If your big kid can use basic appliances, they can get their own dinner on the table with these recipes
At some point, the day will come when your older kids have to fend for themselves at dinner time. Whether it’s eating before a late practice, it’s their turn to cook family dinner, or you just aren’t home in time to handle the job, having a handful of easy-to-make meals is a must. We’ve rounded up easy dinners kids can make that are great for big kids who can work their way around the kitchen and simple appliances.
Mini Pita Pizzas
When it comes to easy dinner recipes for kids, they can start with a simple pita pizza. Using a pita instead of dough means that this meal cooks uber quickly, but is sturdy enough to make the transition either from the oven or a toaster oven without getting too droopy. This recipe is easy and customizable, which is great if your big kids are helping out with dinner for your other kids or the entire family.
There comes a point in every growing young person where they realize the magic that is brinner, and that’s where the omelet comes in. This easy recipe from The Spruce Eats comes together quickly and calls for ingredients like eggs and cheese—something you likely always have on hand. Want your kids to avoid the stove? Try this microwave omelet recipe!
Easy Dinner Kids Can Make: Microwave Nachos
If you’d prefer your kids stay away from the stove, these microwave nachos are a great option. Just layer the chips, cheese, and toppings like beans, meat, or tomatoes, then take them for a spin in the microwave. Not only can your kids make this with healthy options, but it’s ready to eat in just a few minutes.
Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
There’s no stove needed for this simple dinner kids can make. Keep several bags of salad kits on hand for your older kids who can use one for dinner on their own. Then they can top with an easy protein like rotisserie chicken, canned tuna, or even leftover burger patties. Easy peasy and healthy, too!
Pepperoni Pizza Tortilla Wrap
Inspired by TikTok, this easy dinner recipe for kids will be loved by the entire fam. It’s simply a matter of artfully folding ingredients between tortillas, then using a panini maker to warm it all up. The great part? You’re not just relegated to pepperoni and mozzarella. Get creative by adding chicken or beef, dips or salad dressings, and your choice of cheese.
Ham & Cheese Sliders
If your big kids have moved beyond just a plain sandwich using cold cuts, have them try these delicious Hawaiian ham and cheese sliders made in the oven. An entire bag of Hawaiian rolls is sliced in half, then topped with cheese and ham (you can always mix up your meat and cheese!). Before baking, make sure to top it with the “Secret Sauce” as described by Wondermom Wannabe, then enjoy!
Easy Dinner Kids Can Make: Sloppy Joe’s
If your big kid can brown beef, this Sloppy Joe’s recipe from Carlsbad Cravings is a fresh way to prepare it. It calls for the simple addition of green bell peppers and onion (though you could adjust based on your preferences) and a homemade sauce. If your kids just aren’t into that much prep work, there is absolutely no shame in picking up a packet of Sloppy Joe’s seasoning and adding it to your ground beef. Don’t forget the buns!
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
Whether it’s Tuesday or not, your big kids can never go wrong with a tasty taco recipe. This version from A Taste of Madness cooks in 15 minutes and uses seasonings found in most kitchens. Be sure to keep the fixin’s on hand and this recipe readily available in your kitchen for those “on your own” nights.
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Classic grilled cheese and tomato soup is a rite of passage. Being able to whip up this meal will not only satisfy your big kids now, but it will come in handy when they’re young adults adjusting to being their own chef full-time. You can use this tasty grilled cheese recipe from Cookie & Kate or teach the kids to make them in the toaster if you’d rather them avoid the stove. As for the tomato soup, it’s as simple as pouring a can or carton into a bowl before popping it in the microwave.
Easy Dinner Kids Can Make: Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese
Most kids won’t turn down the idea of pasta for dinner, so having this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe on hand will come in handy. You don’t need to pre-cook the pasta (just dump straight from the box!) or use a food processor to blend ingredients. Just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for three hours.
If your older kids are comfortable with an Instant Pot, this recipe from Pinch of Yum requires just four minutes of cook time and is also a great option.
Easy Fried Rice
The best fried rice is made with leftover rice, which makes this dish even better for using up last night’s dinner. Kids can customize their protein, while also taking advantage of a frozen veggie mix to bring this tasty dinner to life. Even better, it’s made in one pan! Grab this simple recipe from Rasa Malaysia.