Weeknight Winners: Our Best Family-Friendly Dinners of 2018
Of all of our top-rated recipes from 2018, there were plenty of amazing family dinners. It can be hard to put a meal on the table that’s kid-friendly, hearty, and easy. Luckily, a year of recipes in Southern Living is a year of family-friendly dinners that combine the best of classic Southern food with modern and quick and easy recipes. From timeless Southern dishes like chicken pot pie to fresh teriyaki salmon bowls, these are our favorite family recipes. The kids won’t complain when you serve up homemade calzones or sheet-pan nachos, and you’ll love how easy these recipes actually are. With all-time favorite slow-cooker family dinners like chili and pot roast, your family will be full and happy at dinnertime– any day of the week. This year, we’re resolving to cook more at home and eat out less, and these family-friendly dinners are the perfect place to start. These easy family dinners are kid-and Mama-approved.
Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is one of the most famous and comforting dishes to ever come out of the South.
French Onion Soup Casserole
Recipe: French Onion Soup Casserole
Georgia-grown Vidalia onions are ideal for French onion soup, and this casserole version will be an ultimate family favorite.
White Cheese Calzones with Marinara Sauce
This easy, homemade calzone recipe will be a weekly request at your house after your kids get a taste.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Don’t pull those frozen chicken nuggets out tonight. This easy dinner is one the kids will love just as much.
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
Recipe: Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
If the kids are craving Mexican, don’t spend money eating out! Make a hearty enchilada dish right in your skillet.
Ziti with Mushroom, Fennel, and Tomato Ragu
Stick with us here: Although Ragu is usually a meat sauce, we made a veggie version that’s just as flavorful and indulgent.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Mushrooms
Chicken pot pie is a Southern classic that will never get old, and one-dish recipe makes it easier than ever.
Pork Chops with Tomato-Bacon Gravy
The pan gravy is truly the star of this easy but company-worthy dinner.
Recipe: Beef Stew
A cozy bowl of classic beef stew is the best way to warm up on chilly nights, and it’s always smart to have a batch in the freezer for the busiest weeks.
Sweet-and-Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots
Is there anything better than a 30-minute dinner that’s made in your sheet pan? No, there’s really not.
Turkey with Shallot-Mustard Sauce and Roasted Potatoes
The turkey cooks in the slow cooker for ultimate hands-off ease for this dinner that would impress company, too.
Molasses-Soy Glazed Salmon and Vegetables
Get a healthy meal on the table for the family in no time with this quick, easy dinner.
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Pot roast is a classic dinner that every family member will agree on, and the slow cooker makes for the easiest prep.
Recipe: Shepherd's Pie
Although Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional recipe from over the pond, it has all the comfort of a classic Southern casserole.
Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans
It doesn’t get more kid-friendly than nachos, and you’ll only have to clean up one pan after this fun dinner.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Leeks, Peas, and Bacon
You won’t believe how easy it is to make homemade alfredo sauce, and you’ll never go back to jarred once you do.
Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage
Pizza night got a hit of fresh summer veggies with this sheet-pan wonder, but don’t worry—the kids will love it as much as delivery.
Brisket-and-Black Bean Chili with Cilantro-Lime Crema
This slow-cooker chili is an easy, comforting dinner that will fill your family up.
Teriyaki Salmon Bowls with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Forget takeout—these teriyaki bowls are an Asian-inspired (and healthy!) meal that the kids will love.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Blistered Tomatoes
This 25-minute twist on chicken piccata is much more kid-friendly than the original.
Recipe: Steak-and-Potato Kebabs
During the summer months, there’s nothing better than firing up the grill, and no one can say no to a juicy steak kebab.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Recipe: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Serve this traditional meat sauce over whatever pasta variety you have on hand. This recipe serves a crowd, so you might have leftovers for the freezer.
Country Captain Chicken
Recipe: Country Captain Chicken
This Lowcountry favorite is packed with flavor from various spices like curry powder, paprika, and nutmeg.
Gnocchi Gratin with Ham and Peas
Recipe: Gnocchi Gratin with Ham and Peas
This gnocchi spin on a traditional gratin is extra cheesy and oh-so-comforting.
Grilled Pizza with Summer Veggies and Smoked Chicken
Grilling out is a fun way to enjoy family pizza night in the summer, and you can top these pizzas with whichever protein and veggies are in your refrigerator at the time!
Pecan-Breaded Pork Chops with Beer Sauce
Southern cooks love pecans and pork, and this dinner recipe combines both. It’s pretty enough for company but easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
Beef Stew with Cheddar Biscuits
Recipe: Beef Stew with Cheddar Biscuits
This hearty stew is made in your skillet for easy one-dish cleanup.
Baked Rigatoni with Zucchini and Mozzarella
This baked dish is a fun way to do pasta night that’s much easier than the presentation lets on.
Recipe: Harry Young’s Burgoo
This Kentucky-born stew is perfect for feeding a crowd and freezing leftovers for later.