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50 Healthy Weeknight Meals Your Kids Will Love

Got a picky eater? Don't despair! These healthy dinners for kids are right up their alley.

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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy Joes

This tangy sandwich filling is so easy to prepare in the slow cooker, and it goes over well at gatherings large and small. I frequently take it to potlucks, and I'm always asked for my secret ingredient. —Marylou LaRue, Freeland, Michigan

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Makeover Tater-Topped CasseroleTaste of Home

Makeover Tater-Topped Casserole

I love Tater Tot casserole, but wanted a lighter version of the recipe. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen slashed the fat in this classic dish, while keeping all the Tots my family loves. Who know you could have healthy Tater Tots?! —Scott Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin

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Loaded Baked Potato SoupTaste of Home

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

The only thing that beats the comforting flavor of this thick and hearty loaded baked potato soup is possibly the idea that it simmers on its own all day in a slow cooker. —Barbara Bleigh, Colonial Heights, Virginia

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Pizza SpaghettiTaste of Home

Pizza Spaghetti

This recipe came to me when I saw someone dip a slice of pizza into a pasta dish. My wife and kids love it and so do my friends! —Robert Smith, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Oven-Fried Fish NuggetsTaste of Home

Oven-Fried Fish Nuggets

My husband and I love fried fish, but we're both trying to cut back on dietary fat. I came up with this oven-baked version. He likes it as much as deep-fried fish, so I know it's a winner. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma

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Apple Chicken QuesadillasTaste of Home

Apple Chicken Quesadillas

My sister came up with an easy recipe that can be served as a main course or an appetizer. People are surprised by the combination of chicken, apples, tomatoes and corn inside the crispy tortillas, but they love it. —Stacia Slagle of Maysville, Missouri

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Makeover Traditional LasagnaTaste of Home

Makeover Traditional Lasagna

I’ve never been quick to pass along my special recipes, but this one is so good that it’s become our family’s Christmas Eve tradition! —Michelle Behan, Littleton, Colorado

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Makeover Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' CheeseTaste of Home

Makeover Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' Cheese

This recipe is a clear example of comfort food at its finest; it's rich, hearty and extra cheesy. And because it's made in the slow cooker, it's also extremely easy. —Shelby Molina, Whitewater, Wisconsin

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Turkey Dumpling StewTaste of Home

Turkey Dumpling Stew

My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr, Appleton, Wisconsin

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Weeknight Pasta SquigglesTaste of Home

Weeknight Pasta Squiggles

This zesty pasta dish is ideal for busy weeknights. It's low on ingredients and easy to prep, and it tastes so comforting when the weather turns cool. A salad on the side makes it a meal. —Stacey Brown, Spring, Texas

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Sliced Ham with Roasted Vegetables

Sliced Ham with Roasted Vegetables

To prepare this colorful, zesty oven meal, I "shop" in my backyard for the fresh garden vegetables and oranges (we have our own tree!) that spark the ham's hearty flavor. It's my family's favorite main dish. —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona

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Makeover Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves

My husband loves my mini meat loaves, but this family-favorite recipe wasn’t very healthy when I first received it. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen experts slashed the calories and fat while keeping the original’s tender and delicious qualities. —Jodie Mitchell, Denver, Pennsylvania

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Parmesan Chicken with Lemon RiceTaste of Home

Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice

I like the challenge of inventing recipes with ingredients I have on hand. This easy-peasy meal fits the bill. —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia

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Easy Hamburger SoupTaste of Home

Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota

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Rich Baked Spaghetti

Rich Baked Spaghetti

It takes a little longer to make baked spaghetti, but the difference in taste, texture and richness is well worth the time. I serve this lasagna-style dish with a tossed green salad and breadsticks for a hearty, healthy meal. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

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Coconut-Crusted Turkey Strips

My granddaughter shared these baked turkey strips with me. With a plum dipping sauce, they're just the thing for a light supper. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario

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Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Meat SauceTaste of Home

Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

I have reduced grains and other starches in my diet due to health reasons, so I was looking for filling, comforting meals without pasta or potatoes. When I was tinkering with this spaghetti squash recipe, I discovered something fun to eat! —Becky Ruff, Mc Gregor, Iowa

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Delicious Oven Barbecued Chicken

Delicious Oven Barbecued Chicken

A friend made this saucy chicken for us when we had our first child. I pared down the recipe to make it lower in fat and calories. Now it's a family favorite, and even the kids ask for this baked bbq chicken breast. —Marge Wagner, Roselle, Illinois

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Stephanie’s Slow-Cooker StewTaste of Home

Stephanie’s Slow-Cooker Stew

Start this warming one-pot meal before you head out for the day. By the time you get home, the well-seasoned meat will be tender and mouthwatering. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schappacher, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Makeover Swiss Chicken SupremeTaste of Home

Makeover Swiss Chicken Supreme

Stephanie Bell asked our test kitchen to lighten her family-favorite recipe. Even though this makeover recipe is slimmed down, it is still supreme. It has 560 fewer calories, 81 percent less fat and nearly 75 percent less sodium. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Honey Chicken Stir-FryTaste of Home

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

I'm a new mom, and my schedule is very dependent upon our young son, so I like meals that can be ready in as little time as possible. This all-in-one chicken stir fry recipe with a hint of sweetness from honey is a big time-saver. —Caroline Sperry, Allentown, Michigan

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Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed ShellsTaste of Home

Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed Shells

Enjoy the convenience of this make-ahead dish or bake right away. Either way, it has half the saturated fat of the original recipe but is just as meaty. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia

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Fantastic Fish Tacos

Fantastic Fish Tacos

Searching for a lighter alternative to traditional fried fish tacos, I came up with this crispy, crunchy entree. It's a hit with friends and family. —Jennifer Palmer, Rancho Cucamonga, California

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Makeover Deluxe Grilled CheeseTaste of Home

Makeover Deluxe Grilled Cheese

You might not have known healthy grilled cheese was possible. But with a few simple tricks, we actually boosted the fantastic toasty taste of these mouthwatering sandwiches, but slashed fat, calories and cholesterol to less than half! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Sausage Pizza PastaTaste of Home

Sausage Pizza Pasta

It's pizza in a bowl! Here's a terrific (and tasty) way to make sure your kids get the whole grains and vegetables they need to grow up big and strong. —Danna Holt, Shoals, Indiana

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Open-Face Chicken Parmesan BurgersTaste of Home

Open-Face Chicken Parmesan Burgers

We love chicken Parmesan and thought, "Why not make it a burger?" I like to use fresh mozzarella on these. I've also made the patties with ground turkey. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

I love that I can top this creamy soup with anything my heart desires, which means I can eat it several days in a row without ever having to have it the same way twice. You can substitute fresh onions and celery in this recipe if you prefer, but using the dried version makes it easy to throw together on a weekday morning. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Italian Chicken TenderloinsTaste of Home

Italian Chicken Tenderloins

My friend made this meal for my husband and me after our first child was born. Since chicken tenderloin recipes can be so caloric, I trimmed down the fat and carbs, but we love it just the same. —Beth Ann Stein, Richmond, Indiana

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Baked Fish with Cheese SauceTaste of Home

Baked Fish with Cheese Sauce

There's plenty of time to whip up this flaky fish and decadent cheese sauce. Turn a ho-hum weeknight into a special occasion.—Kristin Reynolds, Van Buren, Arkansas

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Vegetarian Bean Tacos

Vegetarian Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food but was looking for a healthier option to share. My family devours these tasty tacos whenever I make them. —Amanda Petrucelli, Plymouth, Indiana

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Slow-Cooker Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Pork Chops

Everyone will enjoy these fork-tender, slow cooker pork chops with a creamy, light gravy. Serve with a green vegetable, mashed potatoes and coleslaw or a salad. These are the best slow cooker pork chops. —Sue Bingham, Madisonville, Tennessee

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Makeover Country-Fried SteakTaste of Home

Makeover Country-Fried Steak

A healthier country-fried steak? Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not. This comforting dish keeps its delicious classic flavors while losing over half the fat. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Provolone Ziti BakeTaste of Home

Provolone Ziti Bake

As easy as it is filling and delicious, this Italian meal appeals to everyone—and they won’t even miss the meat. Serve with salad and hot French bread, and watch it disappear. —Vicky Palmer, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Celery and blue cheese dressing help tame the hot sauce on this turkey burger recipe. For an even lighter version, pass on the buns and serve with lettuce leaves, sliced onion and chopped tomato. —Mary Pax-Shipley, Bend, Oregon

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Chicken Burrito SkilletTaste of Home

Chicken Burrito Skillet

We love Mexican night at our house, and I love to re-create dishes from our favorite restaurants. This burrito-inspired dish is ready for the table in almost no time! —Krista Marshall, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Makeover Shrimp Rice Casserole

Makeover Shrimp Rice Casserole

The cooks at Taste of Home made a lightened-up version of my shrimp casserole, and I love it. The makeover has only half the calories and sodium of my original recipe, and less fat, too. —Marie Roberts, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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Chili Beef Pasta

Chili Beef Pasta

Right after I got married, an aunt gave me her recipe for skillet spaghetti and told me it was ideal for a quick weeknight meal. Over the years I’ve tinkered with the ingredients and played with the seasonings to make it a healthier dish that my family truly loves. —Kristen Killian, Depew, New York

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Makeover Tuna Melt BitesTaste of Home

Makeover Tuna Melt Bites

For a healthier take on this diner special, our test kitchen updated to tinier "tuna melt bites," pumped up nutrition with whole wheat buns, slashed calories by substituting fat-free mayo and reduced-fat cheese, and added tomato and spinach on top. Give these a try! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cheeseburger Macaroni SkilletTaste of Home

Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

This is the ultimate simple and fulfilling dinner that uses items I typically have in my cupboard. It's so easy to prepare and cooking all in one skillet makes it a snap for clean up. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia

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Oven Chicken Cordon BleuTaste of Home

Oven Chicken Cordon Bleu

My son loves Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I’m not a fan of store versions. My recipe has all the yummy flavors in a 30-minute meal. Leftovers freeze well. —Ronda Eagle, Goose Creek, South Carolina

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Italian Beef on RollsTaste of Home

Italian Beef on Rolls

This slow-cooker recipe is one of my all-time favorites! With 29 grams of protein per serving, it’s a great way to meet your daily needs. —Jami Hilker, Harrison, Arkansas

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Mom's Sloppy TacosTaste of Home

Mom's Sloppy Tacos

No matter how hectic the weeknight, there's always time to serve your family a healthy meal with recipes this easy and delicious! —Kami Jones, Avondale, Arizona

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Makeover Beef StroganoffTaste of Home

Makeover Beef Stroganoff

I trimmed the calories, fat and sodium in a classic stroganoff, and my comfy, cozy version still tastes like a Russian masterpiece. —Candace Clark, Connell, Washington

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Weeknight Beef SkilletTaste of Home

Weeknight Beef Skillet

This mild but hearty family fare is chock-full of veggies, Italian seasoning and nutrition. It’s a quick-and-easy meal that just might become one of your family’s favorites! —Clara Coulston, Washington Court House, Ohio

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Makeover Manicotti CrepesTaste of Home

Makeover Manicotti Crepes

This made-lighter main dish will add a special touch to any event. Green pepper and garlic give it a fresh vegetable aroma. —Christine Rukavena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Maple-Dijon ChickenTaste of Home

Maple-Dijon Chicken

Eating dinner as a family every night is really important to us, and this recipe is one that we all love. It's our favorite skillet chicken dish. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Turkey Spaghetti Casserole

Turkey Spaghetti Casserole

My mom made this creamy comforting dish when I was growing up. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey, I look forward to making this simple, yet tasty, filling dish. —Casandra Hetrick, Lindsey, Ohio

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Braised Pork StewTaste of Home

Braised Pork Stew

Pork tenderloin becomes amazingly tender in this braised stew. It's a fantastic meal for a cold winter night. —Nella Parker, Hersey, Michigan

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Turkey and Mushroom PotpiesTaste of Home

Turkey and Mushroom Potpies

I always use the leftovers from our big holiday turkey to prepare this recipe. I think my family enjoys the potpies more than the original feast! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Meat Loaf from the Slow CookerTaste of Home

Meat Loaf from the Slow Cooker

This simple, easy-to-make meat loaf is one of my personal favorites. I'm often asked for the recipe. —Laura Burgess, Mount Vernon, South Dakota

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.

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