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There’s no better way to embrace a movie night than with popcorn. Whether it’s popped in the microwave or on the stove-top, this budget-friendly pantry staple can be dressed up to suit any occasion. Check out our favorite recipes below; you’ll find everything from the best popcorn seasoning to classic caramel popcorn and more.

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White Cheddar Popcorn

Always a favorite with kids, this easy white cheddar recipe from The Suburban Soapbox will be a hit. With only three ingredients, even your tween can whip this up! Get the recipe here

Homemade Microwave Popcorn & Mixes

If you love the convenience of microwave popcorn but don't love all the artificial stuff that comes along with it, this recipe for homemade microwave popcorn from One Lovely Life is right up your alley! It still only takes three minutes, and there are a few great snack mix ideas like candy and seasonings you can try as well. Get the recipe here

Cracker Jacks

This classic baseball snack can be re-created at home in a snap with this recipe from Boulder Locavore. With peanuts, corn syrup and a lot of love, you can easily make a batch for your next movie night. Get the recipe here

Churros Popcorn

You no longer have to wait for a visit to the State Fair for a taste of churros. This popcorn has all the flavor of churro but none of the deep-fried guilt. It combines caramel, cinnamon, and sugar to make a delicious treat you’ll make again and again. Head to Everyday Reading for the how-to, plus top tips on popping the perfect corn.

Circus Animal Melody

Create a popcorn animal medley for your own little monkeys! This rainbow sprinkled popcorn, combines white chocolate and animal cookies for a recipe that will get the kids howling with excitement. The recipe comes from The Melrose Family via House of Yumm and is easy to make, looks magical and tastes delicious. Win, win!

Pretty Popcorn Cake

Press pause on the remote, this popcorn cake is a showstopper! Dry cake mix and marshmallows are the key ingredients for this festive number. The recipe is open to variation depending on the cake mix you buy, head over to Taste and Tell for the how-to, plus tips on getting the perfect color to get this seasonal red velvet look.

Cookies and Cream

Popped kettle corn and crushed Oreos with melted white chocolate? Yes, please! This cookies 'n' cream popcorn snack comes from Erica, the baking-obsessed dentist behind the blog, Erica's Sweet Tooth. The recipe couldn't be easier and has inspired some other popcorn varieties on her site, including funfetti, apple spice, and pink strawberry shortcake versions! Check out her blog for more.

Taco-Spiced Corn

If you want to cut down on sugar, popcorn makes the perfect savory snack. This taco version, from Well Plated, couldn't be easier. Just drizzle your freshly popped corn with melted butter and sprinkle with a spice mixture you can customize for little taste buds. A zest of lime brings this snack to life, and nutritional yeast or parmesan completes the cheesy taco seasoning.

Pizza Popcorn

This surprising recipe involves making a fruit-leather style tomato base that's ground up to make the pizza blend.  Get the recipe at the Food Network plus tips on how to cook this up with the kids.  The adorable presentation of this pizza popcorn suggests it could make the perfect neighborly holiday gift.

Popcorn Trail Mix

For a sweet and savory snack mix that can be customized with whatever you have on hand, try this combo mixing pretzel sticks, popcorn, and M&Ms. Colored candy melts are the key to the green sheen but pick whatever color you like for a party mix that suits your crowd. Get the recipe at Endlessly Inspired.

Easy Everything Popcorn

If you're a fan of the everything bagel, it's an easy leap to make this everything popcorn! With just a few pantry staples, like poppy seeds and toasted sesame seeds, freshly popped corn can be turned into a healthy savory snack—it even works as a crunchy topping for your dinner!  Check out more tips and get the recipe at Flour Arrangements.

Chocoholic Dream Popcorn

Nutella popcorn ... need we say more? The kids won't forget this indulgent combo that's the perfect snack for a crowd. Head to Remodelaholic for the how-to and some tweaks to the recipe depending on whether you like your popcorn gooey and chewy or with some pop and crunch.

S'Mores Corn

Pair a bowl of s'mores popcorn with a summer blockbuster from your Netflix wishlist and it'll be like winter never arrived! This delicious combo will take you back to long mid-summer evenings by the firepit. Just raid the pantry for candy melts and graham crackers and finish off with a sprinkling of mini marshmallows. Find the recipe at Endlessly Inspired.

Lunchbox Treats

This recipe turns popcorn into a snack that works in front of a movie as well as in Monday's school lunchbox! These popcorn balls aren't loaded with sugar. Instead, they are made with high protein nut butter and brown rice syrup making them both nutritional and delicious. Head to Weelicious for the recipe.

Vegan Caramel Corn

Naturally sweetened caramel popcorn made with maple syrup and almond butter! This popcorn from Cookie and Kate promises to produce a snack that's healthy, vegan, and easy to make. The recipe uses almond butter, but any nut butter will work—like peanut or cashew  —and produces a chunky and delicious snack.

—Emily Meyers

Featured image: iStock 


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We’re always on the hunt for quick and easy dinner recipes. The fewer dishes to clean, the better—which is why one-pot meals really hit the spot. Below, we’ve rounded up some amazing one-pot meals that come together in a flash, from pasta recipes to stir fries and soups. Break out your dutch oven and read on to get the scoop.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

From The Forked Spoon, this meal is similar to hamburger helper—but way better. Even picky kids will love this delish cross between beef stroganoff and mac and cheese, and since it’s made in a single pot, it’s nearly as easy as the store-bought version. To get the recipe, click here.

Beef Stir Fry

You can’t go wrong with a lightning-fast stir fry, and this version from Tablespoon for One is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Everything cooks together in one pan, and the flavorful soy-based sauce is light but delicious. Click here to get the recipe.

Creamy Potato Soup

When it comes to one-pot meals, soup is a classic (and a kid favorite). This potato soup from Recipes with Rachel starts with bacon, so you know it’s going to be a winner. Top it off with cheese and bacon bits for the perfect easy dinner. Click here to get the recipe.

Greek Dutch Oven Roast Chicken

Sunday dinner just got even better, thanks to this drool-worthy recipe from The Greek Foodie. A whole roast chicken might sound like a daunting project, but it’s actually pretty easy to put together. Plus, since there are potatoes at the bottom of the pot to catch all the chicken juices, you don’t need to worry about making separate sides. Click here to get all the details.

Lebanese Lentil Soup

This flavorful soup from Darn Good Veggies is hearty but not too heavy, perfect for a cold night. It also happens to be vegan, and is filled with healthy ingredients like lentils, rice and carrots. Click here to get the recipe.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

We’re always craving chicken parmesan, but it’s a ton of work to make the traditional version with breaded cutlets. That’s why we love this recipe from Erin Lives Whole—you get all those delicious flavors with a fraction of the effort. To get the recipe, click here.

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

The Instant Pot is a great addition to your arsenal when it comes to one-pot meals. This recipe from That Zest Life is easy to throw together thanks to the Saute function, but you can also make it on the stovetop. Serve them over baked potatoes or on rolls, or even alone with a veggie side. Click here to get the recipe.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This simple soup from Real Food with Sarah captures all the flavors of stuffed peppers without the hassle. It’s a tomato-based broth with plenty of veggies and ground turkey to fill you up. To grab the recipe, click here.

Veggie Pasta One Pot Wonder

It makes sense that if you cook pasta in water, you can switch out the water for stock, add chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices and the pasta will cook just as well with the added bonus of a self-made sauce. That's what the team at Apron Strings discovered with this super simple veggie pasta dish featured in our archives. Garnish with grated cheese and dinner's done.

Tomato Chicken Pasta Pot

This pasta pot is comfort food at its best and so easy you'll wonder why you haven't treated the family to it before. Ceri Marsh at Sweet Potato Chronicles makes this dish by gradually adding each ingredient to the pot; browned chicken first, then herbs, mushrooms, stock, tomatoes, and pasta. No hassle, no mess—perfect for an easy family dinner.

Crock Pot Sweet Pork

If you don't have a crockpot, this sweet pork recipe from our archives might just be the incentive you need to get one. It comes from Erin at Our Table for Seven and with three simple ingredients in one pot, it works great when you've been raced off your feet and you just want an easy option for dinner. Plus, it makes great leftovers. Serve with salsa and salad and you're done.

Mexican Chicken and Rice

Here's a one-pot crowd pleaser easily made from some pantry staples. The dish from Erin at Well Plated uses canned black beans, canned diced tomatoes, and brown rice. You'll also need some fresh veggies, but the recipe is super versatile so use what you have. Skip the jalapeño if that's too much for the little ones, and top with shredded cheese, avocado, salsa and sour cream for a perfect weeknight dinner.

Lemony Greek Chicken

A dish of braised chicken thighs that takes little effort and includes sautéed onions and potatoes must be one of the best ways to end a long day. The only fiddly bit is flipping the meat when you sear it at the beginning, the rest is easy as pie. The recipe from Boulder Locavore has a Greek twist with feta and olives but you can always switch out the olives for raisins if you think the kids will prefer a sweeter taste.

Black Bean Enchilada Pasta

Stuffed with goodness, this one-pot dinner from our archives comes together in less than half an hour. The starch from the pasta thickens the sauce and the final addition of grated cheese makes it a thick and delicious veggie pasta stew - a kind of mac 'n' cheese meets veggie chili. The recipe is from Savory Nothings, and a how-to video shows just how easy it is. Serve with lime segments and cilantro.

Dressing for Dinner

While dressing isn't technically dinner, there are plenty of kids who will only eat the dressing on their plate at Thanksgiving. Why not make a meal of it? This one-pot recipe from Around My Family Table uses gluten-free bread and chicken sausage links which can be switched out for more mild alternatives. Add celery, herbs and broth and you have a one-pot meal that can step in for an easy dinner or lunch the kids will love.

Baked Risotto

Risotto doesn't have to mean you are tied to a hot stove while the kids chant about how hungry they are. With baked risotto, you can do 10 minutes of prep and get the same big pot of comforting gooey rice for dinner with less than half the effort. Head over to My Little Larder for this recipe where you just have to check and stir every ten to fifteen minutes. Open to lots of variations, just serve with some grated cheese and you've got an easy one-pot family dinner.

Quick One Pot Beef Stew

It's hard to beat a hearty and comforting beef stew and this dish from NerdyMamma is a real crowd pleaser. The ground beef is browned with fresh or canned veggies and mixed with tomato sauce for a quick weekday dinner in one pot. Head to NerdyMamma for the recipe and serve with crackers or cornbread.


— Emily Myers & Susie Foresman



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When it comes to the very best holiday decorations, hostess gifts and festive treats, look no further than the Dollar Tree! With a few inexpensive materials and a dash of creativity, you can whip up everything from DIY ornaments to clever party gifts. Scroll on for our favorite Dollar Store crafts for the holidays.

DIY Christmas Car Ornament

This too-cute Christmas ornament is a cinch to make and calls for just a few creative materials you can grab at the Dollar Store. (Hint: nail polish is involved!) Best of all, this decoration could double as a toy if your elves need to get some emergency playtime in. Get the how-to over at The Things She Makes.

Reindeer Party Balloons

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer ... on to the Dollar Store! Make a balloon run and make your own ultra-creative holiday decorations that are sure to brighten up any party. Plus, your little ones can help give each balloon a smiling face! Learn more at A Subtle Revelry.

Snowmen Salt & Pepper Shakers

Who knew an inexpensive pair of salt and pepper shakers could turn into super cute snowmen? With a little paint and a friendly face, these little Frosty wannabes are just the thing for a quick gift or table addition. Get the instructions (along with more snowman inspiration) at 20 North Ora.

HI-CHEW Holiday Garland

Need a last-minute gift or a little something special to add to your tree? A Subtle Revelry has just the thing: a totally sweet garland! Colorful cellophane, string, and some HI-CHEWs (or other fave candy), and you're all set. Learn more here.

Paper Plate Snowman Garland

Greet your holiday guests with a cheerful snowman garland! It couldn't be easier to make since all you have to do is pick up some paper plates on the cheap. Then, enlist your holiday helpers to draw some smiling snowy faces and you're ready to go! Learn more at Real Life, One Day at a Time.

Wine Glass Snow Globe

Snow globes have a way of capturing the magic of the season, and with a few Dollar Store supplies, you can create your own, using plastic wine glasses and miniature trees. Head to Consumer Crafts for the tutorial. If you don't feel like fiddling with fake snow, Miss Kopy Kat points out Epsom salts, available at most dollar stores, makes a great alternative.

Handprint Oven Mitt

Customized oven gloves make the perfect hostess gift over the holiday period. Even better, you don't have to be particularly crafty, and you can still come up with a heartfelt homemade present. Head to Trish Sutton's blog for instructions and tips on the best dollar store gloves for the job. 

Paper Wrapped Candles Centerpiece

These DIY paper wrapped candles will work as a gift as well as a dinner table centerpiece for any holiday get-together. Just customize the paper to your celebration, whether it's fall, winter or the new year. Pick up some winter wonderland gift wrap and dollar store sanctuary candles and head to Today's Creative Life for the details.

Personalized Candles

Ever wondered how to personalize a simple ivory candle? Well, here's one way of doing it with just packing tape! Head to It's Always Autumn for the instructions, and you'll have everything you need to give a beautiful personalized holiday gift to friends and family.

Bottle Brush Ornaments

Some metallic primer on the lid and top of a simple dollar store ornament and the effect is pure vintage. These snow globe ornaments make the perfect addition to a winter tree or would work well on a mantelpiece, depending on the size. Little House of Four has all the details.  

Animal Magnet Gifts

A plastic dollar store hippo can get a festive magnet makeover and be put to use hanging holiday cards. Pick out more seasonal winter animals like deer or bears if you like, but we reckon even an upcycled dollar store dinosaur will be a welcome gift of gold. Sugar and Cloth has the instructions. 

Clever Cocoa Mix

The gift of hot cocoa mix is always going to be well received, but if it's packaged in these cute mason jar snow globes, you'll earn extra smiles. Pick up your packaging supplies at the dollar store and the cocoa mix at the grocery and head to A Few Shortcuts for the instructions.

Tiered Party Plates

When you want to add a little seasonal flair to your party platters, some dollar store cake pans and candle holders can be crafted into a festive tiered appetizer tray. Get all the instructions at Southern State of Mind.

Pom Pom Stockings

Add some pizzazz to simple dollar store stockings with homemade pom poms! Head to Thistlewood Farms for the how-to and then deck the halls however you wish. If you have enough for every member of your party, they make clever silverware holders at the dinner table

—Emily Myers & Abigail Matsumoto



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Celebrating the holidays with little ones brings its own set of challenges—like managing energy levels and non-existent bedtimes—but having appetizers at the ready can go a long way in making the season a success. Whether you want your festive finger food to be creative and colorful or just plain delicious, we’ve got the best quick (like 30 minutes or less!) and easy appetizers to make this year. Keep reading to see them all.

Pull-Apart Pizza Ring

We love that this pull-apart pizza ring can be made with any type of toppings: cheese, veggies, sausage or just about anything you desire! And, only requiring 20 minutes in the oven, it's an appetizer that can be made quickly. Get the recipe over at Pinch of Yum

7-Layer Bean Dip

This seven-layer bean dip recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron is a cinch to make, can be paired with chips or veggies and can be made in advance. What's not to love? Get the recipe here. 

Fruity Chocolate Waffle Cones

Kids will love these waffle cones dipped in chocolate and stuffed with fresh fruit. My Fussy Eater has the recipe plus a video with tips on how to dry the cones without all the mess. These make for a healthy, fun option and to cut down on prep you could even have guests spoon the fruit into the cones themselves.


Fruit Rockets

You don't have to keep the kids up 'til midnight to watch the fireworks if you've offered them these celebratory fruit rockets for dinner! Held together with foil-fringed kebab sticks, they are easy to make and a blast to eat. Get the how-to at Eats Amazing. This snack can be adapted to use different fruit combos like pineapple and melon, just remember to cut the sharp ends off the party picks so no one gets hurt.


Mini Stacks

There's nothing like a stack of pancakes to suggest you've made it through 'til morning! These mini stacks skewered with party picks and topped with a slice of fresh fruit are sure to go down well. Dust with confectioners sugar for a sweet touch and a hint of snowfall. Kraft Canada has the how-to.


Ham and Cheese Pie

This ham and cheese pie uses pre-rolled pastry, making it an easy addition to any party platter. It comes to us via The Clever Carrot and calls for just four ingredients sandwiched between flaky puff pastry. After 20 minutes in the oven, you'll have a pie that can be sliced into bite-sized squares and tastes so good you'll be making it again and again.


Perfect Cheese Board

A cheese board is an obvious snack table centerpiece—and crackers are always a big hit with kids! Layer up a tray with the help of Take Two Tapas where you'll find a tutorial to answer all your questions. You can create an appetizing feast of cooked and cured meats, fresh and dried fruit, sliced veggies and dips that kids and adults can both enjoy.


Stellar Chicken Nuggets

Use cookie cutters to give homemade chicken nuggets a festive look. The stars are baked rather than fried, and they're the perfect addition to a snack table. Find the recipe in our archives. 


Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Popcorn is one of the easiest snacks, and this recipe just adds melted chocolate and crushed candy canes to make the perfect celebratory treat. Use half regular popcorn and half kettle corn for a sweet, minty popcorn with all the delicious flavors of peppermint bark. Head to Endlessly Inspired for the how-to.


Rainbow Pretzle Wands

Harness the magic of New Year's Eve with these colorful rainbow wands! Get the recipe from Mom On Time Out and see how versatile they are. They can be easily made in batches and are a great combo of sweet and savory that adds pizzazz to any party platter.


Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

Nothing revives a flagging toddler like a fist full of fries, and these cinnamon sweet potato sticks are no exception. The best part? They take just five minutes to prep! Relish their sweet and savory flavors as you celebrate the season. Head to Weelicious for the easy step by step.


We’re pretty sure this appetizer idea qualifies as pure genius. Just take your family’s fave tortellini, stick ‘em on skewers, and set them on a pretty tray. You’ll get major presentation points with zero fuss. To learn more, visit My Fussy Eater.


Classy Pigs in a Blanket

Make your NYE party extra magical with an appetizer that only uses two (count ‘em, two!) ingredients. These pigs in a blanket are the definition of simple—and you can even add a touch of sesame seeds to up the wow factor. Get the recipe over at Culinary Hill.


Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Serve these delish meatballs as an NYE app or a heartier dinner—either way, we’re sure kids and grownups alike will love them. The best part is, you can use whichever cheese is a household fave! Get The Weary Chef’s recipe by clicking here.


Mini Grilled Cheese Bites

Celebrate NYE with a kid-favorite: grilled cheese! These bite-sized morsels are easy to put together and guaranteed to please a crowd. Don’t forget the tomato soup shooters! To get the recipe, visit The View from Great Island.


Tater Tot Treats

Homemade tater tots? Yes, please! These muffin tin tots are filled with cheese, chives, and bacon, and taste just like mini loaded baked potatoes. ‘Nuff said, right? Get the recipe over at Well Plated.



—Emily Meyers & Abigail Matsumoto


Featured image: Pixabay



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14 Genius BBQ & Grilling Hacks

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If you’ve ever ended up with charred sausages for dinner, here’s “how to BBQ right” lesson #1—BBQing and grilling are two different beasts. The first uses low indirect heat (smoke) to cook slowly, the second uses direct high heat (hot embers) to cook quickly. Once you’ve got that down, the rest is just practice and experimentation. To help you out this season, we gathered up essential tips and tricks for your next cookout. Scroll down to see them all.

Use a Charcoal Grill for BBQ

If you are doing a proper BBQ (think brisket, ribs, sausage), don't use an electric grill. The very best pitmasters will tell you that part of the flavor comes from the smoke itself. 

Soak Your Wood Chips

About that smoke? It's so important that pitmasters will also soak their wood chips in water for an hour or more before starting the grill. That increases the smoke, which, in turn, increases the flavor. 

Clean the Grill with Foil or an Onion

Cleaning the grate will prevent food from sticking to the grill and is a good thing to do if you're using a public BBQ. You don't need any fancy kit, just a pair of tongs and balled up aluminum foil. This takes a little less elbow grease if the grill is warm. Food 52 has the details. Another tip is to clean the grill with half an onion on a BBQ fork which has the added bonus of adding flavor to the food.

photo: Emily Myers

DIY Food Warmer

Plenty of gas grills come with warming racks, but you can rig up a DIY food warmer on a charcoal grill using a few empty tin cans and a cooling tray or grill on top. The extra distance from the flames makes this a good spot to warm the hot dog and burger buns or keep finished food warm. If the grill is covered, it can also be a spot to cook corn or other food that won't drip juices on the rack below.

Subscription Services

Getting the perfect cuts via a meat subscription service will help you cultivate your pitmaster skills. If you’re not quite ready for regular protein delivery, there are other services like Grill Masters Club that supply boxes of inspiration in the form of sauces, rubs, marinades, wood chips and recipes.

DIY Fire Starters

There are plenty of options for DIY fire starters which means you can avoid using chemical lighter fuels.  Check out this video from Rebecca Tan who uses melted birthday candles and cardboard as well as suggesting a teaspoon of sugar to get the flames going.  Or pop charcoal in a cardboard egg box for a portable option that comes to us from Sew Many Ways—this is a great idea if you're using a public grill and want to transport the charcoal without a mess. Or check out this egg-box-lint-wax combo for the committed recycler. 

Easy Propane Level Check

Some propane tanks have a gauge to tell you how much you have left but if you're not sure or there's no gauge, you can bring a cup of water to a boil and pour it over the side of the tank (not the top). You can then feel the tank and the hot part is empty and where it is cool will show you the propane level. Check out this clip on YouTube for the specifics.

photo: Emily Myers

Ember Cooked Potatoes

Cooking food right on the embers of a charcoal fire can save room on the grill, and potatoes cook nicely like this, wrapped in tin foil, shiny side on the inside. Try this technique with yams, potatoes, corn, eggplants and even apples. Wrapping potatoes like this will give a softer skin and should take about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing on the wrapped potato with a gloved hand. Get tips from Get Out With The Kids.

DIY Smoker

It's possible to turn your gas grill into a smoker for under a dollar. Happy Money Saver has tips on how to use foil, a disposable bread pan and hickory wood chips if you want to test your BBQ skills before investing in a smoker.  Or check out these tips on how to turn your charcoal kettle grill into a slow-cooking smoker so you can turn out brisket and ribs like a pitmaster pro.  

BBQ Wraps

For some foolproof cooking, Fire and Flavor has come up with cedar wraps that allow you to use steam, smoke, or fire to cook seafood, meat or veggies. Plus, they add an aromatic flavor to the food. While foil might have less flavor, the same principle applies—cook up zucchini, beans, peppers and corn in foil packets, and you have lightly steamed and delicious veggie sides. 

Pineapple Rind Chicken

If you've bought a pineapple for dessert, don't throw away the off-cuts—you can use them to add flavor to grilled chicken. This pineapple rind chicken recipe has all the flavors of summer, and you can use the rest of the pineapple to make a salsa or fruit salad. Find the recipe at The Typical Mom.  

Grilled Egg in Pepper

Grill an egg in half a bell pepper and you have a veggie treat in an edible bowl. The bottom of the pepper will be charred black, but you can just peel off and eat. Check out the recipe at One Smiley Monkey.

Use a Cast Iron Pan

Cast-iron pans can hold up to the heat of the direct flame and work well for cooking veggies that might slip through a grill. Try cooking sliced onions, peppers and zucchini. You can also heat tortillas this way if you want to make fajitas. 

Spiral Cut Hot Dogs

Take your grilled hot dogs to the next level by skewering them and then spiral cutting them! This super easy cooking method gives you more surface area to caramelize, plus the sausages cook quicker to feed those hungry bellies. Amy at to Bellyfull has the step by step instructions.

—Emily Myers



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Quick and easy dinner recipes can be the saving grace when it comes to a busy work and school week. Whether you need a new take on an old favorite or inspiration for simple dinner ideas, we’ve got a months worth of easy options that will make evening meal prep a breeze. 

1. Best Broccoli Casserole

Add this cheesy quinoa bake to your weekly arsenal for a quick and easy dinner that's high in nutrition. Even veggie-hating kids will admit broccoli tastes better roasted, and in this recipe from Cookie and Kate, it is topped with cheese and breadcrumbs for a comfort food that's hard to resist.

2. Gnocchi with Kale Pesto

Kale is still as popular as ever, and this gnocchi recipe combines a kale basil pesto with seasonal Brussel sprouts for a weeknight dinner that's comforting and full of flavor. Gimme Some Oven has the how-to.

3. Salmon Fish Cakes

These salmon cakes take no time to prep and can be cooked in less than ten minutes. The recipe in our archives gives tips on how to get kids helping—and soon enough cooking—in the kitchen. Serve with crunchy parboiled green beans. 

4. Bacon and Pea Pasta

Pasta and bacon are a winning combo especially when they create a quick and easy family dinner. This version uses frozen peas to make a dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes. Switch out peas for spinach or broccoli depending on the veggie preferences at home. 

5. Tuna Roll Bowl

Here's an easy dinner—a deconstructed version of the spicy tuna roll! Protein-packed tuna, brown rice, and veggies all smothered in mayo sauce make this both light and filling (and a cinch to prepare!). Adjust the seasoning and ditch the spicy red pepper for kids. Show Me The Yummy has the recipe and video. 

6. Quesadilla Pie

Quesadillas meet lasagne in this quick-prep weekend dinner fave. Layer up tortillas with cheese, chicken and spinach, and you have a recipe the kids will love. Click here for the details. 

7. Frittata

The fancy-sounding frittata is actually a quick and simple meal. Pile grated cheese, cubed deli meats and roasted veg into the mix, and you have an easy dinner full of protein.  Two Peas & Their Pod have a sweet potato, kale and goat cheese version that's sure to become a staple.

8. Tuna Melt Sarnie

There's no shame in producing a toasty for dinner—this one uses pantry staples plus, it's so easy, soon enough the kids will be able to make their own! Serve with spiralized veggies or a bowl of soup, like this seasonal potato leek from Once Upon a Chef.

9. Chicken Enchilada Sweet Potato Fries

These Mexican enchilada fries might sound like a side dish but, topped with chicken, black beans and corn, they're likely to become a filling family favorite. The tray can be made a few hours ahead of time and reheated to crisp up when everyone's ready to eat. Get the recipe from Erin Clarke at Well Plated and skip the jalapeño if that's too spicy for kids.

10. Puff Pastry Pizza

Buttery puff pastry makes an alternative pizza base that will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Just brush with pesto, bake and top with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Plated Cravings has the recipe. 

11. Roasted Veg and Sweet Sausage

A one-pot dinner that hints of summer is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up. This version mixes sweet Italian sausage with potatoes, peppers and zucchini, and you can easily switch out the veggies your kids won't eat for ones they will.

12. Pork Medallions with Cheese Sauce

Tenderloin is easy to cook, and this medallion recipe makes a delicious one-pan weeknight dinner that’s on the table in 30 minutes. Swap out the blue cheese for a milder blend if necessary and watch the kids come back for seconds. Get the recipe from Plated Cravings.

13. Savory Pancakes

For a savory take on pancakes, try Borrowed Salt’s banh xeo. It’s a crispy crepe that’s filled with shrimp and bean sprouts, then topped off with fresh veggies and a tangy dipping sauce. Drooling yet? Click here for the recipe and here for a few other ways to turn pancakes into dinner.

14. Oven Baked Risotto

Craving a dinner that's easy to cook and full of creamy goodness? This risotto from My Little Larder will have the family hungry for more, and it requires just 10 minutes of prep then goes in the oven—so almost no stove-top stirring.

15. 15-Minute Shrimp Scampi

Sometimes the kids just need noodles ... now! This quick-prep recipe does just that—puts noodly and nutritious food on the table, fast. Head to Pinch of Yum for the high-speed how-to.

16. Baked Pork Chops

Pork chops are easy on the wallet, and when they're coated in cheesy breadcrumbs, they are easy on the taste buds too. Baked in the oven for thirty minutes, this low maintenance meal from A Taste of Madness is quick to prep and good to eat.

17. Easy Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are a winning dinner option. The fish is lightly seasoned, sauteed and served with warm tortillas and fresh salsa. Head to Weelicious for the how-to, plus tips on replacing fish with tofu. The recipe comes from Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food.

18. Veggie Fried Rice

Once you nail a version of veggie fried rice then you can really add any flavor combos you want. This kid-friendly kimchi fried rice is a versatile option or check out this simple version from our round-up of recipes designed to help you ring in the Lunar New Year.

19. Soba Noodles with Broccoli

This garlicky peanut dish is a great one to remember when you walk in the door late and everyone's hungry. It's ready in the time it takes to roast some broccoli florets. Soba noodles are combined with veggies in a tangy sauce for a quick weeknight dinner fix. 

20. Spinach Leek Salami Quiche

We think Popeye himself would approve of this dish. The spinach contains tons of iron, which can provide a pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired, and the eggs offer a protein boost. (Psst! Use puff pastry dough to cut down on prep time.) Get the recipe here.

21. Pesto Pierogies Skillet

Dumplings get a makeover in this simple recipe with pesto, parmesan, fresh tomato, and olive oil. Mixed together in a skillet, this is an easy weeknight dinner that's super comforting.

22. Beef Stir Fry

The meat in this stir-fry is ready in minutes. Mix with veggies on a bowl of rice and you'll be serving a dish of happiness for dinner. This recipe is easy to customize to your own family's tastes —sub in broccoli or cauliflower instead of green beans.

23. Mexican Pork Soup

It's hard to beat a delicious bowl of warming soup and this recipe from My Fussy Eater produces a chunky broth full of Mexican flavor.  This dish uses leftover cooked pork which can easily be substituted with deli meats.  

24. One Pot Chicken Pasta

This one-pot pasta dish is comforting and familiar as well as easy to cook and packed with nutrition. For more one-pot dinner recipes, check out this round-up of meals that can be thrown together in one oven-friendly pan. 

25. Mini Meatloaves

Great for a weeknight dinner, these mini meatloaves are simple to make, quick to get to the table and totally adorable! Roast chopped potatoes at the same time as you cook the meat and dinner's done. Head to Aggie's Kitchen for the recipe and how-to video. 

26. Easy Shrimp and Grits

Make this southern staple a part of your dinner routine by adding fresh shrimp and veggies to a bowl of grits. Head to our archives for the recipe

27. Scrambled Huevos Rancheros

Think scrambled eggs are just for breakfast? Think again! This simple recipe from Cookie and Kate combines protein-rich eggs with easy-to-flip tortillas to make scrambled huevos rancheros which you can make in minutes, top with anything you like and eat any time of day!

28. Tray Bake Hawaiian Chicken

This summer-inspired tray bake combines pineapples, peppers and sweet potatoes for a fresh, sweet roast of Hawaiian flavors. When you're looking for an easy one-pan dish to lift the family's spirits, this is it. Head to The Seasoned Mom for the recipe and here for other ideas for easy sheet pan dinners.

29. Farfalle with Salmon and Peas

This dinner from The View From Great Island comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Not only is it quick to prepare, it's also a good way to stretch a small fillet of salmon to feed the whole family. The citrus flavors also make it a great recipe to introduce salmon to reluctant fish eaters.

30. Goat Cheese Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

If you’re looking for a simple weeknight recipe, you’ve got to try out this kid-approved recipe. Baked sweet potatoes are stuffed with a healthy mixture of veggies, chicken and goat cheese. You can easily switch up the ingredients to fit your family’s preferences, too.

Which recipes are your weeknight dinner favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

— Emily Myers


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The new year often means lots of resolutions and if one of yours is to make healthy meals for your family, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s learning to healthy meal prep, eat out less or just make wiser decisions when it comes to the food you consume, our roundup of 38 quick and easy recipes will make your weeknight dinners easy. Keep scrolling to get your menu planning on a roll.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Low carb, filling and ready in 25 minutes? That's what you get with this tasty Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe from Damn Delicious! Ground chicken and chopped veggies make this dinner not only gorgeous, but healthy and something the entire family will love.

12-Minute Chicken and Broccoli

Need dinner in a flash? This healthy chicken and broccoli stir fry from Gimme Some Oven is here to save the day! Homemade sauce tops off this delicious meal made in just one pan. Add rice and enjoy!

Baked Bell Pepper Tacos

If cutting the carbs is on one of your new year's resolutions, you'll want to sink your teeth into this Peas and Crayons recipe, Baked Bell Pepper Tacos. Low carb bell peppers are stuffed with high-protein meats, tofu or lentils and topped with your family's favorite goodies like cheese and sour cream.

Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry with Asparagus and Mangos

It takes just thirty minutes from pan to table for Carlsbad Craving's Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry. Lightly breaded chicken and homemade sauce makes this a perfect busy weeknight dinner that's bursting with flavor and is oh so easy on the waistline.

15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta

Say hello to the best alternative to fatty butter and carb-loaded pasta with Gimme Delicious' 15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Pasta! Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) are swapped for traditional noodles and seasoned with olive oil and Italian dressing that is so good, your kiddos will hardly miss the carbs.

10-Minute Italian Chicken Wraps

Weeknight dinners have never been so easy once you try this 10-Minute Italian Chicken Wrap recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron. Pre-cooked chicken is paired with bright and colorful lettuce, tomatoes and avocados and a zesty dressing for a healthy and speedy evening meal.

One Pot Burrito Bowls

All the things you love about burritos come together in this healthy and 30-minute burrito bowl recipe from I Heart Naptime. The best part? It only needs one pan so cleanup has never been easier!

Hawaiian Chicken Bites

Juicy chicken and pineapple come together in Rasa Malaysia's simple and tasty Hawaiian Chicken Bites recipe. Skewers are pan fried in the kitchen (no BBQ needed!) and brushed with tasty BBQ sauces that's so delicious you kids won't realize they're also eating fruit!

Broccoli Cheddar Risotto

This risotto recipe isn't high maintenance and gives you a creamy rice dish with no dairy fat. The creaminess comes from the rice starch, and it's simmered for half an hour rather than constantly stirred, freeing up time at the stove.

Quinoa Black Bean Wrap

Packed with protein-rich quinoa, black beans, and hummus, these wraps are good for lunchboxes as well as dinners. Check out the recipe for this plant-based healthy meal in our archives.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This easy soup needs very little effort for a big result. Once the veggies are chopped, simply throw things into the pot and let it all simmer. Head over to Well Plated for the how-to.

Chicken Pomegranate Pasta Salad

Pomegranates are in season and high in fiber and vitamin C, making this recipe from Weelicious, a perfect addition to a healthy New Year menu. The seeds add great texture and flavor to savory dishes and this salad is quick and easy to prepare.

Veggie Alphabet Soup

The family will get a healthy kick-start for the year with this warming bowl of broth, they might even be able to spell it! This soup is loaded with veggies as well as the alphabet and is lower in sodium than store-bought alternatives.

Green Detox Smoothie

This green goddess of a smoothie from Pinch of Yum will put you on track for a healthy New Year. Banana and kale are blitzed with nuts and topped with pomegranate seeds to make this the perfect January drink, with one eye on the festive season and the other looking forward to a healthy new year!

Healthy Nachos

Comfort meets healthy with these tray-baked nachos. Layer up tomatoes, cheese and spices on corn chips and top with avos and cilantro for a super easy meal that takes just 15 minutes to put together. Check out the recipe in our archives and head to You Totally Got This for more tips on this dinnertime fave.

Mexican Lentil Quesadillas

Packed with protein, these lentils mixed with salsa end up tasting like refried beans. The lentils take just 20 minutes to soften, and you're set for an easy dinner the kids will love. Serve with guacamole for a superfood boost.

Lentil Sausage Lasagne

Make use of seasonal kale with this soup that's high in fiber as well as dairy and gluten-free. The recipe uses chicken sausage, lots of beans, and is spiced up with Worcestershire sauce. Made in a crock pot or slow cooker, this soup is cooked largely unattended.

Zoodle Pizza Casserole

This recipe combines the genius of zoodles (zucchini noodles) with the kid fave pizza and the ease of a casserole. Layer up ingredients in an oven-safe dish and you'll have a veggie-packed dinner ready in around 30 minutes.

Easy Fish Tacos

This satisfying and healthy dinner from Averie Cooks is easy, family-friendly and ready in 15 minutes. The fish is lightly baked—switch out tilapia for another lean white fish if you prefer and serve with avocado, crunchy corn, cabbage, and cucumbers.

Sweet Poodles

Sweet potatoes are a winter favorite with all that Vitamin A and C, magnesium and potassium. Put the sweet veggie in the dinner spotlight by spiralizing it with chickpeas and green onions and adding a peanut sauce for a vegan meal that comes together in one pot, in about half an hour. Head to Kristine's Kitchen for the healthy how-to.

Easy Peasy Pasta Dish

Combine chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and you'll have a healthy pasta dish that virtually makes itself. Check out the recipe in our archives. Garnish with grated cheese and dinner's done.

Black Bean Burger

A healthy kick doesn't mean burgers are off limits—when they're made with black beans! High in fiber and served with a fresh salad, you can find this healthy recipe in our archives. You can even use lettuce as an alternative to brioche or burger buns.

Simple Filet Of Sole

This fish recipe from our archives comes from Robert Rosenthal's cookbook Short Order Dad. Sole has flaky white flesh with a mild taste - add some steamed greens and you've got a lean protein supper that can be ready in under twenty minutes.

Baked Gnocchi

Sweet potato and spinach are both packed with Vitamin A along with lots of other nutrients, so this gnocchi recipe scores high for a healthy start to the New Year. The only fiddly bit is prepping the dough, but once it's done the pieces just need to bake for ten minutes and dinner's done.

Pumpkin & Cannellini Bean Soup

There are just five ingredients in this soup from Boulder Locavore—and all of them are wholesome and healthy. Serve with toast for a meal that's not only easy to make but perfect for getting back on track after a diet of rich holiday foods.

Chicken Biriyani

Layer up browned chicken pieces with rice and lemon for a recipe that, while it has lots of carbs, is full of goodness. Garlic and nuts add flavor, but you can adapt the dish to your palate. Biriyani is a comforting, much-loved dish and this recipe from The View From Great Island keeps it simple too.

Salmon Bake

This easy sheet pan dinner from Scrummy Lane is a quick way to bake salmon and makes for a healthy dish with a citrus zing. Not every child likes asparagus, so switch it out for a trimmed root veggie like carrot or parsnip if you think the kids will prefer it. 

Here's a healthy twist on the potato salad—make it with sweet potatoes, black beans, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and juicy pomegranate seeds for a dish packed with vitamins and minerals. This colorful creation from Take Two Tapas is the perfect celebration of healthy.

Teriyaki Lettuce Cups

These chicken teriyaki cups are easy to eat with your hands like all the best kid-friendly foods. Grill up chicken pieces and top it off with cheese and veggies. For kids needing more carbs, just serve with a side of warm jasmine rice.

Crock Pot Lasagne Soup

Don't be put off by all the ingredients with this lasagne soup.  Packed with veggies, it's a mid-winter pick-me-up that's worth the shopping list, plus it cooks unsupervised in a crock pot or dutch oven. Open to lots of variations, you can switch out sausage to ground turkey or beef and add different veg, like carrots, to the mix.

Smoked Salmon & Soba Noodles

Salmon is packed with omega-3s, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and soba noodles are another protein powerhouse. Add crunchy cucumber and green beans (skip the radishes if you prefer), and you have this healthy dinner from My Little Larder that's hearty enough to fill empty bellies but healthy enough to give everyone lots of energy.

Pork and Apple Bake

Combine apples, chops, and mashed potatoes for a sweet comfort food packed with nutritional value. The recipe involves just a bit of prep and then 20 minutes baked in the oven. This sweet and savory combo makes for a hearty meal the kids will love.

Chili Pasta Soup

Add beans and beef to twirly noodles for a low maintenance soup that comes together in under half an hour. The recipe in our archives is full of fiber and protein and will set the family up for a healthy start to the year.

Greek Couscous Salad

Couscous works well with veggies and is easy to prep. This simple salad uses ever-seasonal cucumbers and tomatoes with olives and feta for a Mediterranean feel. Get the recipe from Plated Cravings.

Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup

This recipe from Pinch of Yum produces an easy, comforting soup with lots of vegetables and no heavy cream. It's a meal packed with protein, and you can switch out the spinach for kale and add chopped root veggies for some seasonal flare.

Veggie Stuffed Baked Potato

No need to pile a baked potato with cream cheese and butter—check out this recipe that combines carrots, sautéed onions and tangy feta cheese for a winter warmer with a healthy twist. Get creative using broccoli or another seasonal winter veg.

Mexican Quinoa Mix

Vegan, gluten-free and packed with nutrients, this stew from Cookie and Kate by way of No Excuses Detox is also super easy to cook. Thickened with quinoa and beefed up with black beans, it is fresh and full of flavor. Ditch the jalapeños and spices if that’s too much for tiny taste buds—it’ll still taste great.

Classic Tomato Soup

While this recipe has cream in the ingredients, tomato soup has lots of vitamin K and calcium and simmers with nutritional value. Head to our archives for this version of a classic. It's the perfect way to transition from holiday excess to a healthy New Year.

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How will you kickstart the family to a healthy New Year? Let us know in the comments below. 

—Emily Meyers & Karly Wood


17 Simple Dinners That Use One Pan

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It’s the eternal dinnertime dilemma: how to get a healthy meal on the table while juggling a million other responsibilities. Our solution? Break out the baking trays, because sheet pan dinners are about to change your life. These easy dinner recipes are a cinch to make and even easier to clean up. Scroll down to see all of our favorite one-pan dinner recipes.

Kung Pao Chicken

It doesn’t get much easier than this kung pao chicken recipe from Donut Worry, Be Healthy. The key is in the sauce, made from a few pantry staples you likely have on hand. To get the recipe, click here.

Sheet Pan Nachos

This recipe from Cait’s Plate is bound to be an instant favorite with your crew. You can customize the toppings to fit your family’s tastes, while still getting in plenty of veggies and protein. Click here to get the recipe, plus handy tips on what kind of chips and cheese work best.

Sausage and Potatoes

This Oktoberfest-inspired recipe from The Rustic Foodie is a year-round favorite. Smoked sausage pairs beautifully with red potatoes and a tangy mustard glaze brings everything together. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Shrimp Fajitas

This lightning-fast dish from Meal Prep on Fleek is the perfect pick for busy weeknights. The shrimp and veggies cook up in less than 10 minutes and pair perfectly with a fresh pico de gallo and warm tortillas. To grab the recipe, click here.

Chicken Shawarma

You can’t go wrong with this crowd-pleasing shawarma recipe from Inquiring Chef. The well-seasoned marinade makes the chicken super delicious, and your little ones can jazz it up at the table with toppings like tzatziki sauce, veggies and hummus. Click here to get the recipe.

Caprese Chicken

Pretend you’re in Italy for the evening with this delish idea from Nicole’s Tasting Spoon. Like a caprese salad, melty fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and basil pair perfectly with chicken breast. Click here to get all the details on how it’s done.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sausage and Broccoli

Keep things simple and healthy with this great recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. Sweet potatoes, broccoli and sausage go well together, especially when you add a balsamic glaze to the equation. Click here to get all the details.

Hawaiian Chicken

Sesame oil is the pantry item you'll need for this tray bake from The Seasoned Mom. It combines pineapples, peppers and sweet potatoes for a fresh, sweet roast of Hawaiian flavors. When you're looking for an easy one-pan dish to lift the family's spirits, this is it. Head over The Seasoned Mom for the recipe, and dinner's done!

Chicken Enchilada Sweet Potato Fries

These Mexican chicken enchilada fries might sound like a side dish, but topped with chicken, black beans and corn, they're likely to become a filling family favorite. The good news is, the tray can be made a few hours ahead of time and reheated to crisp up when everyone's ready to eat. Get the recipe from Erin Clarke at Well Plated, and skip the jalapeño if that will be too spicy for little taste buds.

Bacon Potato Skins

The humble baked potato goes a long way to filling empty tummies (check out this version in our archives). You can take it a step further with this irresistible combination of bacon and cheese in crunchy potato skins from Pinch of Yum. The kids won't even care that there's kale pesto involved! Don't be put off by the idea of scooping out and refilling potato skins—save the mash for later in the week—and treat the family to a baked potato meets pizza feast. Yum!

Baking Sheet Paella

Fresh shrimp, chorizo, peas and easy-cook rice all layer up to make a paella dish the family will love. It's easy and delicious, plus it can be cooked and prepped in less than thirty minutes. Switch out the chorizo for a mild sausage alternative if the kids aren't into hotter flavors. Head over to A Spicy Perspective for the recipe.

Chinese Pork Chops

Marinated pork chops are the star attraction in this sheet pan dinner; they're complemented by roasted broccoli and fresh pineapple chunks.  The only tricky bit is getting prepped with the marinade the night before, but other than that, this recipe from Aggie's Kitchen couldn't be easier—dinner will be ready in 20 minutes.

Chicken Fajitas

Kids will love these tasty sheet pan chicken fajitas! Just 20 minutes of cooking time, and dinner can go straight from the oven to the table. Just wrap in tortillas, and you're good to go. Check out Boulder Locavore for the recipe and how-to video.

Pizza from Scratch

Don't be put off by the idea of making pizza from scratch—this one shapes up in an hour and will be worth the extra effort. Get the recipe from The View From Great Island, and add your family's favorite toppings.

Fish in Parchment Paper

This recipe from Weelicious calls for the ingredients to be cooked in a parchment paper envelope, so the pan doesn't even need washing! It can also be adapted for different tastes—swap out the Asian flavors of ginger and sesame for basil and tomatoes, add different veggies or cooked grains—whatever the kids will eat. The contents of the bag will be gently steamed for an easy everyday dinner. There's even a helpful how-to video to go with the recipe.

Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This one-sheet wonder can be in your oven in less than 15 minutes. 45 minutes later, the dishes are done, and dinner's ready. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are the secret here—and pesto! This is set to be a family favorite. Check out NeighborFood for the recipe.

Sweet and Savory Quesadillas

Serve these cinnamon, apple and cheese quesadillas any time of day—better yet, get the kids to help make them and feast on them together. We have the super simple how-to in our archives, and the recipe comes from The Gourmand Mom—part of an initiative to get kids and parents cooking and eating together as a family. Get more inspiration at Kids Cook Monday.

—Emily Myers & Susie Foresman



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21 Easy Homemade Healthy(ish) Halloween Snacks

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It’s easy to find treats to celebrate Halloween, a little harder to persuade the kids to eat something healthy before they set off to trick-or-treat the neighborhood. That’s why we’ve rounded up creative and nutritious snacks that are just as tasty as the sweet stuff! Scroll on to discover bites that will be a hit with ghouls of all ages.

Halloween-Themed Sushi Balls

How adorable are these Halloween-themed sushi balls from Chopstick Chronicles? They are fairly easy to make, and you can change up the ingredients according to your little monster's palate. Find out to make your own set here

Monster Sandwiches

What's a monster mash without monster sandwiches? This idea from My Own Road is an easy way to ensure that there's hearty food on your Halloween menu—you know, before the giant sugar rush. Plus, it's a cinch to customize these mini monster sandwiches with your fam's fave deli meat and fillings.

Halloween Cheese and Crackers

Good news! Your Halloween cookie cutters can do double duty if you make these genius Halloween cheese and crackers. Use your kiddos' favorite cheese and have them help with the assembly. Learn more (and find other Halloween recipes!) over at Peas and Crayons.

Halloween Yogurt Bark

We love this healthy Halloween yogurt bark for oh-so-many reasons: it's a non-dairy snack, is full of fresh fruit, has no added sugar, and can be made in a snap. And then there's this: homemade googly eyes. Trust us, this is the Halloween snack (or breakfast) of champions. Get the recipe over at Fork & Beans.

Cheesy Graveyard Bones

Pizza dough is the headliner for these cheesy breadstick bones from Kelly Senyei at Just A Taste. The recipe couldn't be easier—especially if you use store-bought dough. For more of a meal try these bone shaped sausage rolls from Tonya Staab. Complete the bone-shaking Halloween look with ketchup or marinara "blood" for dipping!

Spooky Apple Slices

Need some help convincing your little ghouls that fruit is the real sweet treat of Halloween? Just get creative with apple slices! This idea is a snap to pull of, fiendishly clever, and healthy to boot! Learn how to make your own from Peas and Crayons.

Witchy Guacamole

Let's just say that this dip idea is downright magical. Kids will love that it's the perfect excuse to play with food—and you'll love that it's a super simple appetizer or snack. Bonus: use veggies to dunk instead of chips for an extra healthy kick. Get the recipe from Fork & Beans.

Frozen BOO-nana Ghosts

These ghost-shaped boo-nana popsicles are a fun treat the kids will love making as much as eating. Erin Clarke at Well Plated takes the healthy route and dips the banana shapes into vanilla yogurt rather than white chocolate--and you can turn these treats into mummies with a bit of peanut butter, caramel or nut butter and coconut sugar!

Hooting Owls

Not as spooky as ghosts and gravestones but whoooo can resist these delicious Halloween owls? Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on crackers and add sliced and whole almonds for this nocturnal nibble from Charity Mathews at Foodlets.

Fruity Candy Corn

The iconic Halloween candy corn gets a healthy makeover with the help of some appropriately colored fruit! Jill at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons has the how-to using banana, cantaloupe and pineapple.

Spider Sandwiches

These pretzel-legged spiders from Charity Mathews at Foodlets will wriggle and jiggle and tickle your little one's insides! They are a cinch to make and sure to be gobbled up in no time. Sandwich the body with your kid's favorite filler, add legs and raisin eyes and you are all set for a spooky feast.

Pumpkin Clementines

Orange you glad it's Halloween! These clementines disguised as pumpkins are the perfect healthy snack for little ones, peeled and ready to go. They are also super cute and decorative. No cooking's needed but you can find the how-to at Grounded.

Wicked Witch Fingers

Made from pizza dough with almonds as nails, these breadsticks from Cook Nourish Bliss are the perfect spooky finger-pointing snack for Halloween. The knobbly knuckles are cleverly made with a knot in the dough! (Psst! Cheese and carrots make good fingers too!). Add a suitably colored dip —tomato or pesto—and you're good to go.

Kooky Cut Outs

Sliced cheese and Halloween cookie cutters—it really can't get easier than this. The little ones will grab at a platter of different bread or cheese shapes. Alternatively, add themed cheese slices to an open sandwich like this from It’s Always Autumn and serve with spider-web tomato soup.

The Walking Watermelon

We are huge fans of this idea from Life Love & Hiccups, and it's about that time to say goodbye to our favorite summer fruit. Ask your zombies-in-training to lay out the fruity brains before this one hits the table!

Tombstone Toasty

Grilled cheese gets gruesome with this Halloween makeover from Brittney at Blush and Basil. As easy as it is tasty, just add RIP in ketchup and serve with tomato soup. It's a dead cert the kids will love it.

Cheesy Broomstick Bites

Send those little taste buds flying with these crafty broomstick bites. Making them couldn't be easier—get tips from Charity at Foodlets. Keep it light with fat-free string cheese, or tie in some matchstick carrots for a spellbinding boost of energy before your tiny monsters get swept away in the fun.

Apple Monsters

Here's a tasty bite for the little monsters in your life! You'll need six ingredients to create these scary looking critters with their frozen yogurt and mini chocolate chip eyes, apple mouths and jagged almond teeth. A monster never tasted so good! Get the instructions from nutrition coach Emily Fitzgerald at Grounded. 

Carrot Rice Jack O’Lantern

These rice ball Jack O'Lanterns, courtesy of Tara's Multicultural Table, are super healthy and easy to prepare. Carrot juice colors the rice and sheets of nori provide the scary faces. Adapted from a version at Apron Strings, you can make these rice balls big or small and serve 'em as snacks or sides for your hungry hoard.

Spook-tacular Spider Eggs

We've got your new favorite deviled egg recipe, thanks to Weelicious! This idea is a fun way to turn creepy crawlies into delicious eats that are packed with protein. It's the perfect last-minute addition to a Halloween potluck!

Freaky Potato Fries

We know that the sweet tooth comes out with the full moon, so we have something for your wee howlers. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin spice, and fun shapes, oh my! Head on over to Cheeky Kitchen via Tablespoon for the know-how.

— Abigail Matsumoto & Emily Meyers & Stacy Liu
20 Easy Homemade Snacks for a Healthy(ish) Halloween