One of the hardest things about cooking for little people is trying to plan great meal options the kids in your life will actually love. Let’s face it, kids are picky eaters and having more than one picky eater can make meal planning an impossible task. Luckily, we’re here to help!
We’ve scoured the web for the best dinner recipes that we’re sure your kids will love (or hopefully they’ll at least love some of them!) From unique dishes like tater tot nachos to classic kid-friendly meals like mac and cheese, these meals are bound to satisfy the bellies at your table. If you’re looking for fun and easy dinner recipes your kids will love, consider these 60 awesome meal ideas below:
Invented by a kid, this recipe is 100 percent kid-approved. Pepperoni and pasta combine to make a mouth-watering meal that will satisfy meal-eaters of every age!
Talk about a crowd-pleaser! Even if your kids don’t love Mexican food, they’ll go nuts over a plate of tater tot nachos. So will the adults, for that matter!
Most kids love pizza, and this is a fun new twist on the old standard that they can help make! Pizza quesadillas are simple to prepare and I guarantee that your kids will love them. Let them pick their own fillings and help instill a love of cooking. Let the fun begin!
Kids love ordering chicken tenders at restaurants so why not give it a try and make your very own at home. The tenders are soaked in buttermilk, which makes them juicy and moist. Needless to say, your kids love them!
The next time you make grilled chicken, grill some extra to use for this delicious BBQ chicken pizza the next night! This pizza is simple and comes together in no time, and you won’t believe how delicious it is. The tangy sauce, the melted cheese, and the juicy chicken make for such a flavorful, yummy combination!
In this comforting casserole, pierogies are smothered in a creamy sauce and then topped with gooey cheese, crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes. This is a family favorite for sure!
My mom always made this Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe when I was growing up – we never had the boxed kind. Toss up a salad or steam some broccoli and you have a full meal that is delicious and very comforting.
This is a fun dish that is easy to assemble and makes for a hearty meal for a family. It is a very interesting way of serving tater tots (or fried potato rounds), which everyone loves. Feel free to remove the cheese from this dish — it works with or without it. Enjoy!
Unlike most chicken spaghetti recipes, this version doesn’t contain any condensed soups, and it doesn’t require baking in the oven. This spicy, creamy, cheesy spaghetti dinner is a delicious and different weeknight meal.
The good old BLT gets an Italian makeover in this delicious spin on a classic favorite. Iceberg is replaced with romaine, Roma tomatoes are used, pesto is added to the mayonnaise, and each sandwich gets a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. You’ll never look at a BLT the same way again!
The crispy, crunchy shell and delicious filling of these healthy chimichangas are the perfect weeknight meal for families. You get the same great taste as traditional chimichangas but less fat and calories. Serve your kids a meal that’s equally as healthy as it is delicious!
This pasta dish makes a wonderful family meal. It’s chock full of beautiful fresh vegetables, whole grain pasta, and Italian chicken sausage, which has 70% less fat than regular pork sausage. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!
Bundle up the delicious flavors of tacos and stuff it into jumbo pasta shells! This lovely casserole is bound to intrigue every member of your family!
I think everyone’s mom or family member had a recipe for stuffed peppers they remember from their youth. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I always loved stuffed peppers. This recipe is different than my Mother’s, but still very very yummy.
Charm even your pickiest eater with this family-friendly fish dish! Healthy, tasty and quick as a wink to put together, this crispy, flavorful meal is perfect for a busy weeknight.
The next time your kids are begging to go to Mc Donalds tell them you have a special dinner surprise and whip together this recipe! Kids love pizza and big macs are one of Mc Donald’s most popular menu items so why not combine the two to create one epic dinner!
Tasty chicken tacos – an easy weeknight meal for busy parents. You can switch the recipe to beef or even fish if you start to get bored of the chicken.
Get the coolest parent of the year award with these savory meatloaf cupcakes. Topped with creamy mashed potatoes, this meal is perfect for a family on the move.
Chicken Pot Pie is a classic family meal that can now be made in less than an hour. The best part is, it doesn’t come from a box!
Throw in a little protein to a kid-favorite meal. This delicious sloppy joe grilled cheese casserole is two insanely delicious meals in one! Your family will go crazy for this casserole. I mean, how can they say no to serious comfort food!
Skip the canned food section and opt for a homemade version of your child’s favorite instant food.
If you’re looking for something quick to make as you run out the door to drop your little one off at soccer, this burrito will do the trick! Ready in just minutes, your child will be shocked at how good it is!
This is one of my favorite meals to serve up and to eat myself! Packed with tons of nutrients and ready very quickly, this meal makes great leftovers and is best served with homemade guac!
These mini burgers are made in a muffin tin and because of that, you can whip up a large batch quickly! They would be great for any family dinner, potluck or birthday party and they certainly get the stamp of approval from the kiddos!
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/muffin-tin-cheeseburger-cups/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
Whether you’re looking to feed a group of people for an upcoming party or event or just to feed the mouths around your dining room table, you’ll definitely want to give this recipe a try. It’s full of so many wonderful flavors and not to mention is extremely easy to assemble which means less time in the kitchen and more time for you!
Think about all the flavors you love about a tasty cheeseburger all combined into an easy ready-to-eat in 30 minutes casserole. From the savory meat to the cheesy pasta and pickle toppings you’ll definitely satisfy your next cheeseburger craving with this recipe and the best part is your whole family will love it too.
Quick and easy dinners don’t get much easier than this. Made with all store-bought ingredients you’ll have these prepared and ready to eat in no time. If you and your children love pizza then try this fun twist by making mozzarella sticks for your meal before a busy night.
Do your children love taco night? Do they also love pizza night? Why not surprise them by combining two of their favorite dinners into one. This unique twist on pizza night will be sure to surprise them and make it fun for everyone.
As a child, macaroni and cheese was always a favorite of mine. If you’re like most people and purchased or received an Instant Pot as a gift this year then you’ll be happy to know you can make your kiddo’s favorite meal, mac and cheese in it too! This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes – perfect for busy nights.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/quick-easy-instant-pot-macaroni-and-cheese/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
This super easy dinner recipe will not only save you time but will also quench your savory cravings. Filled with the delicious layers we love about lasagna but made in the convenience of a muffin tin these are perfect for dinner.
Sloppy joes are an extremely easy meal to assemble and most kids love it. This recipe takes the easiness of sloppy joes and combines it with pizza. Your little ones will go crazy for this enticing combination!
Your family will go crazy for the incredibly savory ground beef filling and buttery mashed potato topping. If you’re not used to preparing it yourself it can feel like a lot of work but this recipe proves it’s actually quite easy! Further, this recipe provides instructions on how to prepare it ahead of time and how to freeze it for later too.
Muffin tin recipes are a great idea because your kids will love these easy to bite “muffins” and you can make extra batches to save you time for future dinners. Simply freeze your extras and take out as you need for lunches or for dinner in a pinch!
Why not combine the savory flavors of chili with macaroni and cheese, the ultimate comfort food. This recipe is also made in the instant pot which means you can have a wholesome meal ready on your table in under 30 minutes, that’s a recipe I can get behind!
If your children love pizza pockets but you don’t want to give them all the additives and artificial flavors most boxed kinds come with, consider making them yourself. Made with store-bought pizza dough and shredded rotisserie chicken you’ll have these pockets made in no time.
This is another great take on pizza pockets but with a different filling. This homemade dough will surprise your family and yourself with how easy it is to make. These cheesy pockets are filled with sliced ham and lots of flavors that will definitely quench your comfort food craving. Say goodbye to your box-packaged pizza pockets.
Empanadas are the more sophisticated and healthier option to store-bought pizza pockets. Instead of pizza ingredients, these empanadas are filled with cheesy ground beef!
Growing up, like many other children, corndogs were a favorite of mine. Made with pre-made crescent roll dough and chopped hot dogs you’ll have these made very quickly. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and watch these nuggets get diminished off the plate.
Quesadillas are such an underrated meal! They’re simple, delicious, inexpensive, and are kid and adult-friendly. This recipe uses leftover or store-bought rotisserie chicken to simplify the meal and pairs it with our delicious 5-Ingredient Copycat Chipotle Burrito Sauce!
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/easy-weeknight-leftover-chicken-quesadillas/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: Forkly
Chicken nuggets and french fries have been a well-known staple dinner for years. There’s a reason why children love this meal so much because it’s so simple, yet so delicious. These chicken fingers hold a lot of smokey barbeque flavors and are baked, not fried in panko crumbs.
https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/05/14/baked-honey-bbq-chicken-fingers/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: SALLYS BAKING ADDICTION
This tasty recipe gives you all the comforting satisfaction that casseroles have to offer with a delicious spin of pizza flavors. To save time, prepare the pizza casserole the night before so it’s ready to place into the oven as soon as you’re home from work the next day.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/easy-upside-down-pizza-casserole/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
Cheesy ground beef quesadillas have your busy weeknights covered. Savory ground meat is combined with Havarti and sharp cheddar cheese and then is stuffed into a soft tortilla! This kid-friendly meal comes together in 30 minutes or less!
If you’re trying to get out of the pizza and pasta cycle try making popcorn shrimp for dinner. Your kids will love this delicious finger food meal that is packed full of flavor and crunchy texture. Not to mention, you may already have all the ingredients needed for this recipe!
If you tell your kids they’re having a salad for dinner they’re probably going to run away from the dinner table. However, tell them this “salad” has Doritos in it and watch them come running back. This insanely delicious taco salad is loaded with delicious flavors and exciting texture.
This is another great recipe to put your Instant pot to work. Pizza casseroles can be made in so many ways with a variety of flavors and ingredient choices. Say hello to a whole new way of making pasta. Making this dish in your Instant pot requires no additional clean up with multiple pot usage-you don’t even have to boil your pasta separately.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/instant-pot-pizza-pasta/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
Burritos can get super messy especially if you have little ones! Instead, skip the mess and serve up this Mexican dish in a bowl. You’ll also love that the Instant Pot transforms this dinner into a quick and easy meal as it comes together in less than 20 minutes!
Spaghetti nights at home are best to enjoy with a full dinner table and a full heart of family connection! Spaghetti is already an easy meal to prepare but the Instant Pot makes it even easier as it cuts down on cooking time and reduces dishes too!
https://www.thekitchn.com/instant-pot-spaghetti-264230?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=tracking&utm_campaign=inline-img-share PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE KITCHN
If you’re seeking to stretch one dinner into two then look no further, this is the recipe for you. These spaghetti nests are a great way to make leftovers new again. The muffin tin also offers convenience by binding the pasta together so you can eat them with your fingers, what child doesn’t love that!
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/leftover-spaghetti-nests/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
There is perhaps nothing quite as easy to whip up on a busy weeknight as Hamburger Helper. It’s quick and inexpensive to make and most kids won’t say no to noodles, cheese, and meat. But you can clean up the ingredients of this storebought dinner and make it far tastier by creating it from scratch in your Instant Pot.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/easy-weeknight-instant-pot-copycat-hamburger-helper/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
If you follow a vegan lifestyle or have a lactose allergy no need to worry! Your children and yourself don’t need to miss out on a childhood favorite like mac and cheese, Forkly has got you covered. This recipe will satisfy your mac and cheese craving all the while providing you and your children with an excellent serving of vegetables.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/kids-adult-friendly-vegan-mac-cheese/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
This recipe is so straightforward it only contains 4 store-bought ingredients. That means you can have a tasty home-cooked meal without all the hassle. This easy recipe only takes 30 minutes start to finish and is toddler approved! Another great finger food choice your children will enjoy.
Sandwiches don’t get enough attention. But if you serve them on a stick they’ll surely capture everyone’s attention. This recipe provides you with not 1 but 4 awesome and delicious ideas. Plus, they would all make excellent options for a light dinner.
This awesome recipe provides a fun twist on a regular grilled cheese. You and your family will love these grilled cheese roll-ups. They’re taste great on their own or make an excellent dipper to be paired with tomato soup.
Who needs takeout subs when you can have these delicious meatball subs on a stick! This easy idea combines homemade turkey meatballs with store-bought breadsticks.
While I love to cook, I just don’t have the time that goes into a meal like homemade lasagna, even though I adore this dish. Enter, the Instant Pot. It takes a small fraction of the time and tastes exactly the same as traditional lasagna, making it a favorite in my books!
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/instant-pot-deconstructed-lasagna/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: Forkly
Tornado dogs are way more fun to eat than ordinary hot dogs! They’re so easy to make too so go ahead and encourage your little ones to help you. They’ll love being able to play chef in the kitchen.
Who can say no to tacos? No one, that’s right! The delicious flavors of chicken tacos are rolled up into enticing pinwheels.
Here is another fun twist on taco night! Tender shredded chicken is combined with taco seasoning and ooey-gooey cheese. These delicious ingredients are then wrapped in flaky croissant dough and baked to golden perfection in the oven!
With only 10 minutes of prep time and 37 minutes of cooking, you’ll have an amazing homemade soup that the whole family (yes, even the kids) will go crazy for. Finally, a soup that’s not from a can, filling and satisfying and will be incredibly heart-warming.
Kids always love a good pasta and meatball meal, but often this means the recipe isn’t very healthy at all. Thankfully, this recipe is a source of lean protein, using turkey meat instead of beef or pork. Another healthy addition you can make is grilling up some veggies to serve on top!