26+ Fun Friday Night Dinner Ideas

The week is finally over and the weekend is here so to celebrate you need the perfect Friday night dinner to set your time off right.

Some families or couples enjoy going out to dinner on Friday night. After all, why not end a busy work week with a relaxing dinner out. For other families, relaxing dinner at home is the way they connect with their loved ones. Easy Friday night dinner recipes are perfect for this.

You’ll find some fun dinner ideas below that will keep you entertained while cooking and they’ll taste great.

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Blue Cheese

After a long week of work and responsibilities, the idea of preparing a special meal to kick off the weekend can be quite appealing. Friday Night Dinner Ideas are all about embracing creativity, relaxation, and celebration of the weekend ahead. These dinner suggestions will not only delight your taste buds but also offer a much-needed change from the monotonous weekday menu.

One way to approach Friday night dinners is to have theme-based meals that encourage exploration of various cuisines and meal adaptations. This can be a fun way to involve family participation and expand your culinary skills. From taco nights to homemade pizzas with unique toppings, there is no limit to the possibilities that can be explored.

Another consideration for your Friday Night Dinner Ideas is to ensure you have a balance of robust flavors and nutritious ingredients. This allows you to indulge without any guilt, and keep the energy levels up for weekend activities. Incorporating fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains, while considering dietary preferences of your loved ones will ensure a satisfying and wholesome end to the week.

What’s perfect about these Friday night dinner ideas is that they won’t take long to make so you can start your weekend early instead of spending all night in the kitchen.

These creative dinner ideas mix in a ton of different flavors so you’ll find something on this list that pleases any palate.

Sit back and take note of your favorite fun dinner recipes below so you can make one the next time the weekend rolls around.

Source: spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com

1. Seven Layer Dip

If you’re having trouble deciding what to make for Friday’s dinner, then this should be your go-to option.

The seven-layer dip is packed with cheddar cheese and a ton of other flavors that will please any palate.

Source: bunsinmyoven.com

2. Tater Tot Casserole

This tater tot casserole is one that the entire family will enjoy because you can easily play around with the ingredients.

Just keep in mind that if you’re serving this tater tot casserole to kids, there are some ingredients below, like bacon and hot sauce, that might not be best suited for them so be sure to omit those.

If you want something a little more traditional for your Friday night dinner, or if you want to serve more than four people, make this tater tot casserole because it’s simple and great.

Source: seasonsandsuppers.ca

3. How To Make Poutine

Poutine is a classic French dish that made its way to the US via Canada.

With the decadent flavors of cheese curds, gravy, and french fries, you’ll find it hard to resist this dish.

Poutine is perfect for cravings because it has all kinds of delicious components that go into the meal.

This is one where there won’t be any leftovers which is good because the dish wouldn’t last very well in the fridge anyway.

Source: industryeats.com

4. Maple Glazed Salmon

Salmon is already filled with great flavor but when you add in this maple glaze you’ll find that it’s so much better than salmon dishes you’ve had in the past.

This is because its unique taste really brings out the flavor of the fish and makes it great to enjoy with your family.

The best part about this dish for Friday night dinner is that it takes just 20 minutes to make so you’ll have plenty of time to focus on more important errands.

This maple glazed salmon is a great addition to any meal and tastes better than most salmon dishes you’ve had before.

Serve this up with a side of asparagus or broccoli to round out this savory dish.

Source: easybudgetrecipes.com

5. American Goulash

This recipe is like the grown-up version of hamburger helper.

You’ll love how easy this recipe is and the fact that it only uses one pot.

The goulash has a lot of ingredients like pasta and olive oil, so there will be something here to please everyone’s tastes.

Add in more hot sauce if you want to give this meal some added spice.

Source: thediaryofarealhousewife.com

6. Sloppy Joe Pizza

Pizza is great and sloppy joes are great so why not combine the two for a dinner packed with flavor.

This pizza is perfect for Friday night dinner because you can prepare all the ingredients and then throw it in the oven to wait for it to cook.

To complete this sloppy Joe pizza, serve it with some french fries on the side and you’ll have a Friday night dinner that tastes great and will excite your taste buds.

This is another dish that the kids are sure to love because mushy food is usually their favorite.

You can even get them involved in helping put this recipe together too so that it will be ready all the sooner than you think.

Source: panerabread.com

7. Margherita Flatbread Pizza

If you want something lighter and refreshing for your Friday dinner try out this Margherita flatbread pizza.

Pizza is always a winner or getting together because you can customize it to your tastes and eat while still standing up in the kitchen.

Look for fresh ingredients that are in season so you get lots of flavors packed into these margarita pizzas.

Top it all off with some basil chiffonade for a simple yet elegant finish.

Source: spendwithpennies.com

8. Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

You wouldn’t think that Dr. Pepper goes well with pulled pork but you haven’t been introduced to this recipe for Friday night dinner.

This slow cooker pulled pork only takes three hours to make and really brings out the flavor of Dr. Pepper which is a very bold taste that’s sure to please any palate.

Pulled pork is already perfectly seasoned so all you have to do is put it in a slow cooker with some Dr. Pepper and wait for it to make itself.

Serve this dish with a side of baked beans, cornbread, or potatoes and you’ll have one delicious dinner that everyone is sure to enjoy.

This is one of those fun dinner recipes the entire family can enjoy.

Source: cookingwithcocktailrings.com

9. Philly Cheesesteak

Try out this Philly cheesesteak recipe for Friday nights because it’s easy to make and can be filling depending on what you put inside.

This recipe works best if you toast up the hoagies before throwing in the steak and the rest of the ingredients.

It will give the bread some structure so it doesn’t just disintegrate from all the other ingredients inside.

The whole family is sure to love a good Philly cheeseteak because it’s packed with cheese and great-tasting beef.

Source: oldelpaso.com

10. Nacho Pot Pie

This list of Friday dinner ideas is a great one because you get extra fun recipes like this nacho pot pie.

This nacho pot pie is a new twist on the classic recipe and its one that you won’t regret trying out.

Nachos are already an easy dish to make so why not simplify this recipe even further by turning it into something everyone can enjoy, especially kids.

The best part about this meal is that you can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to serve up this delicious Friday night dinner.

Serve this nacho pot pie with some tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices, black olives, or whatever else you can think of because it will all taste delicious.

Source: notenoughcinnamon.com

11. Baked Falafel Burgers

Falafels are hit or miss but when you make them at home then you control the recipe and can make them exactly to your taste.

Adding falafel to a burger with some cheese makes for a wonderful Friday night dinner and one that has an international flair.

If you don’t want to deep fry the falafel then try baking them so they’ll be healthier and still taste just as good.

You can also make a ton of falafels because they will go well in salads, fried rice, and a number of other recipes.

Source: tiffycooks.com

12. Coca Cola Chicken

Here’s another easy Friday night dinner that involves soda as part of the ingredients.

You’ll love this coca-cola chicken recipe because it’s easy to put together and has a ton of great flavors.

This is another great recipe if your kids want something that feels familiar but tastes different, because the taste of coke brings out a lot of other flavors that are sure to excite them!

Serve this chicken dish with some rice and vegetables and you’ll have a delicious dinner that’s packed full of flavor.

Source: africanbites.com

13. Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Bell peppers are incredibly healthy for you and when you add in some beef and other veggies. You could even throw in a potato to bulk up the dish.

These peppers are pretty simple to make too so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

If you’re watching your waistline then try using lean ground beef instead of using more fatty mixtures.

Source: twopeasandtheirpod.com

14. Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of those Friday food recipes that the whole family enjoys.

The flavors are irresistible with a touch of spice to excite your taste buds.

You can even get the family involved in making this Friday dinner idea because everyone will have fun rolling up the tortilla then adding all of their favorite ingredients, which makes the whole process a lot of fun.

Your family won’t even notice that these enchiladas don’t even have any meat because there will be so much flavor.

Source: plainchicken.com

15. Cheeseburger Soup

Soup is warming and coats the stomach beautifully but having cheeseburger ingredients inside really packs in a ton of flavor.

You’ll need a second bowl of this soup because once it’s on the table you won’t want to stop eating.

You can make this cheeseburger soup from scratch or use a pre-made base that just needs adding to and then cooking up for a few minutes.

Try using homemade beef stock instead of the canned stuff because it really does taste better.

Source: saltandlavendar.com

16. Buffalo Chicken Pizza

When you want to spice up your pizza game you need to try this buffalo chicken pizza.

Buffalo chicken pizza is one of those Friday dinner ideas that may sound like it wouldn’t be the best thing to eat but in fact, no matter how you slice it, it’s going to taste great!

This buffalo chicken pizza is a fun twist on a dinner recipe because everyone loves pizza and adding some buffalo chicken changes things up.

You can make your own homemade pizza dough but if you’re crunched for time the store-bought stuff will work just fine too.

Buffalo chicken itself isn’t that hard to make either so why not give it a go at home? It’ll save you money too.

Source: chelseasmessyapron.com

17. Easy Burrito Bowls

Burritos are great for Fridays because everyone can pick their own ingredients and have the exact dinner they want.

Bowls make it even easier because they are already portioned out so you don’t have to try and guess how much each person needs.

No matter what kind of ingredients your family likes then they will be able to find something perfect for their tastes here because there are lots of different flavors that go into a burrito bowl.

Make this Friday night dinner vegetarian-friendly by leaving out the meat and adding in more veggies instead.

Source: dailyappetite.com

18. Meatball Sub

You can meatballs any time of the week, but on Friday you can put them on sub bread and call it dinner.

This meatball sub is one of those Friday dinner recipes that sounds so good you’ll want to make two.

Making your own meatballs isn’t as hard as you might think.

Really, all you have to do is combine the ingredients then form your balls and bake them in the oven for a little while, and there you have it, some yummy meatballs!

The best part is that these meatballs don’t require any sauce.

Of course,, if you want them with sauce on top for dipping or drizzling on top of your sub, then be my guest, but this Friday night dinner recipe tastes delicious.

Source: slimmingeats.com

19. Toad in the Hole Recipe

Toad in the hole is a traditional English recipe that is a lot of fun to cook and eat.

Just pour some batter into a pan then add in a piece of sausage for a crispy outside and tender inside!

This dish is great because you can make it from scratch or cheat and use Bisquick mix which will make things easier when cooking up this Friday night dinner.

You can even get creative and add some veggies to this Friday night dinner recipe so it’s a great way to get the kids excited about trying new things.

Source: theseasonedmom.com

20. Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Beef stew is a classic where the recipe has been passed down by generations and it goes perfect in the wintertime when you need some warm to fill your belly.

The best part is, all the ingredients are inexpensive, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to put this beef stew together.

This is one of those Friday night dinner recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

Source: addapinch.com

21. Homemade Extra Cheese Pizza

Pizza is the ultimate Friday night dinner but making your own at home is a lot cheaper.

Making your own pizza dough is easy and throwing on some extra cheese seals the deal!

If you don’t have your favorite tomato sauce already made then use this homemade pizza sauce recipe to get started.

Once that’s all mixed together then just add some pepperoni or other favorite toppings and you’ll have a brand new pizza in no time at all.

Source: organicallyaddison.com

22. Blackened Mahi Mahi

Mahi-mahi is a mild-tasting fish that’s got a buttery texture.

When you add some spices to it then throw it on the grill you’ll have one of the best Friday night dinner recipes around!

This is a sophisticated dinner you might have seen for high price tags at restaurants but you can have your own version right at home for a fraction of the cost.

Serve this up with some lemon wedges and asparagus on the side to balance out all the wonderful flavors.

Source: riverford.co.uk

23. Goan Fish Curry

This Goan fish curry is a great recipe to cook for Friday nights because it mixes things up from the usual rotation.

Give your family a different set of flavors so they’ll think you cooked up something completely new.

You can make this Goan fish curry with any type of white fish but it’s especially good on halibut.

If your family is watching their weight then try using mahi mahi or cod because they will be lighter options that won’t put on the calories like other types of white fish.

Source: foodlovinfamily.com

24. Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

When you add Lipton onion mix to your meatloaf you get one of those Friday night dinner recipes that just adds so much flavor.

Every family has its own version of meatloaf and this is definitely one everyone will love.

It’s got a unique taste that kids are sure to gobble up which makes it worth the money you spend on the Lipton onion mix packets.

If your kids are picky eaters then this is a good recipe to start them on because it’s got a great taste that will have them wanting more.

Source: thekitchenmagpie.com

25. Bisquick Cheeseburger Pie

Once you have a spoonful of this Bisquick cheeseburger pie recipe then you won’t be able to stop eating it!

This cheeseburger pie is like a whole meal in one and it’s easy to make too.

It’s got ground beef (or turkey) and some veggies mixed in with a sauce then topped with cheese on top of Bisquick mix which makes for some crunchy bits here and there.

The crust makes a perfect combination with the other ingredients and this is one that will go fast when you serve it on the table.

Source: homecookingadventure.com

26. Shepherd’s Pie

If you want a dish that will put everyone to sleep after then you have to try this shepherd’s pie.

This one is cooked with beef and vegetables, covered in mashed potato then baked to perfection!

Of course, if you want some kick to it, you can use spicy beef instead of regular old ground beef just for added flavor.

You can throw a ton of veggies into your shepherd’s pie too so it’s a great way to sneak in some healthy ingredients to the kids.

The flavors will be so good they won’t even care what’s in it.

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Blue Cheese

26+ Fun Friday Night Dinner Ideas (+Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 7 votes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 250 kcal


  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder or roast
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  • Put onion, roast, and seasonings into a slow cooker.
  • Pour Dr. Pepper over the meat and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Shred with forks and add BBQ sauce.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 250kcal
Keyword dr. pepper pulled pork, friday night dinner ideas
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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