Easy Dinner Menu Ideas

Everyone needs some quick and Easy Dinner Menu Ideas up their sleeve and these are a few of mine to help you out.

These quick and easy dinner menu ideas make putting together the perfect dinner a breeze!pinterestBy now I’m hoping you realize I’m all about quick and easy recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor. What you might not realize is that I don’t make every single thing from scratch every single day for every single meal. In fact, my philosophy is to take one to two items and make that from scratch, while supplementing the others with quality pre-made products.

It may sound like a shortcut… because it is. But what it ultimately does is save my sanity, while still providing a delicious and nutritious meal that my family enjoys.

These store bought refrigerated mashed potatoes taste just like homemade! My family couldn't tell the difference!

I’m teaming up with Bob Evans Grocery again this year to not only bring you some really delicious recipes utilizing their convenient refrigerated products, but also to remind you just how delicious these items are all on their own!

In fact – I invited some of my girl friends over to see if they could tell that these creamy and perfectly seasoned Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes were not “homemade” mashed potatoes. They were raving about how delicious my potatoes were, and when I revealed to them that they were not homemade they were shocked!

Dress up refrigerated mashed potatoes with a little butter and garnish with parsley to make them look homemade.

Simple Side Dish Ideas:

  • Dress up pre-made side dishes with a colorful garnish.
  • Use bottled dressings to top a bagged salad mix.
  • Steam or boil veggies on the stove top for a quick side dish.
  • If serving company, try using a pretty plate or bowl for pre-made dishes like these mashed potatoes!
  • Check out my entire list of SIDE DISH RECIPES here for more great ideas.

Great tips on how to make an easy dinner menu!

How to Build a Simple Dinner Menu:

Whenever I build a simple dinner menu, whether it’s for my family or company, I always try to include a balance of proteins, starches and vegetables.

  • Decide which type of protein you would like to use.
  • Pick a vegetable side dish that accompanies the protein, while also taking into consideration the seasonal veggies and weather.
    • Seasonal Spring Produce: artichokes, asparagus, beets, carrots, peas, all kinds of lettuce and greens, lemons, strawberries
    • Seasonal Summer Produce: radishes, cucumber, zucchini, corn, bell peppers. tomatoes, melons, peaches
    • Seasonal Fall Produce: squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, pomegranate
    • Seasonal Winter Produce: brussels sprouts, citrus, leeks, kale, endive, turnips, pears
  • Pick a starch to go with your dinner.

Typically I’ll pick one or two of the items above and make that from scratch. I’ll use items like Bob Evans mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese to supplement the other.

Make dinner time easy by picking one to two items to make from scratch and supplementing the others with pre-made, store-bought items!

Don’t forget to utilize your slow cooker or pressure cooker to keep your time in the kitchen short and sweet.

Examples of super easy dinner menu ideas


  • BBQ Pulled Pork made in the slow cooker served with sliced cheese and store bought hamburger buns.
  • Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes
  • Steamed Broccoli




Do you think your family would be able to tell the difference between from-scratch mashed potatoes and Bob Evans mashed potatoes? Take the #BobEvansChallenge and find out!

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Bob Evans Grocery. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make I Wash You Dry Possible.

These quick and easy dinner menu ideas make putting together the perfect dinner a breeze!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
7 Responses
  1. Marie

    Love your recipes and tips.
    What I really don’t like are the videos that keep popping up and hiding some content. Very annoying, thinking of unfollowing!

    1. Shawn

      Sorry they are a bother to you. I try to make my site as user friendly as possible, while also making sure it’s profitable enough to keep sharing free recipes. I appreciate your understanding.

  2. Bradford Bodine


    You’re awesome and have saved many a family dinner with your easy cooking wizardry! Don’t stop. We are believers!!!

    -Bodine Family

Leave a Reply

Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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