Quick Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas
When coming up with easy dinner ideas – there is only one thing harder which is coming up with easy dinner ideas for kids, right? Some nights they spread everything around the plate and then ask to be excused. Other nights, they clean their plates and ask for seconds. And when you have a picky eater on your hands – it becomes more difficult.
So, I have compiled easy kid-friendly recipes and the adults will also love them, too. And a bonus, most of these take 30 minutes or less to prepare! So, without further ado, let’s jump into the healthy as well as delicious recipes that help your kid to finish his plate.
Pizza Pasta Casserole
3 ½ cups spaghetti sauce
2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces pepperoni – sliced
1 package cavatappi or spiral pasta – cooked and drained
1 large onion – chopped
4 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese – shredded
- First of all, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Over medium heat – cook beef and onion in a large skillet and wait until the meat turns pink (I recommend grinding meat on your own at home). Now drain and stir them in pasta and spaghetti sauce.
- Move to 2 greased baking dishes. Now sprinkle with cheese and place the pepperoni over the top.
- Bake for around 25 to 30 minutes uncovered.
Cheesy Pepperoni Buns
12 mini buns – split
2 cups pasta sauce, or pizza sauce
4 slices American cheese – chopped
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese – shredded
1-pound lean ground beef
1 package sliced pepperoni – chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef until no longer pink over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Now break them into crumbles. Stir in American cheese, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. Now wait at least 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Now cut the sides of the buns up and move to a baking sheet. Place the meat mixtures onto the buns and don’t forget to top with mozzarella cheese. Bake them for around 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve them immediately and you can also use additional pizza sauce if you want.
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
6 diced bacon strips
½ cup water
8 oz penne pasta – uncooked
1 cup cheddar cheese – shredded
1-pound ground beef
1 can condensed tomato soup – undiluted
Optional: Barbecue sauce and prepared sauce
- Follow the directions on the package to cook pasta. Cook the beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Once they turn pink – drain and set aside.
- Now cook the bacon in the same skillet until crisp. Place the bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain. Now you need to drain the pasta and add to the skillet. And stir in the water, soup, beef, and bacon and heat through.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with cheese. Now cover the skillet and wait for 2 to 3 minutes so that the cheese can be melted. You can serve with mustard and barbecue sauce. Enjoy!
Hearty Pitta Tacos
6 whole-wheat pita pocket halves
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic salt
2/3 cup taco sauce
¾ cup frozen corn
¼ tsp pepper
2 green onions – chopped
1-can sliced ripe olives – drained
1 can kidney beans
6 tbsp shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1-pound lean ground beef
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp onion powder
1 small sweet red pepper – chopped
Sliced avocado and additional taco sauce – (optional)
- In a large skillet – cook onions, red pepper, and beef over medium heat and wait until the meat turns pink; drain. Now stir in the taco sauce, corn, beans, olives, and seasonings.
- In every pita half – spoon ¾ cup beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese. You can serve with additional taco sauce and avocado if desired.
Pizza Pancakes – Warm & Delicious
¼ cup green pepper – chopped
½ cup pepperoni – chopped
2 large eggs
2 cups baking mix or biscuit
½ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese – shredded
1 can pizza sauce – warmed
1 cup 2% milk
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 plum tomato – seeded and chopped
- In a medium-sized bowl – mix Italian seasoning and biscuit mix. Take another bowl, whisk milk, and eggs until blended properly. Now place the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until moistened. Stir in tomato, pepperoni, pepper, and cheese.
- Preheat your griddle over medium-high heat. Use cooking spray, oil, or butter to oil surface of the griddle. Take a measuring cup and pour ¼ cup batter on the griddle. Cook until you see bubbles at the edges; flip and cook until both sides turn golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 large chopped green pepper
3 tbsp vinegar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 can pineapple chunks
Hot cooked rice
30 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
- Drain pineapple and reserve the juice, set pineapple aside. Now, add 1 cup water to the juice and pour it into a large skillet. Add soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, 1/3 cup water, and brown sugar and stir until smooth.
- Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until thick. Add meatballs, pineapple, and green pepper.
- Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy with rice.
Crispy Sage Chicken Tenders
2 to 3 tbsp fresh minced sage
½ cup buttermilk
1-pound chicken tenderloins
¼ tsp hot pepper sauce
¾ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Optional: Ranch salad dressing
- In a medium-size bowl, add pepper sauce, buttermilk, pepper, and salt and whisk together until blended totally. Now add chicken, turning to coat, and wait for at least 15 minutes. Toss bread crumbs with sage in a shallow bowl.
- In a deep skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you need to dip tenderloins in crumb mixture to coat both sides. Fry chicken until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place them on paper towels and use additional salt to sprinkle. Serve with ranch dressing if desired.
I hope you liked the easy dinner ideas for kids and now you know how to make them super deliciously healthy, right? And if you have prepared any of these recipes – then please let me know how it turned out for you.
Join the Working Mom Tribe
Join the Working Mom Tribe and get support and tools to help you thrive! Tribe members get access to my library of resources and printables.