If your family is anything like mine, I bet you sometimes get in a rut where meals are concerned. Sometimes, though, it’s nice having some standard go-to meals. Following are 10 easy family suppers that find their way into our menu rotation on a fairly regular basis.
Chicken-broccoli casserole. This simple recipe is a family favorite. There used to never be any leftovers, but I don’t eat it anymore. It’s not especially healthy, so I like to fix myself some grilled salmon and a baked sweet potato instead.
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 lb bag frozen broccoli
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water chestnuts
2/3 c mayonnaise
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted
Mix together all ingredients in 13 X 9 casserole dish. Top with crackers and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Note: I like to steam the broccoli in the microwave before adding to casserole.
Grilled chicken and fettuccine with roasted broccoli. Another family favorite, there are rarely leftovers when we have this meal. I marinate the chicken in my lower-calorie Italian dressing (click the link and scroll down for the recipe) and Brian grills it. I add a side of roasted broccoli to this super-easy Alfredo sauce recipe that came from a package of Philadelphia cream cheese.
1 8-oz package cream cheese, cubed
3/4 c Parmesan cheese
2 T mmargarine
1/2 c milk
In a large pan, melt butter and cream cheese. Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir together until smooth.
Honey mustard chicken. Everyone liked this recipe from Healthy Treasures Cookbook at first. Now, it often seems the kids aren’t as crazy about it as Brian and I are – but we love it, so they have to deal with it. They do eat it, just not as enthusiastically as they did the first few times we had it.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 c Italian dressing
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dry mustard
2 T honey
1 t salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place chicken in a glass casserole dish. Combine Italian dressing, garlic, mustard, honey, and salt. Pour over chicken.
3. Cover casserole dish and bake for one hour or until chicken is cooked through.
Note: I cut my chicken breast in half lengthwise (any time I cook chicken breasts). This reduces the cooking time to about 30 minutes. I don’t cover the chicken. I also use my own lower-calorie Italian dressing.
Chicken quesadillas. Although I’ve altered the recipe for these just a bit, chicken quesadillas are always a huge hit at my house. The only thing I changed is that I leave out the Rotel tomatoes and serve homemade Pico de Gallo (minus the yucky cilantro) on the side. I always serve this with Spanish rice, refried beans, a remake of Chili’s black beans, homemade guacamole, and sweet corn cake (I leave out the water, use a can of creamed corn, and just mix it all together and bake in a small casserole dish).
I usually reserve this meal for weekends because, although each component is easy, it’s a little time-consuming altogether.
Anniversary chicken. This is another recipe that everyone in the family loves. I even still eat anniversary chicken, even thought it’s not the slightest bit healthy. It’s worth the calories. I try to pair it with healthy sides. You know, so I feel less guilty.
Chili. I don’t care what anyone says, chili isn’t just for nippy fall afternoons – although it is really good then. Josh can tear up some chili. Megan doesn’t like it, so I make her hot dogs – which Brian loves because then he gets to have chili dogs. As long as Brianna’s got some Doritos and ranch dressing to turn it into taco salad, she’s good. That means everybody’s happy.
Pot-luck casserole. This is one of those recipes that I grew up on. My mom used to make it all the time. Now, I make it for my family, though not often enough to suit the boy, who loves it. This is the meal that he usually requests as his birthday dinner.
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small package egg noodles, prepared according to package directions
1 can cream of tomato soup
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, plus some to sprinkle on top of casserole
1 tsp mustard (Don’t measure it, just put a good little squirt in the dish.)
Brown ground beef with onions and drain. Mix together all ingredients in a casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Roasted veggies. Roasted veggies aren’t technically a meal, but they’re a frequent side dish (at least 2-3 nights per week) on our menu rotation. We’ve discovered that just about any vegetable is better roasted. Typically, I drizzle a little olive oil over whatever veggie we happen to be roasting, add some salt, and maybe some minced garlic. Most veggies take about half an hour at 450 degrees. Some of our favorites are:
- Zucchini (with mushrooms and onions)
- Brussels sprouts (Nope, I don’t like them either…unless they’re roasted)
Steamed green beans. Brianna is the only one who doesn’t like steamed green beans and this is the only way Brian will eat them. I took them to a family dinner the first Thanksgiving I was eating healthier and everybody loved them. Now, they get requested every year.
Salmon with baked sweet potatoes and kale chips. Remember when I told you about my favorite substitution on chicken casserole night? This is it. Remember when I told you that almost any veggie is better roasted? Kale is no exception. I love kale chips. I make this for lunch frequently. It’s probably one of my top ten favorite meals. Yum!
What are some of the meals that make the menu rotation frequently at your house?