Children often start out in the kitchen making cakes and sweet treats, but why not try something savoury with them? These recipes, from simple pasta sauces to baked salmon parcels, are all straightforward, achievable and make perfect family suppers. As an added bonus, kids are often more likely to lap up a meal they’ve had a hand in making, so cooking together is a good way of introducing new ingredients and flavours.
Squished tomato pasta sauce
Making this recipe is as much fun as the name suggests. Little ones get to squash and squeeze cherry tomatoes in a bowl then snip or rip up fistfuls of soft herbs. Teach them how to cook different pasta shapes then mix in the sauce, grate over cheese and drizzle with olive oil. A quick and tasty vegetarian dinner for you and your little foodies.
Our flavourful Mexican wraps are bursting with fresh ingredients – the salsa packs in chopped peppers, apple and tomatoes while the guacamole is loaded with nutrient-rich avocados. You can make the salsa hot or not depending on whether your kids like chilli, or divide into two bowls with a spicy version just for the grown-ups. Jobs for little hands include picking coriander leaves, mashing guacamole and assembling the tortillas.
Salmon & spaghetti supper in a parcel
Parcels allow an easy and mess-free way to get kids cooking fish – and they love the novelty of portioning up their own meal in its own individual packet. Once cooked, their little puffed-up parcels are brimming with colourful veg, which together with the salmon and pasta, make a perfectly balanced, rounded meal. You can also try substituting the salmon for chicken to ring the changes.
Use good quality shop-bought bases and passata to give the kids a headstart with this recipe, then let them add their pick of colourful toppings from mixed red and yellow tomatoes, broccoli, green olives and pesto. Using little balls of mozzarella means there’s no need to grate any cheese. Plus, kids can get hands-on, squashing the cheese balls flat between their palms, ready for popping on the pizzas. Cook until the cheese is melted, bubbling and golden.
Spaghetti & meatballs with hidden veg sauce
Get the kids rolling their own meatballs from sausages squashed out of their skins and mixed with mince, grated carrot, herbs and egg. The tomato sauce hides blitzed courgettes – your children can try it chunky if they prefer eating courgettes that way. Once they’ve mastered making a basic tomato sauce like this one, they can move on to using it in other pasta dishes too, like lasagne.
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What recipes do you cook with your kids? Leave a comment below…