16 Recipes For When You Don’t Know What to Make for Dinner

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“What’s for dinner?”

The dreaded question.

Usually it’s me, asking myself, when I’m trying to make my meal plan before I head off to the grocery store.  Or even worse–it’s 5pm and I still haven’t made a plan for dinner.  I just hate that feeling!

I have been meaning to gather up a list of simple recipes to make when the “what’s for dinner” bug strikes and I don’t know what to make.  So I collected a few of my favorite EASY to prepare recipes and I’m sure even I will be referencing this page in the future.

Just an FYI–these are not particularly healthy meals, but they are home cooked and it’s better than take out or fast food!  I have personally made each of these recipes and my kids have also eaten and mostly liked them as well.


Budget friendly, kid friendly, and easy to cook!

Can’t beat that, right?!


  • Korean Beef with Rice-One of my favorite meals!  So easy to make and even my kids will eat it without arguing.  Win!


  • Taco Spaghetti–Another family favorite.  Originally when I read the recipe, I didn’t expect this to be so good!  I always use more of each ingredient just to stretch it a little further.  Oh and it tastes even better on the second day!


  • Baked Fajitas–Chop the vegetables during the day and bake when you get a chance.  I make this when I need to clean out my vegetable crisper in the fridge.

baked fajita

  • Smoked Sausage & Peppers–Chop smoked sausage into bite size pieces and add it to a bag of frozen peppers or freshly chopped peppers and 1 onion.  I usually use a bag of frozen peppers mixed with fresh veggies and bake for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees.  Eat it over rice or by itself.
  • Ranch Chicken with Potatoes and Green BeansYummy!  Also I will use Italian Dressing mix sometimes instead of ranch and it is just as delicious.

  • EnchiladasYou can make these as complicated as you want, but if all you have on hand is red sauce, cheese, and tortillas–well that’s okay too.  I will put chicken breasts in the crock pot on low for most of the day and then shred them in my stand mixer.  It doesn’t get much easier than this!
  • Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta–Pasta lovers, rejoice–the perfect pasta recipe!

creamy garlic penne pasta 6a

  • Chili Mac– I love this easy recipe–again, the leftovers are just as good as (if not better than) the first night.
  • Fried Potatoes–I almost always have a few potatoes left in the bag.  Dice them into small cubes to reduce the cooking time.  Serve with eggs and toast and you’re good to go!
  • Million Dollar Spaghetti– Yum–just YUM!  Try it–OR just make regular spaghetti because that’s good too.




  • Sloppy Joe–Lean ground beef, ketchup, mustard and sugar.  It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks!  Everyone loves it every time, too!  Place a scoop on a bun with provolone cheese on top–place under the broiler for a minute or two–it’ll be life changing, I promise!
  • Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole–Easy and yummy!


  • Steak Bites–This recipe is so easy and it’s a way to use up that steak that’s been sitting in your deep freeze for months.  Serve with brown gravy over mashed potatoes with an easy vegetable.  Just a warning, your house will smell like a steakhouse kitchen–but your husband probably won’t mind.  Haha!



What are some of your go-to recipes when you have no clue what to make for dinner?  I’d love to add to my collection!

16 Recipes


    • TheModernMary says:

      Oh yes..the crockpot and I are BFFs that’s for sure! Also–I would love to do Taco Tuesdays, but my kids don’t like tacos or anything that resembles a taco. I don’t know what’s wrong with them!

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