Even your littlest kitchen assistants can help get dinner on the table.
kids cooking in the kitchen
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

We've gathered easy, top-rated dinner recipes and ideas that will give your kids practice with all of the simple cooking skills like measuring, pouring, and stirring, as well as some of the more advanced skills like working with raw meat and hot surfaces. Choose which recipes fit your little foodies' skill levels, and get cooking!

Rice Bowls and Salads

rice bowls and salads ingredients
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Building your own rice bowls is an easy, satisfying dinner that kids of all ages can help with. Older kids can help prepare some of the components like cooking the protein and slicing up veggies, while little kids can help with filling the serving bowls for the "bar" once the components are ready. And then everyone gets to assemble their own rice bowl or salad. These bowls and salads can include whatever you like, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

Mexican bowl/salad: Rice or quinoa, green onions, black beans, seasoned ground turkey, avocado, cotija or Mexican-style shredded cheese, Romaine, corn, limes, salsa, light sour cream, etc.

Asian bowl/salad: Rice, edamame, shredded carrots, pea pods, mushrooms, sesame seeds, toasted seaweed, avocado, cucumber, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, etc.

Greek bowl/salad: Rice, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, kalamata olives, cubed chicken breast, Greek salad dressing, etc.

Easy Chicken Recipes

quick chicken dinner
Credit: ChickadeeD

Making chicken dishes is a great way to practice easy skills like pouring and measuring, while learning some of the harder skills like how to handle raw meat, working with a hot stove or oven, and determining when meat is cooked thoroughly. Here are a handful of top-rated recipes to get started with:

Healthy Pasta Recipes

healthier homemade mac and cheese in a white dish
Credit: Allrecipes Magazine

Learning how to make pasta is another helpful skill that will allow kids to make a variety of dishes. They’ll learn when to add pasta to hot water, how to stay safe when working with boiling water, how to tell when the noodles are done, as well as how to work with meat for some recipes. Here are some recipes perfect for introducing your kids to these new skills:

Fun Finger Foods

turkey sausage quinoa bites
Credit: Linda T

Sometimes just the promise of being able to eat their creations with their hands is all that’s needed to get kids excited about learning some new cooking skills. The recipes below cover everything from pouring, measuring, and stirring, to working with raw meat and hot surfaces: