Below are some family-friendly classics that everyone will love.
1. Pizza Bake1 of 9
Instead of an expensive takeout pizza night, make this super easy pizza casserole. Your family will love the familiarity, and the ingredients are easy to keep on-hand.
15 oz. powdered biscuit mix
1 cup water
14 oz. pizza sauce
8 oz. sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13x9 baking dish. In a bowl, stir biscuit mix and water until a soft dough forms. Evenly spread half the dough at the bottom of the baking dish. Drizzle 1 cup of pizza sauce over the dough and arrange half of the pepperoni slices over the sauce. Top with 1 cup of cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Frito Chicken Fingers2 of 9
A classic entree on almost any restaurant kid's menu, this chicken fingers recipe has a little kick to it and it's gluten free!
Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing
6 cups corn chips
Salt and pepper, coarsely ground
3 large eggs
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil. In a bowl, combine corn ships, salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Coat each chicken tender with the corn chip mixture, dip it into the eggs and then dip it back into the corn chip mixture. Place all tenders on the baking sheet and bake until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together mayo, mustard, honey and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and serve as dip with the chicken tenders.
3. Spicy Chili Bean Soup3 of 9
Almost everyone loves this warm comfort food, and the spiciness helps you feel full and satisfied. It's also perfect for leftovers.
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 cups kidney beans
1 cup diced white potato
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup spiral pasta or wild rice
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne, to taste
2 spicy chipotle sausages
1-2 cups chopped spinach
Saute onion in the soup pan until translucent, then add all remaining ingredients except for the chopped spinach. Bring soup to a boil, cover and then simmer on low for at least 4 hours. Add in spinach greens just before serving. Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving.
4. Slow Cooker Pork Chop4 of 9
Talk about comfort food! This classic will bring the older folks back to their childhood days without the fried element.
4 trimmed pork chops
4 cups chicken stock
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides. Lightly oil a sauté pan and heat over medium high. Place the pork chops in the pan once it is hot. Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook and additional minute until both sides are brown. Remove pork chops from the pan and cook onions in pan until slightly tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. In a slow cooker, add stock, thyme and pork chops, making sure the pork chops are covered with liquid. Add onion and garlic, and cook on low for about 4 hours.
5. Broccoli Cheese Nuggets5 of 9
These look just like fried cheese, but have the hidden protein and fiber benefits of broccoli. Serve these as an appetizer or the main dish.
12 oz. frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Blend thawed broccoli and eggs in a blender until pureed. Pour that mixture into a large bowl and stir in cheese and salt. Spread half of the breadcrumbs onto the surface of a large cutting board. Press puree on top of the breadcrumbs, then spread remaining breadcrumbs on top. Use a pizza cutter to slice the nuggets and transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.
6. Crockpot Taquitos6 of 9
Forget grabbing the freezer box of these after-school snack favorites. Make your own nutritious taquitos, made from real chicken and melted cheese.
2 uncooked chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning
6 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
8 taco-sized flour tortillas
Place chicken breasts in a 3-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning, add cream cheese (cubed) and water. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Unplug the slow cooker, shred the chicken, add cheddar cheese and stir to evenly coat the chicken. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon in shredded chicken mixture into center of flour tortillas. Roll tightly. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for 12 minutes until tortillas are crisp.
7. Breaded Mac and Cheese7 of 9
It doesn't matter who you put this dish in front of--it's always a crowd pleaser! Make this recipe with any type of cheese you like, from sharp cheddar to fancy fontina.
16 oz. elbow macaroni
10 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
12 oz. cheese (of your choice)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp dry bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook macaroni noodles as directed. In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add 1/3 cup flour and stir. Gradually add 3 cups of milk as your stir, bringing it to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper until cheese is melted. Add cooked noodles to cheese mixture. In a separate bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the mac and cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
8. Potato Nachos8 of 9
Think of this recipe as the best of both worlds--nachos and loaded cheese fries. It's easy to make and your family will devour it.
4 russet potatoes cut into slices
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 oz. cheddar, shredded
4 oz. Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
Sour cream, for garnish
Green onion, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the potato slices with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the potato slices and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove potatoes from oven, and turn the oven to 400 degrees F. On another baking sheet, arrange half the potatoes and sprinkle with half the cheese and half the bacon. Top with remaining potatoes, and repeat. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until all cheese has melted. Garnish with sour cream and onions.