowroot to soak up the fat and make everything crumbly. Cook till meat is brown then lower heat and pour in some milk/cream. Stir and scrape the flavor bits from the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste and VOILA!

    In Summer: Lots of fruit salads/Veggie salads and caprese salad. I need a new rotation!!

    • Danielle says...

      Hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes was my mom’s go-to when I was growing up. Thank you for reminding me! Now I have to make this!

  37. Brilliant!!!!!

  38. Heather says...

    Can I request to not see a tongue again in the artwork??? haha no thank you.

    • Denise says...

      OMG, ditto! It’s so gross. I have to keep the page scrolled up so I don’t have to see it.

    • lisa says...

      it made me laugh. i love it!

  39. Meric says...

    All recipes are delicious. However most of the time I can just read them. Due to the food intolerances in my family (no gluten, no milk products, no eggs) I can not cook these delicious recipes.
    I would appreciate if you could give sometimes those kind of recipes.
    If you can’t, I will still love Cup of Jo a lot and continue to read every single as for years 😊. Thank you for this beautiful blog 😊.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      for sure! we are on it, meric. thank you for your lovely note xoxo

  40. Cheryl says...

    A Trader Joe’s flat bread and their refrigerated minestrone soup.
    I did Blue Apron for a year and I think I’m burned out.
    I’m also known to do what I call a smorgasbord…cheese, crusty bread, whatever is in jars on the door of the fridge, eggs, dolmas (Trader Joe’s) and a pile of nuts. It’s basically party hors d’oeuvres except it’s dinner. Done!

    • Tessa says...

      WE do SMORGASBORD too! Our kids are 4+6 and this is basically what I make when my husband is away (he cooks dinner usually) THEY LOVE IT. Cut up veg, left overs, hummus, ranch dressing, pickled or olive anything, fruit, crackers, cheese. We also often put it in muffin tins and sometimes do a picnic in the living room. Now they call it “SMORGUS-BOREGUS” for no reason and beg for it ha!

    • Nina says...

      Ahh great idea! This makes me feel better reading yours and everyone else’s meals. All these sound amazing and are easy! I obsess over dinner time (mainly because growing up it was non existent). We eat a lot of scrambled eggs and spaghetti with bolognese and I constantly feel like none of it is good enough. But it is. Thank you! <3

  41. HM says...

    I’m not at all sick of it, but my kids’ favorite meal is what they call “snacky lunch,” which is basically whatever we have on hand, served on a cutting board, cheeseboard-style. A couple crackers, veggies, nuts, cheese, olives, fruits about to go bad, WHATEVER. Everyone can take whatever they like from the board and call it a day. It’s almost cheating because it’s so simple, but they beg for it several times a week. And bonus: almost no dishes. My kids are those rare unicorns who love all foods, but because it’s so customizable, I end up making snacky lunch any time we have company.

    • Sandra says...

      My 8 y.o. and I do this too when my husband isn’t home–we call it picnic dinner. :-)

    • Roxana says...

      Oh my goodness. “Snacky lunch” is my kids’ dream dinner, too. We actually have this almost every day for lunch (I homeschool). There have been a few days in the recent weeks (hello, emergency appendectomy!) where we have had “snacky lunch” for both lunch and dinner, and they thought it was great. Haha!

    • Victoria says...

      We call this “take what you want lunch” and it never fails to please!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we call this a “smash and grab”! :)

    • RM says...

      we do this based on someone’s comment here a few years ago, and we have copied the name from whomever posted it as “little things” and my daughter LOVES it

    • Kate says...

      I call it a mish-mash meal!

    • Laura says...

      we call this a “free-for-all dinner” and my kids love it.

    • Sarah says...

      My husband and I do a version of this and call it a toast dinner, and it is one of our beloved summer meals that we look forward to all year. (Side note: I made an amazing recipe yesterday, gave it a 10/10, and my husband loved it but refused to give it a 10 because he said only Summer Meals deserve that accolade :) Ours is: fresh bread, a tub of ricotta, a bunch of basil, a fresh tomato, a pack of prosciutto, some peaches/plum/strawberries, plus balsamic, honey, salt, and pepper. It’s dinner and dessert all in one, and you can mix and match to your heart’s content. We have Toast Dinner once a week in the summer. My favorite part is that we usually eat it sitting on the floor or the deck, hovered over the cutting board between grunts of delight– which, in my opinion, is the best way to eat summer’s bounty.

    • Shan says...

      Oh my gosh we do the same thing and we also call it “snacky lunch.” Something about crackers, dried apricots and Gouda makes everyone happy!

    • Sarah, I literally just wrote down everything you said for your Toast Dinner including the name – we will be doing this come summer!! Thank you!

    • Maiz says...

      We call it Smörgåsbord, even though we are not even a tiny bit Swedish, and we live in CA, because that is fun to say, and everyone gets excited for it and everyone loves saying Smörgåsbord.

  42. Thanks for posting these. you are becoming some of my favourite blogs!

  43. Salmon. I sued the love the simplicity of sprinkling some cajun spices on top and roasting it in the oven. Even though I print out recipes to try, I still rely on the same old method. I need a salmon intervention. Maybe I’ll replace it with chili mac!

  44. Molly Guisinger says...

    I made the mustardy baked chicken for dinner last night and it was SO good. I was able to throw it together with my 1 year old under foot which is always the weird barometer for meals that get repeated in my house. I cooked it on a sheet pan with some other veggies on the side. Truly a full meal in 30 minutes! Yes!

  45. Mel says...

    We eat so many BLT’s it’s not even funny. But no one tires of it. I’m nearly certain it’s impossible to do so.

  46. scarlett says...

    We are super simple at my house. I don’t do anything too fancy since my son is too little to be eating anything as of yet, so it doesn’t have to be a kid-pleaser, but usually we just do some sort of meat and a green veggie. I’ll usually do chili once every week or two. But tonight should be pork chops (from our own pigs!) and either roasted brussels sprouts or green beans.

  47. We have an almost 3-year-old and she loves healthy baked chicken nuggets by Skinnytaste (which I feel much better about than the frozen kind but no judgment, ever): https://www.skinnytaste.com/healthy-baked-chicken-nuggets/
    (they’re actually really good in salads for the grown-ups)

    Hubs likes Pioneer Woman puttanesca (so easy, so good): https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/pasta-puttanesca/

    I cannot eat this ever again, Shape’s spinach and mozzarella-stuffed meatloaf: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1694699

  48. Sarah says...

    I’m sick of lettuce wraps but my kids LOVE it.

    Brown ground turkey or chicken until almost done. Add smooth peanut butter (natural, UN-sweet kind is best – I use about 1/4c per pound of turkey) and half a bottle (or more!) of Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce. Stir to melt/combine. Sauce thickens pretty quickly. For last 2 minutes in the pan add as much grated carrots and cabbage as you like (even use bagged slaw if you’re in a real rush!).

    Serve with lettuce leaves and rice.

    Voila!

    • Roxana says...

      This sounds really good. And easy! Thank you for sharing!

    • Vicki says...

      Genius- Making this! Thanks!

  49. Maryann says...

    Thanks for all the ideas!!
    Once a week, my husband or I will make “Giant Salad” which consists of whatever greens and leftover roasted veggies we have, crispy roasted potatoes, jammy soft boiled egg and whatever else we can find (pickled veggies, beans, toast, tomatoes, cukes, cheese) plus a basic vinaigrette. Sounds refreshing and healthy right?! Our kids HATE Giant Salad. My 12 yr old son actually cried last week when I told him that’s what we are having. So I think we need to bench GS for a while. Or… re-brand it?!

    • Mel says...

      This is my lunch every single day. I never tire of it. My husband and daughter would disown me if I made them eat it tho :)

    • Jen says...

      Yes! I’m looking for a re-branding for this meal too, since the “bowl” branding doesn’t appeal at all in our house. Can anyone help?! I love this meal and kids are coming around to it, as long as I include enough carbs/protein. Pita or corn chips on the side help too.

    • Candice says...

      This made me laugh! The betrayal of the Giant Salad! Maybe switch to Avocado Toast or that crazy good sounding Toast dinner for a while lol. You guys can have it with some salad on the side lol.

      Okay so Ours right now are Fatoosh Pitas. Ma’am bread heated in the oven, spread with hummus, and topped with chickpeas/cucumber/tomato/feta salad. I have been begged to make it once a week. It is pretty awesome (and I normally don’t like cucumbers).

    • Maiz says...

      Re-branding idea: Maybe you can de-construct it? Serve it on a board, so everyone can assemble their own. Call it “Snacky-lunch.”

  50. MJ says...

    We’ve had warm farro salad with tofu and mushrooms in our rotation, pre- and post-kids for a long time. It’s sophisticated, but simple enough to be kid-friendly. Maybe this sounds dull, but if you are a fan of mushrooms and parmesan, I promise it’s very satisfying. I started making this after trying something similar at a restaurant in Brooklyn and wanted to replicate it at home. At some point years in, I googled to see if there was an official recipe out there and came across this: https://food52.com/recipes/5710-farro-salad-with-roasted-mushrooms-and-parmesan I’m assuming it’s the same source of inspiration, also both our names are Merrill/Meryl, I love you internet. (Also this recipe is a Food52 community pick! See, it’s good!)

    So I do an approximation of this, and usually add sauted tofu (soy sauce quick-marinated) and baby arugula (massaged with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper) to make it a full meal. At this point it’s just a starting place where we substitute farro for brown rice, or mushrooms for cooked carrots, etc. We usually have soy sauce and/or sriracha on the table if it needs a little pick-up.

    Will try some of these other go-tos, thanks!

  51. Roxana says...

    This is hilarious. So true.

    Our go-to is boneless, skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and pan-fried in coconut oil (I do it so each side gets nice and browned). A side of rice boiled in my own chicken broth, and then a bag of frozen veggies (i.e. 365s organic frozen broccoli or “California Blend,” with butter and salt to taste). I probably use too much coconut oil, but the pan drippings taste REALLY good over the rice and meat. It is a tasty meal and the kids (7, 5, 2) even like the chicken thighs cold the next day, BUT, it messes-up three pans, so that’s a major strike against it, and I’m just so sick of it. However, it’s healthy and I could fix this meal in my sleep, so that’s why we end-up with it.

    • Kate says...

      One of my husband’s and my desperation go-to’s is chicken and rice in the instant pot – you can do both at the same time and you can even brown the chicken on the sautee setting, if you want! Plus you can basically cook the chicken straight from frozen. Then we top with some kind of sweet chili sauce and voila, easy tasty dinner.

    • Laura says...

      Roxana – three ways to make this a two pot situation (I’m obsessed with kitchen efficiency and have spent an absurd amount of time experimenting with this):
      1 – Pop a fine mesh strainer over your rice while the water is boiling and steam the veggies in the strainer (technically you’re left with two dishes + the strainer, but still much easier clean up).
      2 – If your kids are the sort that can tolerate vegetables touching other things, throw frozen veggies into the rice when its 3/4 of the way done cooking. Serve it all at a one-bowl situation.
      3 – Make a small tear in the frozen veggie bag; pop in a little cube of butter. Microwave for 30 seconds. Shake the bag (with your hand pinching the opening) to distribute the butter love. Back in the microwave until hot, sprinkle with flakey salt.

    • Roxana says...

      You all are so sweet! Thank you for the tips!

      Kate, what you suggest sounds good! I have to confess, though, that my instant pot and I haven’t hit it off. Not sure why. I bought an enormous one (I think I was high on an Amazon Prime Daily Deal, because I didn’t/don’t need it to be so big), which might be part of the problem. I feel like I’m putting a Humvee on the counter any time I pull it out. Plus, I fill it up with the ingredients and I think “Sweet, this should take 3 minutes!! I am a cooking genius.” But then it takes like 63 because it needs to warm-up and pressure-up, and cool-off and blow-off steam. In the meantime, I and the kids have inhaled a box of cheesy crackers. That said, it does make the absolute BEST beef stew. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I should try a little harder to warm-up to my IP :).

      Laura, thank you for the tips! I have mixed veggies in with the rice, which works (my kids are pretty easy eaters, thankfully), but I should probably do it more often. However, the whole fine mesh strainer business never occurred to me! Will definitely try.

  52. Mirte says...

    Broccoli pasta! My 2-year-old loves it, and after making it almost weekly I can make it with my eyes closed.

    Bring a generous amount of water to a boil in a big pot. Add about 500 grams (or more, if you like your veggies) of broccoli florets (if you like you can use the whole broccoli, just peel and chop up the stem) and boil for 6-7 minutes. Add 350 grams of fusilli and cook until the pasta is al dente. Meanwhile you take 250 grams of chopped bacon (or pancetta) and let it crisp in frying pan. Take a cup of the cooking water from the pot before draining the pasta and broccoli. Put the pasta and broccoli back in the pot and use a potato masher with a wire head (essential!) to mash the broccoli (the pasta will remain whole). Stir in 200 ml of creme fraiche, some of the cooking water (to your liking) and the bacon. Serve with black pepper and a good amount of Parmesan cheese :) But also really good with some pine nuts, sliced sundried tomatos, fried chorizo, whatever you fancy!

    • This sounds delicious!

  53. Emma says...

    This is so on the mark for us. Two young kids and we eat pasta (fish, mushroom or “red sauce”), fried rice with extra veg or a roast veggie tray with sausages. We sneak in new meals occasionally and looking to ramp it up. When both kids were miraculously asleep one weekend afternoon we tried to remember how we used to eat. The answer, “NOT SAUSAGES!!!”

  54. Sarah says...

    Actually, The Best South Indian Dahl from Cup of Jo is a favorite that I make pretty regularly, though we’re not sick of it! My 5 year old hates it but my 8 and 3 year old like it as much as the next dinner (which is to say they grudgingly eat it). It’s even better as leftovers.
    https://cupofjo.com/2014/01/the-best-south-indian-dahl/

  55. Jenny! Would you believe YOUR chicken cutlets with arugula are what we are sick of but can’t stop making? Not kidding. :)

  56. I am LOVING surfing through these comments and culinary cast offs. Delicious! A few from my kitchen:

    Pesto pasta with mushrooms & bacon

    My mum taught me and my brother this when she was working lates and needed us to start pulling our weight! Just slice and fry mushrooms & bacon, meanwhile cook the pasta, drain and pesto to taste (I allow a full jar for 4) plus the bacon and mushrooms to the mix. Tip it all in – bacon & mushroom juices included. Fry for 1-2 minutes to get all the flavours mixed and boom. Dinner in 15 mins max.

    In heavy rotation now – still not bored of it. Roasted sweet potato and carrots, with black or green lentils, rocket (arugula for folks in the states) and feta, dressed with olive oil and balsamic. Delicious and perfect for lunch leftovers too. Recipe here: https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/sweet-potato-lentil-and-feta-salad.html

    • Heather says...

      Pasta Fresca from Moosewood Cooks at Home. This recipe is so amazingly fresh, simple, and delicious! It’s basically salad pasta because the only thing that is cooked is the pasta. I made this over and over for my children when they were little. I worked on an organic vegetable farm at the time. The fresh harvested tomatoes and basil put it over the top! They never tired of it but I did. Lol they are grown now and still request it when they come to my house for dinner! By the way, I am craving it again after writing this!:)

  57. Jen says...

    Love this post and all your suggestions! Meal burn out is so real!

    I sadly overdid crepes one year (ham&cheese; vegggies, bechamel&cheese; sweet ones for dessert). We still have not recovered. They are so great because you can make a big stack and they last all week; the batter also freezes well. Smitten Kitchen’s recipe here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BA7zZ0Evrej/

    If my family ever burns out Food 52’s Green Rice, I’m sunk. It takes some prep (I sautee a huge batch of green onions and freeze into portions; the rice really must be cold or it turns mushy). But make a big batch because it’s even better on Day 2. https://food52.com/recipes/28027-green-rice

    Also homemade chicken soup made from the carcass of roast chicken (throw in an onion, a carrot, celery rib; strain well so it’s nice and clear). So basic but always so good.

    And seared hamburgers sans bun, served with salad and french fries (frozen!). I call it French Bistro Dinner and there is always applause.

    • Kate says...

      Thanks to you I made these crepes last night and they are perfect! In a perfect world I will always have a big mason jar of these ready so I can make one in the mornings before work or just for any dinner. Thank you!!

  58. Helen says...

    Ours is probably Nigella’s chroizo chicken bake. We have absolutely loved this recipe to death, but the final nail in the coffin was when we all got food poisoning when we were at my sister’s for lunch and the symptoms didn’t kick in til AFTER we’d come home and had our chicken chorizo dinner. It’s a terrible shame, I actually miss this dinner so much!

    https://www.nigella.com/recipes/spanish-chicken-with-chorizo-and-potatoes

  59. Cat says...

    Zucchini ricotta pasta!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YUM.

  60. Jenny says...

    Love this post! With two kids under 3, easy/delicious family meals are all I need right now. Ours is a Bon Appetit for ground chicken larb- usually made with ground pork in our house. I always have the ingredients on hand, it’s super easy, delicious, and pretty healthy. We’re on the verge of wearing it out, but I’ll still keep making it anyway!

    • Isabelle says...

      I make this recipe too! It’s so so good and thankfully no one is sick of it yet :)

  61. This post made me hungry!

  62. Malissa says...

    About once per week-ish, we have what we call Toasties:
    Make brown rice
    Heat up – in one pan of course – one can of drained beans/one can of refried beans
    chop up toppings – tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, shredded cheddar
    set out – sour cream and salsa/hot sauce
    LAYER in a bowl: crushed up tortilla chips, brown rice, cheddar, both beans, then the cold toppings!

    • ana says...

      Curious about them name! How it came to be known as “toasties” as opposed to say, burrito bowl ?
      That’s one our fav dinners too :)

  63. Joana says...

    A recipe I nabbed from my mum who nabbed it from a famous Italian filmmaker & actor, Ugo Tognazzi. It’s basically any pasta you have cooked with cut up ham, a little tomato sauce, some cream & a spoonful of mayo with black and green olives and capers. I know it sounds demented but holy crap is it yummy!

    • Marlena says...

      Saving this one! I love recipes with a cool background story and this one seems easy and delish. I have a recipe for fettuccine alfredo that supposedly Jackie O used to enjoy at a restaurant called Elaine’s in New York. I made it once for friends and they asked for the recipe, so I told them it was a secret between me and Jackie. LOL Such a nerdy thing to say but I still laugh at it because there was a millisecond moment when they believed me and that cracked me up!

  64. Dagny says...

    I try and keep everything taco or burger ‘esque’…..
    -chicken lettuce wraps (inspired by pf changs in 1999 :)
    saute chicken breasts in a mix of sesame oil, braggs or soy sauce, and fresh ginger and garlic then chop up and mix with waterchesnuts, green onions and shredded carrots. dump in lettuce cups and my kids happily eat them weekly!
    -actual tacos. duh.

    -bison burgers
    -chickpea burgers (chickpeas smashed with a couple eggs, panko, cumin, a little red curry paste (Trust me) and garlic then fry in a hot cast iron
    -costco wild salmon “burgers” (so sick of these.)
    -“Turgers” (turkey burgers but my 5 year old thinks she doesn’t like turkey so we don’t mention what it is) ground turkey mixed with mushroom powder from TJs, super finely chopped mushrooms and garlic

  65. Beth says...

    Pasta + 1 jar pesto + 1 small container feta cheese + optional sliced Applegate Farms chicken sausage. Boom!

  66. Katie Larissa says...

    My go-to is sausage and gnocchi.

    Sauté sliced smoked sausage (or chicken sausage) with a diced onion until the onion is translucent. Add a small can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of rinsed and drained white beans, a package of dry gnocchi, about half a cup of cream, stir together and then pop a lid on the pan and turn the heat low until the gnocchi is tender. Then add a HUGE handful of shredded fresh basil (or spinach or arugula, but I love basil,) and 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan, lots of cracked black pepper, and salt to taste. (Salt need will largely depend on how salty your sausage choice was.)
    Comes together in about 20 minutes and has been OVERWORKED in our home. My toddlers love it. My husband and I are sick of it.

  67. joy says...

    One of our easy meals that I’m sick of is roasted salmon filets, roasted sweet potato chunks, and steamed broccoli or green beans. The veggies can be prepped ahead so all you have to do is put the sweet potatoes in the oven, then add the salmon at the end, and steam the green veg while the other stuff is in the oven.

    I’m fairly sick of tacos, but cheap and easy and everyone will eat the beans, cheese, and tortillas, and some people will eat the chopped veggies, so it won’t leave the rotation anytime soon.

    Slow cooker roast beef with potatoes and carrots. I don’t actually love this meal, but it’s so easy, everyone will eat all components, and it makes a lot of leftovers, so I can’t retire it.

  68. Cait says...

    “Pea pasta!!!”
    Exclaim my daughters every time I ask “what should we have for dinner?”
    It’s the Ottolenghi recipe from Jerusalem (https://orangette.net/2013/06/told-you-so/).
    It is delicious, but holy hell, I’ve been making it since 2013 when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Help!

    • Sarah says...

      Ooh good call, I’ll be making that this week. It looks delicious and quick 🙌🏻

  69. Angela says...

    We just call it “black bean bowls” which consists of rice, black beans with taco seasoning, and various taco accoutrement (ie whatever i have on hand…cherry tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, limes, cheese, salsa, cilantro, etc…). Easily customizable and the kids and I still can’t stop with it, although some weeks my husband gives me a look. WHATEVER MAN.

    • Mary says...

      This made me LOL, Andrea!

  70. Laura says...

    We probably have TJ’s frozen mandarin chicken and veggie fried rice once a week – definitely not the healthiest but it’s slightly better and certainly cheaper than takeout. In the winter I make us eat tons of chili- plain, over rice, with tortilla chips, etc- or I’ll do baby potatoes and broccoli in the oven and pan fried boneless pork chops. In the summer we also eat sooo much corn on the cob and watermelon in every variety

  71. Hannah says...

    Lasagna Soup! (aka “zombie soup” because my kids said it looks like “delicious brains”. Ha!). I’ve been making it for 8 years and it’s still a family favorite! I’ve taken to having all of the ingredients for the recipe in my pantry/fridge at all times and I use whatever noodles we have on hand.

    https://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/lasagna-soup/

  72. Love this! With five children under 9 you can imagine that there are very few meals that everyone agrees on! So when I find a winner (that isn’t just “cheesy pasta”), I tend to make it a LOT.

    We are also vegetarian, to add to the mix! But favourites here include bean tacos (oven roasted peppers, sweet potato and onion, mixed with black/kidney beans and some chopped tomatoes, spiced for the adults and bland for the kids)… or a mashed-potato topped pie, like this:

    https://themumandthemom.com/2018/06/08/smug-and-lazy-vegetable-pie/

    And talking of mashed potatoes (my British heritage really showing itself) if I am trying out a new recipe that I expect will be roundly rejected, I often make our failsafe side dish – “special mash”, so that no one goes to bed hungry and I don’t have to start making separate meals for the refuseniks:
    https://themumandthemom.com/2017/07/24/the-ultimate-toddler-side-dish/

    Also, and as a measure of desperation, I sometimes make “pizza rice” which is, as the name suggests, rice made with pizza fixings (peppers, corn, mushrooms, tomato sauce, and a lot of cheese)…it’s a sophisticated menu around here these days!

  73. Karin says...

    Easiest family dinner I’m still not sick of: dump 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, a jar of salsa verde and a little can of diced Chile’s into a crockpot for 4 hours on high or 8 on low
    Shred and serve…
    over rice
    As a taco
    As a burrito
    Add cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc etc etc.

    • Amber says...

      I’ll be happy if I never see crockpot salsa chicken again! Burned out on that so hard last winter.

    • Anne Elliott says...

      Literally came into Comments to post “salsa chicken,” which in my world is just chicken breasts and a jar of mild salsa thrown into a crock pot, cooked forever, then shredded. You can set it up in the morning and turn it on before work, and when you get home you’ll have tasty chicken to shred and eat all week.

    • Mel says...

      Thank you for solving my what the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight dilemma (and being that it’s Friday night our family rule is that it is ‘fun’ and tacos are burritos are never not fun).

  74. Becca says...

    Huevos rancheros! Don’t make me eat it again!!! (But I’ll probably make it tomorrow)

    • Patrice says...

      hahahaha!

  75. Elliesee says...

    I resuscitated white frozen fish, cut-up tomatoes, chopped green onions, in the oven with salt pepper olive oil, added cooked pasta – it was a hit again! I will soon not be able to use my oven as the weather will get too hot and I will miss it – I cook very differently in the summer and I have to buy more meals that can be quickly reheated in the microwave. Cooking fatigue is real and we need one night to eat leftovers, and a week-end lunch of croque-monsieur or even better my daughter cooking pancakes. The slow cooker is also a nice way of having more time and eating well. Now I want to make a Bolognese Mac and Cheese – I wasn’t raised on Mac and Cheese so I am usually disappointed if I make it and my best result tasted just like the frozen kind!

  76. Jill says...

    This is hysterical!!!! Ours is Thomas Keller’s very simple roast chicken. It is the most perfectly roasted simple whole chicken. When I first made it I was shocked at how delicious it was and how simple!!!! My husband was impressed and he would ask me is it hard to make. All I would say is “do you think world famous chef, Thomas Keller has easy recipes???” (lol, yes he does) Even my teen daughter liked it. Until I made it once or twice a week for 2 years. Now no one wants it. But I recommend looking it up and making it. A whole roast chicken is always quite impressive until your family gets sick of it. http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2015/05/thomas-keller-3-ingredient-roasted-chicken.html

    • Christina says...

      OH MY GOODNESS I make this all the time too. It is so so good, and my addition is to cook the chicken over top of a bed of sliced up onions, which get delicious and melty in the chicken juices. I don’t do anything to them except put them in the pan before the salt rains down, and they turn out fantastic.

    • Jill says...

      christina, that onion idea is a really good idea. bon appetite has a recipe for an oven bbq chicken which is spatchcocked and put over a bed of sliced onions, the covered in spices and bbq sauce. The onions do make it so juicy. With my Thomas Keller chicken, I make sure I use lots of malden salt and I eat it with dijon mustard. Now I want to start making it again.

  77. josie says...

    Mediterranean Pasta– Saute an onion, add a can of tomatoes, basil, oregano, chop up a can of artichoke hearts and olives in the food processor, add to pan, add a splash of vinegar and let simmer for awhile. Add to cooked pasta, with equal parts feta and mozzarella and bake for ~10 mins. A nice diversion from our regular pasta a marinara sauce.

  78. From the moment we were in high school my mum made us each cook a meal during the week, she didn’t care what it was as long as it was healthy and we could do it without burning down the house. My sister then proceeded to make spaghetti bolognaise all throughout her high school years, so we ate it once a week on a Thursday (her designated cooking night). I was never a huge fan of bolognaise to begin with so by the time she finished high school I was over it, it was one of those meals that I ate for nutritional value and not enjoyment. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and appreciate the time and effort someone has put into the meal regardless of your enjoyment of it.
    Thankfully her repertoire has expanded and she now cooks many more dishes other than spaghetti bolognaise!

    • Caitlin says...

      I, too, had spaghetti bolognaise weekly growing up and got so sick of it! I probably had not had it in 15 years and then when I got pregnant last year I was struck by the most intense craving for it and ate it SO much throughout my pregnancy! I still enjoy it occasionally but wonder if it will be a meal my kids grow tired of one day haha.

  79. Tovah says...

    Guyz guyz guyz. We were not a meal-planner household AT ALL until we implemented a MEAL ROTATION which has really kicked the butt of recipe fatigue and also the ” but I want a quesadiiiiiiiiilla” whining. Ours goes like this: Pasta Monday, Taco Tuesday, Asian Wednesday, SPECIAL SURPRISE Thursday (aka leftovers, usually), Pizza Friday, Seafood Saturday, Soup + Sandwich Sunday. The categories provide enough structure to keep our rules-obsessed preschoolers on board (“Today is Pizza Friday! I love this day!”) but not so strict that grownups can’t get creative (allllllll the Asian foods…..). Also really helps narrow down the options when we want to go out or order take-out. Five stars!

    • Liz says...

      We do this too! Almost to the same day descriptors. And when you’re the cooking person these categories are super helpful when you’re trying to decide what to make…

    • Amy says...

      Yes!! We do this too and it’s fantastic!! But now my oldest has decided she doesn’t like Sundays anymore because she don’t like soup 😂.

    • Breamons says...

      This is a GENIUS IDEA.
      Friday gets pizza! What a great thing to look forward to!

    • Laurie says...

      Yes!!! We do a similar rotation and it saves me from Dinner Brain. I swear, it’s like my head gets Etch-a-sketched when I’m at the store but if I can remember this system, I know I won’t go home with only a bottle of conditioner and some ground beef.

    • Louise says...

      Not the same but we’ve got Tuesday Juiceday (both words pronounced the same in our dialect in Ireland) to put some sort of boundaries on when my preschooler gets juice. It’s pretty exciting when Tuesday rolls around each week guys…

  80. Hali says...

    When you posted that frozen green bean + egg lunch recipe it BLEW. MY. MIND. I cooked it every day for 4 days straight and served it to my husband twice in a row (3rd and 4th days) when he was home during the day. I burned out on it but it will definitely return to heavy rotation in a couple of months.

  81. MissEm says...

    This is brilliant. Mine is a one pot bucatini puttanesca. I would eat it twice a week right now but my family is sick of it. My kid’s 2 favourites that I’m a little over are Food52’s quick mac n cheese, and a meal my daughter titled “Coming Home Meal” (❤️, no?) bc we moved a lot when she was really little and it always seemed to be the meal we ate when we felt settled enough (and whenever we returned from a trip as a sign that take-out was over) – it’s mashed potatoes, baked salmon, and Smitten Kitchen’s kale salad. Actually, I’d eat that kale salad every day of my life.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      “Coming home meal” I love that so much!

  82. Jean Jones says...

    Pita bread pizzas; whole wheat pita bread, cover with tomato paste, then shredded cheese + leftover meat from fridge (rot. chicken, ham slices, etc.) + veggies from fridge (mushrooms, onions, peppers). Bake @ 400 for 10 minutes. Done! Adult version- has BBQ sauce instead of paste; rot. chicken; red onions; veggies; shredded Gouda cheese & cilantro on top.

  83. Laura Rennie says...

    We’re *almost but not quite* sick of roasted salmon and asparagus with couscous. It takes 20 minutes tops, and I plop a big spoonful of sour cream mixed with dijon on top.

    I also make these oven fajitas at least once or twice a month
    https://www.budgetbytes.com/oven-fajitas/

    and quick curry dinner — stir rotisserie chicken (white or dark) and sautéed peppers and onion with jarred red or yellow curry sauce served over coconut rice. Also delicious w/ green beans, broccoli, zucchini, really any vegetable.

  84. Ellen says...

    Frittata. I memorized the basic recipe from TheKitchn (https://www.thekitchn.com/memorize-this-to-make-a-frittata-without-a-recipe-255417) and put in whatever we have in the fridge or left in the vegetable bowl. I like it with broccoli, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and lots of salty feta but I’ve put everything from cooked barley couscous to pesto to roasted vegetables in there. The next day it makes a great sandwich on a crusty roll with butter and Dijon. PS I never have the cream called for so I sub in milk with no ill effect.

  85. Midge says...

    Tonight my kids are making themselves scrambled eggs while my husband and I have popcorn for dinner at an early movie!

    We have a three-week dinner rotation — 21 meals — that has lasted for about six years (!!!), so nothing gets repeated more than that. Every once in a while we’ll throw in something different but man, it makes everything easy. We have a separate list of stuff that we make 3-4 times a year for when we’re sick of things. I loathe cooking so automation is awesome!

    • Lena says...

      What are your 21 meals? This is genius!

    • Heather says...

      Please share your list of meals! What a great idea!

    • Midge says...

      Here goes!
      Week 1: Enchiladas, Chinese, spaghetti, burgers (summer)/French dip (winter), ham, fend for yourself
      Week 2: Tacos, rotisserie chicken, ziti, chili, brats, fend for yourself
      Week 3: Quesadillas, fried or BBQ chicken, alfredo, stew or soup, pigs in Blankets, fend for yourself
      Mix in: Mac & cheese, baked chicken, steak, red beans & rice, lasagna, pesto, risotto, chicken parm

      A “fend” night means that we go out or someone’s at a meeting/practice and the remaining three eat scrambled eggs, cereal, or leftovers.

      Nobody is allowed to make Friday plans, unless it’s a best friend’s birthday party or something. We’ve eaten pizza and watched Mythbusters together almost every Friday for over ten years!

  86. Kathleenican says...

    Breakfast for dinner is a go to around here. Something about it being the evening makes just plain pancakes seems VERY fun. I’ll cook up some bacon (in the microwave, I’m not trying to win any awards here) and cut some strawberries and my kids think it’s the BEST dinner ever.

  87. kathleenicanrah says...

    Roasted tofu + Maya Kaimal simmer sauce (tikka masala is especially good) + frozen peas + carrots and garlic naan. Kids eat it deconstructed, and I love the leftovers for lunch. But yeah….we’ve made it like 20 times this winter.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      I love that tikka masala simmer sauce! Makes life so easy!!

  88. Jillian Tongate says...

    Tacos!

    Roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with Mexican flavors like chili powder, cumin, whatever is on hand. Add to taco with black beans and then either scrambled eggs or a simple slaw. This use to be in heavy rotation but was retired for awhile… sounding appealing again!

    Store bought veggie burgers with fries or salad.

    Store bought falafels with rice or simple cucumber and tomato salad.

    I’m big into ‘assembling’ dinners. Who has time to cook most nights!

  89. Julie says...

    1. Chicken piccata. If I don’t feel like menu planning and ask my husband what he’s craving, it’s ALWAYS chicken piccata. He’s testing my love of capers and he must be stopped.
    2. Creamy chicken and spinach soup with gnocchi. So easy, always good, but I’ve started to side-eye gnocchi. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kale_with_sausage_and_white_beans/
    3. Sausage with braised kale, and white beans. It’s super delicious (I use spicy turkey sausage) but we eat it a lot in the winter and by summer I never want to see it again. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kale_with_sausage_and_white_beans/

    • Sasha L says...

      We eat same, Taco bowls, with refried beans, rice, salsa, corn, cheese, sour cream and whatever else to throw in. Eat with tortilla chips or scooped into a tortilla. Good, cheap, fast, healthy.

  90. Sarah Jane says...

    Saltine crusted chicken + a side salad

    similar to deb’s milanese recipe. this is a comfort food when I need chicken nuggets but also still want to be a step above dino-nugget land. (who eats more of these – me or my toddler??)

    ok get some boneless chicken ( i prefer breast but thigh would be fine too)
    pat and dry and put salt and pepper on it – you can totally add onion powder or garlic or chili powder

    Then basically you crush up saltines to breadcrumb texture or outsource to toddler (a tested and approved activity, though monitor closely to keep your kitchen from turning into a crumb sandbox) or to a March madness obsessed partner/spouse

    whip an egg (you can add dijon or sriracha here if you want to add an extra flavor

    then take a fork, stab a corner of your chicken breast, douse in the egg mixture then the saltine crumbs
    and pan fry!

    use a meat thermometer (165 people!) or the poke-and-cut-til-you-don’t-see-pink method

    MAKE SALAD: greens + berries + citrus + balsamic + oil + salt!! + pepper + crunchy things

    • Andie P says...

      this comment made me laugh

      sometimes i hope my toddler doesn’t finish his fishsticks/nuggets/fruit snacks… or i make more than i know he’d eat and then feel better about finishing off his “scraps” :P

  91. Sasha L says...

    Ha! Apparently I’m immune. We do have a pretty big repertoire of meals and only make things we really like. But I feel like I truly could eat Korean tofu tacos or Caesar salad pizzas or Potato chip cheater Spanish tortilla EVERY NIGHT. But I eat the exact same breakfast just about every day, and leftovers for lunch. And I often get the same dish in our favorite restaurants.

  92. Carmen Ria says...

    tomato soup (mexican mama style)
    toast dry pasta in the pan first (bow tie/shells/macaroni – anysmall pasta is good)
    add some sausage (we cut straight frozen aidell’s around here…)
    add a can tomato paste or diced tomato
    add sabor de pollo (literally this is like dry bouillon powder)
    add veggies (anything in the fridge i swear – garlic, kale, beans, corn, bell pepper, onion)
    add hot water
    add some black pepper

    boil for a bit, and mwah! estamos listo!

  93. Rosie says...

    Taco salad – ground turkey seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning, corn and black bean salsa, Whole Foods guac (our favorite), and grated cheddar over mixed greens. Even my picky six year old will eat it sans lettuce. We also make the turkey and ricotta meatballs from Cup of Jo once a month and freeze them and eat that at least once a week. The lentil, bruschetta and feta mix from TJs with grilled chicken over couscous or mixed greens is a favorite although our child will not touch it.

    • Karen says...

      As an alternative to packet taco seasoning (so many unfamiliar ingredients), my taco seasoning is cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and several healthy squeezes of tomato paste. Add a little water to make it saucy-er.

  94. Heather says...

    We are currently making fish tacos once a week. Grilled salmon (or frozen battered fish is that’s what we have), cabbage, tomatoes, some cheese (it sounds weird, but it’s GOOD), cabbage and yogurt/lime/siracha sauce. All wrapped up in a soft tortilla. Very good, especially when we have some cole slaw on the side and waffle fries (the way they do it at our favorite fish taco place). Not exactly things that we have all the time, but I make sure to buy them.

  95. Amanda says...

    Love this post! It’s such a good idea and I’m definitely saving these recipes. I’ve also had a similar conversation with friends about trading leftovers – they are great for a few lunches, but then sometimes you just hit a wall. My mom and I actually started doing it on occasion and it’s great, food isn’t getting wasted and you get a fun meal you didn’t have to cook!

    It’s funny how many mustard chicken recipes are in the post/comments, that is definitely one for me. Partly because it’s the first meal I cooked for my husband when we were dating and I made it twice in one week (so I could practice – made the mistake of doing the full recipe twice with two whole chickens’ worth of meat). Although I do agree it’s delicious, I can hardly stand the thought of it and it’s been over 10 years :P

  96. Amanda says...

    Kind of related – my favorite frozen foods! I work a lot and am in grad school, so when I’m just too busy I allow myself the shortcut of frozen meals. My favorites are all from Trader Joe’s… I LOVE the veggie lasagna (had it tonight!), kung pao chicken with frozen brown rice (had it last night!), refrigerator section cheese enchiladas and canned refried black beans, and chicken fried rice with half a bag of frozen veggies added and a fried egg on top (all of those make two meals!). For lunches I literally can’t get enough of their black bean and corn enchiladas. I watch my macros, too, and these are all fairly healthy and macro-friendly :). Love this post!

  97. Sara says...

    I’m 100% tired of both tostada night (even though it’s super adaptable) and breakfast dinner. We fall back on those far too often.

  98. Hilary says...

    What a great idea! Meals I love but worry about overdoing:

    1. Quesadillas. I always have frozen peppers, onions, and corn in the freezer (thanks Trader Joes) along with tortillas. Add a can of refried beans and you’ve got some hearty veggie quesadillas.

    2. Sally’s Baking Addiction creamy chicken noodle soup. Use a container of mirepoix to make it a quick weeknight meal.

    3. A riff on Budget Bytes’ BBQ chicken bowls. Baked potato sliced in half and topped with black beans, frozen corn, shredded chicken (rotisserie would be great here) and BBQ sauce. Makes great leftovers too!

  99. Mae says...

    I cannot go a week without making fajitas. (I bake/roast the peppers and onions while the chicken cooks, maybe everyone does.)

    I can barely go a day without making the same lunch: Whole Foods coconut chicke, or if I’m being more budget-conscious, just diy: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-frozen-chicken-247433 with broccoli slaw tossed with lemon poppyseed dressing.

    My partner is forever sick of Smitten Kitchen’s kale, white bean, sausage, crouton dinner. This one I could eat for days on end (and do!).

    And when I’m alone, nachos with refried beans and corn.

  100. Sarah says...

    I have made this recipe for creamy chicken tacos a million times. It’s easy and it’s good but I am definitely sick of it. My husband still loves it and my kids tolerate it. Throw into a crock pot about 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (thighs or breasts). Season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin. Add a can of drained black beans, drained rotel, 1 1/2 c corn and 8 oz cream cheese. Cook on low about 5 hours. Shred/chunk chicken up and stir sauce. Serve with rice and/or tortillas.

  101. Sarah says...

    Mine is one all 6 of us will eat and feel good (me) and not whine (the kids) but running out of time I’m sure…
    Shove skin on chicken thighs in oven with ras al hanout sprinkled on. Get them out in an hour, 5 mins before they’re ready add boiling water to cous cous and chickpeas. Chop some salad. Whizz up yogurt with garlic, lemon, green herb. Hands on time is so little and it’s so tasty!
    Getting lots of inspiration from all your cast offs!

  102. Michelle says...

    Pinning and trolling the comments like mad!

    We are trying to eat less meat. Some veggie hits in our house are this soup: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/curried-lentil-tomato-and-coconut-soup (you can leave out the red pepper flakes).

    These fritters take 5 minutes and are delicious: https://www.fifteenspatulas.com/chickpea-fritter-puffs/

    https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chickpea-pancakes-with-leeks-squash-and-yogurt

    Plus tacos, pizza and pastas of all kinds, of course.

  103. Stephanie says...

    I’m making an old standby tonight which is baked crusted salmon. I combine panko, butter, garlic, and whatever herbs I have on hand into a mixture and then press it on top of the salmon. Then I bake it until the top is golden brown along with some asparagus and voila! Sooo easy!

  104. Amanda Gwaltne says...

    Cook an egg or two in pasta sauce until white is juuuuust firm and yolk is still gooey. Spread butter and roasted garlic powder on a thick slice of crusty bread and broil until browned. Pile sauce and egg(s) on top of bread and eat!

    This meal is easy AND cheap. It’s basically the cheater’s version of eggs in purgatory/shakshuka and my husband and I ate the heck out of it when we were younger and poorer. Without fail, every time I make it now, my husband sighs and tells me he forgot how good it is. And every time, I’m just glad I don’t have to eat it on repeat anymore haha.

  105. Elise says...

    Too funny, growing up my mom would make a 3 mustard chicken (mustard powder, brown mustard and seedy dijon mustard) what felt like at least once a week! I’m sure it is/was delicious, but still to this day, I can not eat mustard chicken! I love the idea of sharing these though since one person’s rut is another person’s new discovery! Great idea!!!

  106. Claire says...

    Oh I love this, can’t bookmark fast enough!
    Our favourites at the moment are mixed bean tacos (mixed beans, peppers, honey, spices all chucked in the slow cooker, served with mashed avocado & creme fraiche), roasted butternut squash, chorizo & goats cheese risotto & a salmon, new potato & asparagus tray bake :)

    • Sasha L says...

      Do you have a link for those tacos? Yum!

    • Claire says...

      Sasha – I copied the recipe out by hand and tweaked it so have no idea of it’s original online home! Sorry, I will have a look though.

  107. Miranda Rake says...

    We’re having this one tonight—one pot, four ingredients, super delicious: https://food52.com/recipes/78714-one-pot-tomatoey-cheesy-pasta-with-shallots. It’s one of 4 or 5 dinners that are on heavy rotation—half of which are some sort of riff on pasta with tomato sauce, and all of which I am bored of, despite their overall objective deliciousness.

    As a food & drink writer, I feel like I am supposed to be a bottomless well of creative dinner ideas, but by the time we make it to the end of the day with our 16-month old, all I want is something that comest together quickly and involves minimal clean up, so I can be on the sofa chilling asap. It’s so comforting to know that other people have dinner fatigue, too!

  108. Jessie says...

    Love this post and share-out so so much! It’s just me and the fiance, but man do we get sick of the rotation. Our current weeklys are this quick AF apple, spinach, goat cheese pizza (we try to add protein to this) with honey mustard dressing:
    https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/apple-goat-cheese-pecan-pizza
    And this mushroom, spinach pasta with brown butter (truly brown butter all day every day in my book but pile on the parm for more flavor):
    https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pasta_with_spinach_mushrooms_and_brown_butter/
    Both of these come together in less than 20 minutes.

  109. Mine is a can of chickpeas drained, poured into a frying pan, sprinkle cumin seeds, then add a can of tomatoes, and lastly spinach! So easy, one pan, 5mins, filling.
    Add egg or tofu for extra protein. Same pan – just dig a hole in the mush and fry it up!
    And I am SO SICK OF IT now hahahahha!

    • kathleen says...

      YUM.

    • Kate says...

      Us too! Have probably had it 40 out of 52 weeks a year since it was posted. Excellent for a packed lunch too. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only reason the grocery store has butter beans stocked.

  110. Marcella says...

    Lol @ Chris Morocco – bean & cheese tacos are a way of life here in south TX ;) I made smitten kitchen’s eggs in purgatory last night, while I was making it I was thinking wow I’m tired of making this but it was actually pretty good once I started eating! Ha.

  111. Allison says...

    I particularly hate cooking; even eating a (good or bland) meal brings me very little joy so having to make at least 2 meals a day is such a chore. To ease the pain I always meal prep for M-F and a few years ago thought up a way to make it easier for myself (luckily for the boring meal plan I only have to cook for me): I pick a meal for lunch and something different for dinner and then have it every day that week. For example, this week is open faced ham & swiss melts for lunch (I work from home, yay oven) and a salad with brussels sprouts, chicken, grapefruit, almonds, and blue cheese for dinner. I’ll have the same lunch every day this week and the same dinner. Next week I pick 2 different things. By Friday I’m 100% sick of both but then I may not have the same thing for another few weeks and then it doesn’t seem so bad anymore. If I crave something heavier (think: risotto or pasta) I’ll just have it once and salad the other days. It’s great economically because I only buy enough food for a week and don’t throw anything out. If I go out or meet friends during the week, I’ll have that meal on the weekend. By Sunday my fridge is truly empty.

    • Veronica says...

      This might work for me. Great idea, thanks Allison !

    • Marisa says...

      Hi Allison, despite hating to cook, your meals sound fantastic! :)

    • Sasha L says...

      Same Lisa! Beans, lentils or tofu y’all??

    • Neen says...

      Same! “Which legume are we having tonight??”, accompanied by “We can’t eat that same grain again…”

    • Bailey says...

      Exactly. Our weekly rotation is like beans, hearty vegetable, lentils, beans, hearty vegetable, lentils, beans…All the BEEEEAAAAANS!

  112. Louisa says...

    Thursday night we always have our neighbors over and usually make pizza, but because of Passover we’re having our go-to dinner tonight. My husband has a pot of beans on the stove now. Homemade tortillas (it’s so easy! by Maseca + water and a tortilla press!). Then whatever: cheese, yogurt, cilantro, limes, shredded whatever (carrots, cabbage, radish), a fried egg, salsa/hot sauce, avocado, sweet potato. And a lager.

    • Lori says...

      This all sounds SO GOOD!

  113. Esther says...

    I have a Google Drive folder called Easy Meals. The easiest, fastest, most delicious one is Honey Mustard Chicken. Mix together honey and mustard, spread over chicken thighs, bake until done. Serve on rice. It’s saucy and delicious, and takes about 10 minutes to put together. The downside is it takes a while to bake.

    Another favorite that I’m sick of is pinto bean wraps. I fry up a few cans of pinto beans with a packet of taco seasoning. Then I toss together a slaw made of shredded cabbage and dressing (olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper), with any accouterments I have on hand, like grated carrot, cilantro, or green onions. Wrap them in a tortilla and eat. I can make this in half an hour if I focus.

    Thanks for all the dinner ideas!

    • Christy says...

      The google drive folder is brilliant! I am copying this idea now. Thanks!

  114. EJ says...

    Growing up, it was grilled chicken caesar salad with really finely chopped romaine EVERY Monday night. After a weekend of what was usually ridiculous eating, it was the only way my mom could get our family of 5 back on track. Unfortunately for my then boyfriend, Monday night was when he came over each week to watch a show we both liked, so for the first year of dating he pretty much only ever had my mom’s GCCS (and she’s a fabulous cook).
    Well, now he’s my husband. And nothing makes the both of us happier than a big bowl of well dressed GCCS on Monday nights. Those much-loved recipes have a way of sticking around!

    • Christina says...

      I love this!

    • Jess says...

      Love this!

  115. Amy says...

    We tired out a spinach & walnut “pesto” with pasta and chicken, sadly. It was delicious but SO overdone. We’re almost tired of The Kitchn’s crunchy black bean tacos which is tragic and I dread the day. And I am so screwed if we ever tire of our freezer burritos, which we make in big batches and grab whenever we need an instant lunch/dinner. At one point all of my kids loved a chicken curry dish I made, and apparently none of them do anymore. The Holy Grail is three kids liking the same dish that isn’t boxed mac’n’cheese or breakfast-for-dinner!

    Tonight is Smitten Kitchen’s egg/leek/ham bake, with leftover Oh She Glows lentil soup for the one egg-hater.

  116. Sarah says...

    Dumplings! Ground pork and cabbage or ground chicken and chopped veg. 1 pound of meat = 50 wrappers, season raw meat with garlic, soy sauce, whatever. Saute til lightly golden, then dump in some water and cover to steam for 5-8 more minutes. Serve with mayo + soy sauce mixed together. I love it because I can fold dumplings while watching TV or listening to a podcast, then have a solid 3 nights of meals from a ziploc in the freezer, though then I tend to out-dumpling myself pretty quickly. So easy, so good.

  117. Sadie M Arneson says...

    Baked winter veggies with Italian sausage or kielbasa. It is so easy and you can through everything in the fridge on a baking pan and forget it. I’m so sick of it! Luckily it is winter now so I can just eat salad with grilled fish until I’m sick of that and the seasons change.

    • Esther says...

      This is also my go-to winter meal! Roasted veggies with dinner sausages. The best roasted root veggies I’ve made are from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook. We keep homemade sauerkraut and bread on hand which makes a well rounded meal. When it’s summer, it turns into BBQ dinner sausage with salad.

  118. Kaitlyn S says...

    I can’t begin to express how happy I am that it’s grilling weather now. That cooking fatigue is real! As a fellow meal-planner, it was getting to be a bit much, but as soon as the heat set in and we could go outside to grill, I didn’t care how often dinner ended up being a burger or hot dog. I am just happy to sit on the deck and drink “one alcohol, please” (my code for my husband that I’m not picky – whatever he’s in the mood for I’ll drink, whether it’s beer, wine or cocktail) while he fires up the grill. We may be on day 10 of hot dog/hamburger, I could care less.

    Now that I write this, maybe the fatigue isn’t the recipe, but the physical act of cooking…

  119. Jane says...

    Baked orzo with lemon, kale and chicken! The recipe is on Half Baked Harvest – I add garlic and shallots, replace the white wine with more chicken stock, and top it with dairy free parmesan cheese, but it is delicious and SO EASY either way. 10/10 just don’t overdo it like me :)

  120. Vicki says...

    Love this! Hate the dreaded what are we making for dinner this week? (We meal plan)
    Some favs
    Deb Pearlman genius sausage sheet pan with arugula (minus the arugula for the kids)
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2017/10/sausage-and-potato-roast-with-arugula/

    Pizza pasta – pasta cooked two minutes short of aldente plus marscapone, tomato sauce and the motz on top baked for 20 minutes and broiled at the end to look like pizza

    Grilled (insert meat) plus my husband’s genius brussel spouts – roasted the tossed with parm, capers, walnuts and dried cranberries

    And the not healthy Trader Joes Hack chicken and waffles – mandarin chicken (with or without sauce but with is surprisingly good) plus homemade waffkes but if you want to havk all the way their belgian waffles are delightful
    Sometimes we add a side of TJ veggie gyoza my kids happily eat thes despite alllllll the green veggies tucked inside!

  121. Kiana says...

    Cream of broccoli soup. My kids love it, it’s easy and it freezes so well in a ziploc bag. Just sautee onion in a Dutch oven, add peeled, chopped potatoes, cook a bit, then add broccoli florets (fresh or frozen). Add water or stock just to cover and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. When the potatoes have cooked through, blend with an immersion blender and add a dollop of cream cheese to smooth it out. Puree again.
    So easy and can be dressed up by adding cheese on top or fancy croutons or parsley.

    Pro tip: My daughter had a weird thing with texture when she was a baby and hated pureed food. So I used to serve her soup over some cooked rice. It tastes like risotto! 😁

  122. Maggie says...

    I’m not sick of it (NEVER!) but my easiest go-to is rice bowls. Cook up some rice (white, brown or sushi) then add whatever protein you have (leftover chicken, bacon, ground meat, steak, tofu, fried egg), whatever veggies you have steamed, roasted or fresh (kale, cucumber, carrot, broccoli, mushroom, chard, radish). Then top with something in the onion family (scallions, minced shallot, fried onion) and whatever else you have….kimchee from the fridge, avocado, sesame seeds, seaweed, cilantro, peanuts. Drizzle with sesame oil, soy sauce and some sriracha. Bonus points for making “crack sauce” our name for this genius sauce from Deb Perlman that is completely addicting. https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/10/miso-sweet-potato-and-broccoli-bowl/

    • Keri says...

      Ha! We call it “awesome sauce”!

    • Hannah says...

      We make rice bowls potluck-style for whenever our group of friends gets together. We call them “complete bowls”. Whoever is hosting usually makes rice and a protein and everyone else brings whatever they think would go well on top. It’s always an easy way to contribute to a group meal without the hassle of making a whole dish, and everyone can customize to their liking. We’ve even had them at a bridal shower once!

  123. Jess says...

    This peanut sauce is amazing, but wow we’re sick of this meal! It’s delicious but Plan To Eat (an online meal planner that I love) tells me I’ve made it 25 times in the past year. Please, someone, take it from me: Crispy Tofu Sandwiches https://ohmyveggies.com/crispy-tofu-sandwiches/

    • Leah says...

      Heck yes! Those are all words I love: crispy, veggie, tofu, peanut sauce. Or family will happily take this cast-off recipe—thank you!

  124. Betsy says...

    MMM…not sick of it yet, but we are having the Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce from Sally’s Baking Addiction. OMG…it is SOOOOOO good. I make it with just 2 chicken breasts. Made as the recipe calls for with 4 breasts, but not enough of the sauce. So if I make all 4 breasts, I triple the sauce. So easy to make, and I could probably eat it a couple of times a week. I’ve served over rice, and also serve with asparagus on the side. Both delicious options. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/skillet-chicken-with-creamy-cilantro-lime-sauce/

  125. Holly says...

    Such a great idea for a post. I’m making Martha Stewart’s tofu with chili peanut sauce tonight. Not sick of it yet at all but it’s so good and easy I foresee that happening at some point.

  126. Lauren E. says...

    PASTA. I literally boil noodles, toss with Rao’s sauce (the only acceptable jarred sauce), toast some fresh bread from the bakery on the side, and every single time my husband says, “WOW this is good!” I eat the tiniest portion because I’m so over it but it’s just too easy to retire.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Soooo good. I make this all the time but just add some sautéed zucchini. Makes the whole thing taste really fresh.

    • Stephanie N says...

      Rao’s! The best! Joanne blogged about it forever ago and made me buy it, so thanks Joanne!

  127. Alec says...

    I NEED something that isn’t pasta. We got a Costco-sized amount of an easy chickpea-based pasta and when I don’t have the time/creativity to shop and make a proper meal, I end up throwing it together with marinara or pesto (or just butter if I don’t have), capers, sundried tomatoes, garlic, onion, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, spinach, anything on hand that will go bad if I don’t eat it soon. It’s great but ends up happening way too often – my boyfriend now has an upset stomach from too much chickpea in too few days.

    • kathy says...

      I’m curious about this chickpea pasta? I bought a pack and my kids hated it. Is there a trick to cooking it? I was thinking maybe using broth would take away some of the distinctive taste.

    • Alec says...

      We got Banza rotini and just cook it according to the box. I’ve been gluten-free for years so my taste is different but my boyfriend said he couldn’t tell a difference!

      https://www.eatbanza.com/products/banza-chickpea-rotini

      Also, I use a LOT of butter when cooking the onion/garlic/etc which might have helped…

    • MJ says...

      Kathy, I got the red lentil pasta and really enjoy it – might have a milder taste than chickpea? I also think the trick to keeping non-wheat pastas tasty is to make sure you don’t overcook it – keep it al dente! At least that’s what has worked for me with the lentil and other GF pastas, but I haven’t tried the chickpea.

    • Fiona says...

      We call this “emergency pasta” – solves all issues very quickly but can feel “rut-y” – I will be forever grateful for its existence though!

  128. Natasha says...

    Persian stuffed peppers

    You sautee onions, garlic, shredded cabbage, chopped bell peppers, barberries (or cranberries or any random berry you’ve got!), with rice or quinoa if you want. Season with cumin, saffron, salt/pepper, dash of oregano.

    Throw into big peppers. Top with cheese. Bake.

    But really you can put anything in there and season it anyway you want. It’s only Persian cuz of the saffron and barberries.

    • Kiana says...

      I stuff peppers when I have leftover rice or pasta! Just mix with any veggies you need to use up and use marinara sauce to bind it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YUM.

  129. Irati says...

    Hummus (honemade) and falafels (store-bought) with a simple salad!

  130. Chiara says...

    Sweet and salty Korean beef from here: http://www.lizzywrite.com/2010/05/korean-beef.html?m=1 We’re beef farmers so I ALWAYS have ground beef in the freezer. This Korean beef recipe is a staple in my, OMG, I desperately need to go grocery shopping there is NOTHING to eat and I’ve got ten minutes to cook dinner rotation. Pop a frozen pound of beef in the pan, put on a pot of rice, boil water for frozen veg, season the beef, cook the veg, and it’s ready to go. I basically always leave out the green onions, and usually use Korean red pepper powder to make it more “authentic”(?). I have a 4yo, 2yo and 3month old and this sort of desperate meal happens at least once a week around here.

  131. I’m making honey balsamic chicken thighs (boneless, skinless= one of my all time favorite proteins) and asparagus on the grill. I have leftover garlic bread that I may warm up and smear with some goat cheese and chopped tomatoes. It can all be done outside on the grill which makes clean up much easier!
    If you don’t have a veggie basket for the grill, I highly recommend one! You can do a big batch of zucchini, peppers, onions, whatever and use it all week (in eggs, over pasta, stuffed in a pita with hummus)

  132. Denise says...

    “Mexican wedges” I don’t know where the recipe came from or even that it is at all Mexican in any way. My family had this weekly for my entire childhood. It’s Jiffy cornbread baked per box instructions, then add refried beans, ground beef cooked with Lawry’s or McCormick taco seasoning packet, shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and salsa. Basically taco stuff on top of cornbread. What’s especially odd is we always had it in a square glass dish, so no wedges at all yet we always called it Mexican wedges. It’s dang good and super easy.

    • Amy says...

      My mom made this all the time, too, and we loved it! We are white and now I’m married to a Mexican and I’m not sure what type of reaction I’d get if I made this now lol.

    • Katie says...

      It sounds so odd but I am very intrigued and going to give this a go!

  133. Lenae C says...

    Recipe fatigue is SO real (especially for someone who does the majority of the household cooking — like me!). It’s easy to get into a rut, but I’m more than happy to take these new-to-me easy weeknight recipes for a spin.

  134. Kristin R. says...

    This post is GENIUS. My loved-to-death recipe is “Hippie Curry” from the kitchn (https://www.thekitchn.com/heres-a-simple-curry-that-130340) – it’s a one-pot wonder that makes a big enough batch to freeze. The best part is it’s got this great balance between fresh veggies & stuff from cans so you know it’s super healthy but you feel like you’re getting away with something because it’s so easy. You can add/omit/substitute based on what you’ve got on-hand, you can easily make it vegan, you can add meat or fish, you can amp up the spice with sriracha – I’m so not tired of this recipe yet! :D

  135. Tania says...

    Fried rice! We always seem to have leftover rice, some vegetables and an egg — fry it all up with some soy sauce, add a splash of sesame oil and bob’s your uncle. I also make this creamy mac n cheese recipe from the New York Times probably too often: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015825-creamy-macaroni-and-cheese. I’m definitely gonna check out some of these (that chickpea stew!)

    • Kara Spencer says...

      Being a stay at home mom for almost a year burned me out on cooking. It still has mostly always fallen on me and it makes me dread dinner. I can’t imagine a life where someone else just makes and presents me with dinner night after night. A dream.

  136. Whitney says...

    As a stay-at-home mom of three, and the one who meal plans/grocery shops/cooks 90% of our meals, sometimes I’m just tired of dinner in general. Most nights I just want some toast. Or better yet, skip to dessert and have a bowl of ice cream.

    • Joanna says...

      I wish I could just skip dinner half the time, but I can’t tell my three year old to eat when I won’t.

    • Abbie says...

      So much this.

    • Sarah says...

      Used to love cooking. Now with an 8,5, and 3 year old I hate meal planning, shopping, cooking and eating food I prepared. Maybe that will change? I would gladly eat toast or cereal for dinner if it meant I didn’t have to cook and no one complained!

    • Amy says...

      Exactly.

    • Christie says...

      Agree – I used to love shopping and preparing elaborate meals as a single person. Now I’m just happy to eat something I didn’t prepare that nobody complained about

      If I had a friend who signed off emails with ‘what’s for dinner?’ I think I’d politely ask them to stop! (much love to Jenny though, adore DALS)

    • Isabelle says...

      Yup. I so feel this. Honestly it’s the meal PLANNING that I find the most exhausting of all. Once I have the list and a plan ready, it feels easier. But many weeks I am sapped of ideas.

    • Kendra says...

      Every summer we do ice cream for dinner one night, and the kids love it so much.