Teach Kids Cooking with These Beginner-Friendly Recipes
Helping out in the kitchen is a wonderful learning opportunity for your children—not to mention fun for everyone involved. Kids gain valuable experience from cooking, no matter their age, from preschoolers exploring new ingredients to older children practicing measurements and safe appliance use.
But how do you get your young ones interested in preparing food? The trick is to make yummy recipes for kids to cook that suit their tastes and skill levels. Once you have all the essentials, you’re ready to make some treats with the kids. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to get kids cooking from America’s Test Kitchen Kids, our partners on the Kitchen Adventures subscription box, for your family to try.
(Each recipe uses tools and appliances that require adult supervision. You are the best judge of your child’s abilities. Please read through each recipe to determine its suitability for a particular child and assess how much assistance will be needed.)
4 Fun Recipes for Kids to Cook
For Beginner Cooks
- 1 English muffin, split in half using fork
- 4 teaspoons jarred pizza sauce
- 3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese (¾ ounce)
- 2–4 slices pepperoni (optional)
- Line toaster oven pan with aluminum foil; set aside. Toast English muffin in toaster oven until light golden. Remove from toaster. Heat toaster oven to 450 degrees.
- Place English muffin, split side up, on toaster oven pan. Divide pizza sauce evenly between each English muffin half and spread into even layer with back of spoon.
- Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over pizza sauce. Top each pizza with 2 slices pepperoni (if using).
- Bake pizzas in toaster oven until cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Let pizzas cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes.
- Vegetable oil spray
- 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
- Place tortillas on cutting board. Cut each tortilla in half. Cut each tortilla half into 3 equal wedges. Place tortilla wedges on greased baking sheet, in a single layer, alternating point up and point down, so they fit on baking sheet.
- Spray tortilla wedges generously with vegetable oil spray. Make sure wedges are evenly coated and shiny. Sprinkle salt evenly over tortilla wedges.
- Place baking sheet in oven. Bake until chips are golden on edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Let chips cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Serve. (Chips can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 4 days.)
For Intermediate Cooks
- All-purpose flour, for sprinkling on counter
- 1 (9½-by-9-inch) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into six 2-inch squares
- 1 large egg, cracked into bowl and lightly beaten with fork
- 1–2 teaspoons confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly sprinkle clean counter with flour. Unfold puff pastry onto floured counter. Use rolling pin to gently roll puff pastry into 10½-inch square.
- Use bench scraper to cut pastry into six 3½-by-5¼-inch rectangles. Place 1 chocolate square in top half of each rectangle, leaving ¾-inch border. Use pastry brush to paint edges of pastry with beaten egg on 3 sides around chocolate square. Fold pastry in half over chocolate. Use your fingers to press edges of pastry to seal.
- Transfer shaped pastries to parchment‑lined baking sheet, leaving space between pastries. Use pastry brush to paint tops of pastries evenly with beaten egg.
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake until pastries are puffed and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Let pastries cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Set fine-mesh strainer over small bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar to strainer. Use fine-mesh strainer to dust confectioners’ sugar evenly over pastries, gently tapping side of strainer to release sugar. Serve warm.
- 2 quarts water
- 1¼ cups salt
- 2 pounds small red potatoes
- Vegetable oil spray
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons malt vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set cooling rack inside one rimmed baking sheet.
- Add water to large pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Carefully add salt to water and stir with slotted spoon until dissolved.
- Carefully add potatoes to pot. Cook potatoes until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. To check if potatoes are tender, use slotted spoon to carefully transfer one potato to wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Carefully insert paring knife into potato. If it slips in and out easily the potatoes are ready. Turn off heat.
- Use slotted spoon to carefully transfer potatoes to cooling rack set in baking sheet. Let potatoes sit to dry out for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spray second rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Use pastry brush to evenly coat baking sheet with olive oil.
- When potatoes are dry, transfer potatoes to oiled baking sheet. Use 1-cup dry measuring cup to press down on each potato to flatten until ½ inch thick.
- Use clean pastry brush to paint potatoes with half of vinegar. Sprinkle potatoes with pepper.
- Place baking sheet in oven and roast until potatoes are well browned and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack.
- Use pastry brush to carefully paint potatoes with remaining vinegar. Serve.
How Can Kids Get Involved in Cooking?
Cooking with kids is a delightful way to help expand young palates and create lasting memories. Your young kitchen helpers can assist with any family meal in some way, whether you’re making lemonade on a summer day or a bowl of hearty stew in the winter. Here are some age-appropriate kitchen duties that children can help with in the kitchen. (But remember, you are the best judge of your child’s abilities and what level of supervision will be needed.)
- Add and mash ingredients
- Wrap potatoes in foil
- Line muffin tins with baking cups
- Decorate cookies, cakes, cupcakes with toppings
- Measure and stir ingredients
- Crack eggs
- Knead dough
- Toss salad
- Whisk and fold ingredients
- Peel veggies with a peeler
- Toast bread
- Roll out dough
Ages 12 and Up
- Try new recipes with supervision (Let them get creative—you might be impressed by your kid’s cooking ideas.)
- Learn to use more advanced kitchen tools
Strap on an apron and try a kids’ cooking activity today. Once you get your kids in the kitchen, there’s a whole new world of fun, easy recipes to explore.