Here’s my general feeding-the-family philosophy: serve up basic, wholesome meals your family will eat, and dinnertime will be a lot more enjoyable for everyone.
And when it comes to the dinners my kids will actually eat, it’s pretty clear what wins: classic, hearty, meaty dishes with simple flavorings. That’s why as my kids have gotten older, I’ve increasingly gravitated toward the kind of meals I grew up with as a kid: roasts, stews, and soups.
But if you aren’t used to cooking big, meaty dishes, it can be really intimidating to get started. I know. Here’s where I admit that up until a few years ago, I had never made a pot roast, roasted a chicken, or made a soup or stew from scratch. I was terrified by the whole process.
Once I got started, though, I quickly learned just how easy these family dinner staples are to make. You don’t have to serve a ton of meat to satisfy a family – a small roasting chicken feeds all 7 of us with meat left over for soup – but just having that main dish out of the way makes it so easy to pull a meal together: roast some carrots, smash some potatoes, or even just rip open a bag of frozen green beans and some instant rice, and you’ve got a meal.
Here are the five basic meat-based dinners I return to again and again:
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Does your family love basic, classic, meaty meals, too? Which are your go-to staples?
main photo credit: The Culinary Geek