Food & Drink

7 Ways to Simplify At-Home Dinners—Plus, Recipes to Get You Out of Your Cooking Rut


As you spend more time at home and way more time in the kitchen than ever before, you may be getting a little tired of your go-to recipes. Even if you’re trying to cut back on takeout, you can still bring a fun vibe to your dinner table.

Take your standard dinner gathering and turn it into a fun family event by adding theme nights to your cooking plan. Get your kids involved by brainstorming their favorite elements for the theme; they can create decorations and can even write out and color their own menus.

Here are seven theme night ideas—plus recipes to inspire you—to bring a little excitement to your dinner table.


1. Meatless Monday

Start each week with a vegetarian or vegan meal. Get creative, and you won’t even miss meat in your meal.


Recipes to Try


Loaded Vegan Nachos


Easy Jackfruit Tostadas

Source: Emilie Eats


Cauliflower Gnocchi With Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese


Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake

Source: Skinnytaste


2. Taco Tuesday

Whether it’s a Tuesday or any other night of the week, tacos are a great choice. Expand the meal with homemade guacamole and salsas to create a true fiesta.


Recipes to Try


Crock Pot Chicken Salsa Tacos


Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos


Ground Beef Tacos With Homemade Seasoning


The Best Chicken Tinga Tacos

Source: Pinch of Yum


3. Homemade Pizza Night

No one will say no to pizza night! To please even the picky eaters in your family, gather a variety of toppings and let everyone put together their own masterpieces.


Recipes to Try


Caprese Flatbread


Chicken Peach Ricotta Pizza With Arugula and Balsamic Glaze


Homemade Garlic Knots


4. Breakfast for Dinner

If breakfast is a rushed and sleepy event in your house, bookmark recipes that might be a bit ambitious to tackle at 7am but are perfect for breakfast for dinner. Go for sweet, savory, or a mix of both.


Recipes to Try


Homemade Biscuits


Easy Blender Pancakes


French Toast Casserole


Whole Grain Sourdough Waffles

Source: Lively Table


Dairy-Free Spinach Quiche


5. Outside Dinners

Take advantage of warm weather and bring your cooking and dining outside.


Recipes to Try


Burgers With Guacamole

Source: Jo Cooks


Grilled Halloumi Kebabs With Mint Yogurt Sauce


Grilled Butternut Squash in a Foil Packet


Black Bean Burgers


Grilled Pineapple Barbecue Chicken


7. Pasta Party

Go beyond your standard spaghetti and meatballs and try out new pasta dishes at home.


Recipes to Try


Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo


Air Fryer Meatballs


Butternut Squash, Black Bean, and Chicken Pasta Bake

Source: Port and Fin


Crockpot Lasagna