Kid Friendly Dinner Recipes

With the a fresh new year to celebrate, I know a lot of people are doing their best to get back to a routine, and particularly to get back to good family dinners after the treat-filled holiday season.   Today I’m going to share recipe ideas, specifically dinner recipes, that readers have shared are a hit with their children and Kate and I personally recommend from our families, too!  I’m hoping you’ll find a few of what I call Unicorn Meals- ones that the entire family loves.  If I were you I’d consider bookmarking this page.   Click on each recipe title to see the full recipe post, and we’ve also added a permanent section in our recipe index full of kid favorites.  Enjoy!

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Since this recipe inspired the list, I have to include it!  Buttery and crispy, this is so quick and easy to prepare. I pair it with a simple green salad with our favorite Ranch Dressing, and maybe some fruit on the side. Easy Peasy.




The Best Chicken Enchiladas

I know.  It’s a bold statement.  These don’t have a traditional red sauce; they’re made with a from-scratch easy creamy sauce.  Not spicy, with just the right amount of cheese, this is a family favorite for sure!  We love this with a side of rice, or a salad with this Lime-Cilantro Ranch Dressing. And if you really want to complete the meal, make a pitcher of this Limeade, too!



Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

No one complains about broccoli when we eat this, which is kind of a miracle.  Comforting and cheesy, this recipe is gold.  Pair it with a salad or fruit, or a toasty piece of garlic bread.  You can prep this ahead of time which makes it even better. 





Bacon Ranch Chicken Sliders

Easy to prep ahead and great for smaller hands.  These make a great snack or turn it into dinner with your favorite side dish.





Spaghetti and Meatballs

Can’t touch a classic.  







Meatball Subs

If spaghetti and meatballs are good, meatballs on bread are, too!






Beef Stroganoff

Creamy sauce, tender steak, and noodles.  If your kids don’t like mushrooms you can leave them out, or chop them up small so they don’t notice!  And if all else fails, you can enjoy the tender beef and the kids can have hot buttered noodles 🙂




Cheesy Grilled Pizza Sandwiches 

All the flavors of kid-friendly pizza, but in hot grilled sandwich form.  These are awesome paired with a bowl of tomato soup for dipping or along side a salad to round it out.





Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

These are one of the most popular recipes on our site.  We love to make a double (or triple!) batch and stock taquitos in the freezer for a quick-fix dinner everyone loves





Cowboy Quesadillas

This recipe has been on the site for years and years and it’s one that comes up over and over again when people are talking about their family favorites.  This one doubles as a great appetizer, too!




Guiltless Alfredo

This mild, creamy, cheesy sauce is magical.  It can be used over pasta or as a dip for vegetables, as a pizza sauce or used to dunk breadsticks.  The uses are endless, but kids love the creamy familiar flavor and parents love the lighter-take!




Homemade Chicken Nuggets

These are a knock-off of our favorite chain-restaurant nuggets.  They have an unexpected secret ingredient that adds so much flavor!  The delicate breading is a hit with both kids and adults.  Dunk these in your favorite dip, or toss them over a salad.  Either way you’ll have happy campers.



We’d love to hear YOUR family favorites!

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. The cheesy broccoli chicken casserole, creamy chicken taquitos, and chicken nuggets are all actually my favorites. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. The taquitos are the most commonly requested meal at my house (when I give them a say in what we eat!) – and I *always* triple the recipe because if I do, then I don’t have a cut up, open package of cream cheese and half-cut cilantro. The filling freezes great or with the tortillas too.

  3. Your taquitos meal is a classic!! I make it for all my friends when they come home from the hospital with a new baby. Now, some of them tell me they are getting pregnant just to get to eat my taquitos! ? Yes, they are that good!!

  4. Your recipe for enchiladas is a staple at our house. It’s one of the few things that every member of our family will eat. Other meals will have some happy and others not. But this meal pleases everyone and that’s a dang miracle around here.

  5. My kids don’t do meat very well, but they all LOVE your Brazilian black bean soup with Pao de queijo. I always have the ingredients on hand.

  6. Additional favorites from your repertoire at our house include the slow cooker chicken tacos and the spinach salad with poppyseed dressing.

  7. One of the few meals all my kids eat without complaint is refried bean burritos made with homemade refried beans made in the slow cooker. I double the beans and freeze it in batches or even already rolled up in the tortillas if I have enough. Then serve with fruit and/or cut up veggies.

  8. I am also a mother of 4 boys and while they eat almost everything I make, they used to have trouble with tacos because of how messy they were until I started baking them.

    I also discovered that using small ditalini noodles in homemade chicken noodle soup was much easier for them to manage getting on a spoon and eating.

  9. I love that you called whole-family-favorite meals “Unicorn Meals”. Yes, those meals are rare in these parts! I had forgotten about some of these classics, so I like finding them all in one post. Thanks!

  10. Don’t forget your mini pizza rolls! Those are bite-sized and always a hit with my kids

  11. My go-to, know everyone will love meal is teriyaki chicken with rice and vegetables. Easy peasy. I’m trying the crispy chicken tonight.