List of 100+ Dinner Ideas

Making a list of your family's favorite dinners is a helpful tip to make meal planning easy! Check out my list of over 100 dinner ideas below to get you started.

Meal planning can be a little overwhelming for everyone – for me too! It is not my favorite thing to do, but I have found a few things that make it a tad bit easier to answer that nagging question “What's for dinner!?!”

I am all about easy, no fuss, kid-friendly food that keeps everyone happy! I hope these ideas help you as much as they help me… get out of your dinnertime rut, and try out a new dinner idea! You may find your next family fav!

MEAL PLANNING TIP

You ready for it? It's so easy. I keep a big list of dinner ideas by my fridge. This is SUPER DUPER helpful in terms of coming up with a variety of meals that can be made with things I typically have on-hand. It's also a great way to come up with uses for leftovers.

While I am bad at planning ahead for dinner (getting better though!), I firmly believe it's important to cook for your family rather than eating out or preparing processed meals. It's not only cheaper, but it teaches your family healthy habits and keeps you close as a family!

  • Keep a meal list like this close at-hand! You can even separate them out based on main ingredient, meals that can be frozen, how they are cooked (crockpot, baked, grilled, etc.), meals good enough to serve guests, etc.
  • I also have a recipe notebook where I keep my favorite recipes so they are all in one place. If the recipe comes from a cook book, I photo copy it and keep it in the binder. That way you never have to say, “Now, where was that awesome chicken recipe again?….”

Making your own list is so easy – just think of your very favorite dinner ideas and get them all written down in one place. But if you need some ideas to get you started, I've got a list of over 100 awesome dinner ideas. I said I'd share this list with you, so here it is!

If you want an even more customized dinner ideas list, check out our new post on ShelfCooking.com – we break it down by themed dinner ideas to help.

LIST OF DINNER IDEAS

Here is the list I have to help me come up with what to make for dinner. If any of these require recipes I will try to post them over time and will update this list with links to the recipes. Otherwise, I recommend allrecipes.com for recipes. Be sure to read the reviews!

(Click HERE for a printable list)

EASY PAN DINNER IDEAS

  • Hard Tacos or Tostadas
  • Huevos Rancheros
  • Stir Fry
  • Burritos
  • Fajitas
  • Burgers or Hotdogs
  • Quesadillas (plain cheese, or steak, chicken)
  • Meatballs and Rice
  • KFC Bowls (mashed potatoes on bottom, then corn and breaded chicken bites on top)
  • Sloppy Joes

CROCKPOT DINNER IDEAS

  • Chicken and Rice
  • Pulled BBQ Chicken (sandwiches, put on a salad, etc.)
  • Pot Roast (leftovers can be made into sandwiches)
  • Crockpot salsa chicken (makes into great burritos or salads!)
  • Ribs (grilled, baked, crockpot, etc)
  • French dip sandwiches (roast in crockpot + au jus sauce = french dip)

BAKED DINNER IDEAS

CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS

  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu (easier than you would think, and so impressive! Great for guests.)
  • Fried Chicken (baked or actually fried)
  • Breaded chicken (can bread with Italian bread crumbs, graham crackers, saltines, potato chips)
  • Chicken nuggets (homemade…so easy!)
  • Chicken wings
  • Cheesy bacon chicken
  • Dijon Chicken
  • Chicken Fingers
  • Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
  • Orange Chicken
  • Cilantro-lime chicken
  • Lemon Chicken

BEEF/PORK DINNER IDEAS

  • Pork Chops
  • Chimichangas
  • Meatloaf
  • Meatball Subs
  • Stuffed Pork Chops
  • Beef & Broccoli
  • Ham
  • Beef or Pork Tenderloin

FISH DINNER IDEAS

  • Salmon
  • Fish Sticks (homemade or store-bought)
  • Fish ‘N Chips
  • Crab Cakes

PASTA DINNER IDEAS

  • Mac ‘N Cheese (homemade)
  • Lasagna
  • Baked Ziti
  • Fettuccine Alfredo (chicken, or shrimp)
  • Rotini Bake
  • Vegetable Lasagna
  • Lasagna Rolls (baked, or in crockpot)
  • Bolognese Sauce and Pasta
  • Spinach-Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese
  • Tomato-Bacon Pasta
  • Stuffed Pasta Shells
  • Manicotti
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Tortellini
  • Stroganoff (chicken or beef)
  • Crockpot Alfredo Lasagna
  • Sausage & Pepper Pasta
  • Pad Tai
  • Bowtie Pasta & Vegetables

SOUP DINNER IDEAS

  • Taco soup
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (homemade…serve with grilled cheese)
  • Creamy Potato Soup
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Clam Chowder
  • Tomato Bisque (I will try to post the recipe for this soon, I have the BEST recipe!)
  • Italian Wedding Soup
  • Chicken Enchilada/Tortilla Soup
  • Cheeseburger Soup
  • Corn Chowder (various recipes, ham & corn chowder is good too)
  • Tortellini Soup
  • French Onion Soup
  • Jambalaya

SALADS OR SANDWICHES FOR DINNER

GRILLED DINNER IDEAS

  • Grilled Chicken (season or marinade with whatever, and grill!)
  • Steak (grilled or broiled)
  • Kabobs

BREAKFAST FOR DINNER

  • French Toast (stuffed or regular)
  • Waffles or Crepes
  • Omelet or Scrambled Eggs

LEFTOVERS FOR DINNER

Anything that is already in your fridge, EAT IT or use it to create something totally new!

List of 100 Dinner Ideas

Click HERE for an updated list of 120 Dinner Ideas! Print double-sided and you'll have endless inspiration when meal planning or dinner time rolls around… whichever comes first 😉

You can also check out my very best Shopping Tips and Tricks, plus even more tips for How I Grocery Shop on A Budget.

And don't forget to check out How I Meal Plan!

So what is YOUR go to dinner??

Happy cooking!

Check out ShelfCooking.com

Have you checked out ShelfCooking.com yet? Our brand new site is dedicated to helping you cook delicious, nutritious and budget-friendly meals for your family without slaving away in the kitchen! Basically every parent's dream, right? Join our Shelf Cooking Community today!

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free

Comments

  1. Avatarlauriel manuel says

    l really appreciate what you posting and l am a girl who loves cookin and eating nice food ,so l would love you to send me lost of recieps so that l can also learn how to cook , l am an african

    thank you so much

  2. AvatarAshley says

    Love it! Although it would be nice to know the recipes that pass the freezer test… I know a few would!

  3. AvatarWendy says

    Oh my god, thank you so much for posting ideas for the classics that have graced the American dinner table for decades! I have been looking for this list for a very long time!

    I love food from all cultures, but don’t usually make it at home because I don’t know how, don’t keep the ingredients and don’t feel like facing the learning curve just yet.

    If you are looking for post ideas, may I suggest a similar list of side dishes?

    Much appreciated! 😀

  4. AvatarErin says

    This is such a great list!! I’m in the process of making a master list of things we can do on our themed nights and this is so helpful!

  5. AvatarAmber Nelson says

    I loved this list!! Thank you! I just found your channel online and your site. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom!

    Can you share the tomato bisque soup recipe? I have a favorite from a spot in Montana, and I crave it! Would love to try one that compares.

    Thanks so much for pouring your passion into helping others! God bless you!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Thank you for your kind words! I haven’t done a post on that recipe but I need to once it gets colder! So keep checking back for it 😉

  6. AvatarMary says

    Great list! Your advice to keep your own family favorites recipe book has been so helpful for me. I don’t know why I never thought to print them and put them in a binder earlier!

    • AvatarJordan Page says

      I know, it’s something so simple that most people don’t even think about! Pinterest is great, but sometimes it’s hard to find what you’re looking for on there and it’s nice to be able to hold something physical in your hand. XOXO

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