I’ve never been much of a meal planner, but I’ve always craved easy weeknight dinner ideas for the family.
Busy sports schedules, volunteer duties, and work responsibilities suck up most of my at home cooking time anyway so our usual process looks like this: kids come home from school, eat super heavy dinner-like snack, go to sports, inhale whatever I pick up on the way home or have time to quickly throw together before showers, homework, and bed.
Like most every other family, the great social distancing movement of 2020 has changed our reality dramatically.
I cook nearly every weekday, Sunday through Thursday reserving Friday and Saturday nights for ordering take out to support a local restaurant.
Even with easy weeknight dinner ideas in mind, I have to be much more intentional about it because of limited trips to the store and diminished access to items we may want or need. Fortunately, I’ve found that this prep has actually helped me enjoy the process of making daily meals much more because it has eliminated that scramble to find something to make dance I’ve always hated.
That’s why my weekly meal plan is a necessity. The last thing I want to do is forget a key ingredient or not have what I need to make a healthy, filling, delicious dinner for the family – it’s kinda all we have to look forward to these days!
If you’re scouring the Internet like I am looking for easy weeknight meal ideas to feed the family this week, hopefully sharing what we’re having this week for dinner will inspire you.
This Week for Dinner: Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas
Sunday: Roasted chicken with home fries and cauliflower
Simplify Your Mom Game: The Only Roasted Chicken Recipe You Need
- Bone in chicken thighs (however much you need to feed your people)
- Garlic powder (lightly sprinkled on)
- Salt & pepper (just lightly coat it, however you normally season your meat)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (and yes, that plastic, lemon-shaped bottle is a-ok)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or any oil you have on hand for pan frying)
- 4 tablespoons butter (I used the real deal, you can totally go with margarine)
- Put oven on to broil (rack should be closer to bottom, like one below middle)
- Heat coconut oil in pan
- Wash and season your meat
- Add to pan and brown on both sides for about 5 minutes each (you want it to look a little crispy)
- While cooking meat, put butter on flat pan to melt in oven
- Place browned chicken on flat pan and into oven to broil
- Broil for ten minutes and flip
- Broil for another five minutes or until cooked through (might take 10)
- Remove to cooling rack (try not to put on a paper towel to cool because the crispy part that isn't super good for you but you're eating anyway might come off and that would be sad. So sad.)
Monday: Chicken Carbonara with Texas toast and salad
I used the Best Ever Chicken Carbonara recipe from Delish for this and it came out so good.
Tuesday: Beef hard shell tacos
My taco recipe is super simple – just cook half a chopped onion, add meat and brown, and a can of green chilies, and a package of Oretega taco seasoning according to package directions.
If you’re a family of taco lovers, I recommend these taco holders. They make serving and eating tacos easier and less messy for little hands.