Am I the only one here racking my brain over new dinner ideas? Did you, too, ever save or pin promising recipes on Pinterest… but never opened this actual board? 😇 Are you, like me, regularly ripping the family-friendly recipes pages of the latest Parents issue… and haven’t even opened your recipe booklet in a while. Wait, what recipe booklet, anyway??

Well, I happen to have 40 healthy and easy dinner ideas just for you!

So I prepared a list of 40 weekday-meal-ideas for the busy moms out there. Those real-food-recipes you actually CAN prepare in the midst of a busy family life!

I have to confess that I gathered these ideas as much for my lovely readers…as for my dearest friends E. and S, who I’ve been happy to coach these past weeks. And for my own family! Win-win, guys ☺️!

Yep, these ideas require some planning beforehand – and if you’re not quite there yet, my blog post about Meal Planning  will surely help you. But my idea is that, when you plan your meals and do grocery shopping accordingly, you still don’t want/feel to stand for hours in your kitchen, right?

These 40 recipes are guaranteed 15-20 minutes of preparation, then you’ll need to add the cooking time. But please, stay with me! This is how you can use this list of weekday meal ideas:

  • Are you cooking dinner at the end of the day? Then you need meal ideas with the shortest cooking time: go to the FRYING PAN section of the list
  • Would you like a homemade dinner but have no time at all? Let it cook overnight or during your work hours! Go to the SLOW COOKER section of the list
  • Want an easy dinner casserole? Do the prep the night before, refrigerate the whole thing in the casserole dish and simply put in the oven when you’re home: go to the OVEN section of the list
  • Additionally, some stay-at-home-moms find it easier to cook in the afternoon but still need shorter prep time. Go to the DUTCH OVEN or CAST IRON section

10 FRYING PAN meal ideas

These 10 meal ideas have the shortest cooking time: nice to keep at hand when you’re cooking dinner at the end of a long day!

  1. Sauteed Chicken in Mustard-Cream Sauce / Steamed vegetables
  2. Simple Cheese Omelette / Steamed Green Beans
  3. Fried cabbage with Sausages  / Greens
  4. Salmon Fillets in store-bought Teriyaki Sauce / Rice and vegetables
  5. One pot pasta with Eggplant and Mushrooms
  6. Cream Cheese, Tomato and Chives Omelet / Greens
  7. Fusilli with various frozen vegetables, sprinkled with parmesan
  8. Sauteed Chicken with Zucchini, Cream and Parmesan
  9. Sirloin Steak with Tarragon / Greens
  10. Bow-tie pasta with Peas and Prosciutto / Tomato Salad

10 SLOW COOKER meal ideas

These 10 meal ideas will do the trick when you can let it cook overnight or during your work hours!

  1. Slow cooker Bolognese Recipe and Pasta / Giant salad with lettuce, romaine, peppers and feta cheese
  2. Slow cooker Chili Recipe, served with Cheese, Sour Cream and Scallions
  3. Slow cooker Pork Tenderloin with Mustard and Maple Syrup, served with rice and greens
  4. Slow cooker Chicken Teriyaki, served with steamed broccoli and rice
  5. Slow cooker Italian Shredded Pork, served with green beans
  6. Slow cooker Taco Soup, served with tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, topped with shredded cheese or sour cream
  7. Slow cooker 15 Bean Soup
  8. Slow cooker Tomato Lentil Soup, served with a Baby Spinach and Tomato Salad
  9. Slow cooker Cream Cheese Chicken, served with Steamed Broccoli
  10. Slow cooker Provençal Lemon and Olive Chicken, served with summer vegetables

10 OVEN meal ideas

These 10 meal ideas are the best when you crave an easy dinner casserole: just do the prep the night before, refrigerate the whole thing in the casserole dish and put in the oven when you’re home!

  1. Breaded baked fish fillets, to be served with leafy greens
  2. Easiest baked cod fillets with olive oil and lemon – no breading -, served with rice and vegetables
  3. Steamed Peas, green beans with cream and sprinkled with parmesan, grilled in the oven
  4. Salmon Muffins to be served with a yummy split pea soup
  5. Tuna and chives Clafoutis served with a giant green salad
  6. Quiche Lorraine with Bacon, Swiss Cheese and Onions (use a store-bought frozen pie crust!)
  7. Spinach Quiche (same here: frozen pie crust will do just fine)
  8. Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche (same)
  9. Salmon Fillets with just olive oil and lemon to be served with spinach and rice
  10. Easiest Beef Enchiladas ever served with loads of leafy greens

10 DUCH OVEN (or cast iron) meal ideas

Ready to cook in the afternoon so you’re NOT standing in the kitchen before dinner time? These 10 meal suggestions are ideals for stay-at-home moms – or any mom ready to cook in the afternoon – to save more time later in the day.

  1. Tomato and olive braised pork shoulder served with bow-tie pasta and a big salad
  2. Minestrone soup – the easy way
  3. Braised Lentils with Carrots and Celery, served with a Baby Spinach and Bacon Salad
  4. Dutch Oven Risotto served with steamed greens
  5. Dutch Oven Pork Roast served with rice and broccoli
  6. French Navarin Lamb – simplified
  7. French Blanquette – simplified
  8. Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon – simplified
  9. Quick and easy Lamb Tagine with Lemon and Olives served with couscous
  10. French Beef Carrots – simplified

That’s it! Yes, I know, you’ll still need to plan your meals and go grocery shopping beforehand… but I hope this list will help you prepare homemade meals even with a busy schedule!

Bon appétit!

Elise