One of the top requests we’ve gotten is for a roundup of dinner meals we make often. Here’s a few simple spring meal ideas we frequently interchange throughout warmer months. We do several variations of these meals, all throughout each week in the Spring. We swap out some of the meat options, or maybe a sauce, but having the same basic ideas helps so much with reducing both cost and waste. These are staples and simple dinner ideas that we hope you find valuable, tasty, and helpful in planning for your own meals!
How to Prep For Simple Dinners
- Keep your grocery list to staples, that you can use for many different meal ideas.
- Your fridge and pantry should always be your go-to meal planner. Utilize what you have, first!
- Simplify your rotating meals — use ingredients you often have on hand, are quick to prepare, and can easily swap different aspects of the meal for what’s in season or what you have at home.
Simple Spring Meal Ideas that are great for families —
In warm months, use your grill! Make meals that can be entirely made on the grill. In the cool months, we love soups, stews, and one-sheet roasted meals.
Don’t overcomplicate your weekly meals. Whether you’re a busy homemaking, homeschooling mama, or working outside the home — keep it simple and set yourself up for success. If you’re tired, exhausted, or overwhelmed, you’re naturally less likely to try out a new recipe that calls for ingredients you don’t frequently use.
Tools we love for keeping dinners simple:
Instant pot — it’s fantastic for quick cooking rice, meats, or even broth. I promise it isn’t as scary as it seems!
Slow cooker — we love to use for cooking a whole chicken, pull-apart meats, soups, and so much else.
Grill — we used to have a basic weber kettle grill, and since moving we grabbed a griddle grill. Both are fantastic, but DJ absolutely loves the griddle since he can cook everything at once. Any grill is great!
Air Fryer — I was anti air fryer for a long time. Actually DJ was moreso, but alas, now we love it.
We were recently gifted Fable dinnerware and wow, we genuinely love it so much. DJ and I are both highly impressed with the overall quality, and feel of each dish and the flatware. I can dive more into it all in a separate post, but feel free to use code OURKINANDHOME10OFF for a discount at Fable!
A Few of Our Favorite Spring Meal Ideas:
We might honestly have tacos more than the average family. DJ’s heritage and us both being from California… they’re just something we adore. We make tacos all sorts of different ways, but the same *basic* concept always remains:
tortillas (preferably homemade or the organic ones from Costco that you buy cold and cook yourself)
meat — cooked any way! in the crockpot with salsa, on the grill with homemade seasoning (paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, onion), ground just in the skillet with seasoning. you can’t go wrong!
cilantro — we are in the camp of it being amazing, and necessary. it does not taste like soap to us (apparently that’s a thing).
cheese — we have a homemade queso recipe that is amazing (tutorial to come), queso fresco, cotija, organic shredded Mexican blend from the store, pepper jack… just don’t forgo the cheese.
toppings — lettuce or greens of some sort, a squeeze of lime, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, crema, onions, pickled onions… and anything else that suits your fancy
Teriyaki Chicken Over Rice
Organic jasmine or basmati rice — wash it clean (rice is one of the worst culprits for mouse poop and bugs as it typically just sits in a warehouse in bags prior to being packaged), then make it cup for cup in your instant pot. 1:1 ratio, 3 mins just with the pressure cook button, and then let it naturally release the pressure for 10 mins. Perfect rice, every time. We really love making our rice using bone broth instead of water. Adds nutrients and flavor.
Organic teriyaki (we grab ours from sprouts, natural grocers or Whole Foods) — marinate your chicken for 24 hours in a glass container before cooking for best amount of flavor. Otherwise just brush it on your chicken in the skillet. Start on low heat, with some grass-fed butter, let it warm up. Add in your chicken, let it cook fully on both sides, then raise the heat to blacken each side. Works best on the grill or in a cast iron. You can also cook your chicken smothered in the teriyaki marinade the crockpot. Makes for a yummy fall-apart chicken full of flavor.
Steamed or grilled or roasted veggies — fully cooked broccoli, green beans, bok choy, green beans (haricot verts), or whatever you like!
Simple and so tasty.
Meat, Potatoes, Veggies
This is a constant in our house. We literally just swap out how we cook the potatoes, what type of meat, and which veggie. Always simple to make, but swapping out each ingredient or we cook them, helps with diversifying the weekly meals, while keeping grocery shopping streamlined.
Meat — roasted, grilled, crockpot, instant pot, skillet cooked… doesn’t matter. Slather with butter, salt and pepper and it’s good to go.
Potatoes — baked whole, scalloped and grilled, chopped and air fried… get creative!
Veggies — carrots roasted or grilled with balsamic glaze, green beans skillet cooked in butter or roasted, roasted squash, even a simple side salad with lots of carrots and cucumbers.
Spring Greens Salad
Spring mix + ARUGULA (don’t forgo this!) washed and dried
Homemade basil pesto with a freshly squeezed lemon, and some white vinegar, sea salt, mixed to create the dressing.
Homemade sourdough croutons — have stale sourdough that you’re not sure what to do with? Chop it up into little cubes, drown them in olive oil and Italian herbs. Toss in some sea salt, and put them in the air fryer for 5 mins at 375. SO GOOD.
Shaved parmesan, generously tossed on top.
Top with some classic grilled chicken or steak! Easy, DELICIOUS, and perfect for warm days.
We often use organic einkorn pastas, but we’d love to make our own sourdough pasta — we haven’t tried it yet, but have heard it super easy! It’s on our list to try out asap.
Pictured above we used a handmade organic pasta that we got from our local Natural Grocers. These noodles were drawn from a bronze form instead of a teflon form that is common nowadays. This results in a textured surface, almost spiky in appearance that allows sauce to better cling to noodles.
I grew up having spaghetti with normal conventional pasta, and topped with a mountain of red sauce with ground beef. Although that is still an absolute comfort food… we learned the more traditional way of preparing pasta and wanted to give it a go. We haven’t done it any other way since!
Boil filtered, sea salted water. Using a large pot isn’t necessary, we use only enough water to cover the noodles, sometimes even in a skillet. Doing it this way allows the water to come to a boil sooner, and will give you starchier water that you can add back into your sauce. This is especially useful if making a creamy sauce.
While water is boiling, brown ground beef in separate skillet. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and crumble meat. Reduce heat and allow pan to cool, then add pasta sauce and simmer. When noodles are al dente, transfer noodles to sauce, and toss/stir to coat. Rinsing isn’t necessary as the starch will help the sauce bind to the pasta, and you can even add more of the pasta water to the sauce.
Garnish your dish with freshly grated parmesan and parsley 🙂
Taco Rice Bowls
Organic white rice — cooked the same as before, in broth in the instant pot.
Meat of Choice — chicken, pork, steak… cook it in the crockpot, instant pot, in a skillet, or on the grill in fresh salsa of choice. This adds lots of amazing flavor and totally different taste than standard taco meat seasoning.
Add toppings — cilantro, greens, cheese, roasted onions, pickled onions, DJ’s queso, guacamole… all the same goodness you’d add to tacos, but over rice!
Grab some organic corn or siete tortilla chips, some quacamole, and dig in. Fresh and filling, and simple to make.
LASTLY, we always do Friday pizza nights. This is typically the one night a week that we either grab local fired pizza, or we do a super simple sourdough discard pizza. More on that soon!
If you try any of our Springtime meals, or are inspired by any — please tag us @ourkinandhome and share! We can’t wait to see what you create for your family. Feel free to also pin on Pinterest, and come back to later!