30 Family-Friendly Dinners for Every Night in September

30 Family-Friendly Dinners for Every Night in September

PureWow



PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/ STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

September is here, and it’s baaaaaack to life, back to reality. (Bye, summer.) Our spirits might still be at the beach, but our bodies are definitely back at work, shuttling the kids to soccer practice and desperately trying to get dinner on the table every night. The last thing we have time for is making something separate for every picky member of the family, so this month we’re focusing on family favorites that everyone will love. 

Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 1: Cheater’s Skillet Lasagna with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

School might be starting, but there’s still plenty of summer produce at the farmers’ market. Stop by for fresh corn and tomatoes and you’re halfway to dinner.

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Pinch of Yum

September 2: Juicy Lucy Burgers

Labor Day is kind of the unofficial end to BBQ season, so you might as well go out with a bang. These Midwest-inspired burgers aren’t just topped with cheese; they’re actually stuffed with it. And your life will never be the same again.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 3: Crispy Cauliflower Tacos

The best way to get the kids to eat their veggies? Make them super crispy and hide them in a taco (a side of guacamole probably doesn’t hurt either).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 4: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Bites

Sometimes, everyone in the family needs a little comfort food. We figure that hump day on the first week back at school is probably the time (and homemade tomato soup is so much better than the stuff in the can).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 5: Slow-Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

This is one of those magical “dump dinners” — throw everything in the pot before you go to work and come home to a fully cooked dinner. We love this over a pot of steamed rice, but cauliflower would also work well.

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Two Peas and Their Pod

September 6: Garlic Butter Grilled Veggie Pizza

Friday night always feels like pizza night, but in the warm weather, we like to throw the dough (store bought is fine) on the grill to make it extra crispy. Follow Coterie member Maria Lichty’s lead and use tomatoes and zucchini or go with whatever you’ve got left over from the week.

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Ellen Silverman/Everyday Dorie

September 7: Sheet-Pan Balsamic Chicken with Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms

It’s Saturday night, and you’ve got company over. This one-pan meal is fancy (and delicious) enough to impress, without leaving you with a pile of dirty dishes at the end of the night.

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What’s Gaby Cooking

September 8: Perfect Meatballs with Cherry Tomato Sauce

We try to make big family dinners on Sunday nights, especially when they give us leftovers we can use all week long. Pro tip from Coterie member Gaby Dalkin: These meatballs also freeze perfectly, for a night when future-you is running behind.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 9: Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

Sometimes, you just have to give in to chicken nuggets. But instead of the frozen kind full of God knows what, make them from scratch—with a quinoa breading for a little extra protein and whole grain.

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Photo: Eric Moran/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 10: Crock-Pot Corn Chowder

This is a perfect late summer recipe—there’s still sweet corn at the grocery store or the farmers market, but just enough chill in the air that a bowl of soup actually sounds appealing. With plenty of potatoes and a creamy broth, it’s enough for a full dinner.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 11: Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Store-bought sausage and store-bought gnocchi are two of our weeknight dinner savers. Here, we pair them with some fresh broccoli rabe and a savory sauce that all comes together in under 30 minutes.

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Skinnytaste One and Done

September 12: Honey-Mustard Chicken Bake

We love a good one-pan meal, because it means you don’t have to worry about what to serve on the side. This one is done in under an hour (but most of that time is hands-off, which is music to our busy weeknight ears).

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Damn Delicious

September 13: Slow-Cooker Lo Mein

Takeout, schmakeout. This lo mein tastes exactly like your favorite restaurant version, but it’s fresher, healthier and ready when you get home from work.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 14: Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

The secret to all of our family dinner success stories is, well, cheese. This dish combines a grown-up favorite (sweet, mellow roasted cauliflower) with a kid favorite (duh, mac and cheese), and everyone ends up happy.

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Ambitious Kitchen

September 15: White Chicken Chili

We love making a big batch of this on Sunday and packing it for lunches all week long. Thanks for the inspo, Coterie member Monique Volz!

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 16: Sticky Asian Meatballs with Udon Noodles

No one ever said spaghetti and meatballs had to mean the kind with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. We love this Asian version, with plenty of sesame oil, ginger and sticky sweet hoisin sauce.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 17: Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

We’re all about restaurant-style fried fish tacos, but we don’t love all the fat and calories that come with them. This healthier version is baked, but still stays crispy—a Taco Tuesday miracle.

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Photo: Liz Andrews/Styling: Erin McDowell

September 18: Skillet Pepper Steak

This is everything we want out of a weeknight dinner—it’s healthy, requires no weird ingredients, doesn’t make a pile of dishes and is ready in (gasp) 15 minutes. Serve it over rice, or eat it straight from the pan (we won’t tell).

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Gimme Some Oven

September 19: Healthy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

We loved the broccoli chicken casseroles that our mom used to make; but that much cream and carbs is not an everyday thing. This version is fresher (no cans of mushroom soup in sight), lighter and just as delicious.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 20: Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

Who needs ketchup and mustard when you can have tangy, herby yogurt on top of your burger? Serve with a crunchy chopped salad on the side, if you’ve got the time.

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Credit: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 21: Baked Sesame Ginger Salmon in Parchment

Each fillet cooks in its own little parchment pouch, which also makes for a fun presentation at the table. Make it for guests and don’t tell anyone it took less than a half hour to make.

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Yellow Bliss Road

September 22: Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Spinach

Store-bought tortellini gives this soup enough heft to make it a filling meal. As always, make extra to pack for lunch.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 23: Slow-Cooker Enchilada Casserole

We’re interested in just about anything if it has a layer of melted cheese on top; especially when it’s hands-off and made in the Crock-Pot. We like to serve this with a dollop of sour cream on top and plenty of tortilla chips on the side.

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Carlsbad Cravings

September 24: Chinese Chicken Salad

It can be hard to get the whole family on board with a big dinner salad. But this one is loaded with so many goodies (chicken, veggies, mandarin oranges and crispy wontons) that everyone always seems to want seconds.

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Weeknight Society

September 25: Sage-Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

We like to think of fall in terms of how many meals we can make with butternut squash. To start, a creamy risotto, with plenty of sweet chunks of our favorite gourd.

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Photo: Liz Andrews/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 26: Classic Stuffed Peppers

Peppers are great vehicles for anything (we love quinoa, for example), but sometimes nothing beats the classic—rice, ground beef and plenty of cheese.

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The Recipe Critic

September 27: Honey Lime Shrimp

We love how versatile this recipe is. You can serve it over rice or pasta, fold it into tortillas for tacos or just pair with a loaf of crusty bread.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/ Styling: Erin McDowell

September 28: 15-Minute Cheater’s Pad Thai

Before you can even think about calling for takeout, check out this easy recipe for everyone’s favorite Thai noodles. It’s faster, healthier and better for the budget than a restaurant meal and puts all cravings to rest.

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Spend With Pennies

September 29: Roasted Rosemary Chicken

There’s just nothing better than the way the house smells when chicken is roasting—especially one with sprigs of rosemary on top. Plus, throwing in some red skinned potatoes and veggies means you don’t even have to think about sides. We call that a win.
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Half Baked Harvest

September 30: One-Pot 30-Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

Most baked pastas use short noodles (like ziti or rigatoni), but we love this unusual take—fettuccine (or another long noodle) is tossed in a creamy tomato sauce, piled in a skillet, and topped with cheese, basil and cherry tomatoes. Comfort food at its finest.

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