Busy parents like you need a win in the kitchen every now and then. We understand that one of the hardest things about cooking for little people is making something they’ll actually eat. Take advantage of these four quick and easy kid-approved recipes that even your most finicky eater will devour.
Baked Pecan Chicken Tenders
This classic dish may sound familiar, but this recipe’s appeal is boosted in a big way. It comes together in a flash and is loaded with flavor. They may be the yummiest chicken tenders you’ve ever eaten, thanks to the pecan crust.
One of the best things about these tenders is that they’re keto-friendly if you’re watching what you eat. Most of its 522 calories per serving come from good-for-you nut fiber and fat, plus protein-rich chicken. This healthier version of chicken tenders skips the deep-fryer and opts for double-dipping your strips in egg before baking. Go with a high oven temperature to give pecans the crispness you want.
To make your own version of baked pecan chicken tenders, follow these directions:
- Use a food processor to chop your pecans into a fine, flour-like texture.
- Mix them with a bit of panko, garlic powder, salt, and a pinch of cayenne, if desired.
- Salt the chicken.
- Dip the chicken in a bowl of whipped eggs.
- Now dip it into any kind of flour. Whole wheat, coconut, or almond flour are terrific options.
- Dip the piece of chicken in the eggs again.
- Dip it in the pecan mixture.
- Bake tenders at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
- Serve with a side of ranch and a salad, and enjoy.
Image via Flickr by DelishPlan
Finding an inspiring recipe is easy. However, finding one that pleases everyone in the family is another story. Nothing says “I love you” like a comforting plate of Swedish Meatballs. This easy dish is another meal tailor-made for your busy lifestyle. It also makes a satisfying make-ahead meal you can freeze for those days when your to-do list is already maxed out.
This dish features gentle spices that warm your toddler’s heart and tummy. The heavenly creamy gravy goes well with both wide egg noodles or fluffy mashed potatoes, depending on what your family loves more. This totally drool-worthy recipe only needs one pan, and while it’s ideal as a holiday dish for the extended family, it’s also delicious on any Monday night.
Start with these easy steps:
- Make your meatballs with a mixture of ground pork and beef, plus onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, and spices.
- Roll them into a ball the size of a rounded tablespoon.
- Fry the meatballs in a large pan, then remove to a plate.
- Use the same pan to make your gravy using butter, flour, beef stock, and sour cream.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer for a few minutes to combine.
- Plate them over noodles or potatoes, then serve this concoction with a side of steamed veggies.
- If you’re reheating this meal, place it in a covered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
Pizza is one of the most universally loved dinners, and this version can be made on any given weeknight — really! The recipe is beginner chef-friendly, and it’s a winner that’s guaranteed to appeal to everyone. This casserole is loaded with all your Italian favorites like pepperoni and gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s a fun way to jazz up pizza night anytime. Whether your family loves a supreme or a meat-lovers, you can make it your way at home. This mouthwatering meal will satisfy the whole family, and it’s easy to customize.
Use these tips to make your kiddo’s beg for more:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Brown any meats your using, such as Italian sausage, bacon, or ground beef. Drain the grease and discard.
- Cook the penne pasta until al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
- Add mozzarella, pizza sauce, and your family’s favorite diced vegetables such as fresh green peppers, onion, and mushrooms.
- Mix in the cooked meat and toss to combined all the ingredients.
- Pour mixture into a greased 13 by 9-inch casserole dish.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and black olives, if desired.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Crispy Oven-Baked Chimichangas
Image via Flickr by jeffreyw
If you’ve been craving a hearty Mexican dish, try these baked alternatives to classic chimichangas. They pack in all the bold flavors your family loves, with fewer calories. Your kids will never know the difference between these and restaurant versions. At just 427 calories per serving, they’re light enough to add to your weekly meal rotation, and they’re yummy enough that everyone will want to join the clean plate club.
The whole family will go nuts over these mouthwatering chimichangas. Brush these oven-baked varieties with butter for a nice, crispy crust with half the fat of deep frying. Serve them on a bed of shredded lettuce with a side of pinto beans and rice. They’re a real crowd pleaser every time they hit the table.
Whip up a batch today and start by:
- Simmering chicken, salsa, onion, cumin, and oregano in a skillet until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Place 1/2 cup of the mixture in each tortilla.
- Top with 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese.
- Fold the tortilla into a burrito.
- Coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place chimichangas seam side down in dish.
- Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Consider making a dipping sauce with broth, bouillon, pepper, flour, and half-and-half. Add a few chiles for a bold kick.
These four healthy dinners will ensure everyone leaves the table happy and full-bellied. What more could you ask for? What brings your kiddos running to the table at dinner time? Let us know, and we’ll add it to our list and share your ideas with hungry Crème de la Crème families like yours.