Food & Cooking

Sick of Taco Tuesday? Here Are 30 Theme Dinner Ideas You Need To Know About

Before I started getting serious about meal planning, I was already making tacos on Tuesdays. It gave us something to look forward to for dinner every week. 

But what comes after Tuesday?

This is where I’d always get stuck because I didn’t have any other dinner ideas. Then, I researched and found more themed meal planning days that I could add to our meal plan that goes beyond Taco Tuesday! 

The idea of using a themed dinner menu is simple.

You are assigning a food theme for each night of the week. 

In fact, using themed meal planning days makes it really easy to plan a month’s worth of meals in advance, which will save you more time and stress throughout the week. Once you’ve selected your themes, then it’s time to find recipes to match your menu!

At the end of each month, you can keep with the same theme or change it up a bit so you can try new recipes by adding different themes to your menu.

Here are 30 themed menu ideas you need to know about:

1. Pasta Night

This is our favorite because pasta goes a long way and there are so many options.

2. Meatless Night

You can make your grocery budget stretch further by incorporating a meatless meal or two on your menu.

3. Stir-fry Night

Meat is optional when it comes to stir-fry, and most recipes are really easy to make!

4. Soup Night

Hearty and great for those cold winter nights.

30 Themed Menu Planning Days for Every Night of The Week

5. New Recipe Night

If you’re only planning meals that you’re familiar with, add a day each week where you get to try a new recipe!

6. Breakfast for Dinner Night

If you ask my kids, they would live off of pancakes for the rest of their lives! So breakfast is always an easy dinner option.

7. Homemade Takeout

You can recreate dishes from your favorite restaurants and eat takeout in your kitchen.

8. Sandwich Night

I love pairing sandwiches with french fries! Burgers are a favorite in our house.

9. Slow Cooker Night

If you have a slow cooker that you’re not using, add this theme to your menu. You will LOVE how much time you’ll save on dinner because you get to just throw ingredients inside, set it, and forget about it!

10. Leftovers Night

I recommend everyone set a day aside later in the week on your menu where you plan to eat leftovers—either from dinner the night before or from dinner all week long. You’ll cut down on food waste and it’ll give you a much-needed break from the kitchen!

11. Takeout Night

I know this one may surprise you since we’re talking about meal planning here. But the thing is, just because you’re meal planning doesn’t mean you can’t PLAN to eat takeout meals.

You’ll save more money if you plan to eat takeout 1-2 nights a week than you would if you plan an extravagant menu, buy a ton of groceries for it, but eat out anyway because you don’t feel like cooking.

So if eating takeout is important to you, choose one night where you get to order in pizza, Chinese food, or have a sit-down meal at your favorite restaurant!

12. Kids Choice Night

If your kids are old enough, ask them what meals they’d like to see on the menu! You’ll only need four ideas if you’re planning meals for the entire month.

13. Mexican Night

Yup, that means you don’t have to eat tacos only on Tuesdays, and you can try other Mexican dishes too!

14. Chicken Night

I cook with chicken A LOT because it’s one of the cheapest cuts of meats you can buy to save money on groceries.

15. Pizza Night

Skip delivery and learn how to make your own pizza at home! Plus, it’s a fun way to get the whole family involved.

16. Sheet Pan Dinner Night

Sheet pan dinners are easy to make and even easier to clean up!

17. Fish Night

You can’t go wrong with salmon, shrimp, or fried whiting (yum!).

18. Salad Night

You could even make extra to pack for lunch the next day.

19. Asian Night

20. Casserole Night

I talk a lot about making Stretch Meals to stretch your budget and give you a break from cooking. Adding casserole nights to your menu will help you do just that because it makes planning to eat leftovers easy!

21. Game Food Night

Why wait for the Super Bowl when you can enjoy yummy finger food all football season long!

22. Grill Night

When the weather heats up, it’s time to take the cooking outside!

  • BBQ & Grilled Chicken
  • Grilled Hot dogs and Hamburgers
  • BBQ Ribs

23. Throwback Night

Bring back a meal that your family loves! Every time you try a new recipe and it’s a hit, write it down so you can cook again on nights like this.

24. Freezer Meal Night

Freezer cooking is a great way to cut your cooking time in HALF since you’re doing a lot of it ahead. You can dump your freezer meals in your slow cooker or in your oven.

25. BBQ Night

Any dish that’s smothered in barbeque sauce! From pulled pork to BBQ chicken pizza.

26. Comfort Food Night

27. All American Night

American classics that everyone knows and loves!

28. Southern Food Night

Also known as Soul Food because it doesn’t just hit your tummy. It’s comfort food that reaches down into your soul!

29. 15-Minute Meal Night

When you need to save time, choose quick and easy meals for your busy weeknights so you can get dinner on the table in a flash!

30. Pantry Meal Night

When all else fails, cook from your pantry! Plan a backup meal that you can make for dinner using what you have.

Welp, there you have it—30 amazing themed meal planning days for every night of the week to add to your calendar that goes beyond Taco Tuesday! Plus, you’ve got simple dinner ideas to give you a quick-start on your planning.

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  • Reply
    Claire
    11/28 at 9:00 PM

    This is a really great post! It helped me plan a monthly meal plan that reduces our cost by almost $50 a week!
    Thank you so much!!

    • Reply
      Danielle Skeaton
      11/28 at 2:50 PM

      That’s amazing Claire! I’m so glad our cheap meal plan strategy is helping you too! 🙂

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