20 Hearty Family Dinner Ideas For Fall
Whether you stay at home with your kids or are in an office from 9 to 5, the dinnertime rush is one of the great challenges of being a mom. We”re always on the lookout for inventive, healthy, and easy ways to tackle mealtime, and with the changing seasons, our food preferences tend to follow suit. Nurture your entire family this week — the first week of Fall — next week, and beyond with 20 of our favorite ideas for hearty Fall dinners.
Instead of ordering takeout, try making this homemade chicken pizza tonight for a real family-friendly treat. From POPSUGAR Food, this recipe is easier than you think and masks tomatoes with a lot of cheese and fresh flavor. Leave out the jalapeño if your kids aren”t into spice.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
Here”s a hearty dish that”s stuffed with cheese and vegetables and topped with melty cheese. Stuffed butternut squash is also healthy and filling main dish.
Mexican Skillet Casserole
The most-requested recipe on Amanda Haas”s site, this Mexican skillet casserole, is bound to become a family favorite. Filled with rice, cheese, and beans, it can easily be eaten on its own or rolled up in a burrito.
Chile Colorado Burritos
Feeling like Mexican? Here”s a recipe for slow cooker burritos from Food Pusher that will definitely spice up any night of the week. Full of flavor and melty cheese, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite.
Source: Food Pusher
Chicken With Pepperoni Marinara Sauce
This dish is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. From Sweet Treats and More, this recipe takes all the things your kids love — cheese, pepperoni, crispy chicken — and bakes them up in one dish in less than 30 minutes.
Source: Sweet Treats and More
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
Here”s a slow cooker chicken parmesan recipe from Full Bellies, Happy Kids that will have you coming back for more. This recipe sticks with tradition using breadcrumb-coated chicken and lots of parmesan cheese for a wonderfully tasty slow cooker dinner.
Source: Full Bellies, Happy Kids
Stuffed Hatch Chili Burgers
Why not double down on the cheese by stuffing your next burgers? Here”s a recipe for stuffed cheeseburgers from Confessions of a Foodie Bride that will have the whole family asking for seconds. If your kids aren”t fans of green chilies, you can swap them for red or green peppers.
Source: Confessions of a Foodie Bride
Rosemary Chicken Under a “Brick”
Skip the chicken nuggets and serve up these super-flavorful chicken thighs for dinner. Jessica Seinfeld says this rosemary chicken under a “brick” is an all-time family favorite because it is “crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.” We bet the kids will fall in love with the flavorful dish — Jessica says it”s a mainstay in the Seinfeld household — and mom and dad will love that the whole dish only takes 25 minutes!
Source: Do It Delicious
Mozzarella and Tomato Panini
Michael Chiarello”s daughter, Gianna, and her friends loved these golden brown grilled sandwiches as kids. He would make the sandwiches on Saturdays while the kids were swimming or playing, and cut the food into small triangles for easy eating.
Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Here”s a Fall casserole that has been pinned over and over with comments declaring it one of the tastiest and most kid-friendly dishes around. From Picky Palate, this recipe combines creamy cheese, flavorful chicken, and healthful wild rice.
Source: Picky Palate
Marinated Beef With Vegetables
Beef doesn”t have to be an all-day affair. Annabel Karmel says, “This delicious, quick, and easy-to-prepare beef stir-fry is bound to become a family favorite. It makes a great all-in-one meal.”
Cheesy Chicken Taquitos
“I love taquitos, but most of the time when you find them, either at a fast food chain or your local Mexican restaurant, they”re deep fried to make them extra crispy and give them that great fried flavor,” Weelicious”s Catherine McCord says. “They”re delicious, but I was intent on making an equally appealing yet healthier version.” And that she did. In her forthcoming Weelicious: One Family. One Meal, Catherine shares her cheesy chicken taquito recipe, which, when served up with an avocado sauce for dipping, is a healthy (and tasty) alternative to the frozen and restaurant versions.
Tangy Sloppy Joes
With only a few ingredients, these sloppy joes from Budget Gourmet Mom are on the table and ready for noshing after a day of cooking slow and low thanks to your crockpot. And leftovers do double duty as lunch the next day.
Source: Budget Gourmet Mom
Slow Cooker Pizza Pasta
Who said you can”t make pizza in a slow cooker? Simple Organized Living shares this recipe for slow cooker pizza pasta that takes all of your lil one”s favorites and simmers them together into one amazing dish.
Source: Simple Organized Living
Annabel Karmel”s Vegetable Burgers
Making veggie burgers is a great way to increase your family”s vegetable intake. Annabel”s video demonstration for making vegetable burgers shows just how easy they can be. The mushrooms, carrots, leeks, and onion all disappear when mixed with Gruyere cheese, cashews, and brown rice.
Hearty Roasted Tomato Soup
We know grilled cheese and tomato soup is just about the best food pairing ever, so why not put them together in the same dish? Amy”s Cooking Adventures shares a hearty and healthy recipe that will leave your family with empty bowls.
Source: Amy”s Cooking Adventures
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
We know kids love creamy macaroni and cheese, which makes this seriously easy recipe from Culinary Cory perfect for busy Fall days. Serve with roasted chicken and fresh steamed veggies for a complete meal.
Source: Culinary Cory
Corn and Potato Chowder
There”s nothing more comforting than a thick bowl of potato soup, and this recipe for corn and potato chowder from Mama Loves Food is guaranteed to really hit the spot. Add cooked shredded chicken for extra protein or serve with a big salad for a family-friendly Fall dinner.
Source: Mama Loves Food
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna
Tori Spelling”s family”s favorite make-ahead meal is perfect for chilly Fall evenings — and for feeding a crowd! Check out the busy mom-of-four”s Spinach Mushroom Lasagna — a veggie-packed twist on tradition.
Turkey Sliders With Baked Potato Wedges
Dinnertime may be a rush, but it”s a great time to bring kids into the kitchen. Everyday Food”s Sarah Carey shares a recipe that kids can easily lend a hand in making. “Give burgers and “fries” a healthier, more kid-friendly spin by baking them in the oven (no spattering grease!). Just make sure a grown-up handles the pans.”
Glazed Mini Meatloaves
Everything is cuter (and easier to eat) when it”s mini. Instead of baking a loaf, try the bite-size version from Mel”s Kitchen Cafe.
Source: Mel”s Kitchen Cafe
Spaghetti and Meatball Potpies
From Plain Chicken, these spaghetti and meatball potpies are sure to make the whole family happy. Bake the potpies in ramekins, and then flip them for a really special presentation.
Source: Plain Chicken
Beef Lo Mein
If your go-to grocery doesn”t carry specialty items like traditional lo mein noodles, don”t stress. That box of spaghetti you have sitting in the cupboard works just as well with this homemade take on beef lo mein. No need to follow the recipe to a tee, either. Customize with whatever veggies you have on hand for a quick and easy main meal or side the whole family will love.
Ooey-Gooey Cheesy Stuffed Shells
Who doesn”t love stuffed shells? Loaded with cheese and tomato sauce, this pasta dish is a total crowd-pleaser. To change it up, you can add a little ground beef or different herbs to the sauce. Also, it”s easy to double the recipe and freeze one batch.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup
Swap out the chicken breasts in this crockpot favorite for precooked rotisserie chicken to save time — and add flavor!
Source: Foxes Love Lemons