Build the PERFECT Snack-based Dinner

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Don’t have time to cook? Need a quick & easy dinner idea?

Grab a baking sheet pan and build a tray of your family’s favorite fruits, nuts, cheeses, deli meats, and veggie dippers as an easy weeknight meal! The best part about this idea is that it uses up any forgotten produce, odds and ends in the fridge/pantry, and doesn’t require a ton of effort.

I bet you could scan the fridge and pantry and come up with some easy ideas right away! 

Make some simple meat and cheese skewers using toothpicks and serve them along side any additional cheese wedges and crackers you may already have on hand.

Use kid friendly dips such as hummus, peanut butter, guacamole, and ranch dressing as an anchor to your snack tray and build around that. My family’s favorite dip for veggies is this easy to make Classic Dill Dip. Get the recipe here.

We have had snack dinner a few times recently and it has been a hit with my family! It was a perfect summer idea to avoid using the oven/stove. Roasted vegges, hard boiled eggs, olives, and pickles would be nice additions also.

Sometimes we will take along a picnic with similar foods like this to the ball field while watching my son play sports on busy weeknights. This would be also be an easy idea to compile and take along as snack board for tailgating or to a football party! 


About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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Comments 21

  1. Kitty

    Yum we do this every Sunday! Great idea to use the baking sheet–I’ll have to try that.

  2. Sara

    Great idea! Love it!

  3. Ashley

    My kids love this!! We use an old Tupperware chip and dip platter with all the different sections. Sometimes we even make it a picnic outside or on the living room floor. So fun and easy!

    • Lina D

      I love that! Thanks for sharing 😀

  4. J

    We do this from time to time and every time the kids beg to use paper plates. After putting on an act of possibly considering such an outlandish request, I cave and agree. All three kids cheer. Seriously. They love “snack dinners”

    • Lina D

      Haha that’s funny! Thanks for sharing 😀

  5. Steph-B

    Yum- makes me hungry! Great idea:)

    • Lina D

      Thanks Steph!

  6. Mel

    I do this during football season! Put a platter together before kickoff and everyone can help themselves!

  7. CO Mama

    We do something similar but make your own salad, Salad Bar with ingredients in muffin tins or Make Your Own Pizza with premade dough & pizza toppings in muffin tin

    • Lina D

      Oh I like those ideas too 😀

  8. Boy-Mom

    THIS is an AMAZING idea!!!

    Totally STEALING this….my kids are gonna think I am soooo cool!!! HAHAHA

    • Lina D

      I hope they enjoy! Thanks for stopping by😀

  9. cindy

    Grest idea!

  10. Elle

    My kids love to do this. They call it “snack tray” and they use compartmented plates to pick and choose what they like!

    • Lina D

      That’s a cute idea! Love it ~ thanks for sharing!

  11. Lana

    These empty nesters love doing this and adding a bottle of wine.

    • Lina D

      Perfect! 😀👍

  12. M.Sparling

    Whenever my daughter finds herself in a food rut and nothing sounds good to her, I create a “snack plate”. Same idea but on a smaller scale.
    I aim for: sweet, salty, savory and sour along with something crunchy, chewy, and smooth (like peanut butter or Nutella).
    I have never thought about having it for dinner sometime for the entire family. We will have to give that a try sometime. Thanks for the idea!

    • Lina D

      Sure and thanks for sharing!

  13. visitor3

    This is how I now market what used to be called Leftover Night. Cold meat cut and eaten with toothpicks is a win. Double points for getting all food groups covered. Novelty or formal plates can also sell it to kids.

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