Are you looking for ideas for family dinner theme nights? Family dinners are an important part of family life. They are a chance for families to come together, talk, connect and catch up over a delicious homecooked meal. However, coming up with new meal ideas each week can be exhausting!
Simplify your meal planning with weekly themed dinner nights that allow you to enjoy your favourites, but with a bit of a unique twist.
What Are Family Dinner Theme Nights?
There’s a good chance you know what meal planning is – planning a week or a whole month worth of meals in advance so you know what you’re having and when. But sometimes that’s still a challenge, coming up with fun new family dinner ideas that the whole family will enjoy.
You might have attempted to make your family meal plan a little easier by adding a set theme once a week, like Taco Tuesday, where every Tuesday is Taco night.
But what if you did that every day of the week, having a set theme night for dinners to make your meal planning even easier?
That’s what dinner theme nights are. We aren’t talking dinner party themes here. We are talking about everyday family meals with a set theme each day of the week.
And before you dismiss the idea, assuming that means you’re eating 7 meals for the rest of your life, that’s not what
Conversation starters for families can be helpful to get kids talking. Try these conversation starters for kids, teens, and couples, conversation starters for family dinner & Would You Rather questions for kids to get everyone talking!
This Doesn’t Mean The Same 7 Meals Every Week
Before you dismiss the idea, assuming that means you’re eating the same 7 meals, each week, for the rest of your life, that’s not what the idea is.
Nope, you still get to add plenty of variety to those theme night family dinners, but having a theme that helps simplify your meal planning!
And who doesn’t want to make meal planning easier? I know I do, which is why we love adding themes to our weekly meal plan.
Benefits Of Themed Dinner Nights
By now you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of what makes themed meal nights great, but just in case you need more convincing, here are some of my favourite reasons:
- Themes make meal planning easier and help reduce decision fatigue when you have too many options to choose from
- It can get you out of a meal-planning rut
- You can create a list of family favourites as part of your regular rotation for each theme
- Theme nights encourage creativity without overwhelm
- You can switch up your themes when you get bored with them to keep things exciting
- Food themes make family dinners more fun for the whole family, just like starting a new family tradition!
Family Dinner Theme Night Ideas For Each Day Of The Week
By setting a theme for each night of the week, you can take the guesswork out of meal planning and make family dinners more fun and enjoyable for everyone.
I have put together a list of theme nights for each day of the week as well as a sample theme night meal plan to show you that even with a theme, you can still have flexible meal plans with plenty of delicious variety.
Plus, I’ve added a list of theme nights that can be any day of the week to help you create a full 7-day themed dinner plan, or as many days as you want, leaving the rest open.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Monday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Meatless Monday
- Meatloaf Monday
- Make it together Monday
- Mediterranean Monday
- Mexican Monday
- Meat & Veg Monday
Tuesday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Taco Tuesday
- Traybake Tuesday
- Takeaway Tuesday
- Try It Tuesday – cook a new recipe
Wednesday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Whatever Wednesday – Everyone chooses their own such as leftovers or quick dinners
- Waffle Wednesday
- Wrapped Wednesday – There are so many things you can put on a wrap!
- Wing Wednesday
Thursday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Take out Thursday
- Thrifty Thursday – Create a meal with ingredients you need to use up from your pantry, fridge and freezer
- Traybake Thursday
Friday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Friday night nachos
- Fish Fridays
- Frozen Friday – Freezer meals that are either pre-made or purchased
- Fast Food Friday
Saturday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Saturday Salad
- Stir fry Saturday
- Sushi Saturday
- Soup Saturday – Switch soup night with salad night to suit the seasons
- Sheet pan Saturday
Sunday Dinner Theme Ideas
- Sunday roast
- Slow cooker Sundays
- Spaghetti Sunday
- Seafood Sunday
Family Dinner Themes For Any Day Of The Week
In case you’re not feeling inspired by those clever play-on-words for family themed dinners, here are some ideas you can schedule on any day of the week to create your own perfectly simplified family meal plan:
- Pizza night
- Burger night
- BBQ night
- Indian Night
- Chinese Night
- Italian Night
- Cook It Together Night
- Curry Night
- Rice Night
- One Pan Dinners Night
- Breakfast For Dinner Night
- Leftover Night – Use up all the leftovers from the start of the week
- International Night
- Tex Mex Night
- Instant Pot Night
- Air Fryer Night
- Charcuterie Night – a meat and cheese platter is a good lazy weekend meal
- Casserole Night
- Vegetarian Night
- Kids Cooking Dinner Night
- Thai Food Night
- Backyard Picnic Night
- Toasted Sandwich Night
- Chicken Night
- Beef Night
- Lamb Night
- Microwave Meal Night
- Pasta Night
- Try A New Recipe Night
- Rotisserie Chicken & Salad – Great for busy nights before or after kids’ sports and activities
Sample Themed Dinner Weekly Menu
Having weekly theme night dinners can be a fun way to make the evening meal more enjoyable and much less stressful when it comes to planning.
However, while having themes gives you some ideas on what to have on those nights, it can be helpful to see some recipe ideas for different theme nights too.
Here are some menu ideas for each of the days of the week, so you can create a simple meal plan the whole family will love!
Monday: Meatless Monday
Meatless Monday is a great way to encourage your family to try new vegetarian or vegan recipes. It’s also the easiest way to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, especially if as a family you are looking to add some more healthy meals to your weekly menu.
Some ideas for Meatless Monday include:
- Vegetable stir-fry
- Pumpkin soup with bread
- Tofu pad thai
- Chickpea curry with rice
- Quinoa and black bean salad
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday
Who doesn’t love tacos? Taco Tuesday is a fun way to mix up your weekly dinner routine and let everyone construct their own delicious taco creations. The best thing about tacos is that it is typically a really quick meal to put together, so it works well even on busy nights.
You can make it as simple as you like, with a taco kit from the supermarket, or as elaborate as you like, with options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Here are some ideas for Taco Tuesday:
- Chicken or beef tacos with all the fillings (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa)
- Fish tacos
- Grilled vegetable tacos with guacamole
- Shrimp tacos with mango salsa
- Taco potato casserole
Wednesday: Pasta Night
Pasta is a crowd-pleaser that can be customized to suit everyone’s tastes. You can make it with a classic tomato sauce, a creamy Alfredo sauce, or a pesto sauce. There are so many variations of pasta and it is again, a quick and easy dinner idea for those busy mid-week nights when you’re feeling exhausted.
Here are some ideas for Pasta Night:
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Fettuccine carbonara with brocollini
- Penne pasta bake
- Baked feta and olive pasta
- Lasagne with a garden salad
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Who says breakfast just has to be for the start of the day? Breakfast for dinner is a fun and easy way to switch things up and add some variety to your weekly dinner routine.
Best of all, this is often a winner for fussy kids who might not be so keen on some of your other weekly meal themes!
Here are some ideas for Breakfast for Dinner:
- Pancakes or waffles
- Breakfast burritos with eggs, cheese, and bacon
- French toast
- Omelettes with loads of fillings
- Breakfast sandwiches with hash browns
Friday: Homemade Pizza Night
Pizza is a classic Friday night dinner theme that usually pleases the whole family. There aren’t too many people who don’t love pizza… although my kids used to be those rare few. Now, they can’t get enough of pizza night!
You can make it from scratch, right down to making your own pizza bases if you have time, buy the bases and ingredients. Or even just order in if you really don’t have the time or energy. It’s your theme night… you do it your way!
My parents often buy the frozen pizzas from the supermarket then top them up with extra ingredients to give them a homemade twist.
Here are some ideas for a homemade Pizza Night:
- Classic pepperoni pizza
- Margherita pizza with fresh basil and mozzarella
- BBQ chicken pizza with red onions
- Veggie pizza with mushrooms, capsicum, and olives
- Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham
Saturday: International Night
International Night is a fun way to explore different cuisines and cultures from around the world. You can choose a different country or region each week and try out new recipes together. Or just cook something from your favourite recipe collection, such as an Indian curry or homemade Chinese dishes.
Here are some ideas for International Night:
- Thai green curry with rice
- Chicken tikka masala with naan bread
- Falafel wraps with hummus and tzatziki
- Chinese black bean beef
- Polish pierogi
Sunday: Slow Cooker Sunday
Slow Cooker Sunday is a great way to set it and forget your evening meal, so you can spend more time with your family on the weekend.
You can prep everything in the morning and let it cook all day so that dinner is ready to go when you’re all ready to sit down and relax that night.
Here are some yummy ideas for Sunday slow cooker dinners:
- Pulled pork
- Beef stew
- Pot roast
- Slow cooked goulash
And if you find yourself having a lot of leftovers during the week, these are great for lunches to take to work or school. Or turn one of your nightly themes into a leftover night and use up those leftovers then.
GET ORGANISED WITH YOUR MEAL PLANNING
The best way to incorporate a themed weekly dinner night is to get your family members involved and come up with different ideas that you will each enjoy.
You might keep your weeknight dinner themes long-term or change them up after a full month or two. Or you might choose just 2 or 3 nights of the week for themed meals, and the rest can be more flexible.
Either way, meal plan dinner theme nights are one of my favourite meal planning hacks and I hope you find them helpful too!
These weekly dinner theme night ideas are sure to help you get out of the meal planning rut in no time and make your trip to the grocery store much easier, now that you’ve got a clearer idea of your weekly meals!
Need some easy recipe ideas for your family meal plan? Try these:
- Greek gyros wraps
- Air fryer recipes for beginners
- Leftover ham recipes
- Leftover taco meat recipes
- Leftover pulled pork recipes
- Leftover turkey recipes
- Leftover rotisserie chicken recipes
- Easy freezer meals
- Easy healthy lunch ideas
- Lunch ideas for home
- Side dishes for pizza
- Side dishes for chicken wings
- Side dishes for tacos
- Side dishes for soup
- Side dishes for fish
Save This For Later