The Best Kid-Friendly Recipes to Make with Your Littles Ones

kids cooking

We've got easy recipe options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert to get your kids having fun and feeling confident in the kitchen.

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jennifer aaronson and daughter cooking
Linda Pugliese

Cooking with kids can be wonderful, but you can make it even more enjoyable (and less stressful) by choosing the right recipes. Suitable recipes are the easy ones, but not so easy that they don't need a recipe at all—after all, where's the fun in starting and ending at step one? Shorter ingredient lists help, too, as do active steps your little ones can do with their hands, like crushing tortilla chips and squeezing lemon juice.

These recipes in this collection cover every meal of the day. For breakfast, we'd be remiss if we didn't help you make a giant stack of pancakes. Our easy recipe is simple enough for any little chef to help out with—let them whisk the ingredients together or pour the batter by the spoonful onto your griddle. For extra fun (and flavor), sprinkle in some chocolate chips or berries. When it comes to lunch, what kid doesn't like grilled cheese? Our test-kitchen approved version will become your child's new favorite. Have them layer on the cheese—a mixture of American and grated cheddar—before you brown the bread over a hot skillet.

Older kids can hone their chopping skills as they help you put together a broccoli and pasta dish that's just right for a weeknight dinner. They'll assist by cutting the vegetable into florets, grating the lemon zest, and mincing the garlic with your supervision. Younger ones who aren't quite ready to use sharp kitchen tools can pour marinara sauce over personal pizzas, dredge chicken in panko for breaded cutlets, give simmering soup a good stir, and more.

No matter their age, there's a step in all of these recipes that your child can complete. Ahead, our best kid-friendly recipes for you and the family to make as a team, then enjoy together.

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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Do you remember making cookies with your parents? Continue the tradition with this simple recipe—three steps and a bake in the oven is all it takes for this soft and chewy dessert.

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Basic Chicken Soup

basic chicken soup
Diana Chistruga

Have your little one crush cloves of garlic while you chop the onion, carrots, and celery for this simple chicken soup. A rich broth forms as the chicken cooks in a blend of herbs and aromatics, and your helper can give it a stir for good measure.

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English Muffin Pizza Snacks

english muffin pizza snacks topped with fresh basil
Frank Frances

Have kids help out with their after-school snack by letting them layer marinara sauce and mozzarella onto lightly toasted English muffins. Then bake the personal-sized pizzas until the cheese is melted.

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The Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread KC

There's plenty for kids to help out with when it comes to making banana bread. They can whisk together the dry and wet ingredients then stir in the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, and even pour the mixture into your prepared pan. All you need to handle is taking the hot dish out of the oven.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese

test kitchen mac and cheese
Armando Rafael

Your kids are probably familiar with boxed mac and cheese, but have they made this favorite dish from scratch yet? With this recipe, they'll learn how. Among the steps they can tackle, once the pasta is cooked, have them mix in a blend of three cheeses—American, cheddar, and Parmesan—until melted and creamy.

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Quick Broccoli Frittata

quick broccoli frittata served with avocado
Frank Frances

Kids will enjoy cracking eggs into a bowl and whisking them together with grated sharp white cheddar for this easy frittata recipe. Pour the egg-cheese mixture into a skillet with sautéed broccoli and minced garlic, then transfer to an oven and cook until fluffy and golden brown.

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Breaded Chicken Cutlets

frozen cutlets

This four-ingredient recipe yields crispy, golden-brown chicken without the need for deep frying. The cutlets are coated in flour then dredged in egg and toasted panko—you can let your kids do the prep (or some of it)—then the oven does the cooking.

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One-Pot Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon

one pan pasta pot spoon
Bryan Gardner

Children can help cut broccoli into florets, grate lemon zest, squeeze lemon juice, and grate garlic in this one-pot recipe. Once both the vegetables and the pasta are cooked, toss everything together for a tasty meal.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

hands holding grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

One of the easiest dishes for kids to perfect, grilled cheese is sure to become a staple in your household once they're shown the ropes. Here we use a combination of two cheeses—slices of American and shredded cheddar—so the sandwich is extra gooey and delicious. Hot tip: Slather the bread with a combo of butter and mayonnaise for a rich, buttery flavor and an uber-crisp exterior.

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Mini Turkey Burgers

turkey burgers and sweet potato fries

You can use a food processor to make the burger mixture for these sliders; then kids can form them into patties and adults can help with the cooking. Once cooked through, add the burgers to buns with tomato slices, lettuce, and other preferred toppings.

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Tortilla Soup with Black Beans


Since it's made with frozen corn, canned black beans, and canned tomatoes, this simple soup comes together in a flash. Bonus: Kids will love crushing tortilla chips to add to the soup in the last few minutes of cooking.

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Carrots with Ginger and Honey

Carrots with Ginger and Honey
Joseph Scafuro

Here's a streamlined side dish that calls for only five ingredients. Start by having your kids trim the stems off of carrots and then add the vegetable to a pot of boiling water. Once tender, finish the carrots off in a pan with melted butter, ginger, and honey.

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easy basic pancakes
Diana Chistruga

Get your weekend started off on the right foot by making breakfast with your favorite little chef. There's plenty of opportunities for them to help out with this basic pancakes recipe—have them whisk together the dry and wet ingredients, pour spoonfuls of batter onto your skillet, and flip the pancakes with your assistance.

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