Easy Dinner Recipes a 10-Year-Old Can Make - eat2explore

Easy Dinner Recipes a 10-Year-Old Can Make

Cooking with your kids can be loads of fun. Not only does it allow you to spend some quality time with your children bonding over a common goal – creating a delicious dinner for the whole family – but it also allows you to warm your little ones up to cooking and start teaching them this invaluable skill early on.

But what’s even better than cooking with your kids is allowing them to cook a meal entirely on their own. And we know that you’re now probably wondering what a 10-year-old can cook for dinner entirely on their own, and the answer may actually surprise you.  

There’s actually a plethora of tasty yet easy-to-prepare meals that your kid can master in no time. What’s more, with services like eat2explore that offer amazing explorer kits containing all of the ingredients your kid may need, their cooking adventure will be made that much easier.

So, without further ado, let’s check out some easy dinner recipes you can teach your 10-year-old how to make entirely on their own.

  1. Macaroni and Cheese
  2. Pizza
  3. Quesadillas
  4. Fried Rice
  5. Chicken Nuggets
  6. Burgers
  7. Chicken Veggie Bowl
  8. Jacket Potato
  9. Pancakes
  10. Traybake
  11. Chickpea Fritters

1. Macaroni and Cheese

A closeup of macaroni pasta and cheese bake with creamy bechamel sauce and fresh parsley.

Every kid likes mac and cheese and the best part is that it’s super easy to prepare. To make things easier on your little one, start off by teaching them how to make boxed mac and cheese first. Once they get the hang of it and master the boxed version entirely, you can move on to teaching them how to make this dish from scratch. 

Pro tip: If your kid is not tall enough to comfortably see the stove top, grab a sturdy stool and place it in front of the stove. This way, your kid will be able to climb and get a better insight into what’s happening in all the pots. To stay safe, drain the pasta yourself to avoid any accidents. 

 

2. Pizza

An image of a pizza with cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and basil on a wooden pizza plate.

Pizza is another kid-friendly dish that’s super easy to make. Initially, either opt for store-bought dough or make it yourself – don’t forget to include your kid in the process. Your kid can then spread their favorite marinara sauce and add the rest of the toppings according to taste. If any of the ingredients need to be chopped or sliced, make sure your little one uses a kid-friendly knife and takes things slow to avoid any mishaps.

Pro tip: To make things even easier, you can opt for store-bought, pre-grated cheese. While your kid should definitely learn how to grate cheese on their own, you don’t have to rush this part if you feel like they’re still too young.

 

3. Quesadillas

An image of quesadilla with chicken, green onion, cheese, chili pepper, coriander leaves, filling and tomato salsa served on a black plate on a dark wood table.

Quesadillas are not only super delicious but also really easy to make. To start off, your kid should first chop, slice and dice all of the veggies and meat for the stuffing. Once that’s done, have them grab a pan and cook the meat according to taste. You can supervise the cooking process in the beginning, but the sooner you let them feel like they’re fully in charge – the better.

Pro tip: Encourage your kid to experiment with different quesadilla stuffings and sauces. This will not only make them feel more independent but also encourage creative thinking.

 

4. Fried Rice

An image of a white bowl on a wooden table full of delicious chicken fried rice with eggs, carrots, garlic and green onions.

Fried rice can be a very easy meal to prepare, especially if your fridge is full of leftovers. This is probably one of the best dishes to make if you’re only just starting to teach your kid how to cook. Have them grab a pan and add all of the ingredients – leftover rice, meat, veggies and some fresh, whisked eggs. Cook over medium heat until the egg is cooked and everything is well combined.

Pro tip: If you wish to teach your kid how to make this dish from scratch, make sure you start slow. Task them with cooking only one part of the dish at a time, so that they don’t become too overwhelmed too quickly. 

 

5. Chicken Nuggets

A closeup image of a white plate on a wooden table with lettuce, chicken nuggets and ketchup on the side.

Chicken nuggets are definitely another kid-favorite dish, so they can also be a good option if you’re only just teaching your kid how to cook. Have your kid preheat the oven and slice the chicken tenders – assist if necessary. Next, let them know the right order of dipping – first, beaten eggs, then the breadcrumb mixture. Once the tenders are coated, your little one can place them on a baking sheet and put them into the oven until golden brown.

Pro tip: To make coating the nuggets even easier, share this life hack with your kids: pour the breadcrumb mix into a bag, add egg-covered tenders and shake, shake, shake!

 

6. Burgers

An image of two cheeseburgers and french fries on a wooden tray.

Although it may initially seem a bit scary, your kid can also easily make some delicious hamburgers. Of course, you need to ensure that you’re the one starting the grill, but they can easily take care of the rest. Since seasoning the meat and shaping the patties pretty much resembles playing with Play-Doh, your kids are gonna love this part for sure!

Pro tip: If you have an air fryer, you can also entrust your kid to prep the fries. But if you feel like this would be too much to handle, make sure you help them out a bit.  

 

7. Chicken Veggie Bowl

An image of a white bowl on a gray surface filled with a mix of fried chicken and veggies.

Kids are usually not huge fans of veggies, but if you leave them in charge of the prep, they will certainly change their minds. What’s more, since they’re the ones in charge, they can choose to add only their favorite veggies into the mix. As far as the meat is concerned, they can – once more – use up the leftovers or prep something from scratch. Toppings, seasonings and additions like rice or croutons should also be left to their choosing.

Pro tip: To make a chicken veggie bowl a million times more interesting – but not as healthy, you can also encourage your kid to add their favorite potato chips to the mix.  

 

8. Jacket Potatoes

A closeup image of homemade jacket potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese, sour cream and green onions on a wooden plate decorated with sliced radishes.

Jacket potatoes are arguably one of the easiest meals you can entrust your child with, and they are guaranteed to come out delicious every time. No matter if they use an oven, a microwave or an air-fryer, they simply can’t go wrong with this recipe. As far as the stuffing’s concerned, anything from simple salted butter to cottage cheese and sour cream mix would do. 

Pro tip: If your kids are using an oven or an air fryer to make this dish, you can also encourage them to add some bacon strips to the potatoes. Just make sure you check the recommended cooking time for both, so that you don’t end up with burnt bacon. 

 

9. Pancakes

An image of a stack of homemade pancakes drizzled with honey and topped with strawberries, bananas and blackberries on a pink plate.

Although many find pancakes to be a breakfast dish, why not have breakfast for dinner? Your little ones surely won’t mind preparing or eating pancakes whenever they’re served. Besides, this easy recipe takes only five minutes to prepare and ten minutes to cook – so it’s a win-win in our book!

Pro tip: Teach your kid that they can use any type of pouring container to pour the dough into the pan if they’re not yet comfortable with using the ladle. And no matter what shape the pancakes end up taking, they’ll still be equally tasty. 

 

10. Traybake

An image of a baking tray with delicious smoked sausages and vegetables on a wooden table.

One of the main reasons traybakes are such a favorite dish is the fact that they can be anything and everything you’re craving at the moment. Chicken, pork, beef, sausage and even fish are all great choices, followed by juicy charred vegetables and a dipping sauce – if you enjoy it. So, allow your little one to be fully in charge of which ingredients they want to add – hey, even hot dogs are not a poor choice! – and encourage them to have some fun with cutting and arranging the veggies.

Pro tip: To encourage your kids to eat more vegetables, challenge them to make the traybake as colorful as they possibly can. Think of it as an art project, but with food. 

 

11. Chickpea Fritters

An image of chickpea fritters served on a white oval plate with fresh veggies and dipping sauces in clear glass containers.

Chickpea fritters are super easy to make, take only about 20 minutes to prepare and are great even when heated up, which makes them the perfect meal-prep dish. So, why not be a little sneaky and use the fact that your kids are cooking dinner to do a little meal prep for tomorrow as well? 

Pro tip: Just as your little ones enjoyed being part of your cooking endeavors, encourage them to help out in the kitchen. This way, you can keep a close eye on what they're doing, while they’ll still be fully in charge. 

 

Why Is It Important to Not Exclude Your Children When Cooking?

If you include your children in all of your cooking attempts, they will get so much more out of the whole experience than just fun.

Here is a simple table outlining all the skills you can teach your kids:

Life Skills

Cooking teaches children fundamental life skills they'll use throughout their lives. Plus, they’ll learn how to follow instructions, measure ingredients and use kitchen tools safely.

Healthy Eating Habits

Cooking together encourages kids to try new foods and understand the importance of a balanced diet. They can learn about different food groups, portion sizes, and the nutritional value of ingredients. 

Math and Science Concepts

Cooking involves basic math skills like counting, measuring and fractions. It also introduces scientific concepts such as chemical reactions (like when the dough rises) and changes in state (like when water boils).

Creativity and Experimentation

Cooking fosters creativity as children can experiment with different ingredients and flavors. They can learn to adapt recipes, invent new dishes and express themselves through food.

Patience, Persistence and Improvisation

Cooking requires patience, persistence and improvisation, especially when things don't go as planned.  They learn to overcome challenges, troubleshoot problems and get around setbacks.

Teamwork and Communication

Cooking together encourages teamwork, communication and cooperation. 

Sensory Development

Cooking engages all the senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and even hearing, helping them appreciate the sensory aspects of food.

Bonding and Family Time

Cooking together creates opportunities for quality bonding and family time. It fosters meaningful conversations and fun and shared experiences that strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.

 

Explore, Learn and Cook With eat2explore

An image of the eat2explore logo.

If you wish to keep teaching your children the amazing art of cooking, you should definitely visit us at eat2explore, and see what we have in store for you.

Our carefully curated explorer box subscriptions contain some of the best recipes and fresh ingredients from all around the world. You can choose to sign-up for a month-to-month, 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription option. We also offer gluten-free and vegetarian options.

So, check out our shop and see where our subscription boxes can take you. 

 

Conclusion

Cooking really doesn’t need to be complicated or extravagant. A home-cooked meal made with love is sometimes all you truly need. And if you’re still wondering what a 10-year-old can cook for dinner successfully, we hope that these recipes gave you at least a few ideas. 

So, don’t hesitate to allow your child to prepare something tasty entirely on their own, but be there to offer guidance, advice and even assistance if needed.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a 10-year-old cook dinner?

Yes, 10 year old children are generally mature enough to be able to understand and follow some simple recipes. However, if your child has never participated in food prep of any sort, you will need to be there to provide guidance and offer assistance.

What food do 10-year-olds like?

Just like many other kids, 10-year-olds mostly enjoy foods like mac and cheese, pizza, pancakes and hot dogs and generally avoid veggies. However, if you include or even put your kids in charge of preparing meals, they will be less likely to become picky eaters.

How to cook at 9 years old?

Cooking at nine years old is the same as cooking at 10, 11 or 12. The main thing is not to allow your child to cook alone if they don’t already have some food prep experience, and never leave them entirely unsupervised, no matter how confident they are in the kitchen.

What food can a 12-year-old cook?

Middle schoolers may display more confidence and skill than 10-year-olds, which means they can be left in charge of preparing some more complicated dishes, such as roast chicken, casserole or even baked lemon chicken with spring greens. But, even though they may seem more confident, it’s still recommended that you keep a close eye on them and offer assistance whenever needed.

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