Inspirational Dinner Ideas For Tonight
[Updated 1 June 2020]Do you ever fall through the door so tired, sometimes so exhausted that you have absolutely no idea what you’re going to feed the family for dinner? Well in this article we have listed some great dinner ideas tonight for you.
With your inspiration at zero, enthusiasm on the floor and a hungry family, I’d guess it sound familiar to a lot of busy working parents, myself included – but not so much anymore!
Friends Are Everywhere Online
We’ve all got loads of friends right here online – some we haven’t even met yet!
And these wonderful friends have awesome recipes they share – nobody ever needs to be totally stuck or without any dinner ideas tonight!
So let me introduce you to some people whose recipes I think you’ll love. The links below either take you to a recipe right here on the site or to another foodie’s blog for some outstanding gastronomic satisfaction. The meals featured are all chosen because they taste so good – longer cook recipes like the casseroles and stews are best cooked the night before, or of course in a slow cooker.
One Last Thing…
If you like what you find, tell the blogger (who will be incredibly pleased) and share with your friends – who will be just as stuck for ideas as you were!
The Smitten Kitchen
Somewhere here on a post there’s already a link to one of Deb Perelman’s fantastic recipes – and here’s another.
Hearty Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew looks and sounds delicious and with that added punch of a good dollop of Dijon mustard and cognac – what could be more warming and richly flavored?
I’ve got the chuck steak and intend making this over the weekend, heaven knows it’s sure still cold enough!
Oooh, the thought of herb dumplings is enough to get me running to the stove. Deb’s site is an awesome collection of very cook-able and even more eatable recipes, so go pay her a visit, I absolutely promise you’ll be pleased you did.
I’ve not visited this awesome blog as often as I should but went looking for good recipes using Zucchini and/or tomatoes, both of which are in a glorious glut at the moment.
As always, Rachael doesn’t disappoint and offers this tasty healthy recipe which uses both zucchinis and cherry tomatoes – result!
This meal is quick and made in less than half an hour, though the chicken benefits from longer in the marinade than it gets while you prepare the rest – if you’ve got time give it half an hour, more if you can.
Great served with new baby potatoes, a pasta salad or crusty homemade bread, just click the image here for the right page.
There are literally thousands of recipes from elaborate dinner party menus through to cookies – trust me, somewhere on the site you are sure to find an excellent family meal. Thanks, Rachael.
Fabulous Frittata Recipe
Really tasty frittata recipes are hard to come by – but this is the ultimate and a favorite for supper since it was published by the Hungry Lobbyist over a year ago.
I’d allow an hour and a quarter to make this, though 45 minutes of that is oven cooking time, so not onerous to do at all.
What makes this so great is the veggies are changeable depending what’s in season and you don’t have to use goats cheese unless that’s your thing – Greek feta is a close substitute.
American cheese works well though a stronger flavored cheese is better. If you make this one a month or so, the vegetables in season will have moved on, changing the taste every time you make it, yet the base ingredients and cream, remain the same. Though suggested as a brunch, it makes a substantial supper dish if served with garlic bread or fries.
Dad’s Fish Stew
Thanks to Simply Recipes and ‘Dad’ for this rich tasting and warming fish stew, which uses Mediterranean herbs and tomatoes.
The recipe advises halibut, cod, sole, red snapper, sea bass or another firm white fish – it works superbly well with salmon or tuna, so be adventurous.
Very simple to make, deliciously yummy to eat, we serve it with warm home-baked buttered bread or rolls. In the winter if you need extra calories then par-boil 1lb of waxy potatoes, cut into 2″ pieces and add to the stew about 15 minutes into cooking.
Use this awesome recipe for Italian tomato sauce and freeze a batch, then add one portion to the stew instead of herbs and garlic. It cooks faster and tastes pretty much the same, maybe a little more tomato flavor this way.
Sticky Lemon Chicken
From British TV cook Nigel Slater comes this awesome recipe for chicken – really you have got to try this – it’s one of the best bone-in chicken thigh recipes out there for taste, is quick and easy to prepare and you won’t have any leftovers, not for long anyway.
I tracked it down and it came from a series called Simple Suppers, go look because he specializes in dinner ideas tonight – fast and tasty too.
A tweaked recipe and the method are here on the site for Sticky Lemon Chicken but do take the time to check out other recipes like pork burgers – these are really different – and a sausage pasta dish with mustard is good too.
If you can put the chicken pieces in the honey and lemon marinade for a few hours prior to cooking, you’ll get an even better result, but an hour will do at a pinch. I use the halogen oven to cook these, but they work brilliantly in a rotisserie oven or on the barbeque, but cook gently in an oven first for twenty minutes, or the skin will really blacken before the coals have cooked the thighs through. Thanks, Nigel, great recipe.
Sticky Orange Chicken
My version of above – click here for the orange chicken recipe
Chicken Parmesan From Laurie, the owner of SimplyScratch.com
This is one of the family favorites since back in April this year when Laurie posted it and we found it – a truly rich and Italian way to enjoy chicken.
As posted the meal is served with pasta, we don’t do that but have it with jackets and salad. Don’t be put off by the seemingly many steps – it’s really easy to do and an easy enough option even after a long day at work.
SimplyScratch.com has a mission to make meals from scratch and there are some awesome recipes posted, so head on over and be inspired, but make a coffee first and pull up a chair, because you’ll be there for a while.
Christmas Alternative To Turkey
For the holiday season and just added to the blog here at Gadgets For The Kitchen, try this pork with tangy apple jelly sauce recipe as an alternative to turkey this Christmas.
You can make a tangy sweet and sharp sauce like this from any jelly preserve by warming and adding white wine vinegar or to red fruit jelly, add red wine vinegar.
Redcurrant jelly given this treatment is awesome with the richness of the lamb and yes, turkey too – try it with cranberry preserve with poultry. This may sound off the wall, but try the same trick with a dark slightly bitter marmalade and serve with duck or goose for a really fragrant and sharp sauce.
Fast And Hearty – You Can Make Soup From The Store Cupboard
One of my favorite fast dinner ideas for tonight is a bubbling pot of homemade soup. You can toss it all together in less than 10 minutes, cook while you change into something comfortable and be serving within half an hour, though some soups take longer.
You can find two hearty winter soup recipes here – or try this quick yummy lentil recipe – use it as a base and add your favorite vegetables as well.
Lentil & Tomato Soup
You can make this with canned tomatoes or fresh, and add bacon bits if you want, top with cheese and serve with warm home-baked bread, truly a wholesome filling and nutritious dinner.
The recipe is simple – 1 or 2 onions diced and sweated in a little oil with 2 cloves of chopped garlic, about a cup of split res lentils, 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (or 2lb fresh chopped will do). You’ll also need 1/2 – 3/4 pint of good veggie or chicken stock and a tablespoon of tomato paste – plus salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
When the onions are translucent add half the stock and the lentils and bring to a simmer – stir to make sure the lentils don’t stick as they absorb the stock. When the lentils have softened, put the tomatoes in and bring back to a simmer, stirring regularly. Add more stock as needed being careful not to use too much – you still need to want a nice thick broth, thick enough that the cheese sits on the surface and melts in rather than vanishes.
Beef Shank Slow Cooked In Red Wine
Long slow cooking is the secret with tough cuts of meat and beef shank is perfect for this economic delicious dish.
You can use pretty much whatever vegetables you have to pack around the meat and they all go towards flavoring the stock, which becomes your gravy.
Allow 15 minutes prep and depending on the size of the joint, 10 – 12 hours cooking time. I try to get this on in the morning before leaving for work, so prep the vegetables the night before and store in a bag in the refrigerator and that just leaves you with the meat to brown – you don’t have to bother with browning if time is short, the taste will be the same – awesome!
Click here for the full Beef Shank In Red Wine recipe.
Slow-Cooked Pork Steaks In Apple & Plumb Sauce
Another lovely recipe for the slow cooker uses pork shoulder steaks or chops and apple sauce, this version has plumbs added too. Click here for the full recipe.
The sauce is made up and put over the pork in the slow cooker with plenty of onions and some carrots, then gently teased to tangy perfection over the 9-10 hours it’s on for. Well known as good companions this really is a great recipe to put on to slow cook in the morning and come home to.
Lamb Casserole – This one is delicious!
I adore casseroled lamb, another meat that takes a long slow cooking time well.
There are several great recipes over at Kidspot – so thanks to them for this one – it’s one of my favorites to cook and a family favorite to eat.
It doesn’t go in the slow cooker in this recipe, but there’s nothing to stop you cooking it that way, you’ll get the same melt in the mouth results.
I’ve tried it with chops, shank and a shoulder joint all work well and you can use whatever vegetables you have and what’s in season.
Classic French Onion Soup
This is a French recipe given to me by a lady from France and oh boy can you taste the difference. You’ll need a glass of white wine as well, though not for drinking but to put in the soup.
Make this the night or day before if you can, for a hot meal which is on the table in a few minutes and when you eat it, you get wrapped in a big warm blanket of food hugs – so if you like onion soup, do try this one it’s great!
The recipe for Helene’s Classic French Onion Soup is right here on the blog – just click the link.
To go right along with it try this easy Cheese Bread Machine Recipe – perfect for sandwiches as well, it compliments the soup just as you’d expect and turns a hearty lunch into a nourishing sustaining supper.
If you haven’t found the Bakers Edge yet, then you are missing out on some awesome recipes for dinner tonight plus a truly gooey recipe for chocolate brownies.
One recipe I can recommend is the quick and hearty lasagne – they forgot to add tasty in front because it is. I know we all have our favorites, but sometimes it’s nice to go off-piste a bit and try someone else’s favorite – you never know until you try.
There’s a whole page of free to download recipes here with enough ideas to keep us cooks busy for a week or two. If you try a recipe and really like it, why not drop a comment below so others can try it too!
It was great to have you call by – I hope you found a solution to your dinner problem – there are more ideas, recipes and links added every week, so be sure and check back soon.