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Let’s face it – coming up with easy Sunday dinner ideas for the family can be tiring. The good thing about Sundays is you have plenty of time to try recipes which require all day to cook!
While many of these recipes take hours to cook, all of them are easy and don’t take too much prep time. If you’re feeling up to it, you can check out some of these lunch meal prep ideas to multitask while cooking tonight’s dinner!
Nearly all of these recipes can be made with your everyday kitchen appliances. However, one appliance which I find essential nowadays is a crock pot. They are low-maintenance, easy to clean, super easy to cook with, and are perfect for making large quantities so you can meal prep for the week ahead!
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Looking for some more easy meal ideas? Check out our other posts for some convenient recipes which may make for easy Sunday dinner ideas:
What is a traditional Sunday dinner?
In many cultures (and religions), Sunday is a day off from work, a day to sort of just kick back and spend time enjoying life and loved ones.
Many families tend to gather for a big family dinner on Sundays, as a great way to unwind and spend some quality time together. Think back to the Andy Griffith generation, where you spent the morning at church, the afternoon cooking, and the evening eating with all of your family members. Ah, those were the days!
Today’s families tend to be a heck of a lot busier, with much less time available for these long cook-time recipes. That’s where your easy Sunday dinner ideas come in! As you’ll see below, we’ve searched out some of the tastiest yet easiest recipes to get you that classic, old-fashioned Sunday dinner feel without slaving over a stove all afternoon!
What’s good to eat on a Sunday?
Well, honestly the sky’s the limit, but there are definitely some fairly common types/categories of meals that people tend to prefer for their big sit-down Sunday family meals.
Some of the most common meals you’ll come across will be healthy (i.e. full of good protein and veggies), served nice and warm, and full of that classic “comfort food” feeling. Southern dishes, Italian dishes, and pasta or potatoes tend to make their weekly debut in these meals.
What is a good Southern Sunday dinner?
To make your family’s Sunday dinner gathering a southern affair, you’ll find fried and oven-baked foods, plenty of potatoes, and definitely pass the gravy!
What is a healthy Sunday dinner idea?
Honestly, most of the old-fashioned Sunday meals didn’t focus so much on healthy aspects as it focused on showcasing mom or grandma’s best cooking skills, and creating dishes that caused people to linger over eating if not go for seconds.
The longer you spent at the table spending quality time with the family, the better! Which is exactly why some “lazy chefs” will always prefer opting in for a quick delivery service, but that’s a ‘measure’ we’ll talk about on a different day.
If you’re focusing on making a meal a healthier version of some classic Sunday dinner ideas, the recipes below are a great starting point. Using a crockpot instead of frying in a skillet helps a lot of these meals have a lot less oil and grease, reducing fat content.
Many of these recipes also fall under various dietary considerations, so you’re already getting modern modifications of some very heavy old recipes!
42 Easy Sunday Dinner Ideas
You’ll find a wide variety of easy Sunday dinner ideas here, including recipes for chicken, beef, pork, soups, and pastas. There are also vegetarian recipes listed below, and many have alternative instructions to make them vegan – so no one will go hungry, no matter their diet! Check out our full step-by-step meal prepping guide for more help! Our absolute favorite cheap option is our own slow cooker carnitas recipe! Each serving is less than $1 a pop!
There is a wide variety of chicken recipes here, with flavors inspired from all over the world. We’ve got a full list of chicken meal prep recipes if you need more ideas!
If you love teriyaki sauce, then this is the recipe for you! Featuring juicy, slowed cooked chicken that pairs beautifully with a side of rice and veggies. This healthy twist of teriyaki uses no refined sugars and is gluten and dairy free.
Save money on Chinese takeout by trying this sheet pan recipe instead – it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish! It’s perfect by itself for a light dinner, or pair with another dish for a more substantial meal.
Considering how much less oil this uses than traditional Chinese takeout, this is one of our favorite one-pan dinners and a healthy Sunday dinner idea alternative!
Cajun chicken goes hand in hand with “dirty rice” – rice cooked with meat, peppers, celery, onion, and spices. This recipe is cooked all in one pot, making it super convenient. Give this classic Louisiana dish a try this Sunday!
Crockpots are an excellent tool for cooking easy Sunday dinner ideas since they are set-it-and-forget-it devices, and this keto-friendly dinner recipe is no different.
You’ll love the taste of these garlic chicken thighs topped with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. You can easily whip up some veggies to serve on the side to keep it keto-friendly!
It’s hard to beat these tender chicken cutlets served with a creamy cilantro lime sauce. It can be on the table in 20 minutes, which makes it one of the best easy and healthy Sunday dinner ideas, and the creamy cilantro lime sauce is so good!
If you are looking for some tasty side dishes that work with this recipe, check out these delicious Mexican Side Dishes.
Burrito bowls have become wildly popular in recent years as people try to cut back on processed carbs. They are also quite simple to cook up at home, making them a great recipe idea for those busy Sunday evenings!
I love these shredded chicken burrito bowls and strongly recommend you give them a try. They make for a hearty Sunday night meal, and they yield plenty of leftovers to heat up during the week, so you’ll have lunch and dinner already covered.
This chicken and mushroom recipe is perfect if you’re looking for healthy Sunday dinner ideas. It’s super simple to prepare; you just sear the chicken in a pan to lock in the juices, then leave it in the crockpot all day. Serve this on a nice plate of rice if you aren’t doing a keto/low-carb diet.
Here is a delicious recipe that melds both mediterranean and South-asian flavors together in a single pot. The end result is an unbelievably tender chicken dish that explodes with flavor. Serve with rice or your favorite low-carb alternative (cauliflower rice, anyone?)
One pan recipes are perfect for lazy Sunday nights. This one in particular includes jerk chicken thighs mixed in with pineapple rice. It works perfectly as both an easy Sunday dinner idea and as a meal prep recipe. Serve it with cauliflower rice to keep this dish low-carb and keto-friendly!
Beef and Pork Recipes
These are mostly ground beef recipes with a few pork sausage recipes mixed in.
This slow cooker bolognese easy to make but it does have a long cooking time, which is why it’s perfect for those lazy Sundays. This recipe yields a LOT of bolognese, so be prepared with freezer-safe containers to store the leftovers.
If this isn’t at the top of your list for Sunday dinner ideas for fall, well…it should be!
These hearty stuffed peppers are easy to whip up and are surprisingly filling served on their own – one stuffed pepper contains over 430 calories! You can prep these in the morning and simply leave them in the slow cooker all day. Considering how hands-off this recipe is, it definitely makes for one of our favorite lazy Sunday dinner ideas!
I wouldn’t recommend freezing these, or even refrigerating for more than a day or two. These are best eaten right away.
Pot roast is the traditional Sunday dinner, and why not? There is so much goodness going on in this recipe – roast beef, veggies, and homemade gravy! It does take a few hours to roast in the oven, but prep time itself is just a few minutes. Remember that cooking time will be highly dependent on how big of a roast you buy at the store.
Crispy mongolian beef makes for an easy and tasty Sunday dinner. The beef is stir fried with a sweet homemade sauce and topped with scallions. Save money by not ordering takeout and whipping this up instead – it’ll take the same amount of time as ordering in!
This steak recipe is super simple and calls for just three main ingredients! This is one of those cases where less is more when it comes to seasoning. Plus, there are so many ways you can serve this steak: on a plate with steamed veggies, in a wrap, or even as a sandwich!
Filet mignon doesn’t need to be reserved for fancy and expensive steakhouse dinners. You can cook this easy dish for any occasion at home – or even for no occasion at all! This dish might cost you around $40 per plate at a restaurant, but you can cook it at home for less than $10 per serving with this recipe.
Can it get any easier than this? This brisket recipe has just three ingredients and comes together with less than ten minutes of prep time. The end result is a juicy oven roasted beef brisket just perfect for Sunday dinners.
Italian sausage is excellent when roasted in the oven, especially with juicy chunks of sliced onion and peppers. This recipe makes it nice and easy to cook in one pan. Serve it with some bread and side salad to make it a complete dinner!
This recipe literally has “lazy” in the name, so you know it makes for a great lazy Sunday recipe idea! This healthy, flavorful casserole is loaded with Italian sausage, veggies, and potatoes. The fact that it’s cooked in a single casserole dish means cleanup is easy too!
These hearty, authentic meatballs are well-seasoned and slow-cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce. The meatballs are made with a delicious mixture of beef, pork, and veal. They take a few hours to cook, which is why it’s a perfect recipe for Sundays! Pair with some crusty French bread and a Ceasar salad for a filling meal.
Many people think seafood is hard to cook, but that isn’t always the case. Give one of these a try next Sunday!
Instant pots are great because they cook quickly and make clean up super simple. This recipe uses an instant pot to cook salmon, which is drizzled in a chili-lime sauce. Salmon is a super healthy entrée that is high in healthy fats, Omega-3s and protein; serve with rice and a veggie side of your choice to up the nutrition.
If you are a fan of canned salmon, we have a bunch of delicious Canned Salmon Recipes that are super easy to make!
Nothing beats this well-seasoned shrimp tossed in a creamy Tuscan sauce. The flavors are so good you’ll have a hard time believing it’s not from a restaurant! You can serve it on its own, or on top of pasta, like spaghetti or fettuccine. It’s even low carb and keto approved!
Keep this in your back pocket as a Sunday dinner idea for two, for when you’re planning a late weekend date night!
Paella is arguably the most popular dish to come out of Spain. This traditional seafood dish is loaded with shrimp, calamari and mussels, and is a seafood lover’s dream! It’s way easier to make than you think, and makes an excellent choice for Sunday dinner. And, you’re guaranteed to have plenty of leftovers for the next day at work!
This is, by far, one of my favorite easy and healthy Sunday dinner ideas. Salmon and asparagus go so well together, and with this recipe you can bake them all on one pan! Even better, it cooks in just ten minutes!
Here is a healthy twist on the classic fish tacos. These tilapia fillets are oven-baked instead of fried to avoid the fat, and they’re topped with a homemade avocado sauce and slaw that are both excellent toppings and are super simple to make.
Pasta is super easy to cook and there are so many different ways to serve it. It also makes for a budget-friendly dinner because dried pasta is so affordable.
There are nearly infinite ways to prepare pasta. This rustic recipe consists of rigatoni pasta tossed with kale, crumbled sausage, and a rosée sauce. It’s akin to something you’d be served in a fancy Italian restaurant but without the hefty price tag. It’s also quite simple to cook up, and so tasty that it’s sure to impress your partner on date nights!
Did you know that you can use your crockpot to cook this classic Southern staple food? Mac & cheese is known as one of the ultimate comfort foods, and for good reason. It’s filling, cheesy, budget friendly, and super simple to put together! Mac & cheese is one of the most popular lazy Sunday dinner ideas by far.
Tomato cream sauce is super delicious and surprisingly easy to cook. This recipe will show you how to cook up the sauce in minutes, while the rigatoni pasta is cooking at the same time. This is a real easy way to feed the family on a Sunday night.
Tip: reserve the leftover pasta water to add to the sauce in case it gets too thick.
Have you ever tried pancetta (italian cured bacon) in your cooking? It tastes amazing and works well in many pasta dishes, including pasta carbonara.
This restaurant-quality dish is surprisingly easy to cook at home and the egg sauce is impeccable! Give this recipe a try next time you’re in the mood for pasta.
This lasagna takes a good amount of time to put together, but it is totally worth it! There are multiple levels of ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, meat sauce, and lasagna noodles. This hearty dish makes a great Sunday night dinner. One great thing about lasagna is it still tastes good when you freeze it and reheat at a later date!
Beef stroganoff seems to make its way onto every list of comfort foods, and for good reason. This delicious and easy Sunday dinner recipe can be whipped up in 40 minutes in a single pot. This one pot recipe is made with ground beef, so it’s fast, budget friendly, and tasty.
Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of soup? These soups are all good for you and good for your budget!
Often times I find that vegetable soups, while tasty, aren’t completely filling. That isn’t the case with this quinoa vegetable soup! The quinoa honestly makes the soup, providing both flavor and texture. You can easily freeze the leftovers and heat it up on the stove or microwave another time.
A steaming bowl of tomato soup is a favorite among kids and adults alike. This family favorite takes about 90 minutes to make, but only 25 of those minutes requires effort on your end. A grilled cheese sandwich makes a great accompaniment, but it’s hearty enough to eat on its own. Add a chunk of fresh Parmesan cheese for the perfect garnish on top!
Now you can enjoy restaurant-quality minestrone soup from the comfort of your own home!
While the recipe uses the same veggie blend used at “Olive Garden”, there is some flexibility, so you can easily use whatever you have on hand. This recipe includes instructions for both the stovetop and the slow cooker!
Few meals are more hearty and fulfilling than a beef stew. This one is also loaded with fresh vegetables, like carrots, celery, mushroom and onions, making it perfect for those trying to up their veggie intake. You can cook this using a pot on the stove or using a slow cooker.
Cabbage soup is always satisfying and a great way to warm up on those cold Sunday nights. It’s also one of the lower-calorie soups out there, if you’re looking for something lighter in fare,and because it’s made with fresh vegetables, it makes for a budget friendly dinner! If you’re on the lookout for a good cabbage soup recipe, I suggest trying this one out.
Vegetarian Sunday Dinner Ideas
Here are a few vegetarian meal prep ideas. Take a good read as most of them include a second set of instructions to make the recipe fully vegan.
Here is a quick and easy vegan meal for Sunday night dinner. It includes beans as the main source of protein, and its packed full of veggies and spices. It only requires placing all the ingredients into the slow cooker so its perfect to get on in the morning and enjoy after work.
This vegan quinoa and roasted vegetables is easy to make and will not disappoint! It includes a lot of healthy ingredients that are easy to get. You only need one baking tray which makes washing up so much easier.
Eggplant parmesan is an excellent alternative to chicken or veal parm that even meat lovers will enjoy. This vegetarian recipe makes use of your trusty slow cooker and requires very little prep. You can either cook it all day in the slow cooker, or fry the eggplant quickly and then finish it in the slow cooker.
This fried rice dish is super versatile. I love it because it works well with whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge. Onions, peas, carrots, broccoli – name any veggie and it will probably work in this recipe! The author mentions some optional changes if you want to make it vegan as well.
I was skeptical about this combination at first, but I am most definitely a fan now!
The rich mixture of butternut squash and black beans is very tasty and filling. The end result is a vegetarian enchilada high in both protein and dietary fiber. Give these tasty enchiladas a try next time you’re craving Taco Tuesday on a Sunday night!
Cauliflower is a super versatile substitute food, making it popular among vegans and meat lovers alike! Here the cauliflower is roasted whole and topped with gravy, similar to a beef roast. The recipe includes a homemade vegan gravy, but you can use store-bought to save time.
Tofu is great for vegetarians, as it’s low in calories, low in cholesterol, and high in protein. Both the tofu and the beans come out nice and crispy in the oven! Serve over rice to make a delicious and complete meal.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.