14 Easy Recipes Kids Can Help Make
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 14 recipes cover every meal of the day. For breakfast, we'd be remiss if we didn't help you make a giant stack of pancakes (extra points if you throw in sprinkles or pour them into letter shapes) but we also have slightly more unexpected options, such as granola (with so many mix-in options, from dried fruit to nuts to chocolate chips!). For lunch, consider simple and delicious grilled cheese, an Asian-inspired fried rice with ham, or a warm and hearty tortilla soup with black beans.
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 help you prep by cutting the vegetable into florets, grating the lemon zest, and mincing the garlic. Younger ones who aren't quite ready to use a knife can press the button on a food processor to chop and mix the ingredients for Mini Turkey Burgers for dinner, or else they can help stir together the components for a sweet and savory microwaved version of baked beans.
Our creative dessert options are uncomplicated yet surprising. A chocolate pudding that gets its creaminess from avocado? Cool. Fudge studded with pretzels? It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet. And "surprise" cookies? Enough said.
Not only is oven-fried chicken healthier than its traditional counterpart, but it's also much easier for kids to help with since there's no splattering oil. The finished dish is crunchy and delicious.
One-Pot Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon
Children can help cut broccoli into florets, grate lemon zest, squeeze lemon juice, and grate garlic—once both the vegetables and the pasta are cooked, toss everything together for a tasty meal.
Avocado and Black Bean Tacos
There's barely any cooking involved in these vegetarian tacos—it's just a guacamole-like avocado mixture, thinly sliced kale, black beans (canned are fine), and sunflower seeds.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese
Teach a kid to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and she or he is set for life. Hot tip: Slather the bread with a combo of butter and mayonnaise for a rich, buttery flavor and an uber-crisp exterior.
Mini Turkey Burgers
You can use a food processor to make the burger mixture for these sliders; then, kids can form them and adults can help with the cooking.
Fried Rice with Ham
There's something fun about the different steps involved in this delicious Asian-inspired fried rice—they're not difficult, but it's a method that kids will take pride in learning.
Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
Since it's made with frozen corn and canned black beans and 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.
Carrots with Ginger and Honey
Here's a streamlined side dish that involves only five ingredients: baby carrots, butter, ginger, honey, and salt.
Microwave "Baked" Beans
We know: "microwaved beans" doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "baked beans" does. But bacon, chopped onions, ketchup, and molasses make for a winning dish kids can definitely make and enjoy.
Granola is a breeze to make. Let your kids choose their mix-ins, from shredded coconut and sesame seeds to sliced almonds and dried fruit.
The quintessential weekend breakfast, pancakes are easy and fun to make, and this recipe calls for ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Kids and adults alike will be amazed at the surprise ingredient in this pudding: avocados. When paired with cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla, they result in a deliciously smooth and rich treat.
Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels
This recipe is so simple that kids can do most of the work themselves—just be sure to read the recipe carefully before starting and have all the tools and ingredients ready. Once you start, the steps move quickly.
What's brown and white and delicious all over? Chocolate cookies with secret marshmallow centers (they're inspired by mugs of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows!).