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7 Easy Family Dinner Ideas

Here are 7 easy family dinner ideas, perfect for busy weeknights when you need dinner on the table FAST and with minimal wash-up!

PAD THAI RECIPE

Pad Thai

As much as I love making my stir-fry sauces, sometimes it makes sense to purchase good quality, ready-made sauces and pastes. Not only is it economical (saving you from buying specialty ingredients that end up half opened in the fridge), but they also have a beautiful depth of flavour. I am always on the hunt for the best tasting options on our supermarket shelves so I’ve made sure to link up the delicious paste I use for this quick and easy Pad Thai, the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. It is made with simple ingredients and with minimal effort. An added bonus is that any leftover vegetables can be used in this dinner, so nothing goes to waste! Broccoli, green beans, shredded carrot or shredded cabbage are all great additions. Skip the takeaway and enjoy the comfort of this classic in the comfort of your own home, with minimal effort! 

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

We eat most meals together at the dinner table as a family, but it’s comfort meals like this Creamy Chorizo Pasta that are made for curling up on the lounge with! This is the perfect family weeknight dinner to make when times are busy, yet you still want something comforting and delicious to eat without spending hours in the kitchen. This speedy pasta is made with only a handful of ingredients. The chorizo is the perfect way to bring an incredible depth of flavour to the dish quickly, especially when paired with the creamy garlic, sun-dried tomato and Parmesan cheese-filled sauce. I love serving this pasta with a big bowl of steamed greens or a fresh, zingy salad. It’s delicious, quick and easy, low-cost and filling, and definitely one to try on your next meal plan rotation!

Creamy Garlic Chicken

Creamy Garlic Chicken

This Creamy Garlic Chicken is a fast and easy recipe that I think looks impressive, yet requires very little effort and time in the kitchen! This recipe is made with very few simple ingredients making it the perfect weeknight family dinner to enjoy at the end of a long day. The star of the show is the chicken; it is seasoned beautifully and then dusted with flour, creating a crust for the gloriously creamy, indulgent garlic sauce to cling to. Making this meal at home is much cheaper than what it would cost ordering it out, yet it tastes incredible and feels fancy, all in under 20 minutes. 

Quick Mexican Beef Rice Bowls

Quick Mexican Beef Rice Bowls

I love the fresh, fun flavours that Mexican inspired recipes bring to my kitchen and I make them at least once a week. They give me holiday vibes, especially when teamed with a huge squeeze of lime and a side of margaritas! These Quick Mexican Beef Rice Bowls are like a fast version of what is known here in Australia as Chilli Con Carne or Chilli. They are so quick and easy to make with the simplest of ingredients, yet are packed with flavour, in a rich, luscious sauce, served with all of your favourite Mexican sides. This is the ultimate versatile Mexican beef recipe, perfect for piling on top of nachos, stuffing into burritos or tacos or serving over rice. You could also make this recipe completely vegetarian by swapping the beef mince/ground beef out for an additional two tins of black beans, kidney beans or mixed beans. If this isn’t already sounding amazing, you can also make this meal ahead of time, ready for when you need it, which in my opinion is the ultimate form of self care when life gets busy!

One Pot Crispy Chicken and Red Rice Recipe

One Pot Paprika Chicken and Red Rice

Perfectly cooked, juicy chicken and fluffy, garlicky tomato rice all in the one pan? Yes, it is absolutely possible! This One Pot Paprika Chicken and Red Rice is so simple and delicious, perfect for busy weeknights. I make it at least once every two weeks because of how very little effort it requires. One pan + minimal washing up = victory! The chicken is marinated in a medley of simple spices before being seared until golden and added back to the pan with uncooked rice and stock. It cooks, covered, for 45 minutes, the rice soaks up all of the delicious flavours and the chicken is juicy and tender every single time. A simple side of cucumber salad with a sour cream dressing accompanies it beautifully, but this meal works well served with any vegetables you like (steamed greens or a simple green salad always work a treat).  

Big Mac Tacos

Big Mac Tacos

The first time I made these viral Big Mac Tacos, we all enjoyed them. The sauce alone was enough to make them absolutely delicious, but I didn’t think I would make them again. After all, how could a taco replace a big, juicy homemade burger? It’s now been several months since and I have found myself making these at least once a fortnight! They are so easy to make, come together in less than 20 minutes, are inexpensive, and just so incredibly moreish and delicious! They are also filling, but don’t leave you with the same heaviness a burger does. You can top them with any salads you like, but I love the classic lettuce and pickles combo. The sauce is good. Like, REALLY good! Luckily, the recipe is generous in serving size so that there is enough for dipping (some homemade wedges are so delicious on the side with these)!

Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is my go-to dinner when I need something delicious, nourishing and comforting to end a busy day with. My version of this classic recipe is loaded with extra vegetables, which I grate to suit even the fussiest of eaters. As the pie cooks, the vegetables disintegrate to create a flavour-packed gravy. Although it’s a simple recipe, there is a little bit of extra preparation involved (having to make mashed potatoes to top the pie with) and of course a longer cooking time while the pie bakes in the oven until perfectly golden. The good news is that the entire thing can be made in advance and either refrigerated or frozen, so making extra will always pay off for those rainy days when you don’t necessarily feel like cooking, but want the comfort of a home-cooked meal. 

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