One of the most important times of the day for us as a family is sitting down for a meal together in the evening. A long time ago we made the decision that as much as possible that meal would be cooked from scratch avoiding processed foods and also encouraging healthier eating and teaching the children to cook. We try and have a variety of meals from Quick and Easy Mid Week Meals, to meals that we can prep ahead and freeze to those that take a little longer and even ones that we cook and eat outside. These simple and easy family meal ideas are straight from our kitchen and recipes that we have tried and the whole family have enjoyed.

Tried and tested delicious family meal recipes that are easy to cook from quick midweek meals to those with a little more prep. Ideal for family dinners.

Easy Family Meals

These are meals that we know are quick and easy can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less and frequently form part of our meal planning as a family.

Lasgna made with ravioli on a yellow plate with garlic bread
Quick and easy Ravioli Lasagna

There really is nothing easier than this Ravioli Lasagna it’s SO simple to make and you can use our homemade meat sauce (just scroll down for the recipe for that) or you can just use a jar instead.

baked beef cannelloni with melted cheese in the baking dish ready for serving
Baked Beef Cannelloni

One of our favourite dishes that we can make ahead the sauce – freeze and defrost when needed is our baked beef cannelloni with 2 kinds of cheese (check out how we adapt it for the half of the family that don’t like cheese!)

Easy pasta sauce recipe with meat that the whole family will enjoy
Easy Pasta Tomato Sauce with Meat

This quick and easy version of Spaghetti Bolognese is one of our favourites and tends to appear on our menu plan at least once a week. It takes around 30 minutes to prep from start to finish and we often serve it with a side salad. It’s also great that you can freeze ahead and then use again another week or even mix in some chilli sauce and kidney beans for a very quick mid-week Chilli Con Carne that everyone will eat.

homemade chicken fajitas in the electronic pressure cooker
Instant pot chicken fajitas – so quick to make

If you have an instant pot then these easy Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas as so simple to make and perfect for Taco Tuesday! If you don’t then check out our Sheet Pan Fajitas another favourite meal of the kids.

Simple to make ahead chicken fajitas recipe that makes a perfect easy mid-week family meal for everyone to enjoy. Straight from the oven to table.
Sheet Pan Fajitas to Batch Freeze and Cook when required

Our sheet pan fajitas can be made in 30 minutes – or you can prep a batch ahead of time freeze and then it’s just 20 minutes from placing in the oven to the table. Of course, if you use the guacamole that is so easy the kids can make you can have a homecooked family meal from scratch with sauces and sides in the same amount of time.

Quick and easy Chicken Pie for family meals
Yummy family-sized chicken pot pie

Ready in 30 minutes our Family Chicken Pie is easy to make – prefer to have your own or share one between the kids then check out the individual chicken pot pie below.

Easy and simple individual Chicken Pot Pie Recipe that you can batch make in advance and cook up quickly on a weeknight ideal for family meals.
Quick and Easy Individual Chicken Pot Pies for Rainy Days

Another family favourite is our easy and quick Chicken Pot Pie Recipe. Although technically it can take a little longer as the pastry can take a while to cook it doesn’t take long to prep and then whilst it’s cooking I have time to help with homework, set the table and do a quick tidy up around the house before dinner.

Apple and Pork Sausage and bean casserole to cook with kids
Pork and Apple Casserole a favourite dish my kids love to cook

I often have little helpers in my kitchen, and when they want to help meals can take a LOT longer to cook than they should. But our Sausage and Bean Casserole is easy for kids to help make and can be made in under 30 minutes no problem. Ideal when you want some comfort food too as it’s delicious and warming.

close up of chicken carbonara
Delicious Chichen Breast Carbonara

We love pasta dishes and this Chicken Breast Carbonara with Pasta is perfect for a quick family dinner.

whole family sitting down and eating together. These easy family meal ideas are perfect for even beginner family cooks.
Family Eating Together in the Kitchen by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Simply Delicious Family Meals

Simple family supper idea for Cuban chicken and bacon traybake ideal to serve with a salad for a light meal and quick to make.
Cuban Flavoured chicken and bacon traybake

So it takes a little longer than 30 minutes to prepare but sometimes we do have a little more time and this Cuban Inspired Chicken and Smokey Bacon Tray Bake is simply delicious. I love the ease of cooking in a tray as it’s one of those meals like the chicken pot pie where we can do the prep and then leave it to cook whilst I do everything else that needs to be dome on an evening.

Homemade Greek Waffles, a savoury waffle recipe ideal for lunch or light family supper. With Feta cheese and a simple Greek Salad
Greek Waffles – with feta and a delicious simple greek salad

When the kids and I want something that is a little different I dig out the waffle maker and make a savoury Greek flavoured Waffle. It tastes delicious and although I love my sweet waffles I do really like this one for easy mid-week meals especially after swimming lessons in the summer.

Easy family meals that you can cook and enjoy together
Taco Tuesday Meal Night with family by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Slow Cooker Meals for Families

The slow cooker is perfect for using to put together some delicious family dinners. It’s easy to throw everything in at the beginning of the day, head out and leave it doing it’s thing whilst you do yours.

Easy beef stew in the slow cooker a simple family meal for autum and winter to warm you from the inside out.
Easy Beef Stew

Our easy Beef Stew in the Crockpot is one of our favourite family comfort foods we tend to have everything we need in the cupboard or in the freezer and just throw it all together. Perfect for warming up after a day in the rain.

lamb stew a family favourite mid week meal in a bowl

Another Family Favourite is our Rainy Day Slow Cooker Lamb Stew. So simple to make and best served with delicious homemade bread.

Chicken breasts cooked in the slow cooker
Slow Cooker Chicken Breast with a Brown Sugar Glaze

We love chicken as a family dinner and this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast with a Brown Sugar Glaze tastes amazing. It’s one of the dishes that my kids ask for time and time again.

tender spicy beef and broccoli slow cooker family meal

Looking for something a little spicy then try our Beef and Broccoli in the slow cooker!

Warming crockpot recipe for Italian Spicy Sausage Casserole ideal for comfort food this fall
Italian Sausage Casserole in the Slow Cooker

Make in the slow cooker, freeze to have later once divided. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it! And our Slow Cooker Italian Spicy Sausage does exactly that and it tastes amazing.

sausage casserole a family meal idea that kids will love

Why not try our Slow Cooker Sauage Casserole. This is easy to make and tastes delicious. It’s one of our family favourites and so easy to throw together first thing and let cook all day.

Pizza Night for Families

A simple recipe for making pizza dough - so easy that kids can make it themselves. Use your bread machine to get delicious pizza dough perfect for pizza night that the family can enjoy.
Family pizza night with homemade pizza dough

Nothing beats Pizza Night and even though we have two oddballs in the family that like their pizza without cheese it’s still a favourite. I tend to make my own pizza dough it’s easy to make either by hand or in the bread maker. So check out the recipe for Pizza Dough and then the different topping suggestions that we have tried and liked.

Family dinner ideas that the whole family will love
Family sitting down to a Sunday Roast by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Freeze Ahead Meals for Easy Family Meals

A Delicious make-ahead recipe that can be frozen for Mediterranean Shepherd's Pie perfect to make in batch and use for easy mid-week family meals.
freeze ahead Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie

Although not a huge fan of lamb, I do like Shepherd’s Pie. But mixing up the minced lamb, making the potatoes etc… can take time and with after-school activities, finding time for me and trying to get the kids to get to bed in reasonable time means that I don’t have time to make it often. Then I discovered that you could freeze it all from the minced meat to the mashed potatoes and put our own spin on it with this Mediterranean Flavoured Shepherd’s Pie.

top down view of dish of shepherds pie made with leftover roast lamb
Left Over Roast Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

If we have a Roast Lamb for our Sunday roast then the left-overs are minced up and made into this delicious Left Over Roast Lamb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe.

Whole family sitting down to spend time together with easy to cook homemade recipes for mid-week meals
Family enjoying a meal together at home by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Outdoor Family Meals Cooked on the Barbecue and Grill

With the nice weather, we like to cook outside. I throw together a salad, prepare the meat and throw it on the grill. These recipes are our go-to summer Barbecue recipes.

Inspired by the barbecues of the Bahamas this Caribbean grilled chicken recipe is mildly spiced unlike the original from the islands and taste delicious.
Bahamian Grilled Chicken on the BBQ

We love chicken, it’s lighter than beef and slightly healthier so we’ve been experimenting with different flavours this summer. This Bahamian Grilled Chicken tasted amazing and has quickly become a firm favourite of my husbands who liked the slightly spicer marinade we used.

Try these delicious Mediterranean influenced Kebabs on your BBQ next time. With Halloumi cheese and Chorizo grilled with a simple lime dressing.
Tasty Chorizo and Halloumi Skewers

Inspired by our trip to Cyprus last year Halloumi cheese has become a favourite of my daughters and I and we love putting together these Chorizo and Halloumi Skewers for grilling.

Grilled pork with a basil and pine nut crust recipe
Grilled pork with a delicious pine nut and basil crust

My husband favourite is this Grilled Pork Chop and especially the basil and pine nut crust. Although based on a simple pesto as he doesn’t like cheese I miss out the cheese and him and my son (who also doesn’t like cheese love it).

BBQ spice recipe and simple skewers that kids can make as well. Ideal Summer recipe to throw on the grill
Easy BBQ Skewers that kids can make.

My kids often help with skewers and although the Chorizo and Halloumi one above is mine and my daughter’s favourite as the other two don’t like cheese these easy Barbecue Chicken Skewers are preferred by the rest of the family.

Homemade Family Desserts

Desserts for family meals
Quick and Easy Homemade Desserts for Families

Of course, no meal would be complete without the afters. And we’ve got some delicious ideas for you with our quick desserts and puddings for families.

Family Breakfast Meal Ideas

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and although if I’m honest 5 days a week we have really simple cereal at the weekends and on holidays we do tend to try some other ideas. So here are our favourite Family Breakfast Ideas that are ideal for weekends and holidays.

delicious waffle recipe for kids sleepover parties and family weekend breakfasts
Easy Throw Together Breakfast Waffles

Our favourite easy throw together recipe for waffles is the kids favourite. They request it for special occasions and any time they have friends over it’s requested in advance.

Easy Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls Recipe, no kneading and proving and the perfect way to wake up for breakfast or serve as a treat for the family.
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls

If you can wake up to the smell of the food cooking you know it’s going to be easy and our Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls are ideal for preparing ahead and then enjoying together as a family.

Easy recipe to make these delicious apple and cinnamon breakfast muffins, but there's nothing stopping you eating them anytime. Perfect for autumn baking
Apple and Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins – if they don’t all go at once they can be frozen!

Recipes that you can make then freeze are great for making it easy for busy families. Our favourite apple and cinnamon muffin recipe is one that does really well. You can make up a couple of batches, enjoy half and freeze the other and then thaw overnight and warm-up for breakfast. It’s one of our favourites for frosty autumn mornings.

Healthy eating the Jamie Oliver way with this Toasted Oats, mango, blueberries and yoghurt recipe from the new Everyday Super Food! Book. Delicious healthy, hearty breakfast to kick start the day and avoid the mid-morning snacking.
Superfood Recipe for Toasted Oats, Mango and Blueberries

If I’m feeling like we need something a little healthier than our toasted oats, mango and blueberry breakfast is ideal. With all that superfood goodness it’s great for eating healthy from the start of the day.

Learning about the world and different countries through food, this is the traditional Costa Rican Recipe for Gallo Pinto a staple of all Tico families for breakfast if not more meals
Gallo Pinto Traditional Costa Rican Breakfast with our UK Spin On It!

Gallo Pinto is one of my favourite breakfast from when I lived in Costa Rica. It’s easy to make and because a lot of it is made the night before it’s not to difficult to finish off for breakfast the next morning.

More Inspiration for Family Meal Ideas FOr Celebrations and Holidays

Kid approved meal plan for your Easter Weekend menu that families can enjoy together
Easter Dinner Recipes
Celebrate St Patrick's Day with these delicious recipes for different occasions, a family meal, a cocktail party, or your kids party these are made to eat.
St Patrick’s Day Feasts to Cook for the family
Delicious homemade burger recipes to suit every taste ideal to throw on the grill this summer including vegetarian options and more.
Delicious Homemade Burgers that everyone will enjoy

Inspiration for Easter Meals for Kids that the whole family would enjoy.

St Patrick’s Day Meal Recipes including some delicious dinner ideas for families.

Get the barbecue warmed up and dig into these Burger Recipes ideal for Summer Grilling

Cook the perfect Roast Dinner with this checklist of the timings that will make sure that you have everything under control.
Cook a feast with our guide to Sunday Roast the favourite meal of the week.
10 delicious family meals ideas to enjoy together on New Year's Day
Family meal ideas for New Year’s Day
Christmas Eve Family Meal Ideas that the kids and you will love to eat together
Christmas Eve Meal Ideas to enjoy with the kids

Although I love my apple cakes and desserts, apples are also great in savoury dishes. Check out these Savoury Apple Recipes for Family Meals to enjoy together.

Prepare for family coming over for New Year’s Eve with these easy Appetizers that would go done well for a get-together or even a party.

The night before Christmas is one of our favourite meals of the years. We spend the day preparing most of the bits of Christmas Day and when it comes time to sit down for Christmas Eve Dinner we know that Christmas has FINALLY arrived. Check out some of our favourite Christmas Eve Meals Ideas to share with your family.

Tried and tested delicious family meal recipes that are easy to cook from quick midweek meals to those with a little more prep. Ideal for family dinners.
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.