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5 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family | Dinner Planner

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Easy weeknight dinners for family is what every busy parent needs! I personally am not a fan of spending more than 30 minutes on cooking dinner, so I’m excited to share my favorite recipes to get a healthy meal on the table fast. Here are my top 5 easy dinner recipes for a simple weekly dinner planner. Plus, a downloadable ingredient shopping list!

Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family | woman in kitchen

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Healthy Family Meal Planning

If you’re like me, I like to have a simple meal plan for a week. A dinner planner that I can reuse throughout the year is so helpful to get easy weeknight dinners for family on the table fast.

I like to be able to get 2-3 meals with a protein as the main dish that I can pair with simple and nutritious sides.

Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family. modern farmhouse kitchen
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For that reason, I have a few staple recipes that are my go-to dinner ideas. They are meals that my family enjoys, are healthy, and I can get on the table in 30 minutes.

I hope that this list of my top 5 best dinner recipes is helpful to you as you come up with your weekly family meal plan!

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5 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family | Dinner Planner

Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family

I wanted to provide a few different protein options! So pick your favorite proteins from the list to add your weekly meal plan rotation.

Today I’m focusing on:

  • Pork tenderloin recipe
  • Turkey burger recipe
  • Chicken recipe
  • Venison backstrap recipe (could substitute beef tenderloin)
  • And a couple of stew options with protein!
  • Plus, make sure to check out this simple Taco Quiche Recipe!

Flavorful Pork Tenderloin

For the first dinner idea, make a large meal quickly with this delicious pork tenderloin recipe.

Pork tenderloin dinner idea

I love how simple this recipe is. It requires very few ingredients, yet results in a high flavor, moist and tender main dish.

I pair it with simple sides like roasted potatoes and asparagus, a side salad, or fresh dinner rolls.

The best pork tenderloin recipe is one that is simple, quick, flavorful and tender! Learn how to get this easy weeknight meal on the table in 40 minutes.

Simple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A simple balsamic pork tenderloin recipe your whole family will enjoy! This fast weeknight meal is moist, flavorful and tender.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Trim silver skin from the pork tenderloin.
  3. Cover a 9x13 baking pan with raised sides with tin foil and place pork into pan.
  4. Cut 3-4 1 " slits into the meat.
  5. Place chunks of garlic into the slits.
  6. Drizzle pork with olive oil until lightly coated.
  7. Drizzle balsamic vinegar onto pork.
  8. Sprinkle 1-2 TBS McCormick grill mate on top of meat, to taste.
  9. Sprinkle with thyme.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Let rest covered loosely with tin foil for 10 minutes to reconstitute.

Notes

Pork tenderloin can quickly go from undercooked to overcooked. Slice into meat after 20 minutes or use a meat thermometer to determine if it is cooked thoroughly. If it needs more time, check it every 3-4 minutes until done.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

The next go-to recipe I use for my easy weeknight dinners is parmesan crusted chicken.

chicken dinner

I love the versatility of this dish. It can be cooked several ways, which you can find detailed for you in this parmesan chicken article.

I usually serve this protein with a side salad and baked potatoes, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes. Any quick side starch or vegetable pairs wonderfully with this recipe.

Parmesan Herb Crusted Chicken Cooked 3 Ways

Parmesan Herb Crusted Chicken

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A moist parmesan herb crusted chicken done in 30 minutes or less! The perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Thin Cut Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. Mayonnaise (not miracle whip)
  • 1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Dash Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning, this is my favorite
  • 2 tsp. Italian Herbs
  • 4 tsp. Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto room temperature chicken breasts to taste.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs.
  3. Choose your cooking method: Bake, grill or air fry
  4. Top chicken breasts with topping mixture.
  5. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top
  6. Cooking time & temperature determined by cooking method.

Notes

Thin cut chicken breasts work best for this recipe. You can adjust all spices to taste!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4-6 Serving Size: 1 breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300

Moist Turkey Burgers

The next meal is a bun-less turkey burger. I suppose that you could always add a bun! However, I like to serve just the patty as a stand alone main dish.

Moist turkey burgers

It is so full of flavor that it doesn’t need toppings or condiments. Of course, it would also be an amazing base for a full burger with all the fixings. Beats, fried egg and caramelized onions would be amazing flavors to pair it with.

Serve it with sweet potato fries, quinoa, or roasted vegetables.

Easy Turkey burger recipe

Moist and Flavorful Turkey Burgers

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

If you're looking for healthy dinner recipes then this is the perfect addition to your menu. This moist turkey burger recipe is simple, fast, and flavorful!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/4 c. Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced Green Onion
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Egg White
  • Fresh Parsley or other herbs
  • 1 Tsp. Miracle Blend Seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive or Canola Oil for frying

Instructions

    1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
    2. Mix thoroughly with your hands and form into four equal patties.
    3. Place patties in heated oil.
    4. Fry 5-6 minutes on each side or until outside is browned and middle is cooked fully.

Notes

Flip burger back and forth until middle is fully cooked to avoid over browning.

Venison Backstrap

The next staple weeknight dinner recipe we enjoy is venison backstrap. You can learn all about how to properly cook venison backstrap in this article if you are new to cooking this meat.

Cooking venison backstrap

If you aren’t a venison fan, you can also use this same recipe (including this amazingly simple homemade marinade) on beef tenderloin.

Weeknight dinner idea

I like to pair it with sautéed seasonal vegetables from our garden and a garden salad. Top it with roasted or sautéed mushrooms for extra yummy flavor!

You’ll find three ways to cook this dish in this article.

Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family | Stews & Soups

Next, I love adding in stews or soups. Especially in the fall and winter months!

Here are my top two favorite stews or soup recipes for families.

Pork Pozole

If you’ve never had this Mexican soup, you will love trying pork pozole. It is a simple dish with loads of flavor!

pork pozole

I wasn’t positive that my kids would go for it, but they loved it! It is served best topped with cheddar cheese and with a side of fried tortillas for dipping.

Pulled pork pozole

Pulled Pork Soup | Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 6 hours 5 seconds
Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes 5 seconds

Pozole pork hominy stew is a delicious Mexican soup that is the perfect recipe for leftover pulled pork soup! I discovered it while on the hunt for ways to use leftover pulled pork. I hope you enjoy this simple dinner recipe for the whole family!

Ingredients

  • Pork:
  • 2 lb. pork shoulder, shredded and seasoned with:
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pozole Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 14 oz white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz black beans, drained
  • 14 oz canned corn
  • 28 oz hominy, drained
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp green jalapeño sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

      1. First, cook your pork per your preferred method, or use leftover pork like I do. Place your pork in your dutch oven with the spices and 1/2 cup of water. Roast it, covered, at 275 for 5-6 hours. Once it is cooked, remove it from the dutch oven, shred the meat and reserve the cooking juices.
      2. Chop your red onion and roma tomatoes.
      3. Heat oil in your dutch oven and sauté the red onion on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
      4. Add the garlic and sauté about 1 minute, followed by adding the roma tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
      5. Add all of the remaining ingredients to your dutch oven and stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      6. Add in your shredded pork and stir well to combine. If you cooked your pork for this dish, add the reserved pork juices as well. Simmer for 30 more minutes.
      7. Adjust salt and pepper or other spices to taste.
      8. After it has finished cooking, serve your pozole pork hominy stew topped with cheddar cheese and flour tortillas on the side.
      9. You can also garnish with cilantro and lime juice, if desired.

Notes

You can adjust this recipe to accommodate chicken instead by simply swapping out the meats. Pinto beans can also be used as substitute beans.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6-8 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500

Traditional Chili

The next stew that we love as a family is a traditional chili. This chili recipe gives you the option of cooking it on the stove top or in a crock pot, depending on your timing needs.

Classic chili recipe

Classic Chili Recipe

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

This classic chili recipe is a dump and go dinner idea! It can be cooked in the slow cooker or on the stove top and is sure to satisfy with its hearty, flavorful and filling ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced 
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2-2 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce 
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 2- 16 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 3- 16 oz Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Large Can Stewed Tomatoes 

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef and chopped onion until cooked thoroughly.
  2. In the last minute of cooking, add minced garlic to the meat and cook.
  3. Drain the ground beef.
  4. Place beef mixture into crock pot (or large soup pot depending on your preferred cooking method).
  5. Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot or soup pot.
  6. Stir well.
  7. Crock Pot: Cook on low 8-10 hours
  8. Stove Top: Simmer on low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally
  9. Serve topped with cheddar cheese if desired
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6-8 Serving Size: 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250

It is not overly spicy, which is wonderful for families with younger kids.

Easy Weeknight Dinners | Ingredient Shopping List

I hope that these ideas for staple meals in your weekly meal plan is helpful to you! Make sure to subscribe to the blog to download my printable ingredient shopping list! This includes everything you’ll need to make the pork, chicken, venison and turkey burger recipes.

You’ll also gain access to all my free printables, DIY tutorial plans and much more!

5 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Family | Dinner Planner

Gotta Have Dessert?

Me too. You’re in good company. What’s a healthy dinner for if you can’t enjoy a dessert after? 😉

Banana bread

Here are my favorite recipes for breads and desserts that you can enjoy with your meal!

Stay Connected

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today! I hope these easy weeknight dinners for your family spark a new energy in you to get healthy meals on the table.

I’d love to know which dinner recipe is your favorite after you’ve tried them out!

Make sure to subscribe to the blog for more to come! And, you can follow along with me daily on Instagram and weekly on YouTube!

Happy cooking!

Sarah Signature

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