The Best Family Dinner Ideas For Tonight

Hunting for dinner ideas? Whether you find yourself in the kitchen at 6:00 p.m not sure what to make or your family can never agree on one meal, dinner can be one of the most hectic parts of the day. As a working mom of 3 kids, I get it.

With picky eaters and food allergies, making one meal for everyone in my house seemed impossible for so long! Learning how to meal plan and prep helped me get a handle on the dinner fiasco. A few years ago I started sharing my meal plans with the world and I’ve been able to help thousands of other families do the same.

So goodbye to living as a short order cook in your own home, and hello to fresh, simple meals that everyone can agree on. Grab your free meal plan here.

image: bottom portion has four different dinner photos ranging from pizza to chicken nuggets. Image text reads: Family Dinner Ideas for Tonight

When it comes to finding dinner ideas that work for the whole family it’s important to incorporate at least one item everyone will enjoy, whether it’s the entree or side dish.

I like making self serve meals like tacos, loaded potato, and burgers bars since they include a variety of healthy options and everyone can build their own plate with the ingredients they love most.

How to Plan Healthy Family Meals for a Week

With busy lives and kids, enjoying a meal with your family hinges on two important factors:

  1. A meal plan prepared in advance
  2. Recipes your family will actually enjoy and eat

And lucky for you- I’ve got BOTH!

Meal planning goes a little differently for everyone, but the most effective method for me is to set aside time at the beginning of the week to plan 5-6 days worth of meals, leaving the other days open for leftovers or family plans. I go more in detail about it here:

If you’re on the lookout for a completed meal plan with shopping lists and prep guides, you’ll find it in our family meal plans.

Now for the real reason, you’re here, recipes you can cook for dinner tonight!

What to Cook for Dinner Tonight

When you’re wondering what to make… I’ve got everything from chicken dinner ideas to beef, to tacos and so much more!

image: collage of three different dinner recipe photos

Recipe: Healthy Chicken Nuggets (or these Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets)

Chicken nuggets are the one food I’ve never seen a child turn away and this healthy baked version is perfect for both kids and adults.

Recipe: Chicken Spaghetti Squash

This is a great switch from my usual spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce. Cook the spaghetti squash beforehand to cut down on kitchen time.

Recipe: Healthy Teriyaki Chicken

The healthier, baked version of everyone’s favorite Asian take-out.

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas (see the recipe below)

Made with my easy slow cooker buffalo chicken the hardest part is choosing whether you want them with Ranch or Blue cheese dressing. Maybe both?

Recipes Using Ground Beef

The possibilities are endless when it comes to dinner ideas using ground beef!

Quick tip – If you’re planning to make a few of these recipes this week, then you can prep a few pounds of ground beef in the slow cooker to save you time in the kitchen each night.

image: collage of three different dinner recipe photos all made with beef

Recipe: Beef Goulash Recipe

One of the only recipes I can expect no complaints, only clean plates.

Recipe: Beef Bolognese 

The one recipe my kids can’t get enough of. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon with pasta and meat sauce?

Recipe: Taco Pizza Recipe

What better way to use up those Taco Tuesday leftovers?

Recipe: Instant Pot Chili Mac 

Ground beef + canned beans + tomatoes + pasta and BAM! Dinner is done!

Quick & Easy Recipes

So who’s ready for some hassle-free meals? I say we start with these Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas you can totally make for dinner tonight.

Easy Dinner Ideas for Tonight | EPIC Chicken Quesadillas

Quick & Easy dinner ideas for tonight that your whole family will love. Use what you already have on hand with these easy recipes, starting with classic beef tacos, for an epic taco night! 

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Total Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Tacos


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Butter, for grilling
  • Blue cheese or Ranch dressing, for serving


  1. Place the chicken breasts into the dish of a slow cooker. Pour the buffalo sauce over the chicken, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, shred the meat with two forks and toss to coat with the sauce.
  3. Place the tortillas on a flat surface. Top 4 tortillas with the chicken, Cheddar cheese, and blue cheese. Assemble the quesadillas.
  4. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. One at a time, place the quesadillas into the skillet and grill for 3 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt. Flip and grill for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from the skillet and repeat with remaining quesadillas.
  5. Slice and serve Ranch or Blue cheese dressing.


  • Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
  • Calories: 655
  • Sugar: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 1775.1mg
  • Fat: 27.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 45.1g
  • Cholesterol: 134.1mg

Keywords: dinner ideas, family dinner ideas, dinner ideas for kids

3 thoughts on “The Best Family Dinner Ideas For Tonight”

  1. This is so easy and absolutely delicious! Thanks, Laura!

  2. Camber says:

    The quesadillas are a great idea and I can’t wait to try the American Goulash!

  3. Joanna Jones-Heron says:

    I made the American Goulash dinner idea and my family LOVED it. thanks for the suggestions, this post is now my go-to for family-friendly recipe ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *