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Dinner Menus and Ideas

Sample dinner menus

I love these fantastic dinner menus and I hope you will too.

Want to make something a little different but you don’t have all day to cook?

These menus combine recipes that are either quick and easy or cook long and slow while you go about doing other things.

I have sometimes suggested a starter (appetizer or salad), main course, vegetable or side dish and dessert in developing these menu planning ideas. Feel free to make them all or pick and choose.

Whatever works for you is right.

Use the form below the menus to send in your own favorite dinner recipes To browse our easy dinner recipes collection look here.

Ideas for Dinner Menus

Taco SoupCrockpot Taco Soup
Corn Muffins
Coconut Orange Bananas

Shrimp PastaShrimp Pasta Recipe with Ricotta Cheese Sauce
Herb Baked Tomatoes
Lemon Pudding Cake

Bok Choy RecipesThai Coconut Shrimp
Coconut Rice
Broccoli and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Orange ChickenOrange Chicken
Rice Pilaf
Broccoli with Orange Sesame Sauce
Pineapple Cake

MuffinrecsQuiche Florentine
Caesar Salad
Ham, Cheese & Broccoli Muffins

apple crispBruschetta
Baked Chicken Breasts, Italian Style
Stuffed Zucchini
Apple Crisp

Green Bean SaladSalmon Patties
Green Bean Salad
Tomato Salad
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Chicken FingerChicken Fingers
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Lime and Carrot Jello Salad – it really IS good
Rice Pudding

BeefstewEasiest Ever Classic Beef Stew
Mixed Green Salad with French Dressing
Chocolate Pie or Chocolate Mousse

Twice Baked PotatoesMarinated Flank Steak
Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
Greek Salad
Crème Brulée

CampbellsouprecipeHam Casserole with Sweet Potato Crust
Roasted Carrots with Thyme
Spice Cake

Lamb Chop RecipeTeriyaki Lamb Chops
Green Beans Almondine
Ricotta Cake with Fresh Berries

Beef Short RibsOven Baked Beef Short Ribs Recipe
Two Potato Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Kale
Baked Apples

Angel Hair PastaItalian Antipasti Platter
Angel Hair Pasta With Lemon and Garlic
Topsy Turvy Cake

Cheddar QuicheCheddar Bacon Broccoli Quiche
Strawberry Salad with Walnuts & Goat Cheese
Fresh Strawberry Cake

Chicken Stir FryFresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Chicken Stir Fry
Fried Rice
Fruit Salad

Apricot ChickenApricot Chicken
Green Rice
Mushrooms and Green Peas
One Pan Chocolate Cake

Fritatta RecipeMediterranean Vegetable Frittata
Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad
Walnut Meringues

Dinner Menu Planning Tips

Here are some tips for creating great dinner menus that work for you and your schedule:

  • Work with the time you have. Check the prep time and cooking time for each recipe, making sure you have enough time to make each recipe before the time of day you want to serve dinner. For example, if you get home from work at 6 and want dinner on the table at 6:30, keep to quick recipes on weekdays. Leave the slow cook stews for days when time is not an issue. (Keep in mind that you can be preparing a second dinner recipe while one cooks or marinates.)
  • I try to gather together the ingredients I will need for a recipe ahead of time if I am having a busy day. That way, when it is time to make dinner, everything is close at hand. I leave the non-refrigerated ingredients on the counter and cluster together the perishable ingredients in the fridge so I can get started on the meal quickly.
  • Do whatever prep work you can ahead of time. The night before, or the morning that you will make the recipe, do you have time to do a bit of measuring or cutting? Measuring out the rice or chopping the vegetables ahead and putting them in the refrigerator in plastic bags really cuts down on the time you need to prepare dinner.
  • Cook ahead when possible. Cooking something on Sunday for Monday’s dinner makes the beginning of the work week much easier.
  • Cook something that creates leftovers. If you and your family don’t mind eating something twice, it’s a great way to make one weeknight evening a little easier. That night maybe you can make a yummy dessert because the main part of dinner is so quick and easy.

Look here for vegetarian dinner menus.

For dinner ideas using leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken click here.

You will find budget cooking ideas here.

Dinner party menus.

Lunch and brunch menu ideas.

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