What are your favourite family meals?

What are your favourite family meals?

I love family meals; when everyone is sat down altogether, chatting and tucking into a meal.  The family meal is really important to us and we don’t get to have them altogether everyday due to work, sporting commitments and clubs.  So at the weekend and during the holidays, I insist that we all sit down together and it is a time when we can relax and enjoy some time together as a family without any distractions.

Last weekend was the Bank Holiday and I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a Morrisons Mum and Morrisons sent me £80 vouchers to do a shop for the weekend and blog about our experience.  I do shop in Morrisons quite regularly and even though our local shop is quite small, I do find Morrisons to be be good value with a great selection of good money-saving offers and I am a huge fan of their deli counter and bakery for a nice range of fresh products.

Whilst writing the all important list for this shop, I was thinking about our favourite family meals and we all quite a debate about it and I have compiled our top five family meals.


The absolute favourite meal for everyone is lasagne.  We all love it and it is one of those meals that the kids come in and sniff the air and immediately know what is in the oven.  My recipe is a combination of recipes that I have tried over the years and I make a big one that usually leaves some left over for the next day.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Main Meal
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 - 8
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon finely chopped
  • 500g carton tomato passata
  • 525g lean pork mince
  • 700 - 800 g lean steak mince
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • dried oregano
  • lasagne sheets
  • 600ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • half a teaspoon mustard powder
  • 200g cheddar cheese grated
  • Worcester Sauce
  1. Add bacon to a large heavy based pan with a some olive oil and a teaspoon of oregano and cook until the bacon starts to brown.
  2. Add the onions, carrots and garlic and cook gently for five minutes.
  3. Add the steak and pork mince and brown gently stirring all of the time.
  4. Once browned, add the tomato passata and tinned tomatoes along with a few dashes of Worcester Sauce. Add salt and pepper to season along with a pinch of sugar.
  5. Mix well and simmer for around 30 minutes.
  6. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter gently in another pan, add the flour and mix well. Warm the milk in the microwave and start adding the milk a bit at a time and keep mixing well.
  7. Simmer the sauce on low for around ten minutes, season and add the mustard powder followed by 100g of the grated cheese.
  8. Leave to cool and if it hasn't done already, it will start to thicken as it cools.
  9. In your lasagne dish put a layer of the meat mixture on the bottom. Place pasta sheets on the top and put a layer of sauce with a sprinkling of cheese on top of that. Repeat three times and make sure that the top has a good coating of sauce and lots of grated cheese on the top.
  10. Preheat the over to 180c and cook the lasagne for 35 - 40 minutes.
  11. Serve with garlic bread and salad

Lasagne works out at about £2.50 per person based on 6 – 8 servings

The ‘Everything on the Table’ Lunch

This is a meal that has been on our menu for many, many years.  It came about when the teen was a toddler and in order to try and get him to try different foods, I would put different things out on plates and encourage him to try different things; cold meats, crackers, bread sticks, bread, cheeses, vegetables, fruit, dips and pretty much anything we had in the fridge.  All these years later, he still loves the everything on the table lunches and so does everyone else.  It is lovely but there is the temptation to eat far too much if you’re not careful.

We do sometimes have the hot variety of these lunches too with pizza, wedges, dips, meats and vegetable.  I find that it is a really good way of getting children to try new foods and they can help themselves to things rather than having something put on their plate that makes them feel pressured into eating it.

Indoor Barbecue

Whilst I love barbecues and barbecued food, my hygiene obsession hasn’t really allowed me to embrace the barbecue culture, so we have ‘indoor barbecues’ which is whatever barbecue food we fancy done in the oven or the grill.  I adore fresh burgers and sausages with fresh soft baps, a nice salad and my favourite potato wedges.  It might not be proper barbecue food, but I don’t get any complaints.



Beef tomatoes

Hot dogs


The nice thing with this meal is that you can add different things to it if you want to and it is another meal where you can put everything out for people to help themselves.  Potato wedges are a favourite of mine and I do them a lot as they are easy to prepare and taste lovely. I simply cut four or five potatoes into wedges, par boil them for about ten minutes, drain and dry them, sprinkle with salt and then toss in olive oil.  Pop them into the oven for 40 minutes until they are golden brown (turn them halfway through the cooking time) and serve.  We love them, especially with tomato sauce.

Our indoor barbecue works out at around £2.70 per person for hotdogs, burgers, potato wedges and salad.  

Roast Dinner

Sunday is usually our roast dinner day and chicken is the favourite although pulled pork is a close second.  I have recently discovered that cooking a chicken in the slow cooker gives you the most amazingly succulent chicken.  I chop an onion and place it at the bottom of the slow cooker, put in around 500ml of chicken stock, season the chicken and then pop it in for 7 – 8 hours on medium and it is delicious.  It does look a little sunken when it comes out but it is well worth a try and even the kids have said how much nicer it is.

Our roast dinners always have vegetables and roast potatoes and I’m sorry to say that our Yorkshire Puddings are Aunt Bessie’s as the children prefer them to mine.  The children don’t have gravy but I do, I love it. Nothing gets wasted either as I use any left over chicken or vegetables to make chicken risotto or bubble and squeak the following day.


Whilst I do try and cook meals from scratch, there are always those days when you don’t have time or you have to produce a meal quickly before you rush out to the next thing.  Those nights, we have pasta.  All of the children love pasta but they all absolutely adore fresh pasta with tomato and mascarpone sauce with garlic bread. I buy the plain pasta for them and tortellini for the adults with a tomato based sauce.  It is a great meal if you are in a hurry and takes a few minutes to cook.

Morrison's Pasta



A meal with fresh pasta and sauce with garlic bread works out at about £1.20 per person based on five people.

So those are our favourite family meals, what are yours?


We were sent £80 Morrisons vouchers for the purpose of this post.  All images and opinions are my own and the costs per serving were based on the prices at time of publishing this post.



  1. May 11, 2014 / 11:32 am

    That sounds very much like our house – but the Roast is def our favourite x
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Asthma dangerous?My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 12, 2014 / 9:04 am

      You can’t beat a lovely roast dinner, we have one most Sundays

  2. May 11, 2014 / 8:44 pm

    Oooh snap, great minds think alike – just did my morrisons post on similar lines. We call everything on the table bits and bobs – haven’t had it in too long!
    Penny recently posted…My Week to View – What we ateMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 12, 2014 / 9:04 am

      Bits and bobs sounds good too, we have it most weekends as it is a good way of hoovering up anything that is left over from the week

  3. May 11, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    That lash and recipe looks yummy, I’ve been wondering what to make this week! 🙂

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 12, 2014 / 9:03 am

      It is a lovely lasagne, we all enjoy it

  4. May 12, 2014 / 6:15 am

    We are also big fans of everything on the table barbecues 🙂 I love watching everyone get stuck in and we live on BBQ over the summer. X
    Mummy Says recently posted…The first football kitMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 12, 2014 / 9:03 am

      Yes I agree that putting everything on the table is great, my only problem is stopping myself from eating too much.

  5. May 12, 2014 / 9:35 am

    You’ve definitely covered a lot of our favourites there. Our ‘everything on the table’ gets referred to as ‘picnic lunch’ and it always turns out to be great way to get the boys to eat a nice variety of healthy food and to try new things because they can just pick little bits of everything. A roast is another big winner and always gets the boys to eat a mountain of vegetables.
    Cat (Yellow Days) recently posted…My weekend as a #MorrisonsMumMy Profile

  6. May 12, 2014 / 10:20 am

    All of those would feature on my list too! I love ‘everything on the table’ type meals and as you say they are great for tempting kids to try something new. We do a Greek version sometimes with haloumi and houmous and falafels etc, yum!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…On train journeys and being trapped in HarrodsMy Profile

  7. May 12, 2014 / 11:37 am

    Argh I am so hungry now! Hurry up and wake up Papasaurus so I can eat my lunch!!!!

    (he worked a night shift last night – he’s not just terribly lazy!)
    Mammasaurus recently posted…Camp Bestival 2014My Profile

  8. May 12, 2014 / 4:30 pm

    WOW. What a feast of food. You did so well with your Morrisons budget. Love lasagne, such a comfort food.
    older mum in a muddle recently posted…The ViewingMy Profile

  9. Mum of One
    May 12, 2014 / 5:41 pm

    Goodness I had never thought of cooking a chicken in the slow cooker. Will give this a go. I feel EXACTLY the same about BBQs but Mr B loves them so have learnt to grin and bear it. I don’t eat much those days LOL.
    Mum of One recently posted…Happy First Birthday Monday Parenting Pin It Party! #52My Profile

  10. May 12, 2014 / 5:53 pm

    Yum! Sounds like a lot of our favourite meals too.

    My daughter also loves it when we have ‘snack dinner’ basically dips, crisps, veggie sticks and bread!
    Liz Burton recently posted…Magpie Monday – A Pallet ProjectMy Profile

  11. May 12, 2014 / 8:15 pm

    I really enjoyed the Morrisons Bank Holiday shop and I love the look of your lasagna too. This tortellini are always in my trolley, the girls love them
    Mari recently posted…Britain invaded by Gruffalos!My Profile

  12. May 13, 2014 / 2:18 am

    Oh my days, that burger looks lush! And I am a big fan of roasts too. Our biggest meal tradition is pancakes, bacon and maple syrup which we sit down and eat as a family every Saturday morning 🙂 xx
    Ruth recently posted…Tuesday TreatsMy Profile

  13. May 13, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    Oh this post is perfect for my last week linky and for my future kids favourite foods roundup! will definitely include it!
    Otilia recently posted…Please…stop judging!My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 14, 2014 / 9:13 am

      Thank you Otilia that would be amazing

  14. HPMcQ
    May 13, 2014 / 8:19 pm

    our favourite is always shepherds pie in the winter, a picnic of snacks in the spring and summer, even on the rug in the living room if it’s wet!
    HPMcQ recently posted…happy birthday mr gruffaloMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 14, 2014 / 9:10 am

      I love Shepherd pie especially if it is a corned beef one, but the kids hate it so we don’t often have it. Yes, indoor picnics are ace

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