Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ultimate List of Themed Dinner Nights

I love meal planning and finding new recipes to try. I also love being creative and planning themed parties. So, imagine my excitement when I discovered there was a way to combine these two loves! It’s a super simple method called themed dinner nights!

There are two different ways that you can use themed dinner nights to help you make dinner time a little more fun. I’m going to explain the different ways and then I’ll be sharing a list of ideas for themed nights!

Assign Each Night a Theme 

If you’re someone that plans your meals according to the days of the week, themed nights can make it a lot more fun. Simply pick a theme for each night and use it as a guide when coming up with ideas. Most of the themes allow for a lot of variety within them. You could pick different themes each week or reuse the same ones over and over again.

Use Themed Nights for Special Occasions 

You can also use the themed nights to make dinner just a little bit special every now and then. If you’re using them sparingly, then I suggest adding a little extra fun with decorations or activities that keep with the theme of the night. It’s a great way to bring your family together – no matter how big or small!

Ideas Organized by Days of the Week 

Manly Monday – Have the men of the house pick what’s for dinner on this night.
Mexican Monday – Use the many Mexican dishes out there as inspiration for this night!
Meatless Monday – See if you can create an entire meal without using meat.
Meatcentric Monday – Plan your entire meal around your meat. Allow it to take center stage tonight.
Make It Together Monday – Pick out a meal that the family can make together.

Taco Tuesday – Who doesn’t love tacos? You could also add a little variety with taco soups, casseroles, and more. This theme doesn’t have to be limited to just tacos!
Tossed Around Tuesday – Pick out a dish that is usually “tossed” in some manner and use it for inspiration. Salads of all sorts are a great example. The tossed around dish may just be a side but make it a special side!
Try It Tuesday – This is the perfect time to try out that new recipe!

Women’s Choice Wednesday – The women of the house get to choose the meal for tonight!
Winner Wednesday – Have a game night earlier in the week. The winner gets to pick tonight’s dinner.
Wacky Wednesday – Make tonight’s dinner slightly strange.

Throwback Thursday – Pick out something from childhood or that you haven’t enjoyed in a while.
Thrifty Thursday – Use things that you already have on hand. Think of it as the perfect way to save money and use up items in your kitchen.
This or That Thursday – Create a meal that can be used in two different ways. For example, taco meat can be used for tacos or for nachos. Then, create a serving bar and allow everyone to make it their own way!

Fun Friday – Center tonight around a fun activity and plan the food accordingly!
Festival Friday – Think in terms of festival foods. What could you serve at home?
Flat Friday – Tonight’s meal should be flat in appearance – think pizzas, flatbreads, sandwiches, and more!
Fried Friday – If your family loves fried foods, why not limit it to once a week with this themed night?
Fresh Friday – Create a meal using only “fresh” ingredients. No boxed or canned foods for this one!

Saucy Saturday – Let the sauce take center stage tonight! How many foods can you think of that feature a sauce of some sort?
Sandwich Saturday – I think this one is pretty self explanatory…
Souper Saturday – This one is great for fall and winter when soups are all the rage.
Special Saturday – Make Saturday special and make it the day that you eat out.

Spaghetti Sunday – Who doesn’t love spaghetti?
Something Leftover Sunday – The perfect way to get rid of all the leftovers is to assign them a day!
Sleepy Sunday – Make today’s meal a lazy one so that you can lounge around and relax before the busy workweek.

Additional Themes

Pasta – There are so many things that you can do with pasta that it really should get it’s own night!
Italian – Pizza, pasta, calzones…the list goes on and on.
Pizza Night – I’m a pizza lover through and through. I’d be perfectly happy with one night a week dedicated to it. Perhaps it’s a different food for you…
Movie Night – Theme the dinner around a movie. For example, spaghetti is the perfect dinner for Lady & the Tramp.
Someone’s Choice – Involve the whole family in meal planning by assigning each person a different night. This way, everybody gets something that they want throughout the week.
Pantry Clean Out – Start with the items you already have on hand and see what you can create!
Seasonal – Use the seasons to influence what you have. Fall might lend itself to soups while summer lends itself to cold cuts.
Casserole – There are so many different casseroles that you can make. These are perfect for busy nights as well since they can often be prepped in advance!
Crockpot – I love my crockpot! Crockpot night would be perfect for those busy nights that inevitably show up on our calendars!
Specific Meat – If family is big on eating meats, you could theme the nights around specific meats. Turkey Night, Chicken Night, Beef Night, etc.
Grill Out – Pick one night a week and make it the night you grill out. Just make sure you have a rain plan or flexibility in your schedule for this one!
Event themed – Theme it all around a certain event – a ball game, circus, TV show premiere, awards show, etc
Special Occasions – Use the special occasions in your life to create dinner themes. It could be birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or other things you celebrate with your family.

What other fun nights can you come up with? Share them in the comments so everyone can benefit from them!


  1. Now I'm hungry haha

    I like the different ideas you came up with for each day of the week. Can't wait to try some of these out :)

    1. I'm pretty sure I wrote this AFTER eating dinner. Otherwise, it would have made me hungry too! I can't wait to have some fun with these - especially once there's kids in the picture!

  2. how about fingerfoods friday or fondue fridays. you have some great ideas. thankyou for this post to inspire us all.

  3. Flippin' Friday, pancakes, eggs, hamburgers, any food that has to be flipped to cook

  4. I do this and it has helped me save so much money because I'm using the same ingredients each week. So for example, we do Taco Tuesday and the cilantro doesn't go bad within that week time so I use all of it. Wok Wednesday means I can buy the jumbo stir fry veggies and save money that way. And menu planning is a snap now! :)