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50 Easy Family Dinners to Have on Rotation

Make dinner a breeze tonight with these super easy recipes. Each meal serves at least 4 and is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

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Penne and Smoked Sausage

This pasta is a must-try smoked sausage recipe. It just tastes so good when it’s hot and bubbly from the oven. The cheddar french-fried onions lend a cheesy, crunchy touch. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
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Sunday Chicken Supper

I make this slow-cooked sensation with chicken, vegetables and seasonings. It's a hearty, homespun dish that satisfies the biggest appetites. —Ruthann Martin, Louisville, Ohio
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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Meat Loaf

When my husband and I were first married, he refused to eat meat loaf because he said it was bland and dry. Then I prepared this version, and it became his favorite meal. —Suzanne Codner, Starbuck, Minnesota
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Lentil & Chicken Sausage Stew

This hearty and healthy stew will warm your family right down to their toes! Serve with cornbread or rolls to soak up every last morsel. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Effortless Alfredo Pizza

Here's a lighter, scrumptious twist for pizza night. It makes good use of convenience items and keeps everyone's taste buds happy with help from nutty-flavored fontina cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. —Brittney House, Lockport, Illinois
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Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

This corned beef and cabbage slow cooker recipe is a fuss-free way to cook the traditional dish. I tried it for St. Patrick's Day a few years ago. Now it's a regular in my menu planning. This is terrific with Dijon mustard and crusty bread. —Karen Waters, Laurel, Maryland
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac 'n' cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I've never met an adult who didn't love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole recipe is a twist on chicken divan that came from an old boss. It’s quick, satisfying comfort food. —Jennifer Schlachter, Big Rock, Illinois
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Sweet & Sour Pork Wraps

We always make these wraps at our family's annual party, and they're a true favorite. The cabbage and cilantro give them tempting texture and flavor. —Andrew DeVito, Hartford, Connecticut
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Sausage Spanish Rice

My husband and I both work the midnight shift, so I'm always on the lookout for slow cooker recipes. This one couldn't be easier. We often enjoy it as a main course because it's so hearty, but it's also good as a side dish. —Michelle McKay, Garden City, Michigan
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Lemony Chicken & Rice

I couldn’t say who loves this recipe best, because it gets raves every time I serve it! Occasionally I even get a phone call or email from a friend requesting the recipe, and it's certainly a favorite for my grown children and 15 grandchildren. —Maryalice Wood, Langley, British Columbia
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Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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Pork Chops & Acorn Squash

My husband and I are crazy for the squash we grow in our garden. For a sweet and tangy dish, we slow-cook it with pork chops and orange juice. —Mary Johnson, Coloma, Wisconsin
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Strawberry-Quinoa Spinach Salad

We make quinoa with spinach and strawberries year-round, but it's most fun when we go to the farmers market to get the season’s first berries. —Sarah Johnson, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Tasty Lentil Tacos

When my husband's cholesterol numbers rose, I quickly lowered the fat in our family's diet. Finding dishes that were healthy for him and yummy for our five children was a challenge, but this fun taco recipe was a huge hit with everyone. —Michelle Thomas, Bangor, Maine
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Slow-Cooker Mushroom Chicken & Peas

Some amazingly fresh mushrooms I found at our local farmers market inspired this recipe. When you start with the best ingredients, you can't go wrong. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Zesty Orange Beef

I put this recipe together in the morning before I leave for work. In the evening, the amazing aroma greets me when I open the door. All I have to do is quickly cook some rice, and dinner is served. —Deborah Puette, Lilburn, Georgia
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Quick Calzones

Leftover meat sauce makes a hearty calzone that tastes like it’s made from scratch. Top the calzones with a sprinkling of Parmesan. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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White Turkey Chili

Here's proof that chili doesn't have to be red. I combined several recipes and changed flavors until the recipe was just right. Trust me, this one is a keeper. —Tina Barrett, Houston, Texas
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Stuffing & Turkey Casserole

This is a plate full of love, comfort and goodness. —Debbie Fabre, Ft Myers, Florida
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Italian Steak Sandwiches

My sister came up with these quick sandwiches that use minced garlic and other seasonings to bring pizzazz to deli roast beef. Add some carrot sticks or a tomato salad for a fantastic lunch in no time. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Guacamole Tossed Salad

The fresh blend of avocados, tomatoes, red onion and greens in my salad gets additional pizazz from crumbled bacon and a slightly spicy vinaigrette. —Lori Fischer, Chino Hills, California
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Country Ribs Dinner

Ribs slow-cooked with carrots, celery, onions and red potatoes are pure comfort food for us. To add a little zip, we sometimes sprinkle in cayenne. —Rose Ingall, Manistee, Michigan
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Easy Meatball Stroganoff

This recipe has fed not only my own family, but many neighborhood kids! They come running when I make this supper. It's one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because you know it works. —Julie May, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup

I've been making this soup for years. After every holiday where ham is served, the hostess hands me the ham bone and a bag of peas when I leave. I love it with a slice of crusty fresh bread. —Susan Simons, Eatonville, Washington
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Chipotle Pulled Chicken

At our house, low-and-slow recipes have to have kid and husband appeal, plus good marks for nutrition. This chipotle chicken wins in both categories. Use leftovers for zippy barbecue pizzas or burritos. —Tamra Parker, Manlius, New York
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Chicken Broccoli Shells

This cheesy entree is a make-ahead dream. Just assemble it ahead of time and put it in the oven when company arrives. I round out the meal with a tossed salad and warm bread. —Karen Jagger, Columbia City, Indiana
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Slow-Cooker Meatball Sandwiches

Our approach to meatball sandwiches is a simple one: Cook the meatballs low and slow, load them into hoagie buns, and top them with provolone and pepperoncini. —Stacie Nicholls, Spring Creek, Nevada
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Super Fast Mexican Soup

We take this spicy soup to rodeos on cool nights or sip it by a campfire. For toppings, try onions, avocado, cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and salsa. —Gloria Huse, Simpsonville, South Carolina
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Peachy Baby Back Ribs

It's easy to get a smoky outdoor barbecue flavor from your slow cooker. Trust me, I've fooled many people on more than one occasion with these ribs. —Mary Louise Lever, Rome, Georgia
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Chicken Enchiladas for Four

These chicken enchiladas put a little zip into any menu. The rolled tortillas are filled with a hearty mixture of cheese, chicken and green chiles and then topped with a creamy sauce and more cheese. I sometimes use leftover turkey instead of chicken. —Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta
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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy Joes

This tangy sandwich filling is so easy to prepare in the slow cooker, and it goes over well at gatherings large and small. I frequently take it to potlucks, and I'm always asked for my secret ingredient. —Marylou LaRue, Freeland, Michigan
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Barbara's Italian Wedding Soup

In a little Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz, my husband and I had an amazing soup with orzo. I tweaked it at home to make it healthier but kept the warm, comforting flavor. —Barbara Spitzer, Lodi, California
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Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Chinese food is a big temptation for us, so I lightened up a favorite takeout dish. As the pork cooks, the aroma is beyond mouthwatering. —Elyse Ellis, Layton, Utah
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Citrus Scallops

My husband and I like to eat seafood at least once a week. Oranges and lemon juice give scallops a refreshing burst of flavor. —Cheri Hawthorne, North Canton, Ohio
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Pork Chop Potato Dinner

Tender chops cook on a bed of creamy potatoes in this all-in-one meal. It's a snap to assemble, thanks to frozen hash browns, canned soup, shredded cheese and french-fried onions. —Dawn Huizinga, Owatonna, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooked Stuffed Peppers

My favorite kitchen appliance is the slow cooker, and I use mine more than anyone else I know. It does a great job with this good-for-you dish. —Michelle Gurnsey, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Cheeseburger Broccoli Chowder

I invented this soup accidentally! Actually, it came about when I was new to cooking, and didn't know that "chowder" was a kind of soup—so I made mashed potatoes to go with the dish I was making. We ended up dunking our mashed potatoes into the soup as "gravy"—and it was delicious!—Karen Davies, Wanipigow, Manitoba
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Meatball Tortellini

I combined some favorite staples from our freezer and pantry to come up with this easy dish. It has few ingredients and little preparation. —Tracie Bergeron, Chauvin, Louisiana
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Sweet 'n' Sour Curry Chicken

A little mango chutney goes a long way in adding a zesty twist to chicken. I also add some curry powder to give the dish flair. —Carol Conrad, Edmonton, Alberta
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Lime Chicken Tacos

Our fun, simple chicken taco recipe is perfect for a relaxing dinner with friends. If we have any leftover filling, I toss it into a garden-fresh taco salad. —Tracy Gunter, Boise, Idaho
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Tomato-Basil Steak

We grow the basil and bell peppers I use in this dish. It's easy to prepare, yet so rich and delicious. —Sheryl Little, Sherwood, Arkansas
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
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Southwestern Casserole

I've been making this mild family-pleasing southwest casserole recipe for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Easy Ground Beef Taco Salad

Every time I have to bring a dish to a party, friends ask for my taco salad. Even players on my son's football team ask for it. —Lori Buntrock, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
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Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas

With a tomato-y meat sauce and tangy goat cheese, this weeknight wonder is my version of comfort food. You want to have bowl after bowl. —Lizzie Munro, Brooklyn, New York
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Slow-Cooker Burgundy Beef

When my adult children are coming over for dinner, this is the request. All three of them, and their significant others, love this dish. Yum! — Urilla Cheverie, Alfred, Maine
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Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Kids love this casserole because it combines two of their favorite fast foods. And I like the fact that I can whip it up with just four ingredients. —Karen Owen, Rising Sun, Indiana
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Slow-Cooked Rump Roast

I enjoy a good pot roast, but I was tired of the same old thing so I started experimenting. Cooking the beef in horseradish sauce gives it a tangy flavor. Even my young children love this rump roast recipe with its tender veggies and gravy. —Mimi Walker, Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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