Family-Friendly Weeknight Dinner Recipes

August 1, 2013 – 10:24 am
Your simple sunday recipe: What to cook for the family tonight

Food Network Magazine came up with a lasagna that's as satisfying as it is quick and easy. Cook the noodles and sauce on the stovetop, then assemble and broil it for three to five minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Shake and Shimmy Pork Chops

Pat and Gina Neely crust these juicy pork chops in a mixture of panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and parsley. Get the kids involved — they can shake the chops in plastic bags to coat them.

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Try a new take on the casserole — a standby one-dish dinner. This one combines hearty ground beef with cheddar and egg noodles.

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole

Turn prepared gnocchi into a satisfying meal with the addition of peas, ham and a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Chicken Tamale Pie

Food Network Kitchen turned classic tamales into this shepherd's pie-style casserole with a cornmeal topping.

Classic Chicken Parmesan

Pair these breaded and sauced chicken breasts with some quick penne and a side salad for a well-rounded weeknight dinner.

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Adding canned pumpkin to crowd-pleasing creamy Alfredo sauce gives a boost of flavor and nutrients.

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowls

These Asian-style rice bowls make a great stand-in for takeout. Set out toppings like cilantro, scallions and pickled jalapenos so everyone at the table can pick and choose.

Turkey and Green Bean Stir-Fry

Food Network Magazine's stir-fry is full of Asian flavors. Hold back on the chile paste or sambal for a milder dish.

Tofu Reubens with Salad

Try a new twist on the Reuben sandwich. You'll be surprised at how well baked tofu subs in for the corned beef. Round out this sandwich supper with a simple green salad.

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Introduce the kids to nutrient-rich spaghetti squash by serving it like pasta with juicy meatballs and a quick homemade marinara.

Pork Chops with Roasted Kale and Walnut Pesto

This recipe makes more pesto than you will need, but the leftovers will not go to waste. Try adding a spoonful to scrambled eggs, mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread, toss with some hot pasta and pasta cooking water, or even stir a bit into your favorite brothy soup.

Halibut Fish Tacos

Start a new taco night tradition — forgo meat and cheese fillings in favor of fresh fish and vibrant salsa verde.

Pasta with Broccoli and Almond Tomato Sauce

Change things up for pasta night with this hearty dish made with roasted broccoli and a pesto-inspired sauce using almonds and basil.

Baked Pork Chop

This simple preparation is perfect for a weeknight — just shake and bake!

Fast Fake-Baked Ziti

Rachael Ray's crowd-pleasing pasta is cooked on the stove and needs only a few minutes under the broiler to get the cheese bubbly and brown. She serves it with a super-quick salad of fresh spinach and artichoke hearts.

Beef and Black Bean Sliders

Melissa d'Arabian stretches her dollar by subbing some of the beef for mashed black beans in these kid-sized burgers.

Roasted Tomato Bisque

Jeff Mauro's thick and rich-tasting tomato soup might fool you into thinking it's loaded with cream. Actually, there's just a dash — 1/4 cup for the entire recipe.

Salmon Cakes with Salad

Crab cake fans will love these less-expensive seafood cakes made with salmon and spiced with Old Bay.

Pizza Pot Pies

Giada De Laurentiis transforms a family favorite, cheesy pizza, into individual pot pies loaded with chicken and broccoli.

Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli

Melissa's veggie-packed pasta can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Cook pork shoulder low and slow for hours with brown sugar, spices and a little apple cider vinegar until it becomes smoky and pull-apart tender without ever entering a smoker.

Spinach-and-Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Frozen spinach is clutch for pulling off these tender stuffed chicken rolls, since, unlike fresh spinach, it won't shrink up when it cooks. Just defrost the spinach in the microwave, then wring it out in a clean kitchen towel before mixing it with your sauteed mushrooms, garlic and fresh ricotta.

Fish Sticks with Broccoli

These 35-minute fish sticks from Food Network Magazine provide the perfect excuse to introduce your family to new flavors: Serve them with sweet Thai chili sauce instead of ketchup — it has a slight kick but isn't super-spicy.

Orzotto with Peas

You'll have more luck getting your little ones to eat vegetables when you pair the veggies with something kid-friendly, like pasta. Follow Kelsey Nixon's lead by cooking up some orzo or pearl barley and then combining the cooked pasta or grain with cream, Parmesan and defrosted green peas.

Oven-Fried Chicken

If traditional fried chicken is a family favorite in your house, try this healthier take. Oven-"fried" chicken is still nice and crisp, but with less fat. And because it’s made in the oven instead of fried on the stovetop (which requires constant supervision), it gives you more time for dinner prep.

Fontina Risotto with Chicken

A whole cup of grated fontina takes Food Network Magazine's easy risotto recipe to new levels of indulgence. Stir in some diced smoked chicken to complement the cheese's nutty flavor.

Chicken with Apple, Onion and Cider Sauce

Apples and red onion are cooked down until sweet and tender, then spooned over tender baked chicken breasts for a fast yet flavorsome weeknight dish. The tangy cider-vinegar pan sauce pulls it all together.


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