Dinner Concepts For Teenagers | Actual Mother Vitamin


Want some straightforward recipes for feeding your hungry teen? Listed here are 25+ dinner concepts for teenagers that they’ll make themselves.

Three beef tacos on a white plate, topped with cheese, lettuce, and diced tomato.
Prepping taco meat on the weekend makes it straightforward to tug these collectively.

As a lot as you attempt to make household dinner occur, your teenager might produce other plans.

You know the way it goes: Sports activities practices and faculty actions run late, last-minute research periods with associates crop up, and their social life all of a sudden takes off.

Or perhaps your teen, like mine, often craves a late-night “second dinner,” if you’re formally off-duty from the kitchen.

Nuking rooster nuggets, making a peanut butter sandwich, or grabbing quick meals is okay typically, however wouldn’t or not it’s good on your teen to eat a home-cooked meal whereas constructing an necessary life ability?

Beneath you’ll discover a ton of dinner concepts for teenagers that they’ll prep all by themselves (or with minimal assist from you!).

Are your teenagers making their very own lunches? Listed here are the 30+ Wholesome Lunches for Teenagers

Dinner Concepts For Teenagers

What makes this checklist completely different

That is not an inventory of recipe hyperlinks. I don’t learn about your teen, however mine isn’t up for something sophisticated or time-consuming when he’s hungry.

As an alternative, right here you’ll discover concepts for dinner elements you possibly can prep (or purchase) that your teen can use to construct meals. Plus, I’ve included 20 easy, low-effort dinner concepts for teenagers, and some recipes that don’t contain a lot (or any) cooking time.

First, let’s inventory the kitchen

Say goodbye to cries of “We’ve got no meals!” You and your teen can prep these things on the weekend to make an ideal place to begin for a wholesome meal. This can be a good alternative to show them extra life expertise (meals prep!) and spend high quality time collectively.

Bonus: These elements can be utilized to construct a wholesome snack and even wholesome faculty lunches.

A small bowl of brown rice sits on a white countertop.
Make a batch of brown rice within the Instantaneous Pot or on the range.
  • Rinsed and chopped uncooked veggies
  • A pan of roasted veggies (toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400 levels F till crisp across the edges)
  • Washed salad greens
  • Baked potatoes (white or candy potatoes)
  • Favourite sauces and dressings
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Cooked beans or lentils
  • Cooked pasta
  • Jarred salads
  • Onerous boiled eggs
A plastic container of rinsed red and green leaf lettuce.
Salad greens which can be rinsed and able to go usually tend to be eaten!

Listed here are wholesome, handy objects to purchase on the grocery retailer for constructing meals:

  • Frozen entrees, frozen burritos
  • Veggie burgers & patties (learn: Is Plant-Based mostly Meat Wholesome?)
  • Edamame
  • Frozen veggies: Toss into rice, pasta, or on a baked potato
  • Frozen burritos
  • Microwaveable cups of mashed potatoes
  • Soup cups or ramen packets
  • Rice pouches (plain or flavored)
  • Pasta pouches (ready-made pasta)
  • Tortilla chips or entire tortillas
Three pouches of barley and lentils, pasta, and farro make easy dinner ideas for teens.
These pre-cooked grain pouches make a simple place to begin for a bowl.
  • Frozen beef or turkey burgers
  • Frozen candy potato fries
  • Jarred spaghetti sauce
  • Pre-baked pizza crust or flatbread
  • Canned salmon and tuna
  • Frozen cauliflower “rice”
  • Jarred pesto
  • Jarred sauces like teriyaki, curry, and many others.
  • Jarred salsa or queso
  • Bagged salads
  • Bagged, prepped veggies like broccoli and cauliflower florets, snap peas, and Brussels sprouts
  • Shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or blends of cheeses
  • Pre-cooked bacon or sausage
  • Sliced deli meats
A veggie burger with cheese, lettuce, and onion sits on a green plate.
A veggie cheeseburger makes a fast meatless meal.

20 straightforward meals for teenagers

Listed here are some straightforward dinner concepts for teenagers that even a newbie prepare dinner could make:

1. Ramen “Plus”

Cook dinner ramen noodles in response to the package deal, then add in frozen veggies or greens, additional protein (like teriyaki jerky, peanuts, scrambled egg, or deli rooster), and a few candy/scorching chili sauce and prepare dinner on low till every part is heated by means of.

2. Bean Burritos

Unfold refried beans on a tortilla, then add a spoonful of black beans (or one other form of beans) which have been rinsed and drained. Add a spoonful of salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, then roll up and microwave for 30-60 seconds to soften or prepare dinner in a pan on the stovetop till browned.

3. French Bread Pizzas

Slice a baguette in half after which lengthwise. Toast below the broiler for a couple of minutes to get crisp. Then unfold with pizza sauce or pesto, mozzarella cheese, and favourite pizza toppings and broil a couple of extra minutes till melty.

French Bread Pizzas sit on a silver tray lined with parchment paper. They're among easy dinner ideas for teens.
French Bread Pizzas are so easy and so yummy.

4. Baked Potato

Poke a rinsed potato throughout with a fork and microwave for about 8 minutes. Prime with butter, shredded cheese, and a few steamed broccoli florets.

5. Rice Bowl

Begin with a base of rice, farro, or quinoa. Add a protein (similar to grilled rooster, cooked tofu, or chickpeas), chopped veggies, and a favourite sauce similar to Peanut Sauce or jarred Teriyaki Sauce.

6. Sheet Pan Nachos

Unfold tortilla chips on a sheet pan, prime with rinsed/drained canned black beans, prepped taco meat, and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 levels F for five minutes. Take away and prime with salsa, bitter cream, and cubed or sliced avocado.

7. Pesto Tortellini

Cook dinner a pot of cheese tortellini (or any pasta), rinse, and drain. Add a couple of spoonfuls of jarred pesto. Prime with Parmesan and eat with a aspect salad or fruit salad.

A small stainless steel bowl holds pesto tortellini with a plastic fork in it.
Jarred pesto makes any form of pasta really feel particular.

8. Quesadilla

Unfold refried beans throughout a burrito-sized tortilla, add shredded or sliced cheese, grilled meat (or prepped taco meat), or roasted veggies, fold over, and prepare dinner in a frivolously oiled skillet or within the toaster oven till melty.

9. Energy Salad

Begin with a bagged salad or rinsed greens and prime with a protein (similar to 1/2 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas or edamame, tuna, chopped hard-boiled eggs, or grilled rooster), add a handful of nuts, sliced apple or different fruit, and their favourite salad dressing.

A large white bowl contains a salad with chicken, apples, walnuts, grapes, and celery.
Begin with bagged salad. Add a protein, fruits, veggies, and nuts.

10. Rice and Beans

Drain and rinse canned beans and microwave for a couple of minute or till steaming. Mix with a heated pouch of pre-cooked rice. Prime with a spoonful of salsa or a sprinkle of taco seasoning combine.

11. Fried Rice

Place a portion of cooked rice in a skillet coated with cooking spray. Add frozen greens and prepare dinner till heated by means of. Transfer every part to at least one aspect of the pan, then crack an egg on the opposite aspect, pushing round till cooked by means of. Mix with rice, add a splash of soy sauce, and stir till every part is mixed.

12. Egg Sandwich

In a mug or ramekin coated with cooking spray, combine collectively one egg, a splash of milk, a pinch salt and pepper, and a few shredded cheese. Microwave, coated, for a couple of minute or till set. Place on a toasted bun or English muffin with a slice of ham or a microwaved frozen sausage patty.

An Egg Breakfast Sandwich sits on a piece of tinfoil on a wood table.
Egg sandwiches are satisfying any time of day.

13. Veggie Cheeseburger

Cook dinner veggie burger on the stovetop or microwave, melting a slice of cheese on prime. Place on a bun with a pair slices of avocado and crunchy lettuce.

14. Simple Rooster Parm

Cook dinner a pre-breaded rooster breast (similar to ALDI “purple bag rooster”) within the oven. Within the final 5 minutes of cooking, add a spoonful of pasta sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese on prime and bake till melted and bubbly. Eat on prime of pasta.

15. Snack Dinner

This is without doubt one of the best dinner concepts for teenagers as a result of–no cooking! Construct a swoon-worthy snack dinner with issues like entire grain crackers, cheese, charcuterie or leftover grilled meat, veggies and dip, and fruit.

A snack plate containing strawberries, grapes, peppers, blueberries, oranges, crackers, cucumbers, and carrots sits on a white countertop.
A reasonably snack platter doubles as dinner.

16. Avocado Toast

Prime 1-2 slices toast with mashed avocado (combine with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of salt). Prime with a fried egg. Serve with fruit or a smoothie.

17. Speedy Meatball Sub

Warmth a couple of frozen meatballs with somewhat jarred spaghetti sauce in a saucepan till scorching. Spoon saucy meatballs onto a toasted sub or brat bun, prime with shredded mozzarella, and pop below the broiler or within the toaster oven till cheese is melted.

18. Waffle Iron Grilled Apple-Cheese

Spray a waffle iron with cooking spray. Butter one aspect of two slices of bread. When waffle iron is preheated, place one slice butter-side-down. Prime with cheese and thinly sliced apple, prime with second slice (butter-side-up) and shut iron. Cook dinner till brown and melty.

An Apple Cheddar Sandwich made in a waffle iron sits on a white plate.
You may make all types of sandwiches within the waffle iron.

19. Rooster & Waffles

Use both leftover/prepped rooster breast or a breaded, frozen rooster breast. Serve on prime of 1-2 freezer waffles, drizzled with a fast sauce of softened butter, honey, and pinch of cayenne or scorching sauce.

20. Tik-Tok Wrap

Begin with a big, burrito-sized tortilla. Put fillings within the 4 quadrants (similar to turkey/cheese/spinach/and pesto or pepperoni/mozzarella/mushrooms/sauce), then slice and fold it as proven on this tortilla wrap hack put up and warmth in a skillet till browned and melty.

5 easy recipes for teenagers to make

Listed here are a couple of straightforward recipes that teenagers could make themselves–with out a number of cooking time.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instantaneous Pot Mac-n-Cheese Cooks in 4 minutes! Stir in (cooked) frozen peas or canned tuna for additional veggies and protein.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels Your teen can swap within the deli meat and cheese they like greatest.

Tofu Nuggets with Ketchup

Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets Serve with favourite dipping sauce and cooked frozen veggies.

Easy Weeknight Calzones

Mini Calzones Use favourite pizza fillings and serve with bagged salad and pizza sauce for dipping.

A bowl of hummus sits on a wood plate with crackers, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers alongside.

Do-it-yourself Hummus Spoon hummus inside a pita bread, add cucumbers, sliced bell peppers, and recent spinach (and have plenty of leftovers for snacks in the course of the week).

Questions About Wholesome Dinner Concepts For Teenagers

Beneath, you’ll discover the solutions to widespread questions dad and mom have about wholesome dinners for teenagers:

  • My teen desires to drink a protein shake for dinner–is that okay? Go to reply
  • My teenagers are choosy eaters. What can they’ve for dinner? Go to reply
  • What can my vegetarian or vegan teen eat for dinner? Go to reply
  • I must feed a giant group of teenagers. What ought to I make? Go to reply
  • My teen typically skips dinner. Is {that a} large deal? Go to reply

My teen desires to drink a protein shake for dinner–is that okay?

It’s widespread for teenagers to grow to be (and typically fixated) on protein, particularly teen athletes. Protein powder is a fast, handy method to get energy and vitamins. However take into account they might pack extra protein than your teen actually wants and should comprise a number of substances that make it a reasonably processed product (learn extra about protein powder and protein for teenagers right here). Backside line: It’s advantageous sometimes for a fast meal alternative, however not a daily dinner.

My teenagers are choosy eaters. What can they’ve for dinner?

The very best method with choosy teenagers is to keep away from strain. They might already be self-conscious about their restricted menu, even when they don’t present it. Be certain there are some wholesome choices they like at meals, and contain them with grocery purchasing and constructing a meal plan. And take coronary heart: Their style buds and preferences might change over time (as a former choosy eater myself, I can say mine did!). Listed here are some extra concepts and reassurances: Learn how to Assist Your Teenager With Choosy Consuming.

What can my vegetarian or vegan teen eat for dinner?

In case your teen is avoiding meat (or animal merchandise altogether), they’ll nonetheless get the vitamins they want. Nevertheless it’s key that they’re not merely reducing out meat–with out changing it with one thing else. As an illustration, including meals like beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts will all present protein and iron, like in my Child-Accepted Tofu Bowl and Pink Lentil Soup. One other concept: Swap common pasta for chickpea pasta for additional protein and iron.

I must feed a giant group of teenagers. What ought to I make?

My Instantaneous Pot Spaghetti Sauce is a superb recipe for a gaggle. I not too long ago made it for a pack of school youngsters. Boil a pair kilos of spaghetti and serve with some bagged salads. My Gradual Cooker Taco Meat is one other good recipe for a crowd. Serve with exhausting and delicate shells and quite a lot of toppings and let everybody construct their very own.

My teen typically skips dinner. Is {that a} large deal?

Youngsters are going by means of main development and improvement, however their diets are amongst a number of the worst of all of the age teams, in response to the newest Dietary Tips For People. Skipping dinner ups the prospect that teenagers are lacking out on vitamins they really want. For a teenage lady, vitamins of concern are iron, protein, folate, and vitamin B6. All teenagers are in danger for falling quick on phosphorus, magnesium, and choline. And all youngsters (and adults) may use extra fiber. Listed here are some dinner meals that assist teenagers meet their wants:

  • Iron (ladies): Beans, lentils, beef, tofu
  • Protein (ladies): Beans, quinoa, yogurt, beef, tofu
  • Folate (ladies): Enriched grains, spinach, broccoli, oranges, bananas
  • Vitamin B6 (ladies): Chickpeas, potatoes, beef, rooster, cottage cheese
  • Vitamin B12 (ladies): Salmon, beef, milk, yogurt, dietary yeast
  • Phosphorus (ladies & boys): Yogurt, cheese, lentils, cashews, brown rice
  • Magnesium (ladies & boys): Chia seeds, almonds, edamame, peanut butter, potatoes
  • Choline (ladies & boys): Eggs, beef, rooster, beans, Brussels sprouts
  • Fiber (everybody): Oats, entire grain bread and pasta, vegatables and fruits, beans



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