8 Ways To Come Up With Ideas for What To Cook for Dinner


I’m often asked by home cooks how to be inspired to cook every day. Many tell me cooking suppers every night is tedious and arduous, and many say the hardest part of this chore is thinking about what to cook. They’re always looking for a solution.

I agree it’s repetitive, boring and often baffling, and it’s why I have come up with:

8 ways to come up with ideas for what to cook for dinner

1. Make a list of all your favourite recipes

When it comes time to decide what to cook, check the list and pick a recipe that speaks to you. It’s like going to your favourite restaurant and choosing a meal you feel like.

2. Start a recipe box

Write your favourite recipes on fancy recipe cards and refer to it when thinking of what to cook for dinner.

3. Create a recipe journal 

Paste recipes into, or write down informal meal plans you have tried and liked, or jot down ideas of recipes you’d like to try.

4. Ask family members

 Family members may have some good ideas on what to make for dinner.

5. Have a small white board

Have a white board on your refrigerator and ask household members to write down what they’d like to eat during the week. 

6. Ask co-workers 

It's a good conversation with co-workers.  Ask them what they're making for dinner that night….it may give you suggestions or remind you of recipes you haven’t made for a while.

7. Write down 12 to 14 family favourite recipes 

Write favourite dishes on recipe cards and rotate them over a two-week period. Perhaps add a new recipe once a month. I once had a girl tell me that when a new recipe was made in their family, they’d all vote on it. That dictated whether it was kept as a family favourite or if it was tossed.

8.  Meal Plan.  

Sit down at the start of the week and create a plan of what you will cook. The beauty of doing all your planning at once is eliminating the need to drag the drudgery over an entire week. Once you get used to it, meal planning takes the stress out of meal prep and solves the problem of what to make every night!