The Art of the Family Dinner

Something magical happens when you set aside time to prepare, cook and savor a meal together with the people you love.

Salt Container by Salt by Sabrina


The key to successful family dinners really comes down to one thing: planning. Planning your dinner menu ahead of time ensures that you will have the needed ingredients on hand, the time set aside to prepare and cook the meal, and it will be on your calendar so family members are available to attend.


Select a day to plan your weekly menu. Have all family members participate in the planning. Our family creates a menu on Saturday mornings because that is usually when everyone is home and we like to go to the grocery store and stock up for the week. When choosing the dinner options, make sure to include simple meals and leftover nights along with more elaborate dishes. If the menu feels achievable, you are much more likely to get it done. 

Sunday is our big meal day. We love to have a full course meal, take our time preparing and eating, and after dinner we play games along with our Sunday night movie. Tuesday, my kids don’t have activities so this is another day I may try a bit more complex meal or try a new recipe. Friday night is eat out night so we get a freebie with no meal prep. The rest of the days I choose things like grilled cheese and soup, poppyseed chicken (I can prepare it on the weekend and just bake and serve!), or breakfast for dinner. 

Salt by Sabrina family.



Each week the menu plan is posted on the fridge. Everyone knows what’s for dinner and what time we are eating. The time will vary based on activities and when the most people will be home to eat. Work and activity schedules make it impossible for all of us to be together every evening but we work to be together as much as we can. Sunday is the day we always prioritize.


Prepare anything that you can ahead of time. One of my family’s favorite recipes is Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole (see recipe below). This is a fantastic one because I can make it days ahead, put it in the fridge and then bake it the day of in just 30 minutes. 

Include your kids in the prep! There is something about making food that opens up conversations, invites collaboration and creates joy. My oldest daughter loves to cook and while she is often busy, this is a time she slows down, takes time to make something delicious and shares about her life. Take advantage of those moments!

My husband loves to put on the football game and unwind while he is preparing a meal. I like to listen to music when no one is home and have my puppy Georgia follow me around the kitchen as I clean and prepare for the day. However you like to make a meal, find a way to connect and enjoy the process.

Salt by Sabrina family.



There is nothing better than having an organized kitchen to cook in and nothing worse than a cluttered one. Part of preparing a meal is preparing your space. Never underestimate the value of being able to find things easily, the joy of opening a beautifully organized drawer and the peace it will infuse into your process. Make cooking wonderful again!

Salt by Sabrina custom drawer organizer, Allison.



Sunday night dinners have been a tradition in our home since our kids were babies. We love to host and love to have our home full of laughter and a little bit of chaos (as long as it gets cleaned up after right?!). Every Sunday, the first thing our kids ask is who is coming to dinner! We have monthly cousin dinners with all our cousins attending the local universities. This tends to be a wild night of games like Bank (you have to try this!), Skull King, Rook and Burn. On beautiful summer nights, we go out into the yard and play roof tennis (we made this up and our roof may never be the same), pickleball, and four square. 

Salt by Sabrina game closet.


Salt by Sabrina friends and family.


Life is crazy and it seems impossible to take time out for something like a family dinner. Make time. These moments and connections will last a lifetime.


Poppy Seed Chicken Recipe