It would be fair to say we've got a lot on our plates, between homeschooling the kids, working from home, being stuck indoors and trying to keep a happy house. Here at Kidadl, we want to help make your lives a little easier with some great but simple recipes for quick lunches or filling dinners that the kids will love: we've found some easy, healthy recipes that don’t need a long list of ingredients and that the kids can help with too. Ready, steady, cook!
1. Pitta Pizza
If your kids love to get hands on with the cooking and getting creative then this recipe is sure to be a big hit and who doesn’t love pizza?
6 x pitta breads
175g tomato purée
200g closed cup white mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
125g medium cheddar, grated
100g drained tinned sweetcorn
170g cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 mixed peppers
Optional toppings: olives, pineapple, ham, bacon, spinach, egg
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
2. Cut the pitta breads in half horizontally and place them cut side down on to a large baking tray.
3. Now for the fun bit! Spread the tomato purée over the pittas and then top them with the mushrooms, cheddar, sweetcorn, tomatoes and peppers.
4. Now they are ready to be transferred to the oven to cook for 10-12 minutes.
2. Savoury Rice
This is a super quick and easy dish to keep those little tummies full. Older kids can help with this one by preparing the vegetables under adult supervision.
1/2 red pepper
150g long grain rice
1 x vegetable stock cube
550ml boiling water
10ml curry powder
1. First off you’ll need to prepare the vegetables. Peel and dice the onion, mushrooms and pepper.
2. Fry the onion in a pan until it’s starting to soften.
3. Add the mushrooms and red pepper to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
4. Stir in the rice.
5. Add the vegetable stock cube to the boiling water and stir until its all dissolved.
6. Add the stock, peas and curry powder to the rice and give it a stir.
7. Leave the rice to gently simmer away and set your timer for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
3. Macaroni Cheese
Macaroni cheese is the ultimate comfort food, really easy to make and very versatile, you can keep adding ingredients depending on what you’ve got in your cupboards.
225g uncooked macaroni
2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
275g grated mature Cheddar cheese
50g grated Parmesan cheese
750ml (1¼ pints) milk
50g dried breadcrumbs
pinch of paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas Mark 4
2. Cook the macaroni as per the instructions, drain and set aside.
3. In a separate pan melt 50g butter and slowly stir in a little flour enough to make a roux. Add a little milk at a time while constantly stirring so not to sick to the bottom of the pan. Now stir in your cheese and stir on a low heat until the cheese has melted.
4. Transfer the drained macaroni to a large casserole dish and then pour over the cheese sauce. Give it a good stir. If you are adding any extra ingredients then you can add them all in now.
5. Melt a small amount of butter over a medium heat and add the breadcrumbs until they brown. You can sprinkle this over your dish along with a pinch of paprika to give it a bit of extra flavour.
6. Your mac and cheese is now ready to go in the oven, bake it at 180 C / Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes. Tuck in!
4.Tuna Pasta Bake
This family favourite is another cheap and easy savoury meal using mainly store cupboard ingredients. Any leftovers will keep nicely in the fridge until the following day.
50g plain flour
250g strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 x 160g cans tuna steak in spring water, drained
330g can of sweetcorn, drained
handful chopped parsley
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
2. Pour the pasta into the pan and boil for 2 mins less than the stated time on the packet. Drain and set aside.
3. Now in a separate saucepan, melt the butter and slowly stir in the flour to make a roux. After 1 minute gradually pour in the milk a little at a time until you the sauce has thickened.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and then gently stir in the cheese, saving a small amount to sprinkle over your dish at the end.
5. Transfer the drained pasta into a large casserole dish, pour over the cheese sauce and add the tuna and sweet corn. Add some chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Top with the remaining grated cheese and place in the oven to bake for 15-20 mins until starting to brown.
5. Cheesy Straws
Savoury and rich, cheese straws make a great snack for everyday or a great addition to a kids party buffet. Easy and fun to make, the kids will love getting hands-on rolling out the pastry and cutting out the straws.
Recipe will make about 12 straws
40g butter, chilled and cut into little cubes, plus a little extra for greasing
80g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
60g mature cheddar grated, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 large egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
2. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with a little butter.
3. Sift the flour into a large bowl.
4. If the kids are helping then let them rub the butter into the flour using their fingertips until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheese and mix it all together.
5. Next add half of the beaten egg and stir it into the flour until the mixture starts to bind together then use your hands to work it into a ball.
6. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry into a rectangle, about 3mm thick. Cut widthways into straws, about 5mm wide.
7. Transfer the straws on to the prepared baking sheets, leaving them a little space apart. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and then transfer to oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes, if they are golden in colour then they are ready but if not leave for a further few minutes.
8. Make sure the straws have cooled on the trays for a few mins before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack.
9. These straws are delicious warm or cold.
Find the full recipe here.
This healthy chilli is really easy to make and you can pretty much chuck in whatever veggies you have into the pan. A great way to make sure you and the little ones are getting your 5 a day.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin mixed beans
1/4 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
3-4 sprigs thyme
3-4 sprigs oregano
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion and pepper.
2. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, chilli powder and cumin and give it a good stir.
3. Leave in the saucepan to simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Drain the mixed beans and add them to the pan along with the thyme and oregano and leave it to simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Eat on its own or serve with rice
7. Pesto Pasta
A family favourite, so simple but SO good. Again with this one you can add more ingredients if you have them to make it even more tasty.
190g jar pesto
250g frozen peas
Optional extras; broccoli, bacon, chopped tomatoes, asparagus, chicken
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add a little salt and cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions.
2. When there’s around 2 mins of cooking time remaining then add to the pan the Kale and frozen peas for a further 1-2 minutes.
3. Drain, stir through the pesto and voila!
8. Tuna and Sweetcorn Fish Cakes
This is a great recipe if you can’t get to the shops and you need to use up what’s in your store cupboard. The kids will enjoy shaping the mixture into cakes, dipping and then coating them in breadcrumbs.
300g potatoes (peeled weight) and quartered
4 tbsp whole milk
2 x 160g cans tuna chunks in sunflower oil, drained and flaked
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 eggs, beaten
100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of water for approx 15 minutes until they are tender. Drain and set aside until dry,
2. Next you’ll need to tip the potatoes into a large bowl and mash them along with the milk, tuna a dried herbs.
3. The mixture can now be moulded into cakes. This recipe is enough to to make 4 adult sized portions and 10 mini portions.
4. Transfer to a lined baking tray and place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes until the cakes are firm.
5. If the kids are helping then they’ll enjoy dipping each cake first into the egg, letting any excess drip off, then coating the cakes in breadcrumbs. It is a little messy but all good fun.
6. Return the cakes to the baking tray and chill for another 10 minutes.
7. Heat the oil in a frying pan and carefully add the fishcakes, they wont all fit in the pan at the same time so half of fishcakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until slightly browned.
Get the full recipe here!
9. Savoury Muffins
Kids love making muffins and these savoury ones are no different. Packed with vegetables, cheese, sage and cumin, these are the perfect little savoury treat.
2 medium free-range eggs
150 ml whole milk
100 ml olive oil
120 g cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp ground cumin
250 g frozen chopped vegetable mix
250 g self-raising flour
Muffin cases or oil spray
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
2. Line a muffin tray with muffin cases or oil the muffin pan if you don’t have any.
3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs. Add the milk, oil and whisk again. Then stir in the grated cheese, sage, cumin and the frozen vegetables.
4. Next fold in the flour, the mixture will become quite stodgy at this point. Season with salt and pepper and spoon and then spoon the mixture into your muffin cases.
5. Transfer your muffins to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden on top.
6. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
See the original recipe here.
This is another really simple recipe that the kids will love. A great savoury snack that the kids can get hands-on with too.
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1tsp baking powder
55g chilled butter, cut into cubes
120g mature cheddar cheese, grated
90-100ml milk, plus 1tbsp for glazing
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ 180 C fan/ Gas 6 with a large baking tray inside
2. Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Do this a second time to make sure the mixture has no lumps in it.
3. If the kids are helping and like to get a bit messy then they can add the butter and use their fingertips to make the mixture into breadcrumbs.
4. Add in 100g of the cheese and gently mix it in.
5. Next make a well in the bowl where you can gradually pour the milk into. Do this slowly as you may not need to use all of it. You want to make a soft but fairly firm dough so stop when you’ve reached this consistency.
6. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to approx 2cm thick. Use a cutter to cut out your dough into equal pieces and transfer onto a piece of baking paper.
7. Glaze your scones with milk and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Thanks BBC for a great recipe!
11.Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
The kids will love making these tasty Mexican wraps filled with chicken, veggies and spices.
Makes 6 enchiladas
2 whole chicken breast
1 whole medium onion
400g tomato, chopped
1 whole green pepper
6 small tortilla wraps
30g cheese, grated (enough to cover enchiladas)
1 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tbsp whole spice (optional)
1 tbsp mild chili powder (optional or to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
2. Place the chicken breasts on to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked set them aside to cool.
3. Heat some oil in a pan and gently fry the onions, pepper, herbs and spices.
4. Once the onions are starting to soften then add the chopped tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes.
5. Turn the saucepan off and set aside.
6. Now the chicken has cooled shred it with your fingers.
7. Add the chicken to the pan and stir until its all combined.
8. Next spoon the mixture into tortilla wraps and fold them side by side in a baking tray or dish.
9. Sprinkle with grated cheese and transfer to the oven to cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese has browned.
Find the recipe here.
These easy savoury recipes for kids will help to get your kids excited about cooking and provide them with a bit of hands-on entertainment at the same time. Enjoy!