Home Dinner 33 Dinner Ideas for Kids (+ Easy Recipes)

33 Dinner Ideas for Kids (+ Easy Recipes)

Are you a parent running low on dinner ideas for kids? I feel your pain! 

It can be frustrating when your kids are picky eaters who opt for a bag of chips when you’ve put a lot of work into making dinner.

No matter how yummy your dish is, if they don’t like how it smells or looks, they’ll completely ignore the meal.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
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Luckily, in this list, you’ll get an array of kid-friendly dinners your littles won’t be able to say no to.

Like the spaghetti and meatballs recipe at the end of this post!

Ready to get cooking? Let’s dive in!

30+ Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas to Make Tonight

Homemade Cheeseburger Biscuit Cups with Ground Beef
Source: Togetherasfamily.com

1. Cheeseburger Biscuit Cups

This is a fun play on cheeseburgers because instead of serving meat in a bun, you’ll serve it in a biscuit shaped like a cup!

To make your cheeseburger taste even more delicious, cook the ground beef in mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.

Top it with melted cheese, and your kids will love it!

Sloppy Joes with Bell Peppers

2. Sloppy Joes

These sandwiches are so easy to make you can whip them up in less than 20 minutes! It’s a one-pan dish with ground beef, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices. 

It goes well with any bread – from burger buns to loaf bread to dinner rolls. Plus, it’s an excellent choice if you have a picky eater at home. 

Homemade Buttered Noodles in a Plate
Source: Culinaryhill.com

3. Buttered Noodles

Simple dishes like buttered noodles truly are a hit with kids. This one only needs four things: butter, salt, pepper, and egg noodles. How easy is that?

Kids will love this as is, but since it’s so versatile, the options are endless.
Mix in beef stroganoff or meatballs, and you’ll have a meal the entire family will enjoy.

Potato Chip Frittata with Caramelized Onions
Source: Howsweeteats.com

4. Potato Chip Frittata

Opening a bag of chips will get the kids running towards you in a flash!

But instead of eating chips straight from the bag, use them to add crunch to a fluffy, cheesy, and more balanced frittata.

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Cheese, eggs, and chips together? You can’t go wrong with that combo.

Easy Homemade Corn Pudding Casserole

5. Corn Casserole

Like their adult counterparts, kids are really into comfort food. And corn casserole is one of the best out there.

What’s not to love about corn muffin mix combined with creamed corn and topped with shredded cheddar cheese?

Once you bake it until the cheese gets bubbly and golden brown, it’ll be a certified hit. It’s the perfect combo of sweet, creamy, buttery, and crunchy!

Homemade Taco Cups with Ground Beef and Cheese
Source: Createkidsclub.com

6. Taco Cups

Just about anything shaped into a cup will get your kids’ attention. Taco cups are a perfect candidate.

For this dish to work, you need to use fajita-sized tortillas.

Bend those inside muffin tins, fill them with juicy taco meat, top with shredded cheese, and bake!

Baked Pizza Spaghetti Casserole with Italian Turkey Pepperoni Slices
Source: Plainchicken.com

7. Pizza Spaghetti Bake

If the kids are bored with the same spaghetti recipe every week, here’s the perfect way to reinvent it. Say hello to pizza spaghetti bake.

There’s al dente pasta at the bottom, followed by smoky ground pork sausage. Then, of course, there’s the rich sauce.

But it doesn’t end there. To finish it off, you’ll top this casserole with lots of pepperoni and cheese and bake it to pasta perfection.

Breaded Chicken With Potatoes

8. Ritz Cracker Chicken

Kids love chicken, and kids love crackers. Imagine their joy if you combine these two to make one incredible kid approved dinner.

They’re chicken breasts coated with uber-flavorful crackers and butter and baked until crisp and golden. It’s so good. And it’s oil-free, to boot!

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Parsley
Source: Onceuponachef.com

9. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic that kids will never ever get tired of. And this recipe for the dish is one of the best. 

It features meatballs seasoned with herbs and spices and simmered in a rich marinara sauce. They’re juicy, meaty, sweet, and savory. 

Toss in the spaghetti pasta to finish this classic and serve.

Taco Bell Quesadillas Recipe

10. Taco Bell Quesadilla

Ask children what their favorite fast food place is, and at least 75% will say Taco Bell. Okay, so that isn’t a REAL statistic, but kids do love it.

That’s how you know this copycat quesadilla will satisfy all your picky eaters. It’s full of gooey cheese and delicious chicken.

And yes, it has that special Taco Bell sauce, too.

Homemade Cheeseburger Meatloaf

11. Cheeseburger Meatloaf

There are tons of meatloaf recipes that call for a bunch of ingredients and techniques out there.

But really, all you’ll need is ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, ketchup, and mustard.

These are enough to create the juiciest and most tender meatloaf. Adding cheese, ketchup, and mustard makes it taste like a cheeseburger, too!

A Plate of Pizzadillas with a Bowl of Salsa
Source: Budgetbytes.com

12. Pizzadillas

Pizzadillas are just what they sound like they would be: a fantastic way to eat pizza and quesadillas simultaneously.

You can use toppings like chicken, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms – absolutely anything you can think of.

Place them inside flour tortillas and crisp them in a skillet.

The best part is the kids get to pick their toppings, so you know it’s a kid friendly food.

Homemade Chicken Tenders Marinated with Lime Juice, Honey and Italian Dressing

13. Chicken Tenders

This next recipe is southern comfort food that’s both healthy and finger-licking good.

Chicken tenders are soaked in a marinade of lime juice, honey, and Italian dressing and grilled to absolute perfection.

They smell good and taste even better. It’s impossible for kids to ignore them.

Crispy Baked Chicken Nugges with Mustard Sauce
Source: Ambitiouskitchen.com

14. Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a staple in any kid’s comfort food list. But let’s be honest, we can’t feed them fast food every single day.

So put on your apron and try these homemade chicken nuggets. They feature crunchy panko breading on the outside and tender chunks of chicken inside.

Pair this with the perfect BBQ dipping sauce, and your picky eaters will definitely ask for seconds.

Bisquick Cheeseburger Pie Stuffed with Beef, Cheese and Eggs

15. Cheeseburger Pie

Kids love pies. Imagine their faces if they had one that tasted like a cheeseburger.

Luckily, you don’t have to imagine. You can use this simple recipe to make that dream a reality.

Use the always-dependable Bisquick mix for that wonderful crust. Stuff it with a mixture of beef, cheese, and eggs, and the rest is up to the oven.

It’s quick, easy, and always hits the spot.

Pizza Stuffed Crescent Rolls Served with Marinara Sauce
Source: Eatingonadime.com

16. Pizza Stuffed Crescent Rolls

The next recipe makes bite-sized appetizers with a big flavor. 

These crescent rolls are filled with everything that screams pizza, from the sauce to the pepperoni to the mozzarella. 

Watch your kids rave as they bite into the gooey goodness of this dish.

Savory Homemade Franks and Beans with Sausage
Source: Savoryexperiments.com

17. Franks and Beans

If you were into camping as a kid, chances are you’ve had frank and beans more than once.

Slices of franks are cooked in a sweet and savory sauce and loaded with beans. Trust me, this perfect blend is definitely better than store-bought.

It’s a customizable recipe, so you’ll get to decide what goes into it. I highly recommend bacon and maple syrup.

Homemade Crisco Baked Fried Chicken

18. Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a classic favorite, so it’s not surprising kids love it every time. Of course, it can sometimes be time-consuming.

Save yourself some time and effort by using Crisco. It cuts prep time down to about 15 minutes and ensures you get perfectly crispy skin every time.

Potato Chip Chicken Casserole with Broccoli
Source: Loveandzest.com

19. Potato Chip Chicken Casserole

This casserole contains broccoli and mushrooms, but because there are cheese and chips on top, the kids will love it.

This comfort food is a classic casserole made up of creamy chicken and mushrooms topped with, you guessed it, potato chips.

The chips add texture and flavor to the dish that kids go crazy for.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich in a Blue Plate

20. Grilled Cheese

If you’ve seen the movie, Chef, you already know you can’t go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Kids only have a handful of favorite foods to snack on, and cheese is one of them.

Grab your skillet, take two pieces of bread, slap on as much cheese as you want, then grill them until the cheese oozes out of every side.

This sandwich is simple yet sublime.

Pigs in a Blanket with Dipping Sauces

21. Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a blanket are something the whole family loves. Unfortunately, the bite-sized finger food versions aren’t all that filling.

With this recipe, you can whip up a kid friendly dinner version using full-sized hot dogs, crescent rolls, and American cheese.

You can also cut the hot dogs in half to make smaller versions that are just as filling.

Cheesy Dorito Casserole with Ground Beef

22. Dorito Casserole

When making casseroles for kids, you sometimes have to get creative. After all, your picky eater won’t chow down on just anything.

This particular casserole, though, is definitely on the list of kid friendly recipes. It’s full of cheese, ground beef, and that all-important ingredient: Doritos!

Tell your littles this casserole has chips in it, and they’ll dig right in.

Easy Tuna Casserole with Chicken Noodles and Bread Crumbs
Source: Spendwithpennies.com

23. Tuna Casserole 

Of all the kid friendly foods on this list, this one is one of my personal favorites. It’s creamy, crusty, and buttery — everything I want in a casserole!

You’ll toss flakes of tuna with egg noodles and smother them in creamy mushroom sauce.

The best part is that it’s topped with a buttered breadcrumb mixture that gives this dish its rich and buttery goodness.

A Close Up of Sloppy Joe Pizza with Ground Beef and Cheese

24. Sloppy Joe Pizza

What do you do when one kid craves sloppy Joes and one kid craves pizza? Make sloppy Joe pizza!

A rich and meaty sloppy Joe makes a great pizza topping because it already has tons of flavors in it.

Tasty and Simple Pizza Waffles with Pepperoni and Cheese
Source: Spendwithpennies.com

25. Pizza Waffles

This dish is ridiculously easy and fun to make, you won’t even notice the time.

Fill crescent rolls with cheese and pepperoni (and a bit of sauce if you like) and cook them in the waffle iron. That’s it!

In about 5 minutes, you’ll be treated to a mind-blowingly delectable snack.

Savory Homemade Baked Ziti

26. Baked Ziti

We’ve already established that children love pasta, and this baked ziti is no exception. It’s not just good. It’s scrumdiddlyumptious!

It has a robust, meaty flavor and three different types of cheese! It’s an ooey, gooey, delightfully cheesy masterpiece that both kids and adults will love.

Tater Tot Casserole with Beef and Cheese

27. Tater Tot Casserole

If you’re looking for a way to sneak some veggies into your kid’s dinner, this is the way to go.

Ground beef smothered in mushroom sauce, mixed with carrots and peas, and topped with cheesy tater tots – this is a winner for kids.

They won’t even notice you made them eat veggies!

French Bread Pesto Chicken Pizza with Green and Red Tomatoes
Source: Thekitchn.com

28. French Bread Pizza

When coming up with kid friendly recipes, French bread pizza is always a hit. This one, though, has even more going for it than most.

Instead of sticking to basic cheese or pepperoni, this one includes chicken, pesto, and cherry tomatoes.

It has a bright, zesty taste that pairs well the robustness of the sauce and cheese.

Homemade Walking Taco Casserole with Frito Chips, Ground Beef, Vegetables and Whipped Cream

29. Walking Taco Casserole

Speaking of kid friendly recipes! Your littles will absolutely love this walking taco casserole. (So will your non-littles, for that matter.)

It’s a rich and hearty casserole, perfect for your kids’ huge appetite. It contains everything from beef and cheese to chips and veggies.

Kids will love to come home to this, especially after a long day at school.

Stacks of Mini-Cheeseburger Sliders

30. Hamburgers

Hamburgers are fun to eat, but if you’ve got tiny little hands, things can get messy. To help your tiny tots enjoy a burger, make them sliders!

These mini-burgers are easy to hold and to love. These sandwiches are kid-friendly and uber-yummy.

Homemade Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole
Source: Thecountrycook.net

31. Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

This next recipe is a fun new twist on the classic cheeseburger and fries combo.

If your kids like putting fries in cheeseburgers, they’re going to love this. 

Fill a baking dish with ground beef, cover it with strings of French fries, and smother the top with shredded cheese. Let the oven do its magic, and voila.

The Best Chicken Enchiladas in a Casserole with Parsley

32. Chicken Enchiladas Casserole

Chicken enchiladas are always a delectable treat. And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy them. You’ll appreciate these just as much as your children do!

They’re warm, comforting, and extra cheesy. You won’t be able to get enough.

Bowl of Mac and Cheese

33. Mac and Cheese

When it comes to mac and cheese, I think we can all agree that homemade is way better than boxed.

This dish is extra fancy because it has four kinds of cheese in it! Better double the recipe – this mac and cheese will disappear in a matter of minutes.

33 Dinner Ideas for Kids

Course: DinnerCuisine: Italian, American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

590

kcal

Use the following recipe to make delicious kid-friendly spaghetti and meatballs. I promise, they won’t turn down a second helping!

Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage

  • 3/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely grated (optional)

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 cup water

  • For the Pasta
  • salted water (for boiling)

  • 16 ounces spaghetti

Instructions

  • For the Meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) in a large bowl. Mix well until everything is evenly distributed. 
  • Roll the meat mixture into 2-inch meatballs. Set aside. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and gently turn the pan to coat its entire bottom. Cook the meatballs in batches, browning them evenly on all sides. 
  • As the meatballs finish cooking, transfer them to a napkin-lined plate to rest while the sauce is cooking.
  • For the Sauce: Add olive oil to a large pot. Heat over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for about 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. 
  • If adding carrots, do so after the onions are translucent. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add the meatballs and simmer for 20-30 minutes. (Larger meatballs will need to simmer longer.) 
  • For the Pasta: While the sauce and meatballs are simmering, boil a large pot of salted water. 
  • Add the spaghetti. Cook according to the package instructions. Drain well. 
  • To serve, plate the cooked spaghetti first. Then, top it with meatballs and sauce. Serve hot with any additional toppings you like. 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 590kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Protein: 39g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 169mg
  • Sodium: 1353mg
  • Potassium: 485mg
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Calcium: 205mg
  • Iron: 17mg
Dinner Ideas for Kids

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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