54 Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas

Tired of the dinnertime battle? Our kid-friendly dinner ideas will please little ones and parents alike. The best part is it doesn’t take long to get these weeknight dinners on the table, so you can enjoy extra family time.

1 / 55

Cheeseburger Cups

Little bites for little mouths is one of the best kid-friendly dinner ideas. The easy-to-find ingredients in this cheeseburger-inspired dish will definitely work in your favor after a long day.

Go to Recipe

2 / 55

Easy Chicken Strips

Let the kids pick their favorite dipping sauces for these easy chicken strips and get them involved in the cooking process. They’ll have a blast dipping and coating the strips. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll want to cook homemade chicken strips all the time.
3 / 55

Ravioli Casserole

Our favorite kid-friendly dinner ideas are simple and quick, and that’s exactly what this ravioli casserole promises. You don’t even have to make the ravioli: Just layer your favorite refrigerated brand in a baking dish and top with plenty of cheese and sauce.
4 / 55

Contest-Winning Taco Casserole

We love casseroles because of their dump-and-go ease. Cook your pasta, brown the beef, dump all the ingredients and watch them bubble to perfection in the oven. Love to meal prep? This taco casserole can be prepped ahead and reheated in the same pan. For maximum freshness, wait to sprinkle the crushed tortilla shells on top so they don’t get soggy sitting in the fridge.
5 / 55

Chinese Pork Fried Rice

If your kids give you a hard time about eating vegetables, getting creative is sometimes the only way to do it. In this recipe, vitamin-rich carrots, broccoli and peas are mixed in with seasoned pork and yummy rice. The kids might even go back for seconds!
6 / 55

Baked Orange Chicken

Four-ingredient dinners ready in under 30 minutes are a game-changer on busy weeknights. Serve this baked orange chicken with a side of rice and your favorite vegetables.
7 / 55

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

Comfort food mashups are so fun to make and kids love them because they’re a mix of their favorite foods. This bacon cheeseburger pasta comes together in half an hour and you can make it your own by swapping regular bacon for turkey bacon or cheddar cheese with Havarti or pepper jack.
8 / 55

Big Kahuna Pizza

We know, we know, pineapples on pizza can be controversial. But if pineapple is one of your favorite pizza toppings, we’ve got the homemade pizza recipe for you. Of course, it wouldn’t be a kid-friendly dinner idea without an easy instruction list: Let the kids assemble their own pizzas for a fun family dinner night.
9 / 55

One-Dish Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

Ah, one-pot dinners, the shining star of busy evenings. When your sink is full of dishes and you don’t even want to think of adding 10 more to the pile, whip up this ground turkey and sweet potato skillet.
10 / 55

Skillet Mac & Cheese

A list of kid-friendly dinner ideas just wouldn’t be the same without mac and cheese. Four servings can be made in just 25 minutes and you can use any pasta shape sitting in pantry.
11 / 55

Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders

If the air fryer is getting constant use in your household, then these chicken tenders need to be on your must-try list. The crispy breading is made with all the best parts of loaded baked potatoes—it’s sure to keep your kids reaching for more.
12 / 55

Steak Sandwich Kabobs

Love a grilled steak sandwich? These kabobs are the kid-friendly dinner version of the classic sandwich. If the kids are too little to be wielding skewers of steak, you can cook this meal on the skewers and then pull off the chunks and serve them in a bowl with garlic bread on the side.
13 / 55

One-Skillet Lasagna

One-skillet meals are a lifesaver when you have  hungry mouths to feed and not a lot of time. This lasagna dish is so easy and flavorful, and it’s sure to fill the whole family up. Though the recipe is simple, there are quite a few items on the ingredient list, so be sure to give it a glance before you go grocery shopping.
14 / 55

Fair-Favorite Corn Dogs

Recreate the best part of the state fair with cornbread-battered hot dogs. They’re about as fun and tasty as kid-friendly dinner ideas get.
15 / 55

Cornflake Chicken

There are so many ways to bread chicken, and cornflakes are certainly on our list of favorite methods. The preparation time is only 10 minutes and you’ll have golden, crispy drumsticks and chicken thighs before you know it.
16 / 55

Hearty Pita Tacos

These flavorful and protein-filled pita tacos are ideal on chilly nights when you’re not quite in the mood for a cozy soup but you also don’t want to sit around preparing a complicated meal. Pair this dinner with a side of chips and guacamole and the whole family will be happy.
17 / 55

Game-Night Nacho Pizza

In just 20 minutes, you can have the wonderful mashup that is nachos and pizza. For very hungry families, double the recipe or pair it with a healthier side dish like a salad.
18 / 55

Chicken and Bows

This pasta dish seems to have it all: pasta, cheese, veggies, chicken. That’s a whole lot of flavor in one dish! If you foresee a busy week ahead, make this dish early and freeze it. You can thaw it in the fridge overnight and serve it the next day.
19 / 55

Tangy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Recipes that use precooked meat are so helpful on busy nights. Next time you’re in the freezer section, stock up on meatballs, or make homemade meatballs ahead of time. Once they’re done, this kid-friendly dish can be created in about 30 minutes and served over a bed of rice for a filling base.
20 / 55

Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce

Pork dinners are a great way to change things up if you’re tired of chicken or looking to cut down on red meat. These pork chops with Parmesan sauce come together in only 20 minutes. Pair with you favorite veggie sides.
21 / 55

Mexican Turkey Roll-Ups

Run out of ideas for what to do with leftover turkey? These easy roll-ups are packed with flavor. Top them with salsa and sliced olives.
22 / 55

Weeknight Pasta Squiggles

It doesn’t get much more fun than silly shaped noodles at dinner time. The kids will love the squiggly cavatappi noodles, and the lower-sodium ingredients in the rest of the recipe are a healthy bonus.
23 / 55

Waffle-Iron Pizzas

It’s breakfast for dinner with a savory twist! Get your waffle iron heated up and get ready to make the cutest pizza pies ever. This is one of those kid-friendly dinner ideas that is sure to be an instant success.
24 / 55

Flavorful Sloppy Joes

This recipe for sloppy joes makes two thick sandwiches, so it’s perfect on a night when you don’t want a lot of leftovers. If you do need more, just double everything on the ingredient list.
25 / 55

Garlic Chicken with Herbs

This garlicky chicken may just become your favorite weeknight dish. Serve it over rice or next to a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes.
26 / 55

Cowboy Stew

There are quite a lot of cowboy dinners we love, but this cowboy stew has to be one of the easiest. Even better, it freezes well so you can make it ahead of time. Store it in the freezer for up to three months.
27 / 55

Dill Pickle Hamburger Pizza

This is the burger-pizza mashup of our dreams. If your kids can eat a 12-inch pizza in two bites or less, you might want to double the recipe!
28 / 55

Parmesan Fish Sticks

Easy fish dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or less are great for families looking to vary their protein sources throughout the week. These fish sticks have a deliciously crispy coating and only take about 10 minutes to bake.
29 / 55

Southwestern Spaghetti

Kid-friendly dinner ideas that parents also love make planning a meal so much easier. This flavorful southwestern recipe calls for zucchini, but you can add other vegetables to change it up.
30 / 55

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

There’s just something about buttery, garlicky fettuccine noodles that’s so hard to resist! To add protein and color to this noodle dish, pair it with grilled or baked chicken breasts and lemony broccolini.
31 / 55

Pizza Pancakes

Whether you use a from-scratch biscuit mix or buy one from the store, add these pizza pancakes to your breakfast-for-dinner rotation. Get creative with the savory elements—you can swap out the Italian seasoning for garlic powder or your favorite dried herbs.
32 / 55

Beef with Ramen Noodles

This is not your college ramen! The bright, flavorful vegetables in this dish really make the rest of the ingredients pop. Beef top sirloin, round steak or flank steak work best in this recipe because the thin pieces of meat cook quickly without becoming dried out or too chewy.
33 / 55

Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

There are some genius ways to use muffin tins that don’t have anything to do with baking sweets. We love these mini lasagna cups made in a muffin tin—they’re the perfect size for a kid-friendly dinner.
34 / 55

Chicken Nuggets

You can’t go wrong with chicken nuggets for kids (or grown-ups!). Make sure the nuggets are all cut to the same size so they’ll cook evenly. If you don’t want to deep-fry dinner, try cooking the nuggets in an air fryer instead. For a spin on southern comfort food, pair the chicken nuggets with waffle sticks.
35 / 55

Burger Sliders with Secret Sauce

Secret sauce isn’t just for drive-thru dinners. These kid-sized burger sliders can be made right at home and taste even better than the ones you’d get at your favorite fast-food restaurant.
36 / 55

Stovetop Beef and Shells

Kids will love the fun pasta shells in this easy stovetop recipe. Add vegetables like chopped zucchini or serve a spinach salad on the side for a well-rounded meal.
37 / 55

Asian Chicken Rice Bowl

This chicken rice bowl is so easy because it calls for prepared foods like ready-to-serve rice and coleslaw mix. Just make the dressing, toss everything together, and dig in!
38 / 55

Frito Pie

When you’re craving a dish that’s salty and comforting, Frito pie is hard to beat. A bigger version of walking tacos, this dish comes together in about 30 minutes.
39 / 55

Grandma’s Swedish Meatballs

If your main reason for shopping at IKEA is the meatballs, you’re going to love this Swedish meatball recipe. Serve them alongside mashed potatoes for a kid-friendly feast.
40 / 55

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Who doesn’t love a cheeseburger-inspired recipe? This creative casserole requires just four ingredients and bakes in under an hour.
41 / 55

Sweet Potato-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

There are so many ways to love sweet potatoes, and these sweet potato chip-crusted chicken nuggets (try saying that three times, fast!) are one of them. Fry the nuggets in small batches and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
42 / 55

Tacos on a Stick

Kid-friendly dinner ideas that are served on sticks never get old. They’re fun for kids to eat and easy for parents to make. You’ll need to leave enough time for marinating the beef, but once ready these skewered tacos take only 15 minutes to grill.
43 / 55

Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

Barbecue recipes are hard to pass up—the rich flavors of sizzling meats always seem to beckon for second servings. These pork barbecue sandwiches are great for using up leftover pork.
44 / 55

Caesar Chicken with Feta

Crunched on time? Chicken with feta cheese, chopped tomato and creamy dressing is a quick, delicious light dinner. The kids will enjoy the bright colors and mildly zesty flavor.
45 / 55

Easy Beef Soup

Our easy beef soup lives up to its name! It’s simple but full of flavor, and you can adjust the seasonings to make it your own. Pair it with dinner rolls for dunking.
46 / 55

Skillet Ham & Rice

Ham, rice and mushrooms come together in this tasty stovetop meal. This family-friendly recipe is easy to double if you need a bigger batch. 
47 / 55

Whole Grain Chow Mein

Sneak some vegetables onto the dinner table with this chow mein recipe. Your kids will be gobbling up broccoli and bok choy before they know it!
48 / 55

Veggie Tacos

Veggie tacos are the perfect break from a week of meat-heavy meals. This recipe makes 8 tacos—you can double it if you need more, or pair the tacos with cilantro-lime rice for a filling meal.
49 / 55

Chicken-Pepper Alfredo

This creamy kid-friendly pasta dish is so easy to customize. If you’re not in the mood for chicken, simply leave it out and add some extra turkey bacon. Have your own Alfredo sauce recipe? Whip that up in place of the store-bought sauce.  (We love this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo).
50 / 55

Turkey Salsa Bowls with Tortilla Wedges

Turn to ground turkey recipes when you need more lean protein in your family’s diet. These nutritious taco bowls will give the kids a boost of energy for whatever they have planned for the evening—soccer practice, math homework, playing with friends, you name it.
51 / 55
52 / 55

Chicken Pizza

It wouldn’t be a list of weeknight dinners for kids if it wasn’t full of mashups! Turn plain chicken breasts into pizza slices that are packed with flavor and easy for little hands to hold.
53 / 55

Pizza Tater Tot Casserole

No matter what age you are, tater tots are simply the best. This casserole comes together in about 45 minutes and makes 8 servings. If you need a light side dish with this cheesy meal, try a crunchy green salad.
54 / 55

Italian Submarine

Sometimes, the best dinners are the most simple. Get the kids involved in assembling these sub sandwiches. They can choose their favorite ingredients to put in the sandwich to guarantee the perfect bite.
55 / 55

Ranchero Supper

This easy dinner dish is packed with flavor and the kids will love munching on cheesy tortilla chips. The recipe makes 7 servings in only 15 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick meal when you have to run out the door to the next activity. Of course, dinner wouldn’t be complete without some easy dessert ideas.

Rosemary Siefert
Rosemary has been writing and editing for digital and print publications for six years. Starting out as a freelancer for Taste of Home, she joined the team full time in 2022. She writes and edits food content and helps manage Taste of Home’s freelance community. Rosie focuses her writing on cooking tips, baking and cleaning techniques (gotta have a sparkling kitchen!). Rosie’s degrees in journalism and English from the University of Missouri contribute to her skills as an editor, while her penchant for trying new recipes and kitchen hacks shines in her writing. If Rosie isn’t making a (fun) mess in the kitchen, she’s scoping out new restaurants, trying foods she’s never heard of, holed up at a coffee shop with a book or clanging away on one of the typewriters in her collection.