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  • Kirsten Smith

Kid-Approved Quick Family Weeknight Dinner Meals




If you are looking for quick and easy dinner recipes for your family, then you have come to the right place. I’ve gathered up some of the best dishes for your family. This way you can have a simple but tasty meal throughout the week. There are tons of options available, but in this post, I’ll talk about recipes that are easy to make and hassle-free!


Kids can be hard to please. They don’t like to eat certain foods and are known to be picky eaters. On top of that, when you cook for other members of your family they might have different tastes and preferences during mealtime. So, I know it isn’t an easy task finding recipes that will make everyone at your dinner table happy!


Luckily, I have some great recipes that will have everyone asking for seconds. These dishes don’t take much time to cook and are ideal for moms that are busy with work or other responsibilities. Some of the recipes will work better with an air-fryer or Instapot. Personally, I think that air-fryers and Instapots are your best friend. If you don’t have one already, I strongly suggest that you invest in one before trying to cook these quick meals!


5 Quick and Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes For Families:


1. Hidden Veggie Pizza With Cauliflower Crust With A Side Salad


Pizza is a family favorite food at my house. It tastes great and isn’t too difficult to make. However, regular pizza isn’t the most healthy meal. That’s why I suggest making cauliflower crust pizza. This is a great way to hide vegetables in your kid's food. And, cauliflower-based pizza is low-carb and offers more nutritional value.


Ingredients:

  • You need 4 cups of riced cauliflower

  • Get 4 eggs and beat them gently

  • Around 4 cups of cheese

  • If you like oregano use 4 tablespoons

  • Crush 4 garlic cloves

  • Add a pinch of salt

  • Any pizza toppings your family enjoys eating

  • Mixed greens for salad

  • Ranch dressing

  • Pumpkin seeds and other salad toppings your family likes

Instructions:


Step 1: Start by getting out all your ingredients and washing your cauliflower.


Step 2: Once you have your cauliflower washed, chop it up into small pieces. Then, break it down into smaller bits with a food processor. Keep cutting up cauliflower and putting it in the food processor until you have four cups of cauliflower.


Step 3: Next, heat up the cauliflower in your microwave for ten minutes. Make sure you have a lid over your microwavable container. This will turn your cauliflower into riced cauliflower. After preheating the oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit.


Step 4: Prepare your two pizza trays. You can put baking paper over them or spray them with non-stick spray.


Step 5: Next, mix your flour. You need to combine all the riced cauliflower, then put in the eggs, and cheese until combined. After put in the salt and oregano, as well as the garlic.


Step 6: Knead the dough a little and shape it into the pizza tray. Your crust should be around a centimeter thick.


Step 7: You want to start by baking the pizza base in the oven for around fifteen to twenty minutes. Then take it out and add some additional cheese and other toppings to the pizza. Put it back in the oven and let it stay in till the cheese melts fully.


Step 8: After you are done preparing the pizza, start mixing your salad. I recommend getting a spring mix and adding some pumpkin seeds and croutons. Keep some ranch on the side too for your kids.



2. One-Pot Spaghetti (Instapot Recipe)


The next recipe can be cooked in your Instapot in 10 minutes! This delicious meal is my ultimate go-to meal when I’m feeling tired and overworked. Especially when I just want to make something easy and filling in my Instapot. Really, Italian food is the perfect comfort food for a long weekend. So, try out this dish if your family loves spaghetti dishes!


Ingredients:

  • You’ll need ½ tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey

  • Italian seasoning ½ teaspoon

  • Garlic powder ½ teaspoon

  • Onion powder ½ teaspoon

  • Salt and pepper ½ a teaspoon of each

  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

Instructions:


Step 1: Gather up your ingredients, then set your Instapot to saute mode.


Step 2: Put in your choice of meat, then add all the seasoning. This includes your salt, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, pepper, and onion powder. You can add a bit of olive oil to prevent your meat from sticking.


Step 3: You want to cook the meat thoroughly and make sure it turns brown.


Step 4: Put the spaghetti in afterward. Break it in half then place it over the cooked meat. Add in all your water, diced tomatoes, and sauce. The spaghetti should be covered in the liquids you added. Press the pasta down into the liquid.


Step 5: Close your Instapot and then set it to high pressure. It should take around seven to eight minutes to cook. Then you can stir the pasta well and serve it right away.



3. Chicken Mac and Cheese


Chicken Mac and Cheese is another comfort food that is great for a weekend meal. This easy dish takes around an hour to cook and prep. And, who doesn’t love a good bowl of creamy mac and cheese?


Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of macaroni

  • ½ onion

  • A clove of garlic

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • All-purpose flour 3 tablespoons

  • 2 cups of your preferred milk

  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:


Step 1: Gather your ingredients, then start to cook your pasta. Get out a large pot, fill it up with water, then boil the water. Add in your pasta and cook until soft. Then drain and rinse your macaroni. Keep it to the side then start the next step.


Step 2: With your pasta cooked, you will start making your cheese sauce. Put in your minced garlic, all the butter, and your onion, and let it heat up. Then add in the cheddar cheese and stir the mixture. You want to slowly add in the milk as you stir but don’t dump it all in at once.


Step 3: Cooked chicken is the best option for this easy meal. Add it to the cheese and then put in a bit of salt and pepper to season it.


Step 4: Finally, add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir. If you want you can also add some breadcrumbs to the top of the macaroni.



4. Easy Chicken Quesadillas With Multigrain Tortilla Chips and Salsa (Instapot Recipe)


Try out this next Instapot recipe. Quesadillas aren’t hard to make, but you can cook them even faster with an Instapot! I have the perfect recipe for your family here and you can even add a side of tortilla chips and your favorite salsa.


Ingredients:

  • Bag of multigrain tortilla chips

  • Jar of salsa

  • 2 pounds of chicken (thigh or breast)

  • ⅓ cup of chicken broth

  • ½ onion

  • 1 bell pepper

  • 12 flour tortillas

  • 2 ½ cups of shredded cheese

  • Taco seasoning

Instructions:


Step 1: Prepare your chicken first. For chicken breast try slicing the chicken thinner so it cooks faster. If you have chicken thighs, trim the fat then set the chicken aside.


Step 2: Chop up your onion and bell pepper. Then start coating your chicken with your store-bought taco seasoning. Cover the entire chicken with the seasoning.


Step 3: Place the chicken in the Instapot and put it on saute mode. You can add a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, as well as a dash of salt and pepper.

Step 4: Cook each side for two to three minutes, then add the chicken broth. You’ll want to pressure cook the chicken with the broth for eight minutes.


Step 5: Shred the chicken after it is cooked, then put it back into the pot with the veggies you chopped up. Cook for another three to four minutes till the broth has evaporated.


Step 6: Finally get your pan heated and put some butter on the pan. Place a tortilla on the pan and put the chicken and vegetable mix on one half of the tortilla, then add cheese on top. Fold the tortilla and let it cook. Then flip it over and cook the other side.


Step 7: Put your tortilla chips and salsa in a bowl and cut up the quesadillas so they are ready to be served.



5. Spinach and Banana Monster Muffins For Dessert


Finally, for dessert, try out this hearty but healthy spinach and banana monster muffin recipe. Your kids might want something sweet to eat during the weekend, but you don’t have to overload them with sugary processed foods.


Homemade baked goods are a great alternative to pre-packaged products. And, this recipe even includes spinach so your whole family can get some more veggies in their diet!


Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup spinach

  • 2 bananas that are ripe

  • ¼ cup milk of your preferred milk

  • 1 egg

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon of honey or syrup

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:


Step 1: Add your ingredients to your blender.


Step 2: Blend all your ingredients till they are completely smooth.

Step 3: Prepare your muffin tin and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I suggest using cupcake liners to keep your muffin tins clean.


Step 4: Pour the batter into each liner and fill it around ¾ full.


Step 5: Bake your muffins for around 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and firm.


Closing Thoughts:


Hopefully, the quick family meals I have included in this post will help you prepare food fast and with less stress! It can be a real challenge trying to make the perfect weeknight meal for everyone in your household.


With an Instapot and my kid-approved recipes, you can really change how you eat food with the whole family throughout the week. Feel free to read through my post again so you can see which meal will be the easiest to make.



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