We would all probably enjoy a little more help in the kitchen. Involve the kids in cooking, and you’ll gain more than just an assistant. Children will learn about cooking and appreciate the hard work you do. They are more likely to eat something if they get a say in how it is made. So these one-pot, kid-friendly meals leave room for creativity. Each one offers possibilities to vary the ingredients so your family can make it unique.
Quiche or Frittata
Eggs are so versatile because they go with practically anything and they cook quickly. Let your child participate in deciding what will go into your quiche or frittata. Which egg dish you choose will depend on what kind of cookware you prefer.
For a quiche, use a glass or metal pie pan. For a frittata, opt for an oven-safe skillet. If you choose to use a crust, go with a pre-made one to keep things simple. Figure one to two eggs per person. Use up veggies on the verge of going bad or leftover meat. Sprinkle with cheese if you desire. Depending on the child’s age and ability, he or she can help crack eggs, chop vegetables, stir ingredients and preheat the oven.
Most chili recipes allow lots of room for flexibility. Make it meaty or vegetarian, spicy or mild. This is another great way to burn through a lot of extra stuff in your fridge. You might choose to soften the vegetables first, in a separate pan with some oil, or just throw it all in a single pot. It also works in a Crock Pot. Let your child make choices about the ingredients and help stir the pot while it cooks. Serve with garlic bread or “Cincinnati style” over spaghetti noodles.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Kids and adults alike tend to enjoy chicken noodle soup. To make it quickly, buy a roasted chicken from the deli counter at the grocery store. Have your child help pull it apart, and if possible, chop vegetables. Opt for carrots, celery, onions, garlic, or whatever else you enjoy. This can also be a good time to introduce your child to fresh herbs.
Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry
This recipe from Pop Sugar, for shrimp and broccoli stir-fry, can serve as a jumping-off point for creating your own stir-fry masterpiece. Buy raw or precooked shrimp, along with your favorite veggies and noodles. Or skip the noodles and serve it over rice. Season to your liking.
Crock Pot Lasagna
Martha Stewart’s Real Simple offers this modern twist on a classic — lasagna with squash in place of tomato sauce. Prepare it together in your slow cooker at midday, and by dinnertime you’ll be ready to enjoy it. Lasagna provides a perfect vehicle to introduce your child to new vegetables since they’re smothered in cheese.
A hearty wintertime comfort food, stroganoff is easier than it is to pronounce! You can make it vegetarian by substituting “meatless” balls for meatballs and vegetable broth for beef broth.
Simply sautee a pan full of onions and mushrooms, then add broth and sour cream. Here’s one example of an easy recipe from Allrecipes, but look around the web for numerous options.
One-Pot Cheeseburger Casserole
According to Damn Delicious, this takes less than 30 minutes to make and clean up. You don’t have to precook the pasta, so you save a step.
Your child can help you measure the ingredients, add them to the pan, and stir while it cooks. When you serve it, choose from toppings like fresh, shredded lettuce or diced onion — think cheeseburger toppings.