35 Friday Night Dinner Ideas The Whole Family Will Love

Burrito Bowls Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

By the time Friday night rolls around, we could all use some fun and easy ideas for dinnertime. Before you rush to grab those take-out menus (we get it), take a minute to think about pulling together a homemade supper that might take you less time than ordering from your favorite pizza joint.

For this list, we’ve gathered some of our favorite comforting dinners that will satisfy everyone in the family. From barbecue chicken pizza to sheet pan fajitas , we’ve got something that everyone will love. Whether you are hosting a sleepover, a grown-up dinner party, or just dining solo, you’ll be pleased with all of these delicious options.

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Sheet Pan Fajitas

Sheet Pan Fajitas
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

With plenty of spice and a whole lot of fresh flavor, these are going to become a weekly staple. The best part is that they're ready in 20 minutes.

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Sheet Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

 Sheet Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Tina Stamos

There's something about a sheet pan dinner that just makes life so much easier. Covered with feta, kalamata olives, lemon and more, this Greek Chicken is just too good.

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Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Herb Sauce

Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Herb Sauce
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

There's nothing like a delicious steak supper to start your weekend off right. Drizzled with an elegant herb sauce and served with a side of roasted potatoes, it's the perfect bite.

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Walking Tacos

Walking Tacos
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Taco night is always a great idea. This recipe is perfect for a party with kids or a movie night with a few girlfriends.

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Photographer: Will Dickey Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford Food Stylist: Erin Merhar

Head to your grocery store and pick up some pre-made pizza dough to make this Friday night special.

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Baked Tortellini Alfredo With Mushrooms

Baked Tortellini Alfredo with Mushrooms
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This easy dinner is ready in minutes and can easily feed a crowd. With mushrooms, heavy cream, and a whole lot of cheese, it's like comfort on a plate.

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Martina McBride's Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Courtesy Oxmoor House

Hear us out on this one. Yes, it takes just a little bit longer, but it's the most searched soup recipe in the South for a reason. Warm, cheesy, and absolutely delicious.

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Extra Easy Lasagna

Extra Easy Lasagna
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Easy? Check. Delicious? Check. Need we say more? We use the no-boil lasagna which takes out an entire step in this go-to recipe.

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Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing

Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Transform grocery store chicken tenders in this fresh Fried Chicken Salad. The hardest part is making the dressing, and that only takes a few minutes.

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Kentucky Hot Brown-Stuffed Chicken

Kentucky Hot Brown-Stuffed Chicken
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Bacon, Parmesan, herbed cheese, some tomato and a little bit of panko bread crumbs come together to make a dinner that you won't be able to get enough of.

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Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry

Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

It's time to stir things up – literally! This Shrimp Stir-Fry will become a new favorite for Friday nights, and any night. The best part? It freezes like a dream so you can enjoy it for days to come.

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Creole Burger

Creole Burgers
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This Southern spin on a burger is just what a long week calls for. Our Test Kitchen suggests serving on a brioche bun.

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Quesadillas Al Pastor

Quesadillas al Pastor

Add fresh pineapples and pulled pork to your quesadillas to start your weekend off on the best note.

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Baked Caprese Chicken With Green Beans and Corn

Baked Caprese Chicken with Green Beans and Corn
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

The magic formula to this sheet pan dinner involves a protein, a veggie, and a side. Yes, it's that simple. This flavorful dinner is perfect when you want something to come together perfectly all at once.

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Ranch Pork Chops

Ranch Pork Chops

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Ranch seasoning is the secret ingredient to almost any Southern recipe, from Ranch Snacker Crackers to dips . For this one-of-a-kind recipe, ranch takes pork to the next level.

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Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos

Greg DuPree

If your Friday night plans involve watching your favorite movie curled up on the sofa, these nachos are the perfect pairing for those plans. In just a half-an-hour, you'll have a cheesy meal that's even better than movie-theater popcorn.

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Fire-Roasted Tomato-and-Beef Ragù

Fire-Roasted Tomato-and-Beef Ragù
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

From pasta to crusty bread, this sauce is the ideal starting point to a romantic Friday night at home.

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Chicken-and-Quinoa Salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing

Chicken-and-Quinoa Salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Lighten up with this bright and flavorful salad. We used rotisserie chicken to make this recipe even more simple to assemble.

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Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese

Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
Photographer: Stacy K. Allen. Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

If you want something that you can have all weekend long, this is the dish for you. Serve with some grocery store chicken tenders and some veggies for the perfect crowd pleaser.

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Creamy Chicken Sausage-and-Kale Soup

Creamy Chicken Sausage-and-Kale Soup
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

From cheesy goodness to healthy vegetables, dig into comfort in a bowl. One reviewer says, "This is a winner," and we couldn't agree more.

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Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole
Southern Living

If you love the classic sandwich, then you won't want to miss the casserole that was made for Friday night.

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Bacon Pancakes

Bacon Pancakes
Antonis Achilleos

Breakfast for dinner is a good Friday night dinner move when you're in a real food slump.

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Salmon Burger

Salmon Burger
Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

If you're tired of the turkey and veggie options, bring this Salmon Burger into your weeknight dinner rotation.

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Supreme Pizza

Supreme Pizza
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

More is more and we are here for it. This old-school classic screams Friday night dinner and will have everyone requesting seconds.

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Cajun-Style Meatloaf

Cajun-Style Meatloaf
Will Dickey

Meatloaf is always a family favorite, but this recipe adds just a little extra spice to keep dinner extra interesting. Serve it up with creamy mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

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Smothered Enchiladas

Smothered Enchiladas

Southern Living

Creamy, cheesy, and smothered with flavor. If you're bored of tacos, this is a fresh, unfussy idea that will surprise all of your dinner guests.

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Hearty Beef And Freezer Veggie Soup

Hearty Beef and Freezer Veggie Soup
Greg DuPree

A hearty soup filled with Southern favorites (baby lima beans, okra), and made for serving at book club or taking to the neighborhood potluck.

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Fried Pork Chops with Potatoes and Peas

Fried Pork Chops with Peas and Potatoes
Greg DuPree

Break out the fried pork chops for a Friday night dinner that pulls out all of the stops.

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Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Foil packet dinners are just more fun. There, we said it. Try this packet that's filled with bright cherry tomatoes and other zesty flavors.

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Meatball Pasta Bake

Meatball Pasta Bake
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Everyone loves pasta night. Frozen meatballs are magically transformed into this spectacular pasta bake.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
Greg DuPree; Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

If you have leftover rice from a dinner earlier in the week, toss them in this recipe with some fresh or frozen shrimp.

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Crispy Chicken With Sweet Potato Fries And Green Beans

Crispy Chicken With Sweet Potato Fries And Green Beans
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist:Ruth Blackburn

For the home cook that still wants to serve a well-balanced and delicious supper, bring together crispy chicken, green beans, and sweet potato wedges that are crispy and delicious.

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King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Stacy K. Allen, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

This casserole has long been the staple of Southern dinner tables, and for good reason. Dig in and let the creamy, cheesy goodness be the perfect end to a long week.

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Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake Recipe

Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

For a healthier version of everyone's favorite macaroni and cheese, try this recipe that brings in kale and more.

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Burrito Bowls

Burrito Bowls Recipe
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Burrito bowls let the whole family get creative. Choose your favorite protein, add hot sauce, salsa, and let everyone have some fun.

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