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These easy family dinner ideas will please everyone around the table! The dinner recipes healthy, tasty, and make meal time fun.

Family dinner ideas
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Dinnertime is hard: especially when you’re trying to make meals for family! There are always 101 opinions, diets, and preferences to please. Plus, it’s difficult to maintain inspiration day in and day out. As parents of two active children, we know!

So here’s a list of our top family dinner ideas! Each dinner recipe below is a meal that’s been tested by a real family (us!) and is easy to make at home. From lasagna to pizza soup to fajitas to one pan chicken and rice, we’ve got the recipes you need for your table. Also see our post about 23 Fun & Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids!

And now…family dinner ideas to make meal time fun!

More tips for cooking for family

We hope you’ve enjoyed these easy dinner recipes for family! But when it comes to putting meals on the table, it’s even trickier when you’ve got a family in tow. Outside of family dinner ideas, here are a few things we’ve learned about cooking for family from our 4 year old:

  • Start with veggie snacks. While you’re cooking dinner, one way to avoid hungry kiddos is to start with some veggie appetizers. Put out a plate of carrot sticks, sliced peppers, and snap peas, and the kids will have no options but to go for the veggies! (You could even set out some easy ranch dip too.)
  • Work together. If possible, work with your spouse or partner on dinner and corralling the family. It’s easier with 2 people working together! We generally cook together as a couple.
  • Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t go over the first time. One thing we’ve learned about cooking for kids is to not define dislikes. It takes 7 times of introducing a new flavor for it to stick. Our son Larson’s tastes change daily — so when we try some family dinner recipes a second time, he loves them even if he didn’t like them the first!
  • Find healthy ways to end the meal. If our kiddo doesn’t eat enough during the meal, sometimes we bring out Peanut Butter Dip and apple slices as a healthy post-meal snack that seems like a treat (but it’s full of healthy ingredients!).
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Chicken and rice recipe

30 Easy Family Dinner Ideas

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This one-pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy rice simmer in a cozy broth, with a burst of freshness from the zesty parsley and lemon gremolata topping.



For the chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the rice

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill

For the gremolata

  • ⅓ cup finely chopped Italian parsley, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 grind black pepper


  1. Dry the chicken thighs and season with the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder and lots of fresh ground pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, rice, dill and kosher salt, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the seasoning from the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and top with the browned chicken thighs. Cover with a lid and cook at a low simmer for 15 to 18 minutes until rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together the ingredients for the gremolata. 
  4. Remove the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork, then top with the gremolata and serve warm.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!