Making everyone happy at dinner time is a challenge! Can I get an amen?? If you have kids you know that coming up with meals that your whole family will love is near impossible. It seems like most nights there is at least one child (I’m looking at you 8-year-old!!) who isn’t thrilled with what I’m cooking.
There are a few meals though, that everyone is excited about. They are the ones where everyone can make them exactly how they want them. Whether it’s picking their favorite toppings or having something cooked just the way they want, certain meals make dinner time way easier!
The magic in most of these is in the toppings. Most of them start with the base of something tasty and then everyone gets to top them the way they want!
Here are some of our favorites!
#1 Loaded Baked Potatoes- Start with some nice big potatoes. My favorite way to make them is to roll them in butter and garlic wrap them in foil and pop them in the oven for about an hour. You can also pop them in the crock pot for 4-6 hours. Once they’re done we set up a topping bar with bacon bits, shredded cheese, chives, butter, and sour cream. Everyone gets to make up their potato however they want!
#2 Personal Pizzas- Everybody loves pizza! It is even better when you can make your very own! You can make your own little crusts (here’s my favorite dough recipe) buy mini crusts, use tortillas, naan bread, or even bagels. Put out a variety of sauces, we love ranch or marinara. You could add alfredo, garlic butter… whatever your family likes. Add to that toppings like pepperoni, bacon bits, green peppers, olives… all your families favorites. Let everyone make their own and pop it in the oven.
#3 Salad Bar- This one has a million possibilities! Start with a couple of kinds of lettuce, add in some protein choices, beans, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, ham, bacon etc. Add a few options for some crunch, croutons, chow mein noodles, nuts or sesame seeds. Put out lots of veggies- cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers all your favorites! Top it off with a few choices for dressing and let everyone go to town!
#4 Omlets- This is perfect for super busy nights! Start by scrambling up a bunch of eggs. Then you can top them off with lots of tasty meats, veggies and cheese. Some favorites at our house are bacon, tomatoes, cheddar and salsa! Whatever you like on your eggs!
#5 Pasta Bar– You can make this in a flash with jarred sauces, and it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or hamburger. Make some noodles and get your toppings and sauce ready! Add some Parmesan or mozzarella and pair it up with garlic bread for a perfect dinner!
Like I said before the key here is lots of topping choices! The great thing about most of these is that you can use leftovers or have the same toppings on hand for multiple meals. Most of these can come together in about half an hour or less! Perfect for busy nights!
What is your go to family meal that everyone loves? I’d love to add to this list!
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