Are you looking for comforting but easy family dinner ideas for winter? Keep it easy by rotating through these weekly dinner themes all winter long. We have over 40 easy family dinner ideas for winter!
Weekly Dinner Theme Ideas
If you have been following me for a while, you know how much I love to use weekly dinner themes. Whenever, I fall off track with meal planning, I can quickly and easily get dinner organized by using weekly dinner themes.
What is a dinner theme?
It is a set dinner theme assigned to each night of the week. So for instance, Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. I stick to many of the same dinner themes throughout the year. However, I also adjust some themes depending on the seasons. For instance, in the summer time, we eat more BBQ and also light salads. In the late fall and winter time, we make more soups and comfort foods.
It is really a meal planning game changer to use dinner themes. Instead of recreating an entirely new menu for the week, I just plug in meals that fit the particular dinner theme. While, it makes it easy to stick to some of our favorite meals. The dinner theme idea also allows for some variation in the dinner recipe. For instance, Mexican Themed Tuesdays might mean tacos one week and quesadillas the next week. We can even venture out to a taco salad or a Mexican lasagna.
Winter Dinner Themes
In the winter, we crave warm and comforting food. It is the perfect time of year to switch up the dinner menu and add in some old and new winter favorites. These winter dinner theme nights will provide your family with variety. But, these themes are also general enough that you can stick to easy winter meals!
Once the spring rolls around, you can switch up your dinner themes and recipes. Then, you will not get sick of the same recipes. Every few months, you can start a new rotation!
Family Dinner Ideas for Winter
I’ve rounded up over 40 family friendly dinner ideas for this winter!
Sunday Soup Night
I have found that the best day for soups is on Sunday. Why? Because I have more time to chop and prep a soup on this day of the week. Plus, I like to make a big batch of soup and then I have quick lunches all week long. Usually my family gets tired of leftovers, but I do not mind eating soup for lunch all week long!
We like to make up some homemade bread to enjoy with our soup. This Artisan Bread from the Food Nanny is our favorite! You do not need a bread machine to make it. My kids request this bread every single week.
Soup Sundays can also include Chili! So make a big batch of chili and have a cozy Sunday at home!
Favorite Winter Soup Recipes:
- Chicken Noodle Soup This is a crock-pot recipes and it is so easy!
- Zuppa Toscana (also can be made in the Instant Pot)
- Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
Meatless Monday or Fish Night
There are many benefits to a meatless dinner including saving money and staying healthy. Sometimes, we do opt for fish on Mondays just to add some variety.
Meatless Monday can include so many dinner options. You can make veggie quesadillas, vegetable lasagna, meatless chili and more!
Meatless Mondays are a good way to stretch your grocery budget as meat can be very expensive. Stick to simple meatless meals so that you do not spend more money on fancy ingredients than you would on meat!
Meatless Winter Dinner Ideas Include:
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Cheese Quesadillas
- Baked Potato Bar If you have an air fryer, this recipe to make baked potatoes is so easy!
- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
- Any of the meatless breakfast ideas!
While many people say Taco Tuesdays, we like to use Mexican Tuesday. As sometimes we do not have tacos! Mexican Tuesday can include Sheet Pan Nachos, Taco Salad Bar, Chicken Enchiladas and more! When you stick to a more general theme night, it allows for a variety of recipes. So then, you do not get tired of the same meal every week!
Of course, if your family loves Tacos every Tuesday, then there is no reason to change that up!
Taco/Mexican Tuesday Dinner Ideas:
Breakfast for Wednesdays
One of our favorite dinners of the week is breakfast for dinner! I love breakfast for dinner, or as it we call it, “Brinner”. It is an easy meal to make and it is one my entire family enjoys. Which is not always an easy feat!
There are many ways to mix up Breakfast for dinner including favorites like pancakes and waffles. Plus, you can make egg casseroles, homemade cinnamon rolls and even yogurt and granola (for a really simple meal)!
Breakfast for Dinner Ideas
- French Toast & Sausage (You can even buy already made French Toast Sticks!)
- Eggs/Omelets and Bacon
- Waffles with all the Toppings
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Veggie Quiche
- Make Your Own Granola Parfait (Set out granola and all of the toppings including granola, yogurt, nuts, fruit, chocolate chips and cereal)
- Egg and Cheese Bagel Sandwiches
- Egg Croissants
- Baked Oatmeal
- Cinnamon Roll Casserole
Thursdays is always Italian night at our house. In the summer time, we throw grilled chicken on our pasta. But in the wintertime, pasta night includes more heartier recipes like stuffed shells, lasagna and meatball sub sandwiches!
Italian Dinner Ideas for Winter Time include:
- Meat Ball Sub Sandwiches
- Chicken Parm Sliders
- Prosciutto and Pea Tortellini (We have been making this healthier version of a classic dish for years!)
- Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
We’ve made it to the end of the week, we deserve a delicious meal! Pizza on Fridays can mean ordering dinner, getting a take and bake pizza or making your own. The choice is up to you!
Our favorite way to have pizza is to make homemade pizza! I use this bread machine pizza dough recipe that makes enough dough for our entire family. Most of the time, we keep our pizzas basic with some pepperoni and veggies. But, we sometimes, load up our pizzas with seasonal toppings.
Pizza on Fridays can also include calzones, french bread pizza (easy to make your own) and breadsticks! We try to rotate between ordering pizza and making our own! But there are Fridays when a take and bake pizza is the easiest option!
Some easy recipes include:
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (we have made this recipe for 10+ years)
- Bread Machine Pizza Dough (our new favorite)
- Deep Dish Pizza (Makes 2 batches of dough so if you have a smaller family, you can freeze one for the next Friday!)
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
On a cozy winter Saturday, a slow cooker supper is just what we want. I like that I can make throw ingredients into the Crock-Pot early on Saturday. Then, we can go about our day and we have dinner ready for us! It is a really easy dinner option for Saturdays! In the summer time, Saturday dinner is usually something grilled!
If you would rather, you could also use your Instant Pot on Saturdays! I love both kitchen appliances although for me, a slow cooker meal on Saturdays seems the easiest!
There are a million and one easy slow cooker recipes. Here are a few of our favorites.
- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
- 4 Ingredient Orange Chicken (It is better than take out!)
- Pork Tenderloin and Honey Balsamic Glaze
- Ham and Swiss Sliders
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Creamy Mac and Cheese
- Sloppy Joe’s
What if My Schedule Does Not Work with These Themes?
Of course, you know your schedule and what works best for family. Maybe your busiest night of the week is on Mondays, so you might adjust your meal planning to make that the easiest dinner of the week! Just because your schedule does not work for the dinner theme one week, doesn’t mean you can’t use the dinner theme the next! When you fall off track planning your dinner menu, just get back to these dinner themes and planning will get so much easier!
I have been using Weekly Dinner Themes for over five years and even though our schedule changes throughout the seasons, these dinner themes have stuck with their assigned days. It just works well for us!
Family Dinner Ideas for Winter Template
Are you ready to meal plan using this weekly winter dinner theme rotation? Trust me when I say it will be so easy to meal plan when you use this dinner theme. I spend less than 15 minutes putting together our dinner menu when I stick to dinner themes!
Once you print out the template, you can jot down dinner ideas for each theme night. Then, when it is time to do your meal planning, just use the list of ideas to put together a quick menu!