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50 Easy Family-Friendly Dinner Ideas Even the Pickiest Eaters Will Love

Because you can only eat so many chicken nuggets.

Kids Dinner Ideas
Anna Kurzaeva

When it comes time to eat, kids are completely unpredictable. Some nights they clean their plates and ask for seconds. Others nights, they spread everything around the plate and then ask to be excused with nary a bite taken. It gets even more difficult when you have a picky eater on your hands. It's a struggle to get anything other than the blandest, most repetitive meals past their discerning mouths. But you don't have to get stuck with endless rounds of chicken nuggets or mac & cheese. These easy, family-friendly dinner ideas are a great solution. The following quick, easy dinner recipes are so delicious, it'll be hard for even the pickiest eaters to say no. More importantly, you’ll enjoy them, too. What can be better than that?

Whether you’re trying to cook in a pinch or want to get the meal prep over with so you can spend more time with your little ones, you should also know that these kid-friendly meals are also completely easy to make. Don’t believe us? Just look to the slow cooker meals and easy one pot meals ahead—some other dishes only take 10 to 15 minutes to put together! While we’ve included some kid favorites like mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs, we’ve also added in some fresh, kid-approved takes on pizza and tacos. If you’re ready to take on a cheap dinner idea that's also a crowd-pleaser, take a look through some of our favorite dinner ideas right here.

dinner ideas for kids hot dogs
David Tsay
1 of 50
Grilled Hotdogs With Fixin's

Nothing can beat a classic hot dog. If you have picky eaters, they can customize theirs however they want.

Get the recipe.

SHOP GRILL PANS

2 of 50
Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Tomatoes

Think of roasted chicken, with its crispy skin, as the adult-pleasing alternative to chicken nuggets. If you can get your picky eaters to go for a bit of mild roasted fennel and a tomato or two, all the better.

Get the recipe.

3 of 50
Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

Need to sneak a vegetable into your family dinner? The cauliflower here does double-duty. Not only does it add some much-needed veg, but it actually gives the dish a richer, creamier flavor!

Get the recipe.

4 of 50
Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

Turkey is just as satisfying as beef, but it's a good deal leaner. And the sweet, tomato-y flavor is so good your picky eater won't even notice.

Get the recipe.

5 of 50
Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken

This crunchy, yummy fried chicken alternative is sure to satisfy, but without nearly the effort (or the calories) that actual fried chicken involves.

Get the recipe.

6 of 50
Pork Chops With Bourbon-Molasses Glaze

This let-it-sit brining recipe yields up the tenderest, juiciest pork chops, and the sweet, buttery sauce is guaranteed to have everyone at the table licking their forks and asking for seconds.

Get the recipe.

family friendly dinner chicken stroganoff
The Chunky Chef
7 of 50
One Pot Chicken Stroganoff

Everyone will love this classic stroganoff dish that subs the beef for chicken and uses only one dish.

Get the recipe at The Chunky Chef.

SHOP POTS

family friendly dinner cottage pie
Tastes Better From Scratch
8 of 50
Cottage Pie

Every kid will adore this cottage pie that has everything you could want out of dinner: mashed potatoes, cheese, and more cheese.

Get the recipe at Tastes Better From Scratch.

SHOP SKILLETS

family friendly dinner philly cheesesteak pasta
Chelsea's Messy Apron
9 of 50
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

Take all the delicious parts of a Philly cheesesteak and turn it into this gloriously yummy, kid-friendly pasta dish.

Get the recipe at Chelsea's Messy Apron.

SHOP SKILLETS

family friendly dinner chicken rice casserole
Two Peas and Their Pod
10 of 50
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Your kids will love this delicious casserole, and you'll love how simple it is to make!

Get the recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod.

SHOP SKILLETS

family friendly dinner bacon wrapped chicken
Dinner at the Zoo
11 of 50
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast

Cheese, bacon, and basically no cleanup? This recipe is our new favorite.

Get the recipe at Dinner at the Zoo.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

dinner ideas for kids chicken broccoli pasta
SALT AND LAVENDER
12 of 50
One-Pot Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

One-pot recipes are a lifesaver on busy nights. This dish will be your saving grace for another reason too—your kids will eat their veggies!

Get the recipes at Salt and Lavender.

SHOP STOCK POTS

dinner ideas for kids meatball subs
REAL MOM NUTRITION
13 of 50
Easy Meatball Subs

An easy, hearty meal done in 30 minutes? Sign us up!

Get the recipe at Real Mom Nutrition.

SHOP SKILLETS

dinner ideas for kids pizza quesadillas
The Seasoned Mom
14 of 50
Pizza Quesadillas

Your children will love these quesadillas because of their delicious pizza filling, but you'll love them because they only use three basic ingredients.

Get the recipe at The Seasoned Mom.

SHOP PANS

dinner ideas for kids instant pot mac and cheese
Oh Sweet Basil
15 of 50
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

It's no secret that homemade mac and cheese beats the box version. However, this recipe will do your favorite recipe one better: It can be made in your Instant Pot.

Get the recipe at Oh Sweet Basil.

SHOP INSTANT POTS

dinner ideas for kids shepards pie
Eazy Peazy Mealz
16 of 50
Shepherd’s Pie Cups

How adorable is this shepherd’s pie recipe? It uses the classic smiley face fries that your kids know and love.

Get the recipe at Eazy Peazy Meals.

SHOP MUFFIN PANS

dinner ideas for kids pizza bake
Perfection Pending
17 of 50
Ten-Minute Pizza Bake

You really can't go wrong with pizza for dinner. However, this dish is even better because it only takes 10 minutes to put together.

Get the recipe at Perfection Pending.

SHOP BAKING PANS

dinner ideas for kids taco pizza
LIVING WELL MOM
18 of 50
Easy Taco Pizza

If tacos and pizza are on your kids' lists of favorite foods, they'll definitely love this dish that combines the two.

Get the recipe at Living Well Mom.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

dinner ideas for kids buffalo chicken sweet potatoes
40 Aprons
19 of 50
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is so delicious (and secretly on the healthier side), we bet your children won't even mind that it uses sweet potatoes. Actually, they may even prefer it!

Get the recipe at 40 Aprons.

SHOP BAKING DISHES

dinner ideas for kids chicken pull apart rolls
Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen
20 of 50
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pull-Apart Rolls

Sliders are the ideal meal for children. The reason? They aren't as cumbersome to make as a hamburger, but will still fill them up.

Get the recipe at Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

dinner ideas for kids chicken roll ups
Julie's Eats & Treats
21 of 50
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups

You'll be hard-pressed to find a kid that doesn't like chicken Alfredo in all of its forms. So why not make it into a lasagna roll-up?

Get the recipe at Julie's Eats & Treats.

SHOP BAKING DISHES

kids dinner ideas stuffed shells
Dinner at the Zoo
22 of 50
Pizza Stuffed Shells

Pizza is always a winning meal choice for kids, but this recipe puts a twist on the classic. They may like this version even more than the original!

Get the recipe at Dinner at the Zoo.

SHOP BAKING PANS

kids dinner ideas turkey burgers
The Recipe Critic
23 of 50
Turkey Burgers

Looking for a healthier alternative to a traditional beef patty? Try turkey burgers—your children likely won't even taste the difference.

Get the recipe at The Recipe Critic.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

kids dinner ideas cheese ham pockets
Sally's Baking Addiction
24 of 50
Ham and Cheese Pockets

Move over, ham and cheese sandwiches! These handhelds are filled with ooey, gooey cheese that your kids won't be able to resist.

Get the recipe at Sally's Baking Addiction.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

kids dinner ideas sloppy joes
Cooking Classy
25 of 50
Sloppy Joes

These Sloppy Joes are so good, we don't think your children will even notice the hidden veggies inside. In fact, we think you'll enjoy them, too!

Get the recipe at Cooking Classy.

SHOP SKILLETS

kids dinner ideas pizza
The Cookie Rookie
26 of 50
Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza

Make this pretzel crust pizza once, and your kids will never want you to make any other recipe. It substitutes cheese sauce for marinara, too!

Get the recipe at The Cookie Rookie.

dinner ideas for kids spaghetti
Damn Delicious
27 of 50
Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

We guarantee the whole family will love this classic dish, and you'll like that you can cook it in the slow cooker.

Get the recipe at Damn Delicious.

SHOP INSTANT POTS

dinner ideas for kids chicken nugget
Gimme Some Oven
28 of 50
Ultra-Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets

If you're looking for a healthy and easy dinner, you've found it in this recipe. It only takes 20 minutes to make and uses only three ingredients.

Get the recipe at Gimme Some Oven.

SHOP BAKING SHEETS

dinner ideas for kids tater tot
My Baking Addiction
29 of 50
Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

Tater tots aren't just for breakfast. This casserole recipe turns them into a viable dinner dish—and it's delicious.

Get the recipe at My Baking Addiction.

SHOP BAKING DISHES

dinner ideas for kids mac
The Recipe Critic
30 of 50
15-Minute Macaroni and Cheese

As if mac and cheese couldn't get any better, this one is made in 15 minutes. Can you beat that?

Get the recipe at The Cookie Rookie.

SHOP POTS

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