Themed Dinner Nights: Fun Ideas to Shake Up Your Meal Plan

Do you ever feel like you’re in a meal planning rut? You keep making the same dishes over and over again, and your family is starting to get bored. Well, have no fear! I’ve got some themed dinner night ideas that will shake up your meal plan and get everyone excited about dinner time again.

It’s a great way to get the whole family involved in the kitchen, and it’s a fun way to try new recipes. From backyard bbq to pizza party, these themed dinner nights are perfect for everyone. So get out your cookbooks and let’s have some fun!

20 themed dinner ideas

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Create A Plan For Themed Dinner Nights

To get started, you’ll need to create a plan. Decide if you want to follow the same schedule every week, assigning a theme to each night, or make a list of themed dinners and choose one or two each week, rotating throughout a few months. I personally like to do a themed dinner just once a week. You decide what works best for your family.

You can also choose to only use these dinner night themes for special occasions. Perhaps when one of your children have a birthday dinner, or when your kid receives a good report card. You choose!

Have Fun With Themed Dinner Nights

It’s so fun to get the whole family involved in the process of creating themed dinner nights. Kids can help cook, you can make decorations or activities to go with the theme, or do a Movie Match-Up night. It’s a great way to bond and have some fun together.

This list of themed dinner nights offers a wide variety of recipe ideas. You don’t have to get stuck making the same tacos every Taco Tuesday, switch things up! Check out which themes appeal to you and then either use the recipes listed, pull from your own recipes, or do a little research to find new ones.

20 Themed Dinner Night Ideas

Asian Night

Experience the deliciousness of Asia at our Asian Night dinner. Enjoy tasty dishes from different Asian countries, like stir-fries and sushi. Immerse yourself in the cool vibes of Asian culture for a fun night.

Slow Cooker Night

Get ready for a cozy evening at our Slow Cooker Night. Enjoy hearty, home-cooked meals that have simmered to perfection, making for a warm and comforting dining experience.

Chili Night

For our family’s Chili Night, we’re cooking up a storm with different kinds of tasty chilis – some mild, some with a kick! Everyone gets to pick their favorite, whether it’s classic beef or a veggie delight. It’s a cozy, flavorful evening where we gather around, share good food, and enjoy the warmth of home.

Breakfast For Dinner

Our family’s Breakfast For Dinner nights are a treat! We flip pancakes, scramble eggs, and maybe even have some bacon or sausage – it’s like having breakfast, but in the evening. It’s a fun and relaxed way for us to enjoy our favorite morning foods at dinnertime together.

breakfast for dinner

Salad Night

At our Salad Night, we create a rainbow of fresh, crunchy salads with lots of veggies and tasty toppings. It’s a chance for everyone in the family to make their own custom salads – from colorful greens to favorite dressings. We keep it light, healthy, and everyone gets to enjoy a plate full of their favorite greens and fixings.

Pasta Night

Pasta Night in our family means twirling, slurping, and enjoying all kinds of delicious pasta shapes. From spaghetti with meatballs to creamy Alfredo, we cook up a variety of sauces and noodles for everyone’s taste. It’s a cozy and comforting evening that brings the family together with plates full of tasty pasta.

Taste The Rainbow

Our “Taste the Rainbow” nights are all about adding a splash of color to our dinner plates. We explore a variety of colorful fruits and veggies to create a vibrant and nutritious meal. It’s a fun way for the family to enjoy a spectrum of flavors and make our dinner table as lively as a rainbow.

Soup & Sandwich Night

Our Soup and Sandwich Nights are a simple and satisfying way for the family to come together. We pair different kinds of warm, comforting soups with a variety of tasty sandwiches for a balanced and delicious meal. It’s an easy-going dinner where everyone gets to pick their favorite combo, making it a hit for both kids and adults.

Grill Master

Our Grill Master nights are all about firing up the barbecue and enjoying delicious grilled goodies. From juicy burgers to sizzling hot dogs and tasty veggie skewers, we make the backyard the place to be. It’s a laid-back and flavorful evening where the whole family can relish the smoky goodness of grilled favorites.

grill master

Kids Choice

No suggestions here! It’s up to the kids 🙂 From mac ‘n’ cheese to chicken nuggets or even homemade pizzas, it’s all about their favorite picks. It’s a fun and flexible dinner that puts smiles on everyone’s faces, letting the kids be the chefs for the night.

Movie Match-Up

Movie Matchup nights turn our living room into a mini cinema, where we pick a favorite movie and match it with themed snacks. From buttery popcorn for a classic film to gummy worms for a fun adventure, it’s a cozy family night in. Everyone gets a say in the movie and enjoys munching on treats while watching together.

Build Your Own Bowl

Build Your Own Bowl nights are like edible adventures for our family. We set out a variety of tasty ingredients like rice, veggies, proteins, and sauces, and everyone creates their custom bowl masterpiece. It’s a DIY dinner that lets each person make their favorite combination, turning mealtime into a flavorful and fun experience.

Meatless Monday

Meatless Mondays mean a night of delicious plant-based meals. From veggie stir-fries to pasta with tomato sauce, it’s a chance to enjoy tasty meat-free options together. It’s a simple and healthy way to kickstart the week with a variety of flavorful and nutritious vegetarian dishes.

Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesdays are a fiesta at our house, where we fill our plates with tasty tacos and all the fixings. From seasoned meats to fresh veggies and zesty toppings, it’s a night of building and enjoying delicious tacos together. It’s an easy and fun way for the family to spice up their week with a burst of flavor.

taco tuesday

Appetizer Night

Appetizer Night is a snacking sensation for our family, where we turn the dinner table into a feast of finger foods. From cheesy nachos to bite-sized sliders and flavorful dips, it’s a night of trying a little bit of everything. It’s a laid-back and tasty way for the family to share and savor a variety of delicious appetizers together.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursdays are like a time machine for our family dinners, where we revisit classic recipes and childhood favorites. It’s a cozy and heartwarming way for the family to enjoy a taste of the past together.

Fancy Friday

Fancy Fridays bring a touch of elegance to our family dinners, where we dress up the table and enjoy a special meal together. From gourmet dishes to fancy desserts, it’s a night to celebrate the end of the week in style. It’s a simple and delightful way for the family to turn an ordinary Friday into an extraordinary dining experience.

Under The Sea

Under The Sea nights are a splash of fun at our family dinners, where we dive into a world of ocean-inspired dishes. From fish tacos to seafood pasta, it’s a chance for everyone to enjoy tasty meals from under the waves. It’s a simple and lively way for the family to bring a bit of the ocean to the dinner table.

Backyard BBQ

Backyard BBQ nights are a blast for our family, transforming our outdoor space into a delicious grill haven. With burgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings, it’s a relaxed and tasty way to enjoy a meal together in the fresh air. It’s a simple and fun way for everyone to dig into the flavors of a classic backyard barbecue.

Pizza Party

Pizza Party nights are the best at our house, where we create our own tasty pizzas with all the toppings we love. From pepperoni and veggies to extra cheese, it’s a fun and flavorful way for everyone to make their perfect pizza. It’s a simple and enjoyable evening where the family can relax and savor the deliciousness of homemade pizzas together.


Several of the recipes I linked are from How Sweet Eats and Skinnytaste. These are two of my favorite sources for delicious recipes. I get recipes from their websites, as well as, cookbooks written by them. My favorite cookbooks are:

Themed dinner nights are a great way to break out of your normal meal routine. By choosing a theme and making it fun, you can get your family excited about dinner again. It’s also a good way to teach your children about different cultures and cuisines. So try something new and have fun with it!

Bon appetit!

Related posts:

How To Meal Plan With A Busy Schedule

45 of the Best Instant Pot Dump Recipes

40 Unique Charcuterie Board Ideas

How To Make A Kids Charcuterie Board

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