13 Kid-Friendly Lenten Recipes to Fill Up the Whole Family

slice of lasagna on a white plate
Photo: DIZ

Try feeding a finicky kid during Lent, and suddenly your own fast seems like child's play. Whether you're looking for a meal fit for everyone at the table or your child has begun to fast, too, our kid-approved recipes will result in easier Fridays for you and them.

01 of 13

Cheesy Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

enchilada casserole on a tortilla with black beans and tomatoes on the side
Culinary Envy

How's baking cheesy enchiladas as a casserole for a Lenten dinner hack? This vegetarian recipe preps in 10 minutes and bakes in just 25 minutes, perfect for busy Fridays.

02 of 13

Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Shrimp

fried shrimp with dipping sauce on a white plate
Soup Loving Nicole

Crunchy panko crumbs and garlic powder coat deep-fried shrimp for a restaurant-worthy meal. "My husband will only eat seafood from nice seafood restaurants. He was shocked I could make the same quality delicious fried shrimp at home," home cook Sherry says.

03 of 13

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

black bean burger patty on a multigrain bun with toppings
Gord Linder

Home cooks say you can bulk up these meatless burgers with brown rice or corn kernels for a heartier texture. Add whatever toppings entice your kids.

04 of 13

Simple Ranchy Breaded Fish Fillets

breaded fish with peas and grapes on the side

Chicken finger fiends will appreciate our Simple Ranchy Breaded Fish Fillets, and this main dish takes just 25 minutes to prepare.

05 of 13

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese in a ceramic bowl
Lentil Bolognese. Buckwheat Queen

Beat your family's bolognese cravings with this vegetarian recipe that uses meaty lentils in place of ground beef. "At first, the kids didn't even notice there were lentils instead of meat," Allstar Buckwheat Queen says.

06 of 13

Easy Tuna Pasta Bake

pasta casserole with tuna and peas

A generous sprinkle of Parmesan makes this pasta so creamy that even the pickiest eater won't scoff at the tuna. And you can sneak in vegetables while you're at it: "I added in mushrooms and peas, and I feel that's what this dish was missing — a few veggies," Allrecipes Allstar Kim says. "I could see also adding in carrots, celery, garlic, or bell peppers too."

07 of 13

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

stack of quesadillas with spinach and mushrooms
Cat Lady Cyndi

"I was surprised at how much flavor these had since there aren't very many ingredients. My whole family loved it, including my two year old, which was a shock since there wasn't any meat in it," home cook Kristen B. says. "The only thing I might change for next time is to add more mushrooms."

08 of 13

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie II

shepherds pie with lentils

Replace ground meat with lentils and barley for a shepherd's pie that rival's the original in heartiness. And with the familiar mashed potato topping, no one will mind that it's vegetarian.

09 of 13

Shrimp Mac and Cheese

macaroni and cheese with shrimp in a white bowl

Allstar and recipe creator thedailygourmet decided on cooked salad shrimp because their size resembles macaroni. That is, kids will dig in before they realize they're eating seafood — and will keep eating it.

10 of 13

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

shrimp and peppers with avocado slices

Fajitas make a quick and easy meal, but bake them in a sheet pan covered with parchment paper for quick and easy cleanup, too.

11 of 13

Shrimp and Peanut Butter Noodles

peanut butter noodles with shrimp and broccoli in a white dish
Dave Thompson

Peanut butter makes everything taste better — at least kids seem to think so. You can tweak this shrimp stir fry's basic sauce to fit your family's preferences. Home cooks have used chunky peanut butter for crunch, added ginger for zing, fired it up with red pepper flakes, and even subbed another nut butter to accommodate allergies.

12 of 13

Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole

Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole in a blue bowl
Chef Mo

"This recipe is worth all the steps and all the time! I made it exactly as written and it is now in one of my TOP favorites," Allstar Chef Mo says. This 10-serving casserole makes enough for leftovers, and everyone will be glad for it — especially the cook.

13 of 13

Simple Spinach Lasagna

slice of lasagna on a white plate

Devote 30 minutes of hands-on time to assembling this family favorite lasagna, then leave it to bake in the oven. "This was a hit with my husband AND three-year-old daughter," home cook BISHWMN says.

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