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50 Kid-Friendly Meals (That Aren’t Chicken Nuggets)

Need a quick and easy dish that'll please the pickiest of eaters? Dish out these kid-friendly recipes for barbecue quesadillas, bite-sized pizzas and biscuit-wrapped beef pies.

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Muffin-Tin PizzasTaste of Home

Muffin-Tin Pizzas

I just baked these mini pizzas and the kids are already demanding more. The no-cook pizza sauce and refrigerated dough make this meal a snap. —Melissa Haines, Valparaiso, Indiana

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Barbecue Chicken QuesadillasTaste of Home

Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas

When my kids were small, I'd stuff leftover chicken into these oven-baked quesadillas. I often grab rotisserie chicken instead. —Pam Martin, Canandaigua, New York

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Easy Meatball StroganoffTaste of Home

Easy Meatball Stroganoff

This recipe has fed not only my own family, but many neighborhood kids! They come running when I make this supper. It's one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because you know it works. —Julie May, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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Meaty Sloppy Joe PocketsTaste of Home

Meaty Sloppy Joe Pockets

It’s easy to turn sloppy joes into hearty hot pocket snacks. I make the filling ahead and use refrigerated biscuits. I time them so they’re done baking just before kickoff. —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine

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Waffle-Iron PizzasTaste of Home

Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using the waffle iron. Try your favorite toppings or even breakfast fillings like ham and eggs on this waffle pizza. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Mini Mac & Cheese DogsTaste of Home

Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs

We wanted to get creative with hot dogs, so we made a mac-and-cheesy one. Pile on the extra cheese, relish and even bacon. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

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Bacon & Cheese Meatball SlidersTaste of Home

Bacon & Cheese Meatball Sliders

Homemade beef patties and DIY slider buns make these mini burgers the life of any party. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Creamy Chicken Noodle BakeTaste of Home

Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake

Talk about a potluck pleaser! This comforting, creamy casserole is bursting with tender chunks of chicken. Even the pickiest eater will gobble up this tasty bake. —Shirley Unger, Bluffton, Ohio

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Pizza on a StickTaste of Home

Pizza on a Stick

My daughter and her friends had fun turning sausage, pepperoni, veggies and pizza dough into these cute kabobs. Give our version a try or make your own using you favorite light pizza toppings. —Charlene Woods, Norfolk, Virginia

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Cheesy Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Cheesy Mac & Cheese

Everyone comes home for dinner when I make this homemade macaroni and cheese. It also receives great compliments at potlucks. —Debra Sult, Chandler, Arizona

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Ham & Swiss Baked PenneTaste of Home

Ham & Swiss Baked Penne

As a kid I loved to the hot ham and Swiss sandwiches from a local fast-food restaurant. With its melty, gooey goodness, this bake makes me think of them. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa

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Brief BurritosTaste of Home

Brief Burritos

With three children in school, evenings are often hectic and short on time—especially during the holiday season. I can put this dish together after school and still have time to run back to town for evening activities. Best of all, the kids love it. —Ginger Burow, Fredericksburg, Texas

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BBQ Meat Loaf MinisTaste of Home

BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

Kids can have fun helping to prepare these mini meat loaves in muffin cups. For extra spice, we sometimes add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 cup of salsa. —Linda Call, Falun, Kansas

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Ham and Cheese PuffsTaste of Home

Ham and Cheese Puffs

These tasty little bites go over well with kids. They're also delicious with soups or as party appetizers. —Mrs. Marvin Buffington, Burlington, Iowa

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Homemade Fish SticksTaste of Home

Homemade Fish Sticks

I am a nutritionist and needed a healthy fish fix. Moist inside and crunchy outside, these are great with oven fries or roasted veggies and low-fat homemade tartar sauce. —Jennifer Rowland, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

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Beefy Chili DogsTaste of Home

Beefy Chili Dogs

For years, people have told me I make the best hot dog chili out there. It’s timeless, it’s family-friendly, and I carry the recipe with me because people ask for it. —Vicki Boyd, Mechanicsville, Virginia

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Pizza Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Pizza Roll-Ups

Since getting this recipe from our 4-H club, it's been a regular after-school snack. We like to dunk these bite-sized pizza treats, made with refrigerated crescent rolls, in spaghetti sauce. —Donna Klettke, Wheatland, Missouri

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Pesto Grilled Cheese SandwichesTaste of Home

Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Why settle for ordinary grilled cheese when this is so easy to fix? Pair the sandwiches with your favorite soup for a fast, satisfying meal. —Arlene Reagan, Limerick, Pennsylvania

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Slow Cooker Pizza CasseroleTaste of Home

Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole

A comforting casserole with mass appeal is just what you need when cooking for a crowd. For added convenience, it stays warm in a slow cooker. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio

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Tater Tot-chosTaste of Home

Tater Tot-chos

Playing with food is loads of fun when you have Tater Tots and taco toppings. Let kids build their own for smiles all around. —Eleanor Mielke, Mitchell, South Dakota

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BLT WrapsTaste of Home

BLT Wraps

My mom and I used to make these easy wrap-ups for summer days at the lake with our entire family. These days, we love to bring them to picnics and days in the park. —Jonnah Burks, Brighton, Missouri

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Chicken Alphabet SoupTaste of Home

Chicken Alphabet Soup

I'm a teenager and love to make this fun chicken soup for my family. It makes me so happy when they tell me how much they like it! —Sarah Mackey, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

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Corn Dog TwistsTaste of Home

Corn Dog Twists

Kids will have as much fun making these cute twists on the same old hot dogs and buns as they will eating them! Set out bowls of relish, mustard and catsup for easy dipping. —Melissa Tatum, Greensboro, North Carolina

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Citrus-Honey ChickenTaste of Home

Citrus-Honey Chicken

We raise heirloom-breed chickens, so I'm always looking for chicken recipes. This one with oven baked chicken tenderloins and orange and honey flavors is tops at our house. —Beth Nafziger, Lowville, NY

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Reuben RoundsTaste of Home

Reuben Rounds

Fans of the classic Reuben sandwich will go crazy for baked pastry spirals of corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut. They're so easy to make, and bottled Thousand Island dressing makes the perfect dipping sauce. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland

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Kids' Favorite ChiliTaste of Home

Kids' Favorite Chili

This third-generation hearty chili is a family favorite. It's a sweet and easy chili that's sure to warm up the whole family on those chilly fall nights. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado

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Grilled Provolone & PepperoniTaste of Home

Grilled Provolone & Pepperoni

I wanted to add a little zip to my grilled cheese so one day I exchanged the butter for some garlic bread spread and added pepperoni. I could not resist seconds. —Jennifer Zuniga, Denver, Colorado

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Skillet NachosTaste of Home

Skillet Nachos

My mom gave me a fundraiser cookbook, and this is the recipe I’ve used most. My whole family is on board. For toppings, think sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. —Judy Hughes, Waverly, Kansas

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Lunch Box PizzasTaste of Home

Lunch Box Pizzas

When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas

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Biscuit Turkey BakeTaste of Home

Biscuit Turkey Bake

As a college student, I go for stick-to-your-ribs foods that are also easy on the budget. Here's one that fits the bill. I like to bake this casserole for friends' birthdays. —Stephanie Denning, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

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Tex-Mex Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a favorite of adults and kids. I deviated from the traditional recipe by adding a little Southwestern spiciness. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Slow-Cooked Loaded Potato SoupTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Loaded Potato Soup

I put a twist on one of my favorite comfort foods that my grandmother used to make. I look forward to passing this down to my kids. —Jamie Chase, Rising Sun, Indiana

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Flying SaucersTaste of Home

Flying Saucers

These handy pita pocket sandwiches can be filled and served ready to eat... or you can set up a make-your-own buffet with ingredients that the kids can choose to suit themselves.

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Peanut Butter-Banana Yogurt ParfaitsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter-Banana Yogurt Parfaits

For a lightening-fast breakfast, I layer vanilla yogurt with bananas, peanuts and multigrain cereal. It’s crunchy, easy and perfect for kids.—Teresa Miller, Hamilton, Indiana

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Fun Fish PastriesTaste of Home

Fun Fish Pastries

Kids and grown-ups alike will be hooked on these crab-stuffed pastries with their deliciously fishy shape. The knife-and-fork sandwiches are fun to dip into the cheesy sauce.—Mary Balkavich, Tyrone, Pennsylvania

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Italian Meatball BunsTaste of Home

Italian Meatball Buns

These soft little rolls come with a surprise inside—savory Italian meatballs. They're wonderful dipped in marinara sauce, making them fun for my grandkids and adults, too. I love how easy they are to put together. —Trina Linder-Mobley, Clover, South Carolina

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Loaded Pulled Pork CupsTaste of Home

Loaded Pulled Pork Cups

Potato nests are simple to make and surprisingly handy for pulled pork, cheese, sour cream and other toppings. Make, bake and collect the compliments. —Melissa Sperka, Greensboro, North Carolina

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Crispy Almond TilapiaTaste of Home

Crispy Almond Tilapia

Since changing to a healthier style of cooking, I’ve come up with new coatings for baked fish. I use almonds, panko bread crumbs and a smidge of hot sauce to add crunchy texture with nice heat. —Amanda Flinner, Beaver, Pennsylvania

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Muffin-Cup Cheddar Beef PiesTaste of Home

Muffin-Cup Cheddar Beef Pies

My kids love these beef rolls so much. I always make extra since they heat up so quickly. I give them their choice of dipping sauces—spaghetti sauce or ranch dressing are the top picks. —Kimberly Farmer, Wichita, Kansas

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Grilled Italian Meatball BurgersTaste of Home

Grilled Italian Meatball Burgers

I just love these burgers! They're a big hit with kids and adults. I serve them with sliced green peppers, tomato and onion slices and a jar of crushed red peppers on the side for adults. Kids enjoy them best "as is." —Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

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Homemade Peanut ButterTaste of Home

Homemade Peanut Butter

We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. When I compared the cost of my own to store-bought, homemade was much cheaper. Plus it's a whole lot tastier, and you know what goes into it! —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska

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Pigs in a PonchoTaste of Home

Pigs in a Poncho

For pigs in a blanket Mexican style, we add refried beans and green chilies. Spice it up even more with pepper jack, jalapenos and guacamole. —Jennifer Stowell, Montezuma, Iowa

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French Toast SticksTaste of Home

French Toast Sticks

Learn how to make french toast sticks with this quick and easy recipe. I like to have them handy in the freezer for a hearty breakfast in an instant. They're great for buffets because they can be eaten on the go. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Toasted Mexican RavioliTaste of Home

Toasted Mexican Ravioli

We like Mexican and Italian foods, so spicy breaded ravioli gives us the best of both worlds. We serve sauce on the side and pass the queso fresco. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia

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Three-Cheese Meatball MostaccioliTaste of Home

Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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The Ultimate Grilled CheeseTaste of Home

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois

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Walking TacosTaste of Home

Walking Tacos

These Walking Tacos are great for an on-the-go dinner, campfire meal or easy game night supper. The ingredients transform a bag of chips into a taco in a bag! —Beverly Matthews, Pasco, Washington

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Broccoli, Rice and Sausage DinnerTaste of Home

Broccoli, Rice and Sausage Dinner

The first recipe my kids requested when they left home was broccoli with sausage and rice. If fresh zucchini or summer squash is available, add it to the mix. —JoAnn Parmentier, Branch, Michigan

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Wagon Train PastaTaste of Home

Wagon Train Pasta

Our three kids just love the fun wagon wheel shapes in this easy recipe. The mildly seasoned sauce is something that even the pickiest eaters enjoy. For variety, try it with Italian sausage instead of ground beef. —Janine Freeman, Blaine, Washington

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Mama Mia Meatball TaquitosTaste of Home

Mama Mia Meatball Taquitos

We love lasagna, but it takes too long on weeknights. My solution: meatball taquitos. My kids get the flavors they want and I get it on the table in a hurry. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas

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