When it comes to meal planning, I have a list of tried and true recipes that my family likes.
Since making this list, I am less tempted to try new recipes!
After a while, even my most exciting recipes start to get a little boring.
There are a ton of places you can go for some fresh new dinner ideas, but having so many options can just make things even more overwhelming.
If you are stuck in a dinner rut, I’m going to show you how to get out and never get back in one again!
Mix Things Up
Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you have to have the same boring meal every night.
Our meals have three core ingredients: protein, starch, and vegetable. Sometimes this might vary, but for the most part, this is our standard dinner. We tend to stick with what we know.
This means whenever we see pork chops our mind thinks apple sauce, or whenever we look at chicken we immediately think chicken alfredo.
Make a list of proteins, starches, and vegetables and put each one in a jar.
Each night, have your kids or even your husband pull one out of the jar.
These might be the same “boring” foods, but you’re eating them differently.
Consult The Packaging
I will bet that you have at least 12 recipes in your pantry right now.
Your pasta boxes and soup mixes have recipes right on them!
If you’re looking for a new recipe, look no further than your pantry!
For years, I’ve been guilty of ignoring the packaging. In a pinch, these can make great and quick dinners.
I even started checking the boxes right on the grocery store shelf!
If you find yourself at a loss for something new to make, open up your pantry and start looking at your packaging until you see something that sounds good.
The recipes are usually pretty easy and straightforward to make.
Try Some Copycat Recipes
There is something so tempting about restaurant foods, and you can easily make all of them right in your kitchen!
Popular restaurant foods such as chicken parmesan and fish tacos are so easy to make at home, and they’ll be less expensive than eating out.
If you’re stuck in a rut and thinking about going out to eat instead, think of your favorite restaurant dish and see if you can make it yourself.
You’ll want to try this T.G.I. Friday’s Potato Skins Recipe for sure!
Here are over 50 of the Best Restaurant Copycat Recipes On The Internet!
See What Your Friends Are Eating
Asking your friends and family is a great way to get some inspiration.
If you don’t find a new recipe hidden in their plan, it might make you think of one of your own!
You never know what you might discover by merely asking what your neighbor is having for dinner tonight.
If you don’t want to bother your friends, try looking on Instagram or Facebook to see if they’ve posted pictures of what they’re eating tonight.
Get Lost On Pinterest
Pinterest is a wormhole for recipe lovers! With just one simple search, you can easily fall down the rabbit hole of recipe inspiration!
Whenever I’m not sure what to make for dinner, I take a look at these boards for some recipe inspiration.
This Butternut Squash Bake recipe is easy and delicious to make and a great side dish to mix up!
Revisit Old Meal Plans
If you don’t keep your old meals plans, you need to start!
Whenever you’re out of ideas for dinner, or they just don’t sound that great anymore, you can easily reference these meal plans!
It may feel like you were in this dinner rut forever, but there was a time you enjoyed the meals you made.
Go back through your old meal plans to find hidden gems. There are probably recipes on there you forgot you had!
Getting out of a dinner rut is hard. Between finding new ways to spice up your old recipes, and finding something new to make, it can be exhausting.
If you follow these tips, you’ll not only get you and your family out of this rut, but you’ll never end up in a dinner rut again!
YOUR TURN: What dinner have you had so many times that you want to delete it from your meal planning? Let me know in the comments below!
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