I recently wrote a post with a list of cheap, quick and easy meal ideas that my kids will actually eat. This list is going to be a little different. These kid-friendly dinner recipes may not all be the cheapest or quickest meals in my repertoire (although they aren’t that difficult either, because you know I ain’t fancy OR ambitious), but they are the meals my kids beg me for every week. In a month their tastes will probably have changed and they’ll be begging me for something else. But if you’re kids are currently disaffected by their dinner selection, try one of these recipes and see if your kids like them as much as mine do. For now.
Kid-Friendly Dinner Recipes
This is my adaptation of a friend’s adaptation of a recipe that she found for tortellini soup at America’s Test Kitchen. The title is all her idea and it’s genius because kids love “pizza” soup! Here’s the way I make it.
Mix together and heat up over the stove the following ingredients:
4 cups water
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
3 cans of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 heaping Tablespoon of italian seasoning
1 Polska Kielbasa sausage, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
2 packages of dried tortellini (for some reason I can only find these at Aldi. Am I the only one who can’t find this at my usual grocery store?)
I cook it at least as long as the package of tortellini says it needs to be cooked. And that’s it!
Ham and Cheese Sliders
When I was recovering after having a baby, a friend of mine brought these to us and we devoured them. I lost the recipe she gave me but I found it online at The Girl Who Ate Everything. I don’t include the poppyseeds or the miracle whip, just because I never have them on hand. These sliders are so tangy and creamy and delicious. I usually use hot dog buns cut in half instead of rolls because I’m “fancy” like that and hey, again, it’s what I usually have on hand. but it works, and we all love them.
Beef and Cheese Croissant Rolls
I got this recipe from my aunt when I got married. All you do is mix a pound of cooked and crumbled ground beef with some BBQ sauce and spread it over a can of pillsbury crescent roll dough that’s spread out into a big rectangle on a cookie sheet. Spread another can of dough over the meat, top with more BBQ sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 until the dough is cooked. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how long it takes to cook. My rough guess is about 40 minutes. I just keep checking it with a knife to make sure the dough isn’t doughy anymore and I’ve never timed it to get it accurate. As long as it’s not burnt or doughy, it’s perfect.
This is the best pizza crust recipe everrrrr. I got it from my uncle and it is amazing. The only change I made to it is to increase the amount of oil from what he’d written. I like my dough nice and soft. Here’s the recipe:
3 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup of cooking oil
After you mix up the dough and roll it out, just top it with spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, and whatever toppings you like (we’re pretty basic and do pepperoni). Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. My 17-year-old son likes to make this and he gets creative with stuffed crusts; italian seasoning sprinkled all over; or something he calls “fat pizza” which is basically cheese, pepperoni, and then even more cheese and more pepperoni. We’ve even done BBQ chicken pizza with BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce. Be creative!
Another one my family devours. I use this Food Network recipe. The only thing I do differently is I don’t put the lemon slices on the pasta because dude, who wants to pick lemon slices off of their pasta?
Don’t worry, this curry is not the least bit spicy. It’s not very authentic either. I do love Thai food, but keep in mind that this is NOT Thai food. This is Mormon food. It’s almost as Mormon as funeral potatoes. It’s good though. I got this recipe from a neighbor in college (Yes, it was in Utah. Yes, I went to BYU) and 15 years later my kids still beg me for it.
In a 9×13 casserole dish, combine 3-4 cooked, diced chicken breasts, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 1/3 cups of mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons of curry powder (or more or less to taste), and a splash of lemon juice. Top with cheddar cheese, bake at 350 until bubbly and cheese is melted (about 30 minutes) and serve over rice. Deeeeelicious.
It’s so hard to find something that my kids like to eat. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything that all my kids like to eat at the same time. With five kids there’s always someone complaining about dinner. But these are the kid-friendly dinners I’ve had the most luck with, and that one or more of them keep asking for again and again and again. Hopefully you can find something here that your kids will like too.
Do you have any go-to recipes your kids cannot live without? Let me know! I’m always looking for ideas for when my kids suddenly but inevitably get sick of their favorite meals.