Whether you’re a foodie or someone who couldn’t care less about food, you have to admit that there’s something quite special about a home-cooked meal. After all, sometimes comfort food is one of the best remedies for life’s problems.
But then again, the recipes we all love to turn to aren’t exactly the best choice in terms of health. Even more, well-balanced family meals can require complicated ingredient lists or take so long to prepare that you lose your willpower by the time you’ve done the prep work.
So is it possible to find recipes that are nutritious yet easy to make while you’re stuck at home? Of course!
Here are our top choices for easy family recipes, both for meals you can cook without too much hassle and recipes that you can prepare with your kids.
1. Tomato Soup
There are very few things as satisfying as a hot meal on a cold winter’s day. And what better way to get a daily dose of vitamin C and antioxidants than enjoying a bowl of tomato soup with a side of freshly baked croutons? The best part? It’s easy to make, won’t leave a mess in your kitchen, and kids love it.
Plus, if you’re looking for something a bit more filling, you can easily add leftover chicken breast, a few potatoes, or other veggies you have on hand. It’ll taste just as good, if not better than the original.
2. 2-ingredient Pancakes
If you’re one to go for a sweet breakfast but are looking to cut back on refined sugar (which can definitely be a good idea considering the havoc it can wreak on your health), then you will fall in love with these 2-ingredient pancakes. All you need is eggs and a banana.
If you tend to go overboard with your shopping, this recipe is perfect for you, as you’ll want to pick bananas that are a tad too ripe. For toppings, you can use anything you have around the house, but berries (you can use frozen) and honey are definitely one of the more satisfying combinations.
3. Turkey Wrap
This easy family recipe is so simple to make, and in addition to being delicious, it can also be a great source of protein. You can use anything you have in your fridge, but mixing thinly sliced turkey breast with avocado, red bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes is definitely a winning combination. Skip the cream cheese and opt for mustard or hummus instead if you want less dairy. And if you’re limiting carbs due to gut health or weight loss, you can easily swap the tortilla for some collard greens.
To make one wrap, I chop up 1/2 tomato, 1/4 red bell pepper, 1/4 onion, and 1/2 avocado. I then cover a large collard green leaf with a tablespoon of mustard or hummus, add the veggies, and finish everything with 1 cup shredded or thinly sliced turkey. Roll it up, secure with toothpicks, and it’s ready to eat. It’s that easy!
4. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
The nearly universal guilty pleasure that is pizza can, in fact, be a wholesome meal choice, as long as you stick to a healthier crust alternative. You can turn making pizzas into a family activity by letting your little ones add their favorite toppings.
Go crazy with the flavors, and don’t forget to use veggies such as mushrooms, olives, or arugula for a unique but satisfying taste.
This Brazilian street food is absolute comfort food heaven. It’s creamy, filling, and a super way to use up leftovers. Fill them up with chicken breast, tomatoes, and mozzarella, and you’ve got yourself a meal that’s sure to please even the pickiest eater.
Now, the original version of the coxinha is fried in vegetable oil, but you can just as easily put it in the oven for a much healthier way of preparation. Serve these with a salad or guac, and you’ve got yourself an absolute crowd-pleaser.
6. Chickpea Salad
If what you’re after is something you can put together in just a few minutes, look no further. This simple but tasty chickpea salad is an excellent lunch recipe filled with a vegetarian source of protein and plenty of greens.
You can go with the standard lettuce, tomatoes, and green olives, or use anything else you’ve got at home. If you’re looking to make it even more filling, you can add some canned tuna to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a dinner recipe that’s the perfect source of vitamin D.
7. DIY Burritos
This Mexican staple has so much potential to be an easy yet balanced meal choice. You can use absolutely anything you have at home, including leftovers or canned vegetables. Even if you don’t have tortillas around, you can easily make them at home using nothing but flour, water, and a pinch of salt.
Plus, with burritos, you can let everyone design their perfect wrap. It’s the ideal easy family recipe! For a simple, vegetarian version of this Mexican dish, make sure you try out this sweet potato and black bean recipe.
My favorite homemade burrito recipe includes:
- 1/4 cup whole rice
- 1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup grilled vegetables (you can use your favorite frozen mix)
- 1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons homemade guacamole
- 1 tablespoon corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chopped onions
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Place all ingredients in the middle of a medium/large tortilla, and wrap it up.
You can also add cheese, sour cream, or an animal source of protein, or any leftovers you have at home.
8. One-Pot Beans, Chicken, and Rice
If doing the dishes is your least favorite part of making dinner, why not give this one-pot meal a go? The main ingredients include canned black beans, canned corn, instant rice, and chicken thighs cut up in squares. The whole meal can be done in just over 30 minutes, which is perfect for those who want something quick that’s still nutritious and healthy.
Of course, all of these easy family recipes are just ideas. And we hope they inspire you! Feel free to let your imagination run wild and see what you can come up with. Whether you’ve got a kitchen full of fresh produce or are looking to make something with a frozen veggie mix, rest assured that there are no limitations when it comes to great food. Who knows, perhaps you’ll make your own version of one of these meal ideas and it will become the next Friday night dinner staple your family simply adores!
Which of these easy family recipes is your favorite easy nutritious meal? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for more healthy recipes for the whole family? Check out our article on the best classic salad recipes for any occasion here.
About the Author
Caitlin Evans is a bookworm and an enthusiastic writer. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and the Universe, Caitlin is researching and blogging about nutrition, health, and wellbeing-related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and hiking. To see what she is up to next, check out Caitlin’s Twitter.