Four Recipes for a Lip-Smacking Weekend Family Dinner

Family life can be extremely busy, with work, school, soccer practices, or work events pulling everyone in different directions. Sitting down together for a nice weekend family meal can be a way to catch up and bond. Dinner, being the highlight of the evening, needs to be delicious. But when there are a lot of opinions to go around, making a dinner that goes down well with the family and everyone enjoys is no easy task.

With a little bit of meal planning and some delicious recipes to choose from, you can have a lip-smacking weekend family dinner every week. Moreover, family dinners can also serve as a way for you to regulate and provide your family with a balanced and nutritious meal. Here are some tips and recipes to make your weekend dinner a hit event, full of joy and delicious food: 

Tips for planning a family dinner:

  1. Create a meal plan and a grocery list ahead of time.
  2. Make a plan of action on how to prepare the ingredients and cook them and the time that will be required. 
  3. Involve the family in the meal prep and clean up.
  4. Use family dinners as a chance to catch up and connect. 
  5. Focus on enjoying food and eating together.

Recipes for a lip-smacking cookout:

Here are some perfect finger-licking recipes for a healthy yet delicious dinner for your family.

  1. Brown Gravy:

Gravy is a versatile dish. It’s delicious and pairs well with a variety of things; enjoy it with your pot roast, top your hamburger steak or chicken with it, and slather your biscuits and sausages in it. It’s that one dish that goes well with almost anything. Hence, for busy moms or dads, it’s good to have an easy-to-make brown gravy recipe on hand. And we have you covered.

Ingredients:

  • Beef Broth
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce 
  • Cold Water
  • Corn Starch 

Preparation:

  1. Add beef broth to a saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium-high heat.
  2. After it comes to a boil, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Next, take a small bowl and create a cornstarch slurry by mixing cold water and the cornstarch. You need to fully dissolve the cornstarch.
  4. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the beef broth while mixing it over medium heat. 
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil again and let it simmer until the gravy thickens.
  6. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
  7. Pour over your favorite meals and make them even more delicious. 
  1. Taco Soup:

Taco Soup can be a hearty, delicious dinner idea to enjoy a cozy evening together. Here’s the recipe to make this quick, easy-to-cook dinner in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef.
  • Onion, chopped.
  • Beef Broth
  • Canned kidney beans, black beans, diced tomato, and corn kernels.
  • Tomato sauce.
  • Taco seasoning.
  • Cheddar cheese, sour cream, Pico de Gallo,  tortilla chip, avocado, lime wedge, and chopped cilantro to serve.

Preparation:

  1. In a cooking pot, add ground beef and stir it until it’s cooked.
  2. Drain the excess fat from the beef.
  3. Now, add the beef broth, black beans, corn, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning to the ground beef and stir. Do this until everything is combined. 
  4. Cover the lid and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy and serve with all the delicious serving options in the ingredients list.
  1. Pizza Casserole:

With the combined goodness of pasta and pizza, pizza casserole is a customizable recipe to fit your family’s preferences – the kids will love it!

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cavatappi pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Italian sausage, casings removed
  • Cremini mushrooms stemmed and sliced
  • Small yellow onion, chopped
  • Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Cans of tomato sauce
  • Can diced tomatoes
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Green bell pepper, seeds, and stem removed, chopped
  • Shredded mozzarella, divided
  • Sliced pepperoni

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and grease a glass baking dish with oil.
  2. Boil a large pot of water on high heat. Add your pasta to the water along with salt, and cook.
  3.  Stir occasionally until it is al dente (the pasta should still be slightly undercooked in the center). 
  4. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  5. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and warm it up. Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces, add to the skillet, and cook over medium heat until brown and cooked. Take the sausages out of the skillet while leaving as much fat as possible.  
  6. In the same skillet with the fat, add mushrooms, a little bit of oil, and salt. Cook it on medium heat until browned. Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage.
  7. Add onion, garlic salt, and oil to the same skillet and cook it over medium heat until the onion is softened.  Add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stir and mix well. 
  8. Remove 2 cups of sauce from the skillet and reserve it.
  9. Fold the cooked sausage, mushrooms, bell pepper, and pasta into the remaining sauce. Cook while stirring until everything is heated.
  10. In the prepared casserole dish, pour half the pasta mix, top it with mozzarella, add another layer of the remaining pasta mix, and top it with the sauce reserved earlier. 
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add the remaining mozzarella and pepperoni, and bake it until all the cheese melts.
  1. Crunchy Chicken Strips: 

Crispy, crunchy chicken strips are a beloved meal enjoyed by all, especially children. 

Ingredients:

Chicken Strips:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into tenders
  • AP flour
  • Kosher salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Paprika
  • Dry mustard
  • Large eggs, beaten
  • Cornflake Cereal, crushed
  • Canola oil for frying

Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Yellow mustard
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch fresh ground pepper

Preparation

  1. The first step is to make a 3-step breading station. In dish one, add the flour, paprika, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and mix them. In a second shallow dish, add the beaten eggs. In the third dish, add your crushed cereal. 
  2. Working in three steps, dip the chicken strips into the flour mixture first. Make sure the flour properly covers the chicken. Then, dip it into the eggs, followed by coating them with crushed cereal on all sides. 
  3. Repeat this step until all the strips are breaded. 
  4. Heat some canola oil in a large skillet or fry pan with high sides over medium heat.
  5. Once the oil is up to temperature, fry the coated chicken strips until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Make the honey mustard sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing it until smooth. 
  7. Serve the chicken strips with honey mustard sauce. 

The Last Word:

We hope these easy-to-make family dinner ideas have made your job a lot simpler. With these simple recipes, you can make amazing home-cooked meals for your family and enjoy quality time together. HAPPY EATING!

Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.