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Cooking kid friendly recipes in the kitchen

A Kid-Friendly Spring Recipe Roundup 

the kids can definitely help out in the kitchen with these

Since the kids are home from school, why not get them involved in the kitchen? So try out these recipes the kids can help with (and will love)!

Disclaimer: We never said these are healthy … 

Apple Cheddar Waffles

What You’ll Need:

½ cup of Lay’s Wavy Cheddar Potato Chips, crushed
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
¼ cup salted butter, melted
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
Maple syrup

What You’ll Do:

In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and eggs together. Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients. 

Add the butter, cheese and crushed chips. Stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into a waffle iron (or if you don’t have a waffle iron, use a griddle to make pancakes or a George Foreman grill or panini press to get a “waffle-like” texture). Cook until golden brown. Top your waffle with apple slices and syrup.

Cheeseburger Cups

What You’ll Need:

Cooking spray
6 burger buns, split
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
½ tsp. garlic powder
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 slices cheddar, quartered
Ketchup (for serving)
Yellow mustard (for serving)
12 pickle chips
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

What You’ll Do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Take the bun halves and flatten them until they’re a ¼ in. thick with a rolling pin. Place one half (cut side up) in each muffin cup.

In a large skillet, heat oil with medium-high heat. Add  the chopped onion, and stir while cooking (about 5 minutes, until soft). Add ground beef and cook; break up the meat with a spoon or spatula until no longer pink; drain the fat (about 6 minutes).

After draining the fat, return the beef to the skillet and season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once mixed well and no longer pink, spoon the beef evenly into each cup. Top with a cheddar cheese square.

Bake until the cheese is melty and the buns are golden (about 10 minutes). 

Add the pickle, sesame seeds, and drizzle your cups with the condiments of your choice. Ta-da!

Pizza Crescents

What You’ll Need:

1 tube of crescent roll dough
4 mozzarella sticks, halved
½ cup pepperoni
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Marinara (for dunking) 

What You’ll Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Separate the crescent dough into triangles and top each triangle with an even layer of pepperoni pieces along with a halved mozzarella stick (on the wider end of the triangle) and roll it up. 

Place the rolled-up crescents on the baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano and Parmesan. Bake until golden and the cheese is melted (about 15 minutes). 

Serve warm and dunk away!

Easy Meatball Subs

What You’ll Need:

Your preferred brand of frozen meatballs, ½ oz. size (If you want a healthy version, grab the turkey meatballs.)
Your preferred brand of marinara sauce (If you want to make your own, see below.)
1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. olive oil
6 sub, brat or hot dog buns
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Sauce:

2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 pinch of red pepper flakes (Big or small, depending on how spicy you prefer.)
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar

What You’ll Do:

If preparing your own sauce—heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan on medium for 15 seconds, then add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well. Add the salt and sugar, and stir again.

Add the whole package of meatballs to the sauce, stir well so the meatballs are covered in sauce. (If not preparing your own sauce, add the sauce first and heat for 15 to 30 seconds, then add the meatballs and cover with sauce.)

Cover pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Move your oven rack to the top position and heat the oven to broil at high. 

Spoon saucy meatballs into buns, top with cheese and place on a baking sheet under the broiler for 1–2 minutes (check frequently to make sure the buns don’t burn). 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

What You’ll Need:

4 slices of bacon
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (A rotisserie chicken works well too.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix (or more to taste)
8 oz. rotini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Feel free to make your sauce, or you can buy a jar at your local grocery store. If making your sauce, you’ll need:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream (or more to taste)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

What You’ll Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil or spray a baking dish (9×9 is probably best). 

If making the sauce, melt the better in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir frequently for about 1–2 minutes. Gradually whisk in heavy cream; keep whisking for 1–2 more minutes.

Stir in Parmesan until slightly thickened (about 1–2 minutes) and if the mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream, as you need. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy and brown (around 6–8 minutes). Drain the excess fat and reserve 1 Tbsp. in the skillet. Transfer the bacon to a plate (lined with a paper towel to soak up grease). 

In a gallon-size bag, add chicken, 1 Tbsp. olive oil and ranch seasoning. Shake thoroughly, then add the chicken to the skillet and cook through. (2–3 minutes each side.) After it’s cooked, use a couple of forks to shred the chicken.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to the package instructions and drain well. Add cooked pasta to the prepped baking dish and layer with the chicken and Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.

Pro Tip: This is also good with the chicken unshredded and simply sitting on top of the pasta. You can cut it up into sections when it’s done baking. Or if shredding the chicken, really mix the chicken, pasta and sauce prior to sprinkling the cheese and bacon.

Place in oven and bake until bubbly (about 15–20 minutes).

Image courtesy of iStock.