These easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes will satisfy even the pickiest of your hungry little munchkins! I’ve included a variety of proteins and flavors to choose from, and most of the meals are ready in 30 minutes or less.
Easy, Kid-friendly Dinner Recipes
When you’re already tired from working all day (whether at home or away), the last thing you want to do is hunt down exotic ingredients and spend an hour or more creating a meal, especially when there’s a really good chance your kiddos will snub their noses at it anyway.
But you don’t want to resort to drive-through or take out (again), either. So, what’s a busy mom to do?
Well, I’ll tell you: She should check out this list of delicious, easy, and, yes—kid-friendly—recipes I’ve compiled for her (you).
Most of the recipes I’m sharing with you today can be ready in 30 minutes or less. And the ones that take a little longer (little being the operative word) are so tasty they are worth every extra minute.
There’s so much variety here, you could plan your whole month by this one list. Can you imagine going a whole month without mealtime meltdowns?
Dare to dream, my friend. Then make that dream a reality by trying out some of the recipes below.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY DINNER RECIPES MADE WITH CHICKEN
Honey Chicken Stir-Fry
This honey chicken stir-fry is good for so many reasons: It’s packed with protein, has a hint of sweetness that the kids love, and it’s ready in only 30 minutes.
While the dish is delicious as is, some reviewers recommend doubling the sauce. Others suggest adding extra seasonings to the chicken, such as ginger, pepper, and garlic, to give it a little extra flavor.
Get the recipe at tasteofhome.com
Crunchy Baked Ranch Chicken
This recipe comes straight from the ranch flavor masters themselves at Hidden Valley. It has tons of rave reviews from parents confirming its kid-friendliness, not to mention its adult-friendliness and quick-and-easiness.
Check it out at hiddenvalley.com.
Easy, Kid-Friendly Dinner Recipes: Chicken Enchiladas
If your family likes Mexican flavors as much as mine does, then they will LOVE these easy chicken enchiladas!
The author provides instructions for two versions of the sauce; one is quicker, but both are delicious, so you really can’t go wrong.
Visit isabeleats.com for the recipe(s).
Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
No need to resort to the canned stuff when this more wholesome version of chicken noodle soup can be ready in half an hour. The secret to getting this soup on the table quickly is using pre-cooked chicken, either from your freezer or the deli.
View the full recipe at themodernproper.com.
Black Bean Chicken Burritos
This recipe is another of my family’s favorites from Taste of Home. The burritos are a perfect way to sneak more veggies into your kids’ diet. And, you can easily customize the ingredients to suit the tastes of the children (and adults) in your family.
Visit tasteofhome.com for the recipe.
One Pan Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce
This kid-friendly cilantro chicken meatball recipe is one of the lengthiest on my list in terms of total prep and cook time (yet it still comes in at well under an hour). But, the flavors in these meatballs and the heavenly mango coconut sauce will be worth every extra minute you spend in the kitchen.
This one pan dinner is already packed with protein and veggies, but it can be served over rice, quinoa, or even noodles if your family craves something more substantial.
Head over to ambitiouskitchen.com for the recipe.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Rolls
These chicken bacon ranch pull apart rolls are great for game day or any day that you want to make a quick, easy, and satisfying meal that is fun for the kiddos to eat.
Visit melissassouthernstylekitchen.com for the recipe.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This deconstructed burrito-in-a-bowl is fun for the kids to assemble and eat. And using quinoa instead of rice provides additional nutrients your growing children need.
Head over to eatingwell.com for the recipe.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY DINNER RECIPES MADE WITH TURKEY
Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Next on my list of easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes is stuffed turkey burgers.
The peppers and mozzarella cheese hidden in these burgers are a tasty surprise that the whole family will love.
Visit foodnetwork.com for more info.
Easy, Kid-friendly Dinner Recipes: Instant Pot Chili
I was drawn to this chili recipe for its use of unexpected ingredients like turkey and sweet potatoes. Of course, you could customize the protein and veggies to your family’s liking if you prefer.
No instant pot you say? No worries. The author includes instructions for preparing the chili on the stovetop and in the slow cooker.
Head over to wellplated.com for the recipe.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY SEAFOOD DINNER RECIPES
Baked Popcorn Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce
The kiddos will have fun popping these crunchy popcorn shrimp in their mouths. And the Greek yogurt-based sweet chili sauce is not only delicious, it’s healthier than traditional sauces that contain mayo.
Get the details at eatingwell.com.
Healthy Baked Fish Nuggets
These salmon nuggets will disappear as fast as their chicken counterparts, and they will add a healthy dose of Omega-3s to your children’s diets.
Serve them with these baked carrot fries, and you’ll have a healthy meal for your family in minutes.
Get the recipe at laurafuentes.com.
Easy, Kid-friendly Dinner Recipes: Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice
This cauliflower shrimp fried rice recipe is not only delicious, it’s both kid-friendly and Keto-friendly. And it’s ready in 30 minutes, so that’s a win-win (win) if there ever was one.
This recipe is also from laurafuentes.com.
Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp
This sheet pan shrimp is high in protein and nutrient rich. Simply put, it’s a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love to eat.
Head over to onceuponachef.com for the recipe.
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Rounding out the seafood section of my list of easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes is this healthier take on traditional tuna noodle casserole.
The author set out to make this classic comfort food not only healthier, but equally, if not more, delicious. And I can say without hesitation that she succeeded!
As an added bonus, she provides modifications for a dairy-free and gluten-free version, as well as freezing instructions if you want to make the casserole ahead of time.
See the full recipe at ambitiouskitchen.com.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY VEGETARIAN DINNER RECIPES
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
This chickpea curry is a great way to introduce the kids to new flavors. Ready in only 15 minutes, it’s a perfect recipe for weeknights—Meatless Monday in particular.
Check it out at eatingwell.com.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach
The comforting fall flavors and creamy sauce in this vegetarian pasta dish will satisfy the kids and adults alike in your household! On top of that, you can’t beat the fact that it’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Visit marisamoore.com for the recipe.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY DINNER RECIPES MADE WITH PORK
Pepperoni Pizza Crescents
Heading up the pork section of my list of easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes are these pepperoni pizza crescents.
With a few simple ingredients and a tube of crescent roll dough, your children will be chowing down in just minutes.
See the recipe at delish.com.
Pork with Sweet Potatoes
The cranberries and apples in this pork recipe are reminiscint of fall, but the sweetness they add will have the kids cleaning their plates no matter what time of year it is.
Head over to tasteofhome.com for the recipe.
Sheet Pan Raspberry Pineapple Pork Chops
Next on my list is another fruity pork creation.
The sweetness from the berries and pineapple will make these pork chops a big hit with the kids. And the 30-minute-ness and one-pan-ness of the recipe will be a big hit with you.
Visit melaniemakes.com for the recipe.
Easy One-Skillet Sausage and Peppers
The vibrant colors in this one-skillet dinner will catch the eye of your pickiest little one, and the flavors will seal the deal.
Head over to averiecooks.com for more info.
EASY, KID-FRIENDLY DINNER RECIPES MADE WITH BEEF (HAMBURGER AND STEAK)
Skillet Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
If you’re craving comfort food, this homemade hamburger helper will fit the bill. Even better that it’s ready in only 20 minutes.
Get the recipe on delish.com.
Easy, Kid-friendly Dinner Recipes: Steak Fajitas
Tender steak and a variety of veggies come together quickly, making these fajitas a perfect weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy.
Visit themodernproper.com for the full recipe.
Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki
Give your kids a taste of the Mediterranean with this easy meatball recipe. Prep extra to freeze to make even quicker work of this meal the next time around.
This recipe can also be found at themodernproper.com.
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
I love recipes that reinvent classic foods, and this Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is no exception!
Cavatappi pasta (a corkscrew-shaped pasta) provides fun visual appeal for the kids. And because it’s so creamy and satisfying, this dish is sure to earn a top spot among your family’s favorite comfort foods!
Get the recipe at chealseasmessyapron.com.
Easy 30-Minute Meatball Subs
Any recipe that has “easy” and “30 minute” in the name is already a winner in my book. And the meatball, cheese, and sub sandwich of it all will win over even the fussiest little eaters in your family.
Check out realmomnutrition.com for the recipe.
Easy, Kid-friendly Dinner Recipes: Taco Pizza
What could be more kid-friendly than tacos or pizza? How about taco pizza?! This recipe is also busy mom-friendly in that it’s ready in just half an hour.
You can find this recipe at livingwellmom.com.
Muffin Tin Meatloaf
When it comes to easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes, muffin-tin meals are perhaps some of my favorites.
After all, serving traditional dishes in mini form is a surefire way to get the kids interested. And, these muffin tin meatloaves are not only cute, they are ready to eat in just 30 minutes.
Visit krazykitchenmom.com for details.
Muffin Tin Lasagna
Here’s another muffin-tin spin on a classic family meal. And, these little cups of Italian goodness are not only an excellent choice for an easy, kid-friendly dinner, the leftovers work just as well for lunch the next day.
Visit tasteofhome.com for the recipe.
30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie
Celebrity chef Rachel Ray’s take on shepherd’s pie checks all the boxes: it’s quick, easy, and very kid-friendly. With hundreds of 5-star reviews, you just can’t go wrong.
Check it out at foodnetwork.com.
Thai Beef and Broccoli
Next on my list of easy, kid-friendly dinners is this Thai Beef and Broccoli from Holly over at tasteandsee.com. It’s another recipe that is ready to serve in 30 minutes, and another opportunity for you to expose your kids to international flavors.
Head over to tasteandsee.com to “see” this recipe (couldn’t resist).
Skillet Cheesy Beef Ziti
This kid-friendly, cheesy beef ziti is definitely not for the carb-averse. But it is an easy, one-skillet dinner that will have your family loving every carbalicious bite!
Get the recipe at wholeandheavenlyoven.com.
There you have it, over a month’s worth of easy, kid-friendly dinner recipes. Are you as hungry as I am right now?
Many thanks to the genius chefs and home cooks for these life-saving (and tantrum-erasing) meal ideas, not to mention their drool-worthy photos.
These recipes have made my life SO much easier. They’ve also taken SO much of the fuss out of mealtime. I truly hope they do the same for you (let me know in the comments if you made any of the recipes, and which of them were your kids’ favorites).
And once your kids’ bellies are full and they’ve quieted down for the night, perhaps a good children’s book will be in order? 🙂
Happy eating (and reading)!