13 Super Easy Meals Teens Can Make Themselves
Whether it’s mom and dad’s night off or you want to learn how to cook on your own, these simple, no-fuss recipes are a delicious place to start.
Not every teenager can open a fine-dining restaurant at 17 like wunderkind chef Flynn McGarry (if you're not impressed by his age, he also started his own supper club when he was 11). But flying solo in the kitchen? Totally doable, especially with our foolproof dinner recipes (hey, you have to learn to crawl before you can walk!). Just consider them the first step on your way to becoming a top chef.
Instead of ringing the (taco) bell, try making your own hard-shell tacos at home. It's quicker than going to the drive-thru and way more delicious.
Making pizza is a cinch when you use store-bought dough and your trusty muffin pan. Or if you want to transform pita bread into pizza, you can't go wrong with this Mushroom-Leek Pizza.
One of our all-time most popular recipes, these classic pancakes are just as easy as using a boxed mix but so much tastier. Breakfast for dinner, anyone?
4. Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Basically all you have to do is make salsa and boil spaghetti. When you're ready for more, check out the rest of our no-cook pasta sauces that come together in a flash.
5. Fried Rice
Turn up the volume on leftover rice with spicy-tangy kimchi and gochujang (Korean pepper paste). Top with a sesame oil-fried egg and toasted nori to tie all the flavors together.
6. Roasted Salmon
A technique you'll come back to again and again! Butter, salt, and pepper are really all you need to bring out the flavor of fresh fish. Sprinkle with parsley if you're feeling fancy.
7. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Welcome to the magical world of the slow cooker -- you add a bunch of ingredients, leave the kitchen, and are rewarded with a delicious meal hours later. This fall-apart tender pulled pork is the perfect starter recipe. Once you get your feet wet, check out 6 Slow Cooker Secrets Every Home Cook Needs to Know.
Instant noodles don't have to be unhealthy! Ditch the sodium-packed seasoning packet that comes in the package in favor of fresh veggies, chicken broth, and canned tomatoes.
9. Chicken Nuggets
Trust us, chicken nuggets are a snap to make at home and so much better than anything you'll find in the freezer section.
10. Grilled Cheese
This four-ingredient wonder is classic comfort food at its finest. In this rendition, sharp grainy mustard cuts through the richness of gooey cheddar and buttery bread perfectly.
11. Sloppy Joes
Our lighter take on the deliciously messy sandwich swaps out ground beef for turkey and sneaks in some healthy sweet potato. Kale chips make a satisfying, good-for-you side dish.
Toss hot pasta with eggs, Parmesan, half-and-half, and crispy bacon for a decadent dinner you can get on the table in just 30 minutes.
13. Lentil Soup
Never settle for canned soup again! Whipping up your own is super quick (we're talking 15 minutes from start to finish) and so much tastier. Start with this lentil version, then try our 15-Minute White-Bean Soup.