Tired of researching new meals to make? Put these family favorites into your meal planning rotation.

We all juggle a number of things every day. When it comes to menu planning, it can be difficult to carve out the time to research and plan healthy meals throughout the coming week. And we've all been there. After a long day, instead of spending the energy as a culinary creative, we look to Door Dash to bring our dinner right to the door. (No judgment here!)

Browse your Pinterest boards and cookbooks to add new recipes and flavors to your meal rotation. For many, researching, planning, and cooking new recipes takes more energy. You can do a little of both ... research new recipes and have standard recipes that you cook on a regular basis.

Give yourself a break as you plan your menu to include these easy and versatile recipes. Once you have a menu in place, you can keep take-out as a back-up plan or for some special evening.

Egg Roll Bowl

Who doesn't love egg rolls? The luscious texture and flavorful fillings combine into one delightful experience. Though, eggrolls are high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. (I'm thinking that's what makes them so good!)

Here's a super-quick alternative that provides the same flavor of an egg roll but without the carbs. An Egg Roll Bowl includes meat, cabbage, other vegetables, and spices you find inside of an egg roll. Feel free to spice it up by adding your favorite Asian spices and sauces.


Our family loves breakfast for dinner. This idea can be truly versatile. Consider making dishes for three main categories: protein, carbohydrates, and fruit. (The kids especially will love having a "pass" on vegetables tonight.)

  • Protein: Scramble eggs and consider adding bacon, poblano pepper, and queso fresco or sausage, hominy, and green chilis.
  • Carbohydrates: Ask your family for their favorites. Flip pancakes, prepare French Toast, or toast some bread and add jelly.
  • Fruit: Skip right over the easy banana and consider a fruit salad with a variety of fruit. Or blend up a fruit smoothie using fresh or frozen fruit and low-fat yogurt. 

Crock-pot Chicken

Especially for super-busy family days, throw some frozen chicken in a Crockpot, add some sauce, and cook on low for six to eight hours. Depending on your sauce choice, you can shred the chicken for sandwiches, chop the chicken and serve over rice, or enjoy the chicken breasts whole with a side salad.

To mix it up, consider one of these sauces: a jar (18-20 oz.) of your favorite barbeque sauce, Italian dressing, or a pineapple-habanero salsa.

Tacos and Burritos

We know what you're having on Tuesdays ... Taco Tuesdays! Select flour tortillas or taco shells to house traditional Mexican flavors of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and lime. Mix it up with substituting chicken or carnitas pork for the ground beef.

Try something new like a Texas Taco. Inside of a flour tortilla, add smoked pork roast, coleslaw, tater tots, and barbecue sauce. You can make these tacos as spicy and as saucy as you'd like.

Soup or Chili

Whether it's a cold, stormy day, or you like the smell of dinner cooking all day, set out your Crock-pot and try a simple soup that will please the entire family. Soup naturally pairs well with a salad or a small sandwich. Depending on the appetites in your household, you can be quite creative with today's dinner.

Keep it simple by adding a cold-cut sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich. Take the time to chop a chef salad to share, or purchase a bagged salad from the grocery store. You can always add cheese and crackers to this meal or as an appetizer snack leading up to dinner. 

Make menu planning easier by including these simple meals packed with flavor and available options. You might just be seen as a culinary genius as you navigate the kitchen this week. 

What do you think of these meal ideas? Do you have a family favorite to add to the list? Share in the comments.