What’s for Dinner?

A common theme in my posts lately is the age-old question of what to make each night for dinner. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, by any means. And I know I am not the only one who gets stuck in the endless repeat of making the same few dishes week after week.

One way we break out of the rut is to sit down as a family and write out a list of all the entrees we commonly make for dinner. We have had to do this several times because we managed to misplace the list more than once. I found the latest list, which is several years old, and used it to create a computer file. This should solve the misplacement issue once and for all.

My dad actually had this idea when I was growing up, and we used it countless times to spice up our dinner choices. I would love to find that list – I’m sure it has some things on it that no one has thought of for years. Probably some of them are best left in the past, but there might be some gems that we should resurrect.

I am including the list I came up with this week. It is truly the result of a brainstorming session, so it is in no particular order. It’s not alphabetized, and the categories are somewhat loose, but I wanted to present it in the raw form, without too much editing. It is also not an exhaustive list. I think of new things every time I look at it, but I did want to get it out to you some time this week, so I had to stop.

This is a list of tried-and-true favorites, and doesn’t include new recipes or things I want to try. As a result, it might look a little basic, but remember that this is only a starting point for dinner inspiration. I have made most of these dishes often enough that I don’t use a recipe, or only use the original as a reminder of ingredients I need.

Now that I have an expanded and more permanent list, I am hoping to avoid the dinner rut for at least a few months. Feel free to use my list, add to it, or come up with your own. What do you do to find dinner inspiration?

The Cook’s Life Dinner List

Chicken
Chicken in the Pot (slow cooker)
Baked Chicken and Rice
Chicken and Dumplings
Asian Noodles with Chicken
Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni
Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Tacos
Chicken Parmesan
Pesto Chicken Pasta
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Roast Chicken with Vegetables
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
Chicken and Dressing
Chicken “Marsala”
Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken
Chicken Stuffed with Dried Fruit and Goat Cheese
Orange Roasted Chicken
Lemon Chicken with Rice
Homemade Breaded Chicken Strips
Citrus Chicken

Meatless
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Lasagna
Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes
Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Breaded Eggplant “Croutons”
Cheese Lasagna
Cheese Stuffed Shells
Fresh Tomato and Basil Risotto
Vegetable Soup (slow cooker)
Four Cheese Mac and Cheese
Entrée Salad
Loaded Baked Potatoes and Salad

Pork
Pork chops
Baked Pork Chops and Rice
Garlic Pork Tenderloin
Tenderloin with Apples
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Pulled Pork (slow cooker)
Ham and Cheese Braid

Beef
Meatloaf
Hamburgers
Beef tacos
Steak
Chili

Turkey
Turkey and Stuffing
Turkey Tenderloin
Turkey (or chicken) Chowder

Fish
Homemade Breaded Fish
Grilled Salmon
Garlic Fish
Salad topped with Blackened Fish

Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Panini
BLTs
Quesadillas
Turkey Melts
Turkey/Cold Cut Sandwiches
Tuna

Pizza
Cheese Pizza
Deep Dish Pizza
Pepperoni Pizza
Make-your-own Pizza
Pesto Pizza
Pesto Chicken Pizza
White Pizza
Calzones

Breakfast for Dinner
Waffles
Pancakes
French Toast Casserole
French Toast
Scrambled Eggs
Quiche
Frittata
English Muffin Sandwiches

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5 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner?

  1. Ah, the question I ask myself more often than I wish I did: what should I make for dinner? I love your list idea. I have a little notebook that I wrote down recipes I use most often (and usually only refer to for shopping lists) but its been sitting in a drawer since we moved. Perhaps I should break it out and help myself out of this universal rut!

    • Thanks! I really shouldn’t take credit, since my dad had the idea first. The more I talk to people, the more I realize it truly is a universal rut. Here’s to helping us all dig out of it!

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