Weeknight meals can be a hassle to plan. There are sports, school projects and your own workload to take care of, so sometimes dinner is an afterthought. Family style dishes are easy to make and easy to serve. They are the perfect solution for the end of stressful day, when cooking is the last thing on your mind. Also, these meals make for exceptional leftovers. This means tomorrow’s lunch for the kids is already made and you have one less thing to add to your to-do list.

Caramelized Onion and White Bean Flatbread

Not sure about the difference between pizza and flatbread? Pizza tends to be a little richer and heavier, while flatbreads are crispier and lighter. This flatbread recipe incorporates onions, white beans, tomatoes, shredded smoked Gouda and pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds). Zesty spices add a pop of flavor that will have everyone going back for seconds. It only takes 45 minutes to prepare this dish, and clean up is a breeze. This allows you to spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen cleaning. Now if only the kid’s science project could be this easy.

Penne Pasta with White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes and Herbs

Pasta dishes are awesome for family style dinner nights. All you have to do is pass the bowl around and let everyone serve themselves. Pasta also makes for great leftovers the next day. This recipe is meatless,  but feel free to add in roasted chicken (those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store are perfect) or leftover steak if you want an extra hit of protein. The white beans provide fiber, while onions help regulate blood sugar. See, eating healthy can be tasty! This penne pasta is sure to become a weekly dinner staple at your house.

Vegetable Barley Soup with Kidney Beans

During the winter months, we tend to eat heavier foods. We eat plenty of mashed potatoes, stuffing (an entire dish centered around bread), and even more baked goods. This vegetable barley soup is a healthy dinner option that is low in calories, but high in flavor. An added bonus, kale and barley help boost immunity and lower cholesterol. Green and red bell peppers, dried tomatoes and Randall’s Dark Red Kidney Beans make this soup rich, healthy and very flavorful. Throw all the ingredients into a pot and let them cook for 45 minutes to an hour, then you’re ready to serve. Plus, there’s no post-meal guilt after you finish a bowl or two.

Which of these family style dishes are you planning to serve tonight?

This white bean recipe can be made with either Randall Beans Great Northern Beans or the Randall Beans Organic products.

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