There’s no denying that TV dinners have a terrible reputation, mostly because these incredibly convenient frozen meals are not a healthy way to eat. This doesn’t mean that a wonderfully relaxed, chilled-out evening in when dinner is eaten on the couch in front of the TV is a total no-go. We love those quiet evenings when conversation is swapped for our favorite new TV show, but we’d rather eat one of the following homemade, super simple, family-friendly dinners from our tray than a calorie- and fat-filled one straight from the freezer.
One reason we often turn to TV dinners when we’re having an evening in with our feet up is because they’re so easy to eat in a semi-reclined position. Quick cooking time and ability to be eaten without spilling all over the couch are the two essential components of a TV dinner. We’ve kept this in mind when selecting our favorite family dinners to be eaten on the couch: No easily spillable soups or stews, no noodles that require slurping and will splatter sauce everywhere, and no greasy finger food that will leave dirty finger marks all over the couch.
Instead of spaghetti and tomato sauce or bowlfuls of chicken noodle soup, we’ve collected our 12 favorite simple, family-friendly dinners that are quick and easy to prepare, have a low risk of staining your sofa, and can be eaten while your eyes focus on the TV rather than on the tray of food in front of you. No dinner designed to be eaten in front of the television should require much attention or effort to eat. This is why casseroles, rice-based dishes, and meals that can be eaten with just a spoon are common elements of our couch-suitable family dinners.