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Cooking Ideas for Dinner

Cooking Ideas for Dinner

Some great cooking ideas for dinner are something that anyone can use.  If you’re like me, it seems like we have the same things for dinner over and over.  This could be for many reasons but I believe that since we are creatures of habit. We tend to go back to what we are comfortable or familiar with or we tend to gravitate to that which is easiest and quickest since most people have to work and don’t have time to just cook dinner all day.

Well I suggest that break out of that habit, so I’m presenting cooking ideas for dinner that are the best of both worlds, quick and easy, but yet comfortable, affordable and unique enough that anyone who sees these cooking ideas for dinner will recognize them as familiar but still think, “Sounds good, I want to try that.”


Cooking ideas for dinner – One-Pot MealsOne Pot Meals

These are dishes that have all of the components (protein, starch, vegetables) in one pot or one container.  It’s easy to assemble these and just put them in a crock-pot, roasting pan, or pot on the stove.  This way you can set it up and let it cook while you’re away, then by the time you get back . . . Its ready to go!

One pot meals include things like:

  • Latin-Style Chicken and Rice
  • Beef Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions
  • Pork loin, Pork Chops, Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt . . .with Yams and Parsnips
  • Salmon with Celery, Leeks and Cous Cous
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes


  1. Easy to prepare.
  2. Can be prepared ahead of time.
  3. Very little hands on (comparatively speaking)


Cooking ideas for dinner – Salads

SaladsOne of my favorite cooking ideas for dinner is probably the Salad buffet – You can use everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to canned or frozen beans, fruits and vegetables.  Plus, nowadays you can buy everything ready to go right out of the bag (if that is what you want).


  1. Everything is almost ready to go with little or no cooking involved.
  2. You are eating more fruits and vegetables!
  3. Customizable!  If you don’t like it, don’t put it on your salad.


  1. You do still have to put forth some effort when opening cans, microwaving or cutting items…


Cooking ideas for dinner – Sandwiches

Pretty self-explanatory, this is one of those cooking ideas for dinner that allows you to put things between bread or can make open face sandwiches by putting toppings on top of the bread and eating it with a fork and knife.

Advantages:Sandwich Bar

  1. Put whatever you want between or on top of bread…
  2. Clean up the fridge by mixing items that usually wouldn’t get eaten and hide them between the bread.  They’ll love it and never know what hit em’.
  3. Want it hot?  Just grill it.


  1. Again, a little bit of effort is required. . .

I know these suggestions may seem somewhat generic, but hopefully you will get some of those creative juices going and create some classics or even routines out of these basic cooking ideas for dinner!


Cooking ideas for dinner – Baked Potato Bar 

baked potatoBaked Potatoes got a bad rep recently because of the atkins-no-carb-craze, but in reality these cooking ideas for dinner are very nutritious and full of fiber.  Plus, they go great with a lot of things. Easy to make, little bit effort, a lot of reward.

Bake a potato, top them with any combination of ingredients and enjoy.

Popular Toppings include, but are not limited to:  Broccoli with Cheese Sauce, Chili, Sour Cream and Chives and Bacon with Cheddar Cheese.


Cooking ideas for dinner – Stir-fry

Stir fry dishes are one of those cooking ideas for dinner are very simple and fast.  You can combine almost anything in a pan and stir it while it frys.  Throw in a sauce, you got a meal.


Want some specific recipes for these cooking ideas for dinner?  Try these!

 Want some more cooking ideas for dinner?  Ge The First Timers Books & DVDir?t=httpwwwfirs09 20&l=ur2&o=1 - Cooking Ideas for Dinner

Get more cooking ideas for dinner from First Timer’s Cookbooks & DVD right here!

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About the author, Shawn

Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales. He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. His work has been recognized nationwide as well as being a regular contributor to numerous food service publications and outlets and is the recipient of numerous awards-most recently the 2015 Culinary Educator of the Year through the local American Culinary Federation’s chapter-Beehive State Chef’s Association.

He the owner of multiple food service businesses and currently the host of the Business Chef Podcast.

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