No-Stress Dinner Ideas for Your Family
Family dinner should be a moment to look forward to each night, not a stressful event. Research shows that eating family dinners can have a positive impact on every member of a household. A Harvard study found that families who share meals together are two times more likely to eat a full five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, compared to families that don't eat together. Family meal time can also help prevent picky eating habits, eating disorders, and obesity. Kids and adults tend to eat more slowly and bond over conversation.
To help you focus on these impressive benefits of family dinners, we've rounded up a list of the best easy weeknight dinners for family meals. These dishes are full of nutrients and low on time, and stress.
Easy Dinner Ideas for Family Meals
Try these five best easy family dinner ideas this week.
1. Turkey Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic family dinner recipe that doesn't have to be complicated or too rich. You can incorporate any of your favorite seasonings and aromatics into lean ground turkey or chicken to make flavorful meatballs to top your favorite pasta. For added veggies, substitute half of your pasta with spiralized vegetable noodles like zucchini or butternut squash.
Here are some meatball flavoring ideas that add a spin to your family dinner recipe:
- Scallions, ginger and soy sauce
- Rosemary and thyme
- Smoked paprika and minced bell pepper
- Cumin, lime and cilantro
2. Vegetable Soup
Soup is a comforting and easy family recipe. It's also a great way to add extra veggies to your diet and to use up anything that might be nearing its expiration date in the fridge. To build a simple soup for dinner, toss in your favorite diced vegetables, add homemade or store-bought broth, and round things out with a starch like pasta, rice, or another grain.
If you like, you can add protein like shredded, cooked chicken, beans, or ground beef.
3. Roast Chicken
It's true, a whole roasted bird looks impressive. But it's not complicated to pull off, even on a weeknight. Roasting a chicken is a tasty, healthy and easy dinner recipe for family meals. Not to mention, it's a also a fantastic one-pan dinner.
To make it at home, simply season your bird with your favorite dried seasonings, a bit of oil and lemon juice. Place it in a roasting pan and arrange a mixture of vegetables around the base of the bird. The best veggies for this are hearty root vegetables like carrots, onions, potatoes, and parsnips. As the bird cooks, it will release flavorful juices that the veggies absorb. And after an hour to 90 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken), you'll have a stunning centerpiece of a meal, no additional sides needed.
4. Build-Your-Own Burrito Bowl
If you have a family with different flavor preferences, a DIY bowl night is a fun and easy way to please everyone. Offer a base of rice (brown and white both work) and set out bowls of toppings, including protein, vegetable and dairy options. Here's some burrito bowl inspiration to try:
- Pulled pork or chicken
- Black or pinto beans
- Crispy bacon
- Salsa or diced tomatoes
- Guacamole or fresh avocado
- Shredded cheese or cotija
- Sour cream or yogurt
5. Sheet Pan Dinner
A sheet pan dinner can be anything you want it to be. The key is to match up protein, carbs and vegetables with a similar cooking time. For example, salmon steaks and asparagus or broccoli florets will take 12 to 15 minutes at 400°F. Chicken thighs and diced sweet potatoes will take 20 to 25 minutes.
Simply add everything to the same baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil and add any seasonings or herbs you like. Then roast until everything is cooked through, and serve up a delicious and easy one-pan meal your family will love.
The Easiest No-Stress Dinner Idea for Family Meals
While all of these recipes make great healthy family dinner ideas, there's something to be said for the convenience of letting someone else do the cooking. That's where we come in. At Meal Village, we deliver chef-prepared, nutritionist-approved meals to homes and businesses throughout the greater Chicago area.
Our constantly-changing menu includes family favorites like Sicilian Pork Chops with Roasted Parmesan Potatoes and BBQ Salmon. We even have delicious pint-sized meals designed just for kids.
And the best part is that everything shows up at your doorstep ready to eat. All you need to do is warm the meals in the microwave or oven, and serve them up. This way, you can focus more on the quality time with your loved ones, not prep work in the kitchen.
Start Your Meal Delivery in Chicago Today
Now that you're on board with the many delicious, healthy and convenient benefits of meal delivery services, do yourself a favor and try our ultra-fresh chef-prepared meals today. There's no subscription or commitment required, and we're always here for you with daily delivery.
And our menu is always changing, so be sure to check out what's cooking this week.