List of 125 Common Meals for Dinner!

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This is the first post in a 3 part simple meal planning series with the following topics: list of common meals for dinner, simple lunch ideas, and simple meal planning tips

Looking for dinner ideas inspiration? Here are over 90 ideas for what to cook for dinner.

Does your mind go blank when coming up with food to cook for dinner?

You sit down to meal plan and woosh every meal you have ever known is gone!

Believe me. I feel ya!

I used to hate when my husband would ask, “What’s for dinner?”

Secretly I’d wish for food to magically appear, but sadly that never happened. 😉

Half the battle of knowing what to cook for dinner is by having a list of meals for dinner to refer to. Having a list to look at is super helpful!

Create a master list of meals to streamline meal planning. Free meal planning printables available.


Master List of Meals for Dinner

My family has a list of about 30 meals that we rotate for dinner on a regular basis.

They are the tried and true family meals that we enjoy here in the US, and I know how to cook well. 

Whenever I meal plan, I simply refer to my master list of common dinner ideas and then choose a couple of simple side dishes to go with it.

In this post, I’ve created a huge list of family meal ideas to provide you inspiration to make your own master list.

Of course, not every meal idea is going to be your family’s favorite.

This list is meant to give you a bunch of common ideas, so that you can add to your own list of dinner foods.

Also, these are common dinner meals in the USA since I’m from there. 


Easy Side Dishes for Dinner

I like to keep side dishes really simple. The less ingredients you add, the easier your side dishes will be. 

Stick to simple fruits and vegetables that you can prepare in a variety of ways with seasonings that your family prefers. 

  • Sautéed or Roasted Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans, peppers, red potatoes
  • Lettuce Salad: add your favorite vegetables, fruits, or nuts
  • Baked potatoes: sweet or regular
  • Fruit Salad: cut up 3-4 fresh fruits and mix together

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List of Meals for Dinner

Italian/Pasta Dinner Food

Great side dishes for Italian dinners are salad, broccoli, or garlic toast.

  • chicken parmesan
  • lasagna
  • pizza bread
  • pizza
  • tortellini
  • stuffed shells
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • chicken alfredo
  • baked ziti
  • beef stroganoff
  • chicken tetrazzini

Mexican Dinner Ideas

When serving Mexican dinners, serve simple side dishes such as black beans or refried beans, chips and guacamole, corn, or rice.

  • tacos (beef, chicken, pork, fish)
  • enchiladas
  • nacho bar
  • fajitas
  • taco pie
  • burritos
  • quesadillas
  • taco salad
  • chicken burrito bowls

Meaty Dinner Food

Potatoes are a great side dish with any of these meals. You can serve the potatoes mashed, baked, or roasted.

Round out the meal with a vegetable like green beans or cooked carrots.

  • pork tenderloin
  • meatloaf
  • pot roast
  • roasted turkey breast
  • pork chops
  • chicken fried steak
  • chicken tenders
  • meatballs (BBQ, Swedish)
  • baked chicken on the none or boneless (BBQ, Herbs)
  • ham (Sliced, Maple Glazed, fried steaks)
  • chicken pot pie
  • rotisserie chicken

Sandwich Ideas

Sandwiches for dinner are fun and usually pretty easy to make.

Keep the side dishes easy by serving fresh fruit, raw vegetables, pre-made slaw, or chips.

Hot Sandwiches:

  • chicken parmasean sliders
  • tuna melt
  • meatball subs
  • BLT
  • melts
  • philly cheese steak
  • French dip
  • sloppy joes
  • hamburgers
  • loose meat
  • sausage dogs
  • BBQ pulled pork
  • BBQ pulled chicken
  • grilled chicken
  • egg and tomato
  • burgers
  • panini
  • monte cristo
  • fried chicken
  • bratwurst 
  • gyros
  • buffalo chicken sandwiches


  • egg salad
  • chicken salad
  • tuna salad
  • ham salad
  • lobster roll
  • turkey wraps
  • pita sandwiches
  • Cuban sandwiches
  • Caprese (mozzarella, tomatoes, and oil)
  • turkey club
  • Bagel sandwich
  • Bacon, avocado, ranch sandwich

Rice Dinner Ideas

Some of these dinners are a full meal in themselves, but I’ve found that broccoli, salads, or rolls go really well with rice dishes. 

  • beef and broccoli stir fry
  • beef tips over rice
  • cheesy chicken, broccoli and rice
  • cajun jambalaya
  • fried rice (chicken, pork, beef)
  • chicken teriyaki
  • Mexican rice
  • red beans, sausage, and rice
  • Korean beef bowl
  • sweet caramelized pork bites

Meatless Dinner Ideas

If you skip meat for a meal, you’ll save money and probably time cooking! 

  • macaroni and cheese
  • salad bar
  • baked potato bar
  • bean and cheese burrito
  • broccoli alfredo
  • tortellini
  • black bean stuffed peppers
  • spinach lasagna rolls
  • bean and veggie burrito bowl
  • eggplant parmesan
  • veggie fajita
  • portabello melt

Seafood Dinner Ideas

I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of seafood, but I added these meal ideas in case you are.

What do you like to eat with your seafood? Let me know in the comments!

  • honey garlic butter salmon
  • fish tacos
  • shrimp fried rice
  • crab cakes
  • shrimp and sausage gumbo
  • garlic parmesan tilapia
  • baked honey marinated cod
  • fried catfish
  • seafood stuffed shells
  • shrimp enchiladas


Soup Ideas

Panera Bread has it right! Soup and sandwiches just pair well together.

If you don’t want to serve sandwiches, it’s nice to have some sort of bread to go with soup like a roll, biscuit, or garlic bread.

  • loaded baked potato
  • vegetable 
  • chili
  • beef stew
  • chicken noodle
  • tomato basil
  • taco soup
  • chowder
  • chicken tortilla 
  • minestrone
  • white chicken chili

Breakfast for Dinner Ideas

Breakfast at supper time is always a fun change from the usual dinners.

We usually serve breakfast food with fruit and yogurt and hash browns. Yum!

  • biscuits and sausage gravy
  • chicken biscuits
  • sausage balls
  • pancakes and bacon
  • quiche
  • breakfast casserole
  • breakfast burritos
  • French toast
  • omeletes
  • egg sandwiches

I hope this huge list of common dinner ideas has given you many meals for dinner to consider as you meal plan for your family.


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2 thoughts on “List of 125 Common Meals for Dinner!

  1. how can i print this dinner list of ideas, i dont see a printable list so i can stick inside my cupboard door.

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