20 Yummy Meals Kids Can Make All by Themselves

6 minutes
September 30, 2022
Carole Jones

These easy recipes are all meals kids can make with little to no help from you. If you’ve been looking to spend less time in the kitchen, these yummy recipes are a great place to start. Double bonus: when kids are involved in preparing their own food, they actually become less picky and more adventurous eaters!

20 Meals Kids Can Make by Themselves

As I’ve worked with the creation of Family Dinner Academy, it became apparent that many of clients needed a resource for dinners their kids (or partners!) could make with little to no help from them.

These 20 recipes are a great starting point for any new cook and especially as meals kids can make on their own.

20 Meals Kids Can Make

20 Meals Kids Can Make by Themselves
Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet by House of Nash

#1 – Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet will get your kids off of Hamburger Helper and into something much healthier! Loaded with ground beef, cheese, and cavatappi noodles makes it both delicious and fun.

Crispy Baked Cornflake Chicken Tenders by Natalie’s Health

#2 – Crispy Baked Cornflake Chicken Tenders are perfect HEALTHY, low-calorie, easy family meal. Tenders are coated in cornflakes for extra crunch, enriched with aromatic spices and baked to golden perfection.

Chicken Strawberry Salad
Chicken Strawberry Salad by My Kitchen Escapades

#3 – Chicken Strawberry Salad is not only crazy delicious, but easily assembled. The recipe has a homemade poppyseed dressing, but you could also use store-bought if you don’t want your child using a blender.

Homemade Stovetop Mac & Cheese by Amanda’s Cookin’

#4 – Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese – If your children were raised on boxed macaroni and cheese, this is the perfect way to get them something better for them! An easy, cheesy recipe that they can make anytime with very little prep.

Tuna Melt Croissants by Mrs Jones Kitchen

#5 Tuna Melt Croissants are filled with a veggie, cheese, and tuna filling before being baked to toasty perfection. Ready in 15 minutes! You could use whatever type of bread you prefer.

Easy Caprese Flatbread Pizza by Hoorah to Health

#6 – Easy Caprese Flatbread Pizzas are topped with sliced mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. It is a super easy recipe that the whole family will love!

Black Bean Butternut Squash Flatbreads
Black Bean Butternut Squash Pitas by My Kitchen Escapades

#7 – Black Bean Butternut Squash Pitas are not only done in 15 minutes, but packed with flavor with that cilantro lime crema and avocado topping! The only equipment you need is a microwave.

Sloppy Joes by The Cozy Cook

#8 – Homemade Sloppy Joes are definitely easy to prepare and a family favorite recipe. This recipe has a perfect blended sauce of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors, plus a crock-pot option, making it even less intimidating for kids!

Pepperoni Bread by 365 Days of Baking

#9 – Pepperoni Bread makes one heck of an easy dinner. Loaded with pepperoni and provolone cheese, it becomes the perfect vehicle to dip into your favorite marina sauce….and we all know how much kids love to dip foods!

Doritos Taco Casserole by Baking Beauty

#10 Doritos Taco Casserole is a guaranteed win because what kid wouldn’t want to cook with Doritos! Plus, it is topped with fresh veggies to make you happy as well.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches by My Kitchen Escapades

#11 – Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches only have three ingredients but they packed with flavor. Plus, they couldn’t be easier to make since your kid just dumps it into a crockpot in the morning.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi by Little Sunny Kitchen

#12 – Creamy Pesto Gnocchi is a 4-ingredient creamy pesto gnocchi dinner is a family-friendly vegetarian meal that you can whip up in just 15 minutes! Pillowy and tender gnocchi smothered in a creamy basil and dried tomato sauce. An easy comforting dinner that you’ll keep making over and over again!

Roast Beef & Cheddar Crescent Rolls

#13 – Roast Beef & Cheddar Crescent Rolls are truly a recipe that anyone can make and we all know how much kids love refrigerated crescent rolls! You can use any type of leftover protein you want.

Southern Baked Mac and Cheese by Baking Beauty

#14 – Southern Baked Mac and Cheese is rich and creamy and who can resist that crunchy bread crumb topping? Pure comfort food and one every kid will be excited to make.

layered green chile chicken enchilada casserole
Green Chili Enchilada Casserole by My Kitchen Escapades

#15 – Green Chili Enchilada Casserole is packed with all the best southwest flavors and only has 5 ingredients! Makes a large pan to feed your family for at least a couple meals.

5 Minute Pizza Quesadilla by Two Healthy Kitchens

#16 – 5 Minute Pizza Quesadilla just takes a few minutes to throw together. Made with whole grains and lots of protein for a healthy alternative to traditional pizza.

Almost Instant Calzones by Practically Kidding

#17 – Almost Instant Calzones are made with just a few ingredients and are loaded with all your favorite Italian flavors before being baked until they are hot and gooey perfection!

Easy 5 Ingredient Pasta Bake by Two Healthy Kitchens

#18 Easy 5 Ingredient Pasta Bake is an incredibly quick and easy pizza pasta bake. It will be int he oven in no time flat and you don’t even have to pre-cook the pasta!

veggie quesadilla or feta cheese quesadilla
Mediterranean Quesadillas by My Kitchen Escapades

#19 – Mediterranean Quesadillas include every flavor you love and only require the microwave and an electric skillet to make. Done in 15 minutes or less and guaranteed to become a regular on your menu rotation.

Easy Zucchini Pizza Bites by Sumptuous Spoonfuls

#20 Easy Zucchini Pizza Bites will get your kiddos not only cooking with veggies but eating them as well!

If you love these recipes for meals kids can make on their own but not sure how to actually GET them to help, come check out Family Dinner Academy! It is the ultimate step-by-step system for getting dinner on the table by working together as a family.

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.


3 years ago

I love cooking with my kids – and watching them bloom into amazing cooks all on their own! This is a wonderful list for inspiring the next generation of cooks – what a terrific idea!

3 years ago

thanks for sharing your recipes with my readers Shelley!

Leave a Reply

Your rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Recipes