Use these Thursday night dinner ideas to use up your groceries, reduce food waste and make it till the weekend.
I’ve written before about easy dinners throughout the week and how they can be life savers. I’ve even talked about how to make Wednesday night dinners easy (something about mid-week is when motivation starts to wane), so I figured a post about Thursday night meal ideas would be ideal.
I know you’re thinking: What’s the difference between Wednesday and Thursday night meals?
Well, to me, there are a few differences, such as:
Your groceries may be running low or expiring (veggies going bad? I can relate)
You are a day closer to the weekend, so you may be forecasting for the weekend but not thinking about a Thursday night meal idea
You’re tired and can’t think about cooking something extravagant from scratch
You just feel tired of what you’ve been eating all week and want something different
You may not have any leftovers “left over” from your week
Kids activities taking up your time and energy
I’m sure there are plenty more, too! Basically, there’s a big difference between Wednesday suppers and Thursday night supper ideas.
This post will help form an easy Thursday night dinner because these meals have minimal ingredients and a quick cook time. If you need some more inspiration for Thursday night vegetarian meals and proteins, or even quick vegan meals (30 minutes), we have more specific resources on those, too!
And of course, there’s nothing wrong with relying on meal delivery too! I wrote a post about the best athlete meal delivery services, but would apply to family dinners too.
We even keep our kitchen stocked with freezer options from Thrive Market to just reheat, and we hit up Wegman’s hot bar when we need to.
Making Thursday Night Meals Easier
Here’s what I’ve found to be helpful.
Choose recipes that have 6 or less ingredients. We don’t want to spend tons of time in the kitchen or buy anything new. Ideally, these ingredients are pantry staples or can be found in our fridge or freezer. No weird ingredients!
Make sure to utilize some tips for meal prep ideas for the family.
Recipes that take 20 minutes or less. Again, easy and things we can do with minimal brain power.
Less pots and pans with to cook with, and less bowls to dirty. Sheet pan meals come in handy here!
Throw things together. This is where stir fries, hashes and bowls come in handy to reduce food waste and use up fruits and veggies on their way out
Breakfast for dinner is always super easy and quick!
Enlist the help of helper electronics, like an instant pot, crockpot or air fryer. They get a lot of use in our kitchcen!
Tips To Include All Macronutrients
Another tip for easy weeknight meals is including all of your macronutrients in one meal, as we practice with our performance plates.
This is great for one pot meals, sheet pan meals, or matching leftovers with an easy 10 minute recipe.
The goal is to feed yourself adequately (which means carbs, fat and protein!) so you can move on with your night, whether it’s activities, putting the kids to bed, or just feeding yourself with an enjoyable glass of wine.
If some of these recipes are missing a component, think about easy ways to add that in.
For example, my favorite ways to add a carb are microwaving a sweet potato (takes just 5-6 minutes), using a microwave pack of rice, or adding a tortilla or toast to something.
Easy ways to add protein include canned beans, rotisserie chicken, deli meat, or chicken sausage, which cooks quickly.
Fats are the easiest to add because you can add olive oil, olives, avocado or cheese to something, plus it makes it more satisfying.
So, let’s get to these 15 easy, all star recipes for you!
Thursday Night Dinner Ideas
These easy dinner ideas for Thursday night will help make dinner more seamless and easy, so you can get to the weekend quicker!
Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli Sheet Pan meal is the perfect quick and easy meal for those busy nights. With minimal prep and clean up, it's ready in under 30 minutes, served with a delicious honey ginger shrimp sauce.
This easy chicken and veggie egg noodle stir fry is a pantry-friendly recipe and comes together in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. It's great for a weeknight, kid-friendly, or post workout meal!
This easy Air Fryer Brats recipe shows you exactly how to cook bratwurst in the air fryer quickly and easily in just 15 minutes! Whip them up on a busy weeknight to enjoy with peppers, onions, and sauerkraut or on hot dog buns.
This easy Garlic Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin recipe shows you how to make a deliciously tender and sweet pork dish right in your skillet. Add all ingredients to a skillet and cook until flavorful for an easy dinner that is ready in just 20 minutes!
This white bean skillet recipe boasts a combination of white beans, tomatoes, veggies and pizza spices giving it a true flavor like its name, Pizza Beans! Ready in 10 minutes and served with a crusty bread.
These Teriyaki Pineapple Salmon Patties are an easy, flavorful weeknight dinner recipe ready in 15 minutes and full of healthy fats, protein and flavor. EJust mix canned or packed seafood with a few spices for great meal prep dinners and leftovers, too!
These easy ground turkey sweet potato burgers come together in 15 minutes and use microwaved sweet potatoes, ground turkey, and a few spices. Quick and delicious!
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Sarah Schlichter is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition. She specializes in sports nutrition and intuitive eating, and recipe development. She also co-hosts the podcast, Nail Your Nutrition.