Are you searching for simple, hassle-free ways to make your week night dinners more interesting and flavorful? Even if you’re crunched for time during the work week and don’t have much spare time to dedicate to whipping up elaborate dinners in the kitchen, you can still delight your taste buds and explore new flavors without having to spend too much time on prep work. From finding new drink pairings to using different kitchen tools to cut back on cooking time to strategically making the most of pre-prepared ingredients and base ingredients, there are several ways to spice up week night dinners without having to break a sweat.

1. Focus on Pairing Your Meal With a Unique Drink

If you usually just complement your microwaved dinner with a glass of water from the tap, it may be time to switch things up. Pairing your meal with a complementary drink can easily transform your culinary experience and, best of all, is a cheap way to enhance your meal. The trick here is to know which drinks pair well with which types of food in order to maximize the enhanced flavor profiles. Although you may wish to experiment with a few different options to find the combinations that you like best, some popular combos to try out could include:

  • Salmon and white wine
  • Beef or lamb and red wine
  • Cheesy pasta and a recipe Absolut espresso martini
  • Sausages and beer
  • Rice-based dishes and margaritas or daiquiris

2. Make the Most of Your Slow Cooker

When was the last time you pulled your slow cooker out of the kitchen cabinets for an easy dinner? If you happen to have this kitchen device at home, make the most of it by loading up on basic ingredients and turning on the pot for a simple dinner in a snap. Slow cookers lend themselves well to any meat and vegetable combinations, but some family-friendly favorites you could try out include:

  • Pot roast with chopped vegetables
  • Hearty barbecue chicken or pulled pork
  • Chicken noodle soup or vegetable soup
  • Short ribs or broiled ribs
  • Loaded potatoes with bacon bits
  • Macaroni and cheese

3. Combine Pre-Prepared Ingredients With Fresh Foods

If you usually waste time chopping vegetables or prepping ingredients every night after work, you can save yourself some time and energy by whipping up easy dinners made partly with pre-prepared ingredients. Combining partially prepared ingredients with fresh whole foods allows you to get the benefits of both great nutrition and ideal convenience. To work some pre-prepared components into your meals, consider stocking up on:

  • Semi-prepared foods purchased from the grocery store
  • Frozen foods
  • Canned foods
  • Pre-cut fruits and vegetables
  • Pre-seasoned meats

4. Build Your Dinner Around an Easy, Filling Base

Finally, remember that weeknight dinners can still be hearty and filling even if they’re not particularly complex. Week nights are the perfect time to make the most of quick and easy bases that you can then load up with vegetables or meat. Some great meal bases to consider using include:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Eggs
  • Bread

When you’re tired of heating up the same old dinners every week night and you’re looking to spice things up without having to break a sweat, try these four fun and easy ideas. Whether you and your family would prefer to add a complementary drink to your meal, to make the most of your slow cooker and shorten labor time, to mix fresh and pre-prepped ingredients for quicker meal prep time or to center your dinners on a hearty and filling base, these ideas can help you feed yourself and your loved ones in a pinch. Consider trying some of them out the next time you need to whip up a quick dinner on a week night.


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