Sydney recently joined our Membership Services Team. She is also a Registered Dietician and serves as the Nutrition Editor at BistroMD.
Eating together as a family is timeless. It brings conversation, nourishing meals, and memories right to the dinner table.
And there is no better time than now to continue or revive this tradition!
You can also get kids together in on the act. Acclimating children in the kitchen helps instill lifelong culinary skills, food appreciation, and confidence.
Worried about the pastability of pasta sauce splatting the ceiling or flour caked on the floor?
While that could happen, these 3 recipe ideas are not only delicious but easy and fun to prepare as a family!
(Besides, remember the benefit of making messes memories together?)
3 Family Dinner Recipes to Make Together
From personal pizzas to cozy crockpot chili, gather the family to make delicious meals and lasting memories together!
Tacos are simple to prepare and everyone has the autonomy to assemble theirs just the way they like!
- 1 lb ground beef, lean (or other preferred meat/plant-based protein)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder*
- 1 tsp ground cumin*
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano*
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder*
- 1/2 tsp onion powder*
- 1/2 tsp salt*
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water (or beef/chicken broth for a richer flavor)
*Can also use prepared taco packet seasoning
- In large skillet over medium heat, break apart and brown ground beef for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain and add back to pan.
- Add seasonings, tomato sauce, and water or broth and simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Serve with preferred tortillas and toppings, including beans, guacamole, hot sauce, jalapeños, lettuce, rice, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes.
How kids can help:
- Stir and ground the meat.
- Add in seasonings.
- Pick and set out taco toppings.
(I don’t have human kids, but my furry and feathered friends sure did a great job of supervising – and maybe enjoying a bite or two. Taco ‘bout party animals!)
Personal Pan Pita Pizzas
“I want sausage!” “I want pepperoni!” “I don’t want mushrooms!” “I only want cheese!”
Does this scenario sound all too familiar?
Give everyone their “wants” by preparing personal pan pita pizzas! Just like tacos, these single-serve pizzas allows everyone to top with preferred toppings.
So hang up the phone to the pizza delivery man and have a pizza party right in the comfort of your home!
- Pita bread: enough for each family member to have
- Sauces: tomato, BBQ, pesto, alfredo, and other favorite sauces
- Shredded and grated cheeses: mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, feta, etc.
- Proteins: ground hamburger, crumbled sausage, pepperoni, cubed chicken
- Veggies: bell peppers, black olives, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes
- Herbs and spices: oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Layout pita bread for each family member, along with chosen toppings.
- Let each craft their own personal pizza.
- Bake pizzas in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is golden in color.
- Slice and enjoy!
How kids can help:
- Cook the chosen protein sources.
- Slice up veggies with supervision.
Cozy Crockpot Chili (with a Vegetarian Option)
For those extra busy days, prepare a big batch of crockpot chili to cozy up to as a family.
Chili is packed with so many nutrients, including protein and fiber. It is also a way to sneak in some extra nutrients from chopped bell pepper, carrot, celery, and sweet potato.
For a vegetarian option, simply omit the ground beef. Likewise feel free to add another plant-based protein, including quinoa or farro.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
- 1, 15-ounce can dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1, 15-ounce can light kidney beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1, 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1, 8-oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Optional toppings: avocado, crushed tortilla chips or crackers, hot sauce, jalapeños, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.
*Feel free to use favorite bean varieties and combinations
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Add onion, garlic, and beef to a slow cooker.
- Stir in beans, tomatoes, veggie stock, and seasonings.
- Cover the crockpot with lid and cook chili on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or LOW 7 to 8 hours.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed and serve with desired toppings.
How kids can help:
- Open, rinse, and drain the canned beans.
- Ground and brown the meat if using.
- Add and stir ingredients in the crockpot.
- Set and watch the timer.
What recipes do you like to make, or are excited to try, as a family?