Here’s a problem that most any family can relate to: Balancing the hectic schedules of family life with the desire to enjoy fellowship around the table—and to observe some semblance of good nutrition, to boot.
For families with a lot of activities, taking time to enjoy a meal together is tough. Tougher still is actually preparing that meal at home, rather than succumbing to the all-too-natural desire to order pizza or pick up some fast food takeout.
But enjoying family dinners is possible, even for families that are always on the move. The trick is to find the right recipes—and, perhaps, to actively cherish time spent preparing meals together.
Your family may have some favorite weeknight recipes of its own, some go-tos that are easy to prepare and enjoyable for everyone in your household. Even so, it never hurts to expand your repertoire and to partake of some new dishes. Consider a few of the options listed below.
Spaghetti and meatballs. This is a classic meal, of course, and has a few different benefits. It’s hearty and filling, and it’s beloved by almost everyone. There are many variants on this family staple, but here’s a recipe that you can complete in just 40 minutes. (Added bonus: The meatballs are baked, not fried!)
Cashew chicken. This dish is an all-time Chinese takeout favorite, but you can enjoy a homemade variation that’s every bit as good! This is a wonderful meal for getting pickier members of your family to enjoy some vegetables, too. Try this 30-minute recipe, and augment it with some mushrooms, celery, carrots, or other veggies of your choice.
Cheeseburger flatbread pizza. Quick questions: Do the people in your family enjoy cheeseburgers? And do they enjoy pizza? If you answered yes to both then this dish is really a no-brainer. Try this version of it, which you can prepare in just 35 minutes. (And it’s a good option for kids who may want to help sprinkle on some ingredients, too.)
Barbecue chicken sandwiches. Speaking of crowd pleasers, everyone likes a good barbecue sandwich, but a lot of barbecue recipes take copious amounts of time to complete. Here is an excellent recipe that you can have ready and on the table in just over 20 minutes’ time!
Tortilla-crusted chicken. This is a wonderful dish for families who want something a little spicy, a little bit Tex-Mex. You can use store-bought salsa, which provides big flavor but doesn’t require a lot of labor. The recipe can be made in 20 minutes or so!
Chipotle bean burritos. Here’s another Mexican-styled dish that you can prepare in under 30 minutes, and with ingredients that are all wonderfully inexpensive. Get some chips and salsa or guacamole to really make your family mealtime a fiesta! The recipe is here.
Maple-glazed salmon. Now here’s a great, lean recipe for families that want a low calorie count as well as big flavor! This salmon dish is served with some delicious vegetables, and it can be made and on the table in just around 25 minutes.
Herb-roasted chicken. Here’s one more for the healthy-and-delicious column—a savory chicken dish that’s offered with a number of yummy veggies. This one can be made in 40 minutes’ time, and is sure to be a hit with everyone!
White chili. Once it starts to get a little cooler outside you may find yourself craving something in the way of a soup, and white chili is something that everyone tends to enjoy. You can prepare it in under an hour, and, with this recipe, you can use chicken or turkey.
Of course, there are plenty of great recipes on the Web, including on Pinterest, for families on the go. Try a couple this week, and see how well your clan likes them. Add some new flavors to your weekly routine, and enjoy time spent together in the kitchen!