Cooking with kids: Recipes to whip up when the whole family is at home

With the whole family home, take the opportunity to teach kids a new skill like cooking

Things you can do while stuck at home amid coronavirus

Looking for something to do with kids while they’re home from school? You may have recently stocked up on groceries and it can be a good time to teach kids a new skill like cooking.

Here are some kid-friendly recipes to whip up when the whole family is at home.

Check out even more kid-friendly recipes here.

Crispy Veggie Burgers

Crispy Veggie Burgers are packed with fiber and protein, thanks to the can of drained chickpeas that are the foundation of the dish.


1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

2 large eggs

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, plus extra for serving

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

6 scallions, sliced thin

4 leaves lettuce

4 hamburger buns


Set a colander in sink. Open the can of chickpeas and pour into the colander. Rinse the chickpeas with cold water and shake the colander to drain well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Place the chickpeas, panko and scallions in a food processor. Lock the lid in place. Hold down the pulse button 1 second, then release. Repeat until ingredients are roughly chopped with some large pieces remaining, 5 to 8 pulses.

Remove the lid and carefully remove the food processor blade (ask an adult for help). Transfer the chickpea mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the ingredients until just combined.

Use your hands to divide the chickpea mixture into 4 lightly packed balls. Gently flatten each ball into a circle that measures 4 inches across.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet and swirl the skillet to coat evenly with the oil. Place the patties in the skillet and cook over medium heat until the bottom side is well browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip the patties (ask an adult for help). Cook until the other side is well browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Put 1 lettuce leaf inside each bun. Use a spatula to slide the burgers into buns. Serve with more yogurt (for dipping or spreading inside buns) if you like. Serves 4.

Per burger: 401 calories (percent of calories from fat, 29), 15 grams protein, 56 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 13 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 107 milligrams cholesterol, 770 milligrams sodium.

A bowl of pasta loaded with cheese sauce is a 3-year-old’s version of the crispy baguette and excellent French Camembert that is for some of us a staple food of adulthood. And as with many simple recipes, the dish hinges on the quality of its ingredients.


45 to 65 minutes. Serves 8 to 12

1 pound elbow macaroni

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk, more if needed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 fresh bay leaves

2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese

2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

1 1/4 cups (about 4 ounces) Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup bread crumbs


If baking the mac and cheese, heat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a 13- by 9-inch baking or casserole dish.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni to the water and cook until it is just al dente, stirring occasionally to keep the noodles from sticking together and to the bottom of the pot. Drain the macaroni in a colander, then place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, quickly whisk in the flour to keep it from clumping and to form a roux. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the roux, whisking constantly, for two minutes.

Slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Add the pepper and bay leaves. Increase the temperature until the mixture begins to simmer, still whisking, and cook until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove from heat and fish out the bay leaves, using a pair of tongs or spoon.

Gradually add the Gruyère and cheddar cheeses, along with 1 cup of Parmesan to the sauce, stirring until the cheese is melted. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in additional milk, a tablespoon or so at a time. When the cheese sauce is smooth, pour it over the bowl of pasta and stir until combined. Serve if desired.

To bake the mac and cheese, spoon the mixture into the baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle the mixture over the pasta. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the mac and cheese is bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Mario Batali is best known for his role as co-host of "The Chew," but it's his sons, then teenagers, who wrote a book about kids cooking for the family. This substantial dish from their book is still healthy, particularly if the buns are whole grain and the beef is low-fat. It's also a meal the adults will enjoy.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1½ pounds ground chuck or other lean grind

5 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons sugar

1 12-ounce jar mild salsa

6 hamburger buns


Place a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and rub it onto the bottom of the pan with a paper towel and tongs.

Add ground beef and, while it's cooking, break it up with something like the back of a spoon. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except for the buns, and mix while still chopping the mixture up with the spoon.

When the liquids start to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 4 minutes.

Open the buns and stuff in the meat.

This heart-healthy recipe is still substantial and gives you the option of using (or making!) fun shape noodles.


2 10-ounce cans of chicken broth

2 cups uncooked noodles

1 cup cooked chicken, cut up

1 carrot, thinly sliced


Pour chicken broth in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add remaining ingredients.

Cook 15 minutes or until noodles are soft.

This slimmed down, nutrition-bumped bark recipe makes a colorful snack or healthy dessert, according to Eating Well recipe developer Carolyn Casner. It's also gluten free, heart healthy and low fat.


3 cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cup sliced strawberries

¼ cup mini chocolate chips


Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir yogurt, maple syrup (or honey) and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet into a 10"x15" rectangle.

Scatter the strawberries on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Freeze until very firm, at least 3 hours.

To serve, cut or break into 32 pieces.

Additional ways to stay occupied when you’re at home: