What Do You Cook for Dinner?

Updated on January 03, 2009
J.C. asks from Dallas, TX
9 answers

Ok, I'm new at this stay at home mom thing and now I have time to cook dinner( i used to pick up boston market,luby's,ANYTHING to go on way home from work). I bought a bunch of cookbooks and most of the meals look yummy, but call for a lot of ingredients and spices I don't even have. What do you moms cook for dinner? Can you give me an example of a week's dinner menu? Something easy,but good that a 1 yr old, all the way to a 40 yr old can enjoy. It can be a casserole, or an entree with sides. Hit me with those ideas mamas! I'm new at this!

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answers from Dallas on

Our easy meals -

Spaghetti & Meatballs (a family favorite!)
Lasagna (I make a double batch, one to eat that night and one to freeze for later)
Beef tips and gravy in the crock pot
tacos (with the taco kit - super easy)
sloppy joes (with the canned sauce)
fajitas (Schwans has great fajita meat!)
smoked sausage and mac and cheese
hamburgers or hot dogs on the grill
chicken fried steak (my husband's favorite)
chicken tenders (the Tyson brand are really good and I make my own sides to go with it or I use my chicken fried steak recipe and just use chicken tenders instead of round steak)
chip chicken (chicken breasts rolled in crused tortilla chips - my kids thus dubbed it chip chicken)
smothered steak with rice (one of my favorites)
chili (with one of those packets - any leftover can be made into frito pie)
hamburger hash (another one of my favorites!)
hamburger helper
chicken parmesan (sp?)
chicken rice casserole
BLT's (or sometimes just breakfast for dinner)
pork chops (either boiled with salt and pepper, with soy and brown sugar, or with teriyaki sauce)

Most of these can be done in under a half hour, but a couple, I may need to put the meat on an hour before, but all my sides can be done quickly. I have a couple crock pot meals I can do in the morning or the night before which make the evenings easier. I usually try to have a rice or potato or bread (depending on what it is . . . for example mashed potatoes with meatloaf or garlic bread with spaghetti), a veggie or some kind (canned, frozen, fresh veggies, salad, corn on the cob), and a fruit (canned or fresh or fruit salad).

If you're interested in any of these recipes, let me know! I'm happy to share!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you have a crock pot:

beef/pork pot roast
2 cans cream of mushroom (COM) soup
1 envelope dried onion soup mix
small bag of mini carrots

empty 1 can COM soup into crock pot
place roast on top
pour in envelope of soup mix
empty 2nd can COM soup
drop in carrots

Cover and cook on high until meat falls apart (6-8 hrs)

I buy the Steam and Mash potatoes and serve this with the gravy created in the roast.

We also do:

Taco night

Spaghetti night

chicken chopped tiny cooked in butter and soy sauce w/rice & cashews

mini burgers on dinner rolls

pork chops, cinnamon apples and brussel sprouts w/ bacon

I'll be interested to see others easy meals for the week. I try not to get complicated during the week so Elizabeth and I can get housework done and go to story times or the park.

Congrats on becoming a SAHM. It is the best, most challenging, and most rewarding job!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Lasagna - I make 1 and freeze 1
meatloaf - I make 1 and freeze 1
beef roll ups - really easy
sloppy joes
sausage with macaroni and cheese
rice krispie chicken (chicken dipped in melted butter & crushed rice krispies)
garlic chicken
chicken enchiladas
chicken pot pie
chicken quesadillas
shrimp alfredo
fish fillets
wings & cheese sticks (on nights when I don't want to cook)
frozen pizza or Little Caesars for $5 for a large
breakfast for dinner
grilled chicken salad

For sides, veggie, salad, bread, rice a roni, mashed pot etc.

I subscribe to Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious magazine and they have a TON of great, simple recipes which is where I got a lot of mine.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on


Weight Watchers usually has a magazine called 5 Ingredients, 15 Minute Meals with good recipes. Look in the magazine section of your local bookstore and some grocery stores.

Another good resource:

I hope these help! You can also Google weekly menus and see if anything helpful comes up.



answers from Dallas on

That is wonderful that you have taken the plunge to stay home, I just did in September and was so thankful that I could be home for the first time when my kids were off for the holidays. What a feeling!!
I see you have alot of great suggestions so I'll just throw a few more out there- my families favorite cheap (economical) options!

Tuna Casserole- 1/2 bag of egg noodles- cooked, stir in 1-2 cans of tuna, 1 can cream of mushroom, smother with shredded cheddar and warm in microwave until cheese is melted. Many times I add peas to it (good way to sneak in a veggie) and serve salad on the side.

Spaghetti- After we have spaghetti one night, the next night the sauce can be put in the bottom of a casserole dish, topped with sliced american cheese, and biscuits from the dairy section. Cook in oven following directions on biscuits until they are brown. Add a veggie on the side and you are done. The leftovers reinvented so they aren't tossed out (I just hate that!).

Enjoy the new life you have chosen and do whatever you can to not go back to work! Your kids need you more than they will ever tell you!



answers from Dallas on

Chicken (seasoned with a flavor pkg) and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 min.
SIDES: Rice a roni, steamed veggies, instant mashed potatoes or Potato Augraten
Pot Roast


answers from Dallas on

My family consists of hubby, me and our 14 yr old daughter.

I love to cook. I make a homemade marinara sause and I make sure I have at least 1 jar in the fridge at all times. We have a lot of pasta, ravoli, cheese filled shells, etc.

One of hubby's favorites is a chicken broccoli casserole.

I make chicken pot pie with the roll out pie crusts

Pot roast on the stove. I don't use crock pot for my pot roast, I make it in a large cast iron pot and let it cook all day on top of the stove.

Pork chops, chili, beef stew, salmon baked in foil

Most of the prep in these dishes can be done ahead of time and then you just heat in the oven for dinner to be served when hubby gets home.

We love steaks and my hubby is the grill master so he does the grilling around here.

Hope that helps! Happy New Year



answers from Dallas on

Hi J.!!

I have 3 really good friends that are also neighbors. We each have 2 kids. We do a cooking co-op Monday through Thursday. We get together once every 2 or 3 months and plan our meals, making sure to sub in/out ingredients for those who have allergies, like walnuts, and/or major dislikes, like mushrooms. We make 3 dishes, like entree, side and bread, or entree, bread and dessert. We each have a day of the week, mine is Wednesday, that we cook that meal for each family, usually just doubling or tripling a recipe. If it is your night to cook, it is your night to deliver. At first it is very stressful, but you start realizing what you can do ahead. AND, three nights a week, you have food delivered!!! It also helps the budget. If I know I have Pork Chops in 2 weeks and find a really great sale, I can stock up!!

A great website to use is www.allrecipes.com. You can add everything you want to prepare into a shopping cart and click make a grocery list and it will print up how much of everything you need. Then you can flip through your cupboards and marlk off what you don't need. You can also change the amount of people you are feeding. It will also give you the nutritional values.

Good Luck!!!


answers from Dallas on

I make different kinds of chicken and pork on a regular basis, as well as spaghetti. I also buy steaks, hamburgers, frozen pizzas, and make lasagnas (great for leftovers!). I started staying home 6 months ago, and I also had this problem. I use different seasonings, herbs, and sauces so we have a variety of flavors. I also vary the veggies we have. I also love how everything looks in cookbooks, but I hate the page-long ingredient lists! I like to keep it simple, but still have it taste great! I found something called Wildtree, which is all natural herbs, spices, and culinary blends that make my life so much easier! Most meals are only 2 steps, and they are healthy and delicious! I can get you in touvh with my rep. if you're interested. I also like shopping at Sprout's for different sauces and seasonings.

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