Superfast Kid-Friendly Recipes
Chicken Fingers and Green Beans with Tahini Sauce
Chicken fingers aren't just for kids. Savory-sweet and addictive, the tahini-tomato dipping sauce offers a palate intrigue adults will love but enough flavor familiarity to keep it kid-approved.
Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie
To keep things lightning-fast, we forgo the layered-in-a-skillet approach to shepherd's pie and instead serve the veggie-flecked beef mixture on top of a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
Ham and Cheese Pizza
When a classic sandwich gets reincarnated as a cheesy pizza, rave reviews are bound to follow. Sweet, crisp Fuji apple provides a great balance to the rich, gooey cheese and savory ham, and everyone knows there's no better place to slip in some extra leafy greens than on a pizza. To get julienne-cut apple pieces, cut into thin slices; then stack and cut lengthwise into matchsticks.
Turkey and Swiss Sloppy Joes
This twist on a classic sandwich swaps the sweet, barbecue-style sauce for a white sauce enriched with nutty Swiss cheese.
Fresh Corn Cakes with Summer Salsa
This speedy vegetarian entrée is absolutely bursting with peak-season produce. Side suggestion: an herby white bean and arugula salad.
Family-Style Chicken Spaghetti
A family favorite swaps jarred sauce for fresh—which requires just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes.
Glazed Beef Skewers with Ginger Slaw
Have your little helpers mix up the glaze, while older kids can help skewer the beef.
Mini Bow Ties with Bacon and Peas
Finishing your peas and carrots is exponentially more exciting when bacon is involved. In fact, almost every dish is more exciting when bacon comes to play, so feel free to swap your family's favorite veggies into this versatile pasta.
Egg and Toast Cups
Lure kids into eating a fulfilling breakfast with this cute all-in-one dish. You can cater to individual tastes too: Add chives to one up and spinach to another, or exchange the bacon for ham.
Double-Chocolate Cereal Treats
These decadent chocolate-on-chocolate cookies boast full satisfaction and a dose of whole-grain goodness. And they’re ready to eat in a fraction of the time needed to prepare typical sweet treats. For added protein and a fun flavor variation, replace ½ cup cereal with ½ cup chopped toasted nuts.
Sweet Potato and Sausage Strata
Hand over the reins: Let the kids assemble this savory-sweet oven-baked treat. If you make this dish ahead, bring it to room temperature before baking so it will reheat evenly.
Ham and Swiss Egg Sandwiches
This delicious handheld breakfast will get the kids going in the morning and out the door without delay. Warm and savory, it will truly start the day off right.
Cheesy Chicken Bagel Pizzas
Bagel halves are a quick, kid-friendly stand-in for traditional pizza crust.
Baked Mozzarella Bites
Serve this quick after-school snack to your kids as an alternative to traditional fried cheesesticks.
Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce
For picky eaters, try serving this meat sauce over whimsically shaped pasta, like bow ties, rotini, or wagon wheels.
Creamy Ranch-Style Dip
Serve this dip with baby carrots, broccoli florets, or other fresh vegetables.
Meaty, cheesy, and delicious—kids will love this comforting dinner. But, that's not all, parents will love it too.
This creamy tomato soup is super-flavorful courtesy of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and our delicious blend of ingredients. Don't forget the cheesy French bread. Dunking is a must!
Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
We lightened up a kid-friendly favorite that will still please your pint-sized diners.
Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce
Saucy, cheesy, and oh-so-flavorful—this will soon become one of your family's new favorites.
White Chocolate-Cherry Bark
Pack a cherry-spiked piece in your child's bag (or you own) for a creamy-crunchy treat.
Bananas Foster Parfaits
Our Bananas Foster Parfaits are truly a treat for children of any age. Just be sure to make an extra one for yourself.
Sloppy Joe Sliders
An already kid-friendly classic just got kicked up a notch. Kids and adults alike will love these pint-sized sliders.
Chocolate-Granola Apple Wedges
If you can't find Braeburn apples, Gala or Fuji varieties also stand up to dipping and add a touch more sweetness.
Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches
Breakfast meets dinner in this play on the Southern favorite. What's not to love about a fun sandwich?
Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets
The tang in the salt and vinegar chips mellows as the fish bakes in the oven, creating a crunchy spin on fish and chips. Look to hook-and-line-caught Atlantic or Pacific cod for the most sustainable choice.
Banana-Chocolate French Toast
For tough-to-please kids, try serving breakfast for dinner. Pair this dish with a mixed fruit cup to round out the meal.
Chicken and Bean Burritos
Try also using this filling for tacos, quesadillas, or nachos. Adults can spike it with jalapeños.
Broiled Pineapple Sundaes
This sundae also makes a great breakfast parfait—just substitute plain fat-free Greek yogurt for frozen.
Serve fruit with this kid-friendly take on the classic croque monsieur.
Easy Peach Crisp
Choose peaches that are ripe but still slightly firm to the touch.
Cinnamon Crisps with Blackberries and Yogurt
This recipe is just as tasty with fresh blueberries or strawberries. If you can't find wonton wrappers, egg roll wrappers work equally well--just cut them into 3 1/2-inch squares.
These bacon-and-egg toasts make for a fun breakfast or easy dinner. This kid-friendly recipe is sure to be a hit, any time of day.
This kid-friendly snack only costs $0.32 per serving. Kids will love these as an after school treat.
Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt
Vary the fruit to suit your kids' preferences—use red- or green-skinned apples or pears.
Italian Sausage Hoagies
The hearty filling garnered rave reviews from our kid panel, and Evan, who usually avoids vegetables, didn’t even notice the sliced bell pepper.
Beef and Broccoli Bowl
This stir-fry was a hit, and several tasters even went back for seconds. A flavorful sweet-salty sauce helps make the veggie-packed dish (four cups’ worth) easy to love.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Tiny pasta stars will up the fun factor. Or try orzo, alphabet, ditalini, or another small pasta. Swap in your kids’ favorite veggies—spinach or zucchini are good options. Don’t skip the nutty Parmesan, which adds extra depth to the soup’s broth.
Raspberry Chocolate Parfaits
Sweet raspberries and creamy frozen yogurt replace traditional ice cream—a much lower-fat swap that went unnoticed by Maclaine, one of our toughest kid critics.
Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks
Young cooks will enjoy breading the fish sticks and stirring together the tartar sauce. Look for wild-caught Pacific halibut at your fish counter for the most sustainable choice. Avoid Atlantic halibut. For tilapia, buy American farm-raised.
Peanut Butter Hummus with Cucumber Dippers
Hummus is made more kid-friendly with the addition of peanut butter. To easily measure 7 tablespoons water without losing count, pour 1/2 cup into a measuring cup and remove 1 tablespoon.
Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl
Mirin is a rice wine low in alcohol, and most of it cooks off in this recipe. For a nonalcoholic substitute, use a mixture of equal parts rice vinegar and sugar.
Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Nuts
Kids like the chewy gnocchi, sweet broccoli, and crunchy nuts. Look for shelf-stable packaged gnocchi with the dried pasta.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding
This pudding isn't just fast, it's easy too. Try sliced bananas on top.
Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps
Vary the nuts to your kids' preferences—walnuts or almonds would be equally tasty.
Barbecue Turkey Meatballs
This will be a new family favorite from the very first bite. Serve with simple mashed potatoes on the side to catch the sauce.
Zucchini Mini Muffins
These are tasty for breakfast or as a snack. For even portions, use a small ice-cream scoop to spoon the batter into the muffin cups.
Honey-Lime Chicken Kebabs with Mango Slices
For a colorful accompaniment, add mini bell peppers to the broiler pan with the skewers.
Sunflower Granola Breakfast Parfaits
To make this portable breakfast a snap, prepare the granola in advance and store it in an airtight container. Be sure to keep a close eye on the broiler so the granola doesn't burn. You can also sub pitted fresh cherries or any ripe berry for the raspberries.
Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
The perfect summer cookout treat, grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches. If you can't find them, feel free to use apricots or nectarines instead of peaches. Garnish with mint to serve.
Crispy Broccoli-Carrot Fritters
These quick, crispy fritters are packed with vegetables and get supercrisp in the pan. You can omit the red pepper for a little less heat, if you wish.
A handful of ingredients (and far less salt) gives you better-tasting flavored popcorn than you can buy. To make sure the oil is ready for the popcorn, add a couple of kernels and wait for them to pop. Once they pop, add the remaining kernels.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce add savory depth to this creamy mac. If you can't find large elbows, regular elbows will work.
Peanut Butter Granola Crunch Parfaits
This low-fat parfait is the perfect middle-of-the-day springtime snack to hold the kids over until dinner.
Apple and Bacon Pita Pizzas
Smoky bacon, rich walnuts, and woodsy thyme give depth to these quick personal pizzas.
With a touch of sweet spice, cream cheese richness, and tart apple crunch, these melty-sweet sandwich triangles are sure to earn grade-A ratings. Serve as an after-school snack for the kids, or treat yourself to a quick-fix dessert.
Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Reminiscent of classic popcorn balls, these salty-sweet treats make for awesome low-fat, lunch box–friendly snacking. Make a batch with the kids this weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. The bars will continue to firm up as they chill.
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Breast Tenders with Garlicky Dipping Sauce
A crunchy coating from a snack time favorite is sure to win big with the kids—especially when paired with a creamy garlic dip. Honey mustard would be good, too.
Potato and Carrot Pancakes with Curry Sauce
Carrots bring an earthy sweetness to these crispy, latke-like pancakes. To reheat, place on a baking sheet, and heat in a 325° oven until warmed through.