Mac and cheese, spaghetti, taquitos, and burgers? It must be a kid's choice dinner! These Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners are made without gluten, dairy, or refined sugar, and they're just for the little ones!
Weeknight dinners can be a major source of frustration! Whenever I ask what kinds of recipes my readers want, I get loads of requests for dinners that kids will eat. I hear ya! I have three little ones in the house, and when I find a dinner that they'll happily devour, it's basically golden. Right now we're all OBSESSED with the Vegan Sheet Pan Shawarma Bowls...a total win! Keep reading for more of our tried and true, crowd favorite, two thumbs up Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners!
Mexican food is an awesome option for feeding little ones because it's so customizable. Tacos, burrito bowls, and tostadas can all be assembled with each person's choice of toppings, and for us, that means the kids are more likely to eat more and try new things. They're also HUGE fans of dipping...what is it about dipping that makes things so fun?! Having tortilla chips and Chipotle-Copycat Guacamole on the table gets everyone so excited!
- Sheet Pan Veggie Black Bean Tacos
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas (one-pan!)
- Mexican Veggie Burrito Bowls
- Easy Vegan Baked Taquitos
- One-Pan Mexican Quinoa and Black Beans
- Creamy Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas
- Easy Vegan Tostadas with Refried Beans
- Creamy Vegan Mexican Casserole with Black Beans, Quinoa, and Bell Peppers (Gluten-Free)
Soup is one the kind of dinner I plan for when I know I'll be running low on energy come 5:00! Soups can be made entirely ahead of time, then reheated when everyone is hungry. Knowing I have a slam dunk soup in the fridge or freezer seriously makes my whole day! For a meal that's more filling, we top soups with Easy Savory Pecan Crumble or have crackers for dipping. Try Easy Homemade Seed Crackers or Easy Almond Flour Crackers! Most nights I make a Simple Side Salad for extra greens and variety on the table.
Spaghetti night has got to be the official BFF of exhausted parents everywhere! I love it so much that I have several versions of the classic on my site, and they're favorites with all three of my kiddos. I've found all kinds of methods for dressing up a classic marinara: blend in roasted veggies, add Easy Homemade Cashew Cream for a creamier dish, or top it with the Best Vegan Meatballs for Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners.
- Chunky Tomato Basil Spaghetti
- The Best Italian Vegan Meatballs Ever! (gluten-free + soy-free too)
- Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce for Pasta
- Easy One-Pot Pasta
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Black Lentils and Creamy Marinara Sauce (vegan + GF)
- Creamy Vegan Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
- Easy Red Lentil Veggie Pasta (vegan)
- Vegan Chickpea Bolognese Pasta
If you want to eliminate the step of cooking pasta, go for a pasta bake! It's as easy as tossing everything into a pan, covering it tightly in foil and letting the oven do all the work. It's the kind of meal you just have to have in your weeknight recipe rotation! Parent hack: get the kids all bathed and in pajamas while the pasta is baking, and you're one step closer to bedtime after dinner is done!
Mac and Cheese
Any dish that looks like mac and cheese is an INSTANT win! My recipe for The Best Vegan Mac 'N Cheese is a hit every time, but my kids get just as excited about my Butternut Squash Pasta that LOOKS like macaroni and cheese. I love it because it has a huge serving of veggies in every dish! These mac 'n cheese-style dishes are all Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners!
Pizza nights are always received well! Everyone loves pizza, but the kids can also build their own pizza (or half a pizza). They love being able to choose which toppings go on their pie, and I've found that they're more likely to try something new when it's their decision to put it on the plate. Try putting out olives, pineapple, mushrooms, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, or fresh basil and seeing what your kids grab!
Skip the drive-thru and make a veggie burger at home instead! I love these veggie burgers because they can be prepped ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and then put on the grill or stovetop when you're ready to eat. Try them with my Actually Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Tots and Vegan Honey Mustard Sauce for a classic meal!
More Roundups & Resources
My number one goal with Eating by Elaine is to show you how delicious and simple plant-based eating can be! With that in mind, I've filled the site with resources just for you. Roundups, meal plans, and recipes are all part of the fun around here! I have seasonal meal plans with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts all mapped out...plus a shopping list to make it even easier. Sign up for my newsletter to get recipes and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox every week, and be sure to tag me on Instagram when you make these Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners so I can cheer you on from my kitchen!
- Ultimate Vegan Soup Recipe Round Up (gluten-free)
- Plant-Based Gluten-Free Meal Prep: Foods I Prep Every Week!
- The Pantry Staple That Does It All: Over 30 Chickpea Recipes!
- Healthy Comfort Food Recipes (vegan + gluten-free)
- Ultimate Vegan Back to School Recipe Roundup - All Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free
- Vegan Rainbow Recipes
- Pantry Staples That Do it All: Quinoa
- The Ultimate Gluten-Free & Vegan Pasta Recipe Roundup
- Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes From Around the World
- Ultimate Chocolate Roundup: 70+ Vegan Chocolate Recipes!
- Pantry Staples That Do It All: Vegan Black Bean Recipes
- Ultimate Vegan Smoothie Recipe Roundup
- Nourish in the New Year: 135+ Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes!