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Spice Up Your Weekend: 51 Recipes Weekend Dinner Ideas

Quick Answer: What Are Weekend Dinner Recipes?

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There is something about weekend dinners that makes it all about sharing with family or a lazy night in with no in-between. There are many recipes to choose from simple everyday ingredients to other cultural cuisines. Regardless of choice, rating some good food is a must to truly enjoy the weekends.

Check out this table for the best weekend dinner ideas you can try at home. To make it even better, the table contains the calorie content for each meal and the approximate time to prepare each dish.

Quick Table: Delicious Weekend Recipes 

Recipe Preparation Time Calories Per Serving
Broccoli Pesto Pasta30 Minutes441
Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry25 Minutes267
Ratoruille Sheet pan dinner with sausages40 Minutes360
Oven Baked French bread pizzas25 Minutes302
Baked Salmon with Grapefruit salad30 Minutes320
Cheese and avocado sheet pan quesadilla with Jalapeno ranch35 Minutes542
Butter chicken35 Minutes438
Instant pot mac and cheese10 Minutes292
Chicken Alfredo Penne33 Minutes573
Sheet pan olive bar chicken1 Hour296
Black bean stuffed sweet potato55 Minutes472
Easy French dip sliders 1 Hour114
Crockpot chicken taco meat4 Hours95
Mango chutney chicken sheet pan55 Minutes360
Vegan chickpea shakshuka30 Minutes330
Za’atar chicken sheet pan dinner40 Minutes412
Garlic pork chops with mushroom cream sauce30 Minutes339
Italian sausage heros 45 Minutes 589
Loaded sheet pan nachos15 Minutes260
Grilled Pork tenderloin with chimichurri30 Minutes217
Cauliflower gnocchi with bruschetta sauce and sausage15 Minutes690
Lemon garlic salmon and asparagus15 Minutes270
Grilled ribeye with Salsa Verde40 Minutes468
Carne Asada30 Minutes196
Tuna & Avocado wrap10 Minutes292
Chimichurri steak40 Minutes760
BBQ meatloaf & veggie dinner 45 Minutes443
Chicken tortilla soup20 Minutes140
Teriyaki chicken 35 Minutes206
Tikka masala soup40 Minutes240
Chicken noodle soup40 Minutes119
Thai coconut curry ramen30 Minutes419
Stuffed bell peppers1 Hour345
Tuscan white bean soup with bacon45 Minutes431
Oodles with noodles35 Minutes250
Veggie and bean tacos35 Minutes300
Lo mein25 Minutes310
Baked Gnocchi with Broccoli20 Minutes344
Shrimp Scampi30 Minutes119
Green Chicken Enchiladas with melted cheese and extra sauce40 Minutes120
Cilantro lime chicken thighs22 Minutes190
Skillet roasted chicken with cabbage1 Hour486
Whole roasted chicken with carrots1 Hour 20 Minutes343
Chicken piccata25 Minutes389
Kung Pao Chicken25 Minutes129
Thai Basil beef20 Minutes330
Gingery  ground beef (soboro donburi)25 Minutes301
Salsa Verde baked eggs20 Minutes268
Chickpeas potato curry35 Minutes321
Portobello mushroom fajitas30 Minutes 304
Mediterranean sheet pan chicken & potato55 Minutes724

Dinner should be a time to unwind for the day and enjoy a scrumptious meal. Preparing something good and healthy for dinner at home can turn into a staring contest with the fridge trying to find out which ingredients will work.

Although it might take some time to whip something together since it’s a weekend, it’s time to make something special.

If still unsure what to make or get while in the grocery or farmers market, here are 51 recipe weekend dinner ideas to try.

1. Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Two things make the broccoli pesto pasta recipe a favorite weekend recipe. First, it is a healthy diet, and the dish is savory when the broccoli is seasoned right. Two, the pesto sauce has a vibrant punch to it that gives it a unique taste.

Simple and easy to make, taking the time to follow the recipe guarantees a truly special meal.

Calories Per Serving: 441

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

2. Chicken And Veggie Stir-Fry

The chicken and veggie stir fry recipe is a great dinner recipe idea that utilizes the things already available instead of some unique ingredients. Depending on preference, the veggies can be more or the chicken. 

To get a good stir fry, ensure that all the ingredients are nicely diced on an excellent stir fry savory dish.

Calories Per Serving: 267

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

3. Ratatouille Sheet Pan Dinner With Sausage

Ratatouille is one of those delicious dishes even when served on its own. By adding sausages into the mix, the dish turns from a simple healthy dish to a delicious, colorful dish with a unique flavor. The fact that it is easy to make gives it a place on the menu.

Calories Per Serving: 360

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

4. French Bread Pizzas

Pizzas are cheesy and delicious and melt in the mouth with every bite. Baked French bread pizzas (oven) make for lovely portions that offer a more vibrant taste due to the French twist.

With everyone getting their personalized bread portion, swapping the recipe instead of regular pizza will make for a lovely pizza night festival.

Calories Per Serving: 302

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

5. Baked Salmon With Grapefruit Salad

Many people ignore salmon due to its fishy texture and smell. That just means it’s not being cooked correctly. The secret starts with the correct seasoning. Rub that salt and pepper dry in the salmon before letting it rest for a while.

After baking, the result is moist and melts in your mouth – talk of perfection! Coupled with a grapefruit salad for that sweet, unique flavor, it makes for an appetizing dinner

Calories Per Serving: 320

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

6. Cheese And Avocado Sheet Pan Quesadilla With Jalapeño Ranch

This Mexican-inspired dinner idea is one of the most delicious recipe ideas to try for the weekend. The combination of the ingredients makes a special aromatic blend all under one colorful jalapeno.

With a spiciness that keeps everyone on their toes, the avocado and cheese mellow it down, making it a simple dish with a cheesy front and a unique spicy touch.

Calories Per Serving: 542

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes 

7. Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is a boneless chicken breast made in a tasty thick sauce. This recipe is easy to follow and rivals even the very best restaurants. Aromatic and golden in color, the chicken pieces swim in curry sauce.

When making the dish, drain any excess oils before serving it with rice or mashed potatoes.

Calories Per Serving: 438

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

8. Instant Pot Mac And Cheese 

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a popular comfort food for many people. This is the dish to try when feeling sulky and overall in a bad mood. It is mouthwatering and creamy, picking up your mood in an instant.

The best part is that since it’s made in an instant pot, the cooking time is significantly reduced, and it will be ready in a record 10 minutes. When starting to cook, set the table and serve immediately after finishing.

Calories Per Serving: 292

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

9. Chicken Alfredo Penne

The combination of garlic, flour, butter, parmesan cheese, and milk makes for a lovely combination that is savory and can be topped in any dish.

However, this Italian dish makes it all the better as it provides comfort with the most flavorful sauces. When you doubt what the taste buds are craving, whip up this recipe.

Calories Per Serving: 573

Preparation Time: 33 Minutes

10. Sheet Pan Olive Bar Chicken

Once tried, the olive chicken bar is one of the few recipes that becomes a favorite for all special occasions.

With almost no preparation needed, the chicken dinner is fabulous for those looking for a salty yet savory dish full of garlic and oregano. When adding the olives, don’t forget to add marinated tomatoes and artichokes to get a meal fit for royalty.

Calories Per Serving: 296

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 

RELATED: 25 Swordfish Recipes For The Weekend Party!

11. Black Bean–Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

When looking for a dish packed with fiber and proteins, black bean stuffed sweet potatoes is the way to go.

The best part is that it is not limited, and it’s possible to add toppings of avocado and sour cream to bring the flavors alive. With these potatoes topped with a citrusy cream, every bite has an explosion of flavors.

Calories Per Serving: 472

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes 

12. Easy French Dip Sliders

Are you looking for a fun recipe to try over the weekend? The French dip sliders are appetizing, flavorful, and perfect for the whole family. The ingredients are everyday picks that come together to make this dish irresistible. 

Calories Per Serving: 114 

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 

13. Crock-Pot Chicken Taco Meat

Only using 3 major ingredients, the crock pot chicken taco is tender, juicy, and, most importantly, tasty.

The Mexican-inspired dish is a great base for tacos, salads, and even over rice. The fact that it uses one pot from start to finish makes it a must-have recipe with minimal supervision.

Calories Per Serving: 95

Preparation Time: 4 Hours 

14. Mango Chutney Chicken Sheet Pan

Walk into any store and find a jar of mango chutney on sale. Better yet, a farmers’ market will have this secret ingredient to this recipe. Mango chutney is a simple chicken-based dish full of flavor.

Sweet and bright with a distinct mango flavor, this dish is highly addictive.

Calories Per Serving: 360

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes 

15. Vegan Chickpea Shakshuka

Shakshuka cuisine had its origins in northern Africa. Popular today, especially in the middle east, is an expensive hearty dish that is simple. With one bite, expect smoky tomato-flavored explosions and be ready to recreate the dish at home continuously. 

To top it off are the eggs served with a tomato-based sauce. For vegan options, swap out the eggs.

Calories Per Serving: 330

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

16. Za’atar Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Za’atar is an easy one-pan meal that is perfect for a weekend dinner. Marinate the Za’atar in advance with spice blends, including thyme, sac, salt, and sesame.

To brighten the flavor, use zest and lemon juice with some olive oil. The best part is that it ticks all the boxes when considering the nutritional value.

Calories Per Serving: 412

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

17. Garlic Pork Chops With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Garlic Pork Chops in Creamy Mushroom Sauce is a quick dinner with a ton of flavor. The recipe includes a pork chop recipe that is seared before cooking in creamy garlic and mushroom sauce.

For the best combination, serve with rice for a more filling recipe or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

Calories Per Serving: 339

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

18. Italian Sausage Héros

The Italian-inspired dish comprises juicy Italian sausages roasted together with peppers on a sheet.

Glazed over with honey mustard, the recipe is simple and easy to follow, especially after a fun-filled weekend day.

Calories Per Serving: 589

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

19. Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos

Loaded nachos are often a favorite crowd pleaser. The preparation is simple; you only require to lay all ingredients on top of the nachos layered on a pan before baking.

The recipe is customizable, and ingredients vary depending on time, budget and preference.

Calories Per Serving: 260

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes 

20. Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Chimichurri

Learning to make some juicy grilled pork tenderloins at home will cut out all the expenses of eating at a fancy restaurant. Grilled pork chops have plenty of flavors, and the damaged yet savory lemon, and garlic flavors are present in every bite. 

Pack with loads of fresh chimichurri on top for a hearty meal. Pair with some grilled potatoes for a perfect meal idea. 

Calories Per Serving: 217

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

RELATED: Friday Night Dinner Recipes To Celebrate Your Perfect Weekend

21. Cauliflower Gnocchi With Bruschetta Sauce And Sausage

The cauliflower gnocchi with bruschetta sauce and sausage is a low-carb, boldly flavored dish that is perfect for the family in 15 minutes.

Those who have tried trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi will feel right at home with this recipe, especially with its bruschetta making for an incredible sauce. 

Get the ingredients fresh for a brighter taste for the ultimate unmatched taste.

Calories Per Serving: 690

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes 

22. Lemon Garlic Salmon & Asparagus

Many people dislike asparagus, and it’s simple when poorly cooked – it’s no better than grass. However, getting it right first means marinating it with lemon and garlic sauce.

The recipe is highly versatile as the cooking method can be either baking or grilling to make crispy parmesan salmon.

Calories Per Serving: 270

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes 

23. Grilled Ribeye With Salsa Verde

Any recipe that involves steak is one to look out for. Imagine being graced with a plate of grilled ribeye with Salsa Verde. This recipe is perfect as the grilled ribeye is tender, juicy, and, most importantly, delicious.

With the rich Italian salsa Verde as a side, getting your steak cooked perfectly has never been easier.

Calories Per Serving: 468

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

24. Carne Asada

Carne Asada is of those recipes that proves that it takes only a few simple ingredients to make a hearty yet unforgettable meal. The meal is juicy, tender, and all things Mexican. Fire up the grill after marinating and get grilling.

The results are significant enough, and the leftovers can be used to make the best carne asada taco fillings.

Calories Per Serving: 196

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

25. Tuna & Avocado Wrap

Tuna and avocado wraps are a simple recipe perfect for a weekend dinner.  Pick out the best whole wheat tortillas to get the flavors coming together. Upgrade the taste using green onions, Dijon, and some hot sauce.

Using a lot of mayo is not mandatory as the recipe is already tasty – just a little will go a long way. With a favorite drink, and dinner is complete.

Calories Per Serving: 292

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

26. Chimichurri Steak

There is a good reason why grilled steak impresses so many people. It is tasty, with its intense flavors to make meal times happy. Fire the grill before placing the heavily marinated meat on top.

Keep an eye on the spices…not everyone likes heavily spiced meals. Be sure to have enough juices from it to keep it from getting tough and dry. 

Calories Per Serving: 760

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

27. BBQ Meatloaf & Veggie Dinner

Bbq meatloaf & veggie dinner is one of the fastest all-inclusive dishes that use available meat. This sheet pan is customizable, and depending on the ingredients around it – it’s possible to make variations of the dish.

The same thing applies to veggies as anything goes. However, be sure to watch out for texture as it’s disastrous to mix tender and tough vegetables and make the dish inedible.

Calories Per Serving: 443

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

28. Chicken Tortilla Soup

After having a tortilla festival and still having some chicken tortilla fillings left, why not make it into a soup? The recipe is straightforward to follow. With all the fresh vegetables going into it, the soup will be flavorful and tasty.

However, what can be done is to make it as spicy or as mild as needed. Adding some cheese and cilantro is optional as the cheese is already thick. But for the cheesy effect, why not?

Calories Per Serving: 140 

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

29. Teriyaki Chicken 

Teriyaki chicken foil packets are the definition of a balanced yummy dinner idea. The recipe is filled with protein, and all glazed veggies, which calls for outdoor activities.

The cooking can be done over a grill or in an oven and will have the same result.

Calories Per Serving: 206

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

30. Tikka Masala Soup 

Tikka masala is a rich, creamy Indian-style recipe that calls for a celebration of culture. The cuisine is not only flavorful but aromatic. Pair it with some rice or, better yet, some buttery garlic bread, and enjoy.

Calories Per Serving: 240

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

RELATED: 21 Breakfast For Dinner Ideas to Cook This Weekend for Family

31. Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a classic recipe that is associated with comfort foods.  Simmering the tender chicken pieces with carrots, celery, and onions makes for a good broth. This added to a packet of noodles is perfect, especially for the winter.

Calories Per Serving: 119

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

32. Thai Coconut Curry Ramen

The Thai coconut curry ramen recipe is a Thai cuisine that centers on healthy living. But following the recipe, the results are better than any five-star restaurant as it’s creamy, delicious, and healthy. Be sure to watch for the ramen to avoid overcooking. 

Calories Per Serving: 419

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

33. Stuffed Bell Pepper

One thing stuffed bell peppers are known for is their cheesy, savory tastes.  Flavorful and colorful, the bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, sausages, turkey, chicken, and vegetables make for a meaty dish.

The other ingredients used, such as garlic, tomatoes, onion, and on top cheese, make them mouthwatering for both adults and kids.

Calories Per Serving: 345

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

34. Tuscan White Bean Soup With Bacon 

The Tuscan white bean soup with bacon is an extremely creamy dish packed with many flavors. By just looking at it, it’s hard to imagine only a few ingredients are used to make it.

What makes it unforgettable is the pepper and fresh parmesan cheese toppings on top that gives the dish perfect visuals that match the taste.

Calories Per Serving: 431

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

35. Oodles Noodle Recipes

Noodles swimming in a farm soup is what noodle noodles are known for. Although it’s simple to make using simple ingredients, it has a heavy chicken flavor brought by its broth and oyster sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 250

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes 

36. Veggie And Bean Tacos

The roasted veggie and black bean taco recipe is a budget-friendly dinner dish for Saturday nights.  The vegetarian taco is filled with corn, squash, and black beans roasted on top of a sheet pan. Since it’s easy to make bigger portions, it’s ideal for those with big families.

Calories Per Serving: 300

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

37. Lo Mein

Lo mein is a dish that utilizes different ingredients to get to its final taste. However, the most preferred is the chicken lemon which takes less than 20 minutes to make.

Add in some fresh vegetables, and the dish is complete.  The recipe is great as it’s better than takeout and will be a favorite recipe for the family. 

Calories Per Serving: 310

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

38. Baked Gnocchi With Broccoli

The baked gnocchi with broccoli is a dish that, when made, is creamy, bubbly, and savory. With the broccoli added last to give it some bright colors, it is a dish full of the proper nutrients.

One look after serving will show that the dish is perfectly inviting, comforting, and above all, satisfies many cravings. The best thing is that it’s all made under one pan.

Calories Per Serving: 344

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

39. Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is a classical Italian dish with an American twist that utilizes big juicy shrimps tossed in garlic butter with white wine and finally finished with thin pasta. The dish is easy to make, delicious, and takes only a few minutes.

For all lovers of seafood and pasta, it might call for using a bigger pan and more ingredients to get everyone accounted for during dinner.

Calories Per Serving: 119

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

40. Green Chicken Enchiladas With Melted Cheese And Extra Sauce

Green Enchiladas can be cooked in many ways. However, in this form, it is perfect for a cold winter night or when in a sad mood as it is creamy, cheesy, full of flavor, and comforting. The shredded cheese is responsible for its creamy and cheesy nature.  

The beautiful flavor is from the roasted green chili, plenty of garlic, and smoked paprika. The chicken recipe is more exciting the more it cooks.

Calories Per Serving: 120

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

41. Cilantro-Lime Chicken Thighs

Another chicken recipe to try is the cilantro lime chicken thigh recipe.  Glazed and shiny, the marinade of garlic, lime, bright cilantro, and honey transforms the chicken thighs into juicy, tender meats ready to be bitten.

Although optional, it’s best to use boneless skinless chicken as the marinade sinks in better for better results and can be used in tacos and salads.

Calories Per Serving: 190 

Preparation Time: 22 Minutes 

42. Skillet Roasted Chicken With Cabbage

Skillet roasted chicken with cabbage is a delicious dinner recipe from the books and often comes out alive.  In the difficulty recipe category, it falls under the easy chicken category on one-pan dishes.

The best part is the recipe is straightforward and still customizable to give it that personal touch.

Calories Per Serving: 486

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

43. Whole Roast Chicken With Carrots

The garlic herb butter toast chicken with carrots is a rustic elegant one-pan dish that will bring everyone together.

For the marinade, the chicken is rubbed with lemony butter and blended herbs. The smell is aromatic and almost therapeutic and is served crispy in rich golden color with tender insides.

Calories Per Serving: 343

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

44. Chicken Piccata

The chicken pittas recipe is one of those recipes that are classic and naturally fast, and easy to follow. The inclusion of chicken broth adds a unique flavor to the already chicken dish creating a mote gourmet worthy sauce.

With a little bitter and a whole ton of lemon, the flavor is impactful, giving it the right punch without being overwhelming.

Calories Per Serving: 389

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes 

45. Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao is a classic Chinese takeout dish that includes spicy chicken, peanuts, and vegetables in the Kung Pao sauce. Easy to make, it is low in calories, healthy, and better than any takeout dish.

Calories Per Serving: 129

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes 

46. Thai Basil Beef

Thai cuisine is full of authentic ingredients, and undoubtedly the Thai basil beef lemongrass rice bowls show just that. The beef is cooked until it is caramelized using Thai chili sauce.

To top it, fresh ingredients such as carrots and pepper are added before being finished with sesame and peanuts to give it a balance of both sweet and spicy.

Calories Per Serving: 330

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes 

47. Gingery Ground Beef (Soboro Donburi)

The soboro donburi is a hearty Japanese cuisine that heavily relies upon ground beef simmered in soy sauce, sake, and dashi. The dish is usually served over bowls of rice and other vegetables. Popular today, the version in this recipe uses peas and fresh ginger.

To simplify the dish, use water instead of dashi, which will still be great.

Calories Per Serving: 301

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes 

48. Salsa Verde Baked Eggs

Salsa Verde is one of those recipes that makes for a unique flavored egg dish. However, the secret to it is using other spices, including paprika, tomatoes, and cumin.

The tomatoes must be utterly soft for a few minutes to release their natural juices before the eggs are added. The dish is tasty and perfect for serving over white rice or bread.

Calories Per Serving: 268

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes 

49. Chickpeas Potato Curry

Cooking chickpeas is a little tricky, and the right ingredients have to be used to make the dish delicious and memorable. However, the chickpea potato curry recipe is all that and more as it is packed with flavor, nutritious, and, most importantly, cooked in one pot. 

The spicy chickpeas curry can be eaten with roti as comfort food as it hits all the right spots.

Calories Per Serving: 321

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes 

50. Portobello Mushroom Fajitas

Portobello Mushroom Fajitas is a vegan dish. Busting with flavors, it uses colorful peppers and is perfectly spicy and savory due to the onions and the unique flavor of the mushrooms topping it off.

The dish is delicious and mouthwatering, and better than any meat counterpart.

Calories Per Serving: 304

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

51. Mediterranean Sheet Pan Chicken & Potato Recipe

The Mediterranean sheet pan recipe with chicken and potatoes is a recipe that should be enjoyed on a weekend dinner. A little feta cheese and olive dressing will do the trick to make it outstanding.

Calories Per Serving: 724

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Popular Meal For Dinner? 

The most popular dish for many people is chicken. However, how to prepare the chicken varies depending on preference.

What Should I Serve For Dinner?

The answer is very simple, regardless of what you choose, stick to a balanced diet mostly and keep the carbs down for a healthy meal. However, do not be overly strict and deny yourself the little good things in life. 

What Is Traditional Weekend Dinner Ideas?

For a traditional weekend dinner idea, people will typically eat meat and vegetables with a side dish. A side dish can include bread, mashed potatoes, rice, or even fruit. 

Spice Up Your Weekend: 51 Recipes Weekend Dinner Ideas

You can cook a variety of meals over the weekend with ingredients you already have on hand. These are a few simple, healthy recipes to try


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith


Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Thank you very much for sharing, I learned a lot from your article. Very cool. Thanks. nimabi


Thursday 14th of September 2023

Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.