A Month of Healthy Summer Dinner Ideas for Kids
Tortilla Pepperoni Pizza
This easy pizza takes only 15 minutes from start to finish and uses simple ingredients you could find in your pantry. Tomato paste adds flavor without sogging out the crust. Skip the pepperoni for a vegetarian-friendly version, or add your own favorite toppings.
Turkey, Cheese & Veggie Plate
This colorful picnic dinner idea features tasty munchies you don't need utensils for and mild flavors that kids prefer, like deli meat, cheese and crunchy raw veggies. It's easy to assemble this complete menu, and adults will enjoy it as much as the kids. The menu calls for store-bought hummus and cookies, but you can easily make them yourself (see Tips, below).
Smoked Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini
Zucchini holds a flavorful filling of smoky sausage, brown rice and red bell pepper in this healthy dinner recipe. Opt for smoked paprika if you want to give your zucchini an extra burst of smoky flavor.
Steak & Potato Grill Packets with Blue Cheese & Rosemary
Steak and potatoes are a classic combo on the grill. We have taken the concept one step further by adding green beans and rosemary, and wrapping everything in a packet to make a complete meal. A sprinkling of blue cheese just before serving is the perfect finish for this steak-house special.
Chicken Sausage & Onion Pasta
Convenient fully cooked chicken sausage is a great flavor starter for this easy pasta recipe with just three ingredients you can keep stocked in your freezer or pantry for fast dinners. Just add some sautéed onions and pasta and you have a super-simple meal that the entire family will love.
Easy Brown Rice Pilaf with Spring Vegetables
This quick 3-ingredient dinner takes advantage of foods you can keep stocked in your fridge and pantry for a fast, healthy meal the whole family will love. Want to kick it up a notch? Use a frozen vegetable blend that has added seasoning for extra flavor (just watch the sodium).
Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips
Give these oven "fried" chicken strips a try, and you may just find the perfect healthy swap for restaurant chicken fingers.
This homemade pizza riffs on the classic BLT sandwich, with crisp bacon, thin roma tomatoes and fresh arugula on top of a whole-wheat pizza crust.
Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado
Instead of deep-frying, the fish fillets in this quick-and-easy 5-ingredient recipe are coated with a flavorful seasoning blend and baked. Several varieties of flaky white fish can be used for these tacos. When you go to the market to purchase fish, the best strategy is to be flexible and choose the variety that looks freshest that day.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
Two of our favorite comfort-food sandwiches join forces in these family-friendly dinner sandwiches. We found that softer buns make this easier to eat, and it's all the better when wrapped takeout-style in a sheet of foil.
One-Pot Greek Pasta
A little bit of Sunday meal prep goes a long way in this one-dish Mediterranean pasta recipe. The pasta is cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge to use for meals all week, but any leftover cooked pasta you have on hand will do. Chicken sausage with feta is especially good in this recipe.
Black Bean Tacos
Mixing mashed canned beans with whole beans and seasonings makes an incredibly simple taco filling from your pantry. Top these speedy 5-ingredient tacos with lettuce, tomato and salsa or any of your favorite taco toppings.
Slow-Cooker Baby Back Ribs
This easy load-and-go crock pot recipe is a great dinner to make with your kids. Let the kids stir the sauce while you rub the ribs, then just let the slow cooker do the rest of the work! Serve with a colorful coleslaw and brown rice.
Barbecue Pork Chops
The quick, super-easy barbecue sauce in this recipe would be great on roasted chicken as well. Serve with your favorite slaw and a cold lager.
Greek Salad Nachos
This vegetarian nacho recipe is a fun combination of two favorites--nachos and Greek salad. It uses whole-grain pita chips instead of the tortilla chips used in traditional nacho recipes, and it's loaded with the classic fresh vegetables in Greek salad as well as creamy hummus and salty feta cheese. And it doesn't even need the oven! Easily doubled, this makes a great appetizer or light dinner.
Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus Kebabs
Shrimp and asparagus both cook very quickly, making them a perfect pair on the grill. We've seasoned them in delicate flavors--lemon, garlic and dill--so their natural sweetness can shine through. Pick fat asparagus stalks for easier skewering.
Broccolini, Chicken Sausage & Orzo Skillet
We love this quick skillet meal for busy evenings. The sausage and orzo simmer together in chicken broth, resulting in a creamy, risotto-like dish in under 30 minutes.
Chipotle Chicken Satay with Grilled Vegetables
Plan ahead before you prep the grill for this grilled chicken recipe: marinating the chicken in a mix of peanut butter, lime, and chipotle peppers results in tender meat and bold flavors.
Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Squash
Thinly sliced zucchini and summer squash bulk up this easy vegetarian pasta recipe. Saving a bit of the starchy pasta-cooking water to toss with grated cheese, herbs and bright lemon at the end is the secret to a fast, silky no-cook pasta sauce.
Stir-Fried Chicken & Broccoli with Mango Chutney
Resist the urge to make this stir-fry chicken recipe in a skillet instead of a wok, which will hold all your ingredients better. Buy a carbon-steel wok at an Asian market (or online) for around $30 and you'll have it forever. Make one stir-fry and you'll wonder how you survived without it.
Clam Chowder with Broccoli Stems & Corn
Keeping frozen corn, canned clams and clam juice on hand means spur-of-the-moment chowder in any season. If you typically compost your broccoli stems, save them for this soup--they hold up better than florets. Set out bowls of toppings like diced red bell pepper, snipped chives or more bacon.
Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki
Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, spinach and Mediterranean spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.
Pearl mozzarella isn't just for snacking! Try slicing it to top an individual pita pizza with fresh tomato and basil. A little goes a long way.
Steak & Pepper Tartines with Arugula Salad
These open-face, knife-and-fork steak sandwiches are topped with Gruyère cheese to make them reminiscent of a Philly cheesesteak. If you can't find shaved sandwich steak in your grocery store, try slicing a flank steak very thin.
Pizza Lettuce Wraps
Go light and fresh when you're craving pizza: these easy lettuce wraps have all the taste with fewer carbs and calories.
Camping Chicken Quesadillas
These make-ahead quesadillas are a genius campfire dinner solution. Assemble and wrap in foil at home, then once you get to camp, just throw over hot coals for a quick campsite meal.
Two-Cheese Fusilli with Marinated Tomatoes
In this healthy vegetarian pasta recipe, using the tastiest possible ingredients is key. That's why we opt for the richer flavor of whole-milk ricotta over part-skim. Pair with a big green salad and a bottle of chilled rosé for a summer meal on the deck.
Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.
These stuffed zucchini boats are filled with all your favorite taco ingredients like seasoned meat, cheese and avocado. They're perfect for a a low-carb alternative on taco night or a great kid-friendly way to sneak in more vegetables.