Recipe Roulette Dinner Game

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We’ve all been there asking “what should I make for dinner tonight?”. Sometimes it is early enough in the morning that you can take a trip to the grocery store and other times it is 10 minutes before you should be putting something on the table.

Even people like me that cook for a living have this issue often. But I’ve come up a solution and it’s called recipe roulette. Long before I was a food blogger and couldn’t decide what to eat I’d play the “paper balls game”.

At a restaurant or even deciding what protein to make, I’d write each option on a little piece of paper, roll them into balls and then pick one.

This evolved into recipe roulette with my hoards of cookbooks. A way to make sure that I was getting out of my comfort zone and also using all these beautiful cookbooks lining the shelves.

And if this game isn’t for you, feel free to pick one from my list of over 200+ dinner ideas.

“What’s for dinner?” Game

ONE. Generally speaking, you’ll want to plan a little ahead for this one. I actually plan the menu on Sunday, so I can go grocery shopping for the week. But if you have a stocked kitchen, this shouldn’t be an issue.

TWO. Find a cookbook you want to use. Take a brief look at the Table of Contents and identify a group of pages that will fit your needs. This is my favorite weeknight dinner cookbook.

cookbook covers


For example, if you don’t want soup for dinner, don’t select those pages. If you don’t want fish, omit those pages. Try to find some pages in a row.

If you need a way to decide what protein or section to even choose from, then we move to the paper ball game (more on that below).

recipe index of a cookbook


THREE. Take those pages between your fingers and randomly turn to a page.

flipping through a cookbook

FOUR. You must select one of the recipes on those pages. No second chances (unless it is something really outlandish!).

FIVE. Make the recipe and explore something new! Enjoy!

fish recipes for dinner

Looks like we are having halibut for dinner!

plates of food on a dinner table
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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