13 Kid-Approved Dinner Ideas For No-Fuss Meals

If dinner time is always a fuss, try one of these kid-approved dinner ideas for dinner tonight. Even adults will enjoy these. From pizza to burgers, pasta to sandwiches, or soups to homemade chicken nuggets, these 13 dinner ideas will make any person of any age happy at the dinner table. No fuss, no muss. Just smiles and happy bellies.

1. Buffalo Chicken Pizza

An overhead view of a half-sized buffalo chicken pizza.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Pizza for dinner is always a winner with kids, but something healthier like this Buffalo chicken pizza is the one you should be serving. Just use pita bread and top it with shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, and your favorite cheeses for a super quick meal. Or let the kids top it the way they like.

2. Baked Turkey Burgers

A baked turkey burger with the top bun half way off and to the right side.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Get your kids to eat something lighter and healthier with these delicious baked turkey burgers. Pair it with a side of baked French fries, and they likely won’t notice the difference. Add their favorite burger toppings like cheese, ketchup, lettuce, and tomatoes, and watch them gobble dinner down.

3. Mac And Cheese

A spoon lifts mac and cheese out of a bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Every kid loves macaroni and cheese, and this mac and cheese recipe will be a hit with the rest of the family, too. The best part is that it’s made with ingredients you’ll feel good about eating. This might be made from scratch, but that doesn’t mean its hard to make. This is quick, easy, and provides a bowl of comfort food for dinner. You can even mix in some cooked, ground meat and some veggies if you want a more complete meal.

4. Meatball Sandwiches 

A single meatball sandwich on a whole grain bun sits on a wood cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

One thing that kids love to eat – sandwiches. Make a healthy and family-friendly version with this meatball sandwich recipe. It’s total comfort food that is filled with wholesome goodness. Serve it with some baked fries and a green salad.

5. Potato Corn Chowder

A white bowl filled with Potato Corn Chowder garnished with sliced green onions.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This potato corn chowder recipe is the easiest way to get your kids to eat healthier. It’s a tummy-warming and totally comforting recipe that will have them craving another bowlful. Serve with some crunchy garlic bread and a salad.

6. Veggie Pita Pizza

Fresh basil leaves sprinkled over a cooked veggie pizza.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

There are two types of food that kids won’t turn down: spaghetti and pizza. But feeding these foods to them regularly isn’t good for their health. So, make a healthier version this season with this veggie pita pizza. Use any combination of veggies the kids will like best.

7. Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf Casserole

A loaf pan with just-made Turkey Vegetable Meatloaf Casserole in it. Garnished with fresh, chopped parsley.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Meatloaf is another kid favorite. But you can switch it up this season by serving them a healthier version with this turkey vegetable meatloaf casserole recipe. It is comforting and filled with good-for-you ingredients.

8. Chicken Nuggets

A white plate with chicken nuggets and a dollop of ketchup.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Buying packaged chicken nuggets for your kids is not the smartest choice. Instead, you can give in to their favorite by serving up healthier chicken nuggets. It’s just as good, if not better than what you’ll get from a fast food chain, and you can feel confident about what you are feeding them.

9. Cheeseburger Pasta

A white bowl filled with Real Food Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

There aren’t a lot of kids out there who will turn down a bowl of cheeseburger pasta, and thanks to this all-natural version you can feel good about feeding it to them. You can mix in some veggies if you prefer, or serve them on the side. Some crunchy garlic bread would be perfect with this, too.

10. Instant Pot Taco Casserole

A black plate holds a serving of Instant Pot taco casserole.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Tacos are always a family favorite. So having different versions available to keep things interesting is always a good idea. This Instant Pot taco casserole is quick to make, creates minimal dirty dishes, and you can serve it as is or stuff it into some taco shells for the kids.

11. Chicken And Sweet Potatoes Sheet Pan

A sheet pan covered in sweet potato chunks, pearl onions and two chicken breasts.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This chicken and sweet potatoes sheet pan dinner is the perfect addition to your dinner rotation for two reasons. It’s kid-friendly, and it’s very easy to make. You can toss the ingredients on a sheet pan, and your oven will do the rest. If you prefer, you can use regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. It will still turn out great.

12. Taco Spaghetti

An overhead view of a skillet filled with Taco Spaghetti.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If the kids like spaghetti, they will love this easy taco spaghetti. It’s a great way to keep spaghetti night interesting, and you can feel good about feeding it to your family. The only real difference between this and regular spaghetti is the seasoning.

13. Mom’s Taco Casserole

A spoonful of Taco Salad Casserole from a white casserole dish.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This recipe for my Mom’s taco casserole is one that my family has made since I can remember. It’s basically a layered casserole, almost like a 7-layer dip. You can scoop it over a bed of salad, or use corn chips to eat it with. Either way, it’s a delicious meal kids of all ages will love.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need more dinner ideas? These can help. Chicken and turkey are very versatile foods that can be used to create an unlimited number of dinners. Here are 118 ideas to get you started.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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