Each Friday during the month of September we are featuring #mmHelpfulFriday posts to make life easier for all of our mommas out there!

18 family-approved dinner recipes

You’ve probably heard the saying, “families who eat together, stay together.” There is much to be said about the importance of families eating together around the dinner table! But sometimes the chore of coming up with a dinner menu for the week can seem daunting. We asked some of our contributors to share their favorite weeknight dinner recipes, and we want to share them with you! If you are in a meal-planning funk, maybe these family-approved, mom-recommended recipes will do the trick. Enjoy!

Caroline Saunders –

“LOVE this skinny taste recipe, with or without pasta. Awesome as long as butternut squash is in season. Great leftover!”

Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach by Skinny Taste



Lauren Kelly –

3-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Tacos by Chocolate Therapy



Lee Stewart – 

“I ‘go to’ the Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese quite frequently.” 

Macaroni & Cheese by The Pioneer Woman



Katie Reno –

Garlic Chicken Zucchini and Corn by iFOODreal—Delicious Clean Eating Recipes



Melissa Langley – 

“I love anything in the crockpot! It saves me so much time!” 

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken by Hip2Save



Mandy Holton – 

Chicken Rotini (Recipe by Susie Wright)



  • Rotisserie chicken shredded
  • Onion
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Red and green bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Shredded carrots
  • 1 jar basil pesto
  • Vegetable rotini
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tb Garlic salt
  • Butter


“Boil pasta according to directions on box. Sauté onion in butter and olive oil.  Add chopped vegetables until cooked.  Add shredded rotisserie chicken. Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Add pasta and pesto and mix well.  Enjoy! ”


Amy Carroll –

“I’m not much of a cook, so I love my crock pot obsessively. My favorite quick dish is chicken breasts covered in barbecue sauce. At dinner time, shred the chicken, return to the juice, add a little more sauce and serve it warm (great for eating in shifts) on hamburger buns. It’s a twist on sloppy joes that my guys love. You can do a slight twist on the recipe by making mango salsa (see below) and serving it with the chicken on tortillas.

Mango Salsa by EatingWell.



Brianne Prater –

Three Packet Slow Cooker Roast Recipe from 



Jennie McKay –

“Every Tuesday night we do ‘Taco Tuesday.’ The ingredients are simple, fast, and everyone likes them!”

Try these Baked Tacos for a fun twist! Recipe by The Ezzell Adventures. 



Ashley Anthony –

“I love a simple easy meal! One meal that my family agrees on is Stir Fry. We like ours with lots of veggies. You can use fresh, but for a quick week night meal I like the frozen.” 

Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry



Melody Merritt –

“When my kids were little, I would make a triple recipe of spaghetti sauce and divide it into three freezer bags. Then all I had to do was take it out of the freezer as needed, heat it up, and serve it over pasta, rice, or toast. Fix a salad or green beans to go along with it. My sauce made simple is one pound of ground hamburger, one pound of ground turkey, a large jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, and a small can of tomato sauce.” 

You can also try this 5 Minute Spaghetti Sauce by Passion for Savings.



Katie Fruge – 

Carne Asada by Primally Inspired. 



Dianne Dougharty –

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage (Her own recipe.)


  • 1 lb. ziti
  • 1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 T garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. pesto
  • 1 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, grated, plus 1/2 cup for topping

“Pre-heat oven to 375 ?. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add Ziti and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large deep skillet, over medium heat sauté onion and garlic. Once tender, add sausage and cook until browned through. Add canned tomatoes and pesto, let simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and add ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Butter a 9×13 baking dish, add cooked pasta. Cover with sausage mixture and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through and golden brown.”


Diane Nix –

Taco Soup Recipe from



Donna Gaines –

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas



Michele Cable –

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken from 



Tara Furman – 

Papa Murphy’s $10 Tuesday is a great deal to feed the whole family when we have tennis matches or basketball games, etc.”



Lindsey Wingo –

“I’ve started trying fun spins on sandwiches for dinner. It is easy and different than the typical meal we eat at our house. We loved these toasted Italian sandwiches!” 

Toasted Italian Sandwich by Mess for Less. 


*Do you have a favorite dinner recipe you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Happy cooking 🙂



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