Tuesday, May 4, 2021

45+ Easy Dinner Ideas Teens can Make (PLUS Breakfast and Lunch Recipes)

So what is the criteria for a meal that a teenager can make? Honestly, some teens can probably make just about anything an adult can make. 

However if your teen loves to cook, you're probably not searching for easy dinners they can make. 

This article is not for teen cooking prodigies.  It's for the regular teenager who wants to learn to cook simple and satisfying meals.  

Or for the parent who wants to assign a bit more responsibility to their teenagers and help them learn an important life skill.  To make it on this list the meal needs to meet the following criteria:
  • Easy and simple to make
  • Basic ingredients - no "weird" stuff that teens turn their nose up at
  • Minimal time investment
  • Tastes good!
You will find easy recipes your hungry teens and the whole family will love. They are a great starting point for the beginner cook. 

Add these yummy recipes to your next meal plan. 

Not only are these particular recipes great for teens to make, but they are great dinners for busy nights too. 
collage of dinner ideas for teens to make


My son, whose now 16, would rather be anywhere else than in the kitchen making dinner. That doesn't mean he shouldn't help out.

But it does mean that I try to have him make quick to make meals with easy steps so that he doesn't begrudge it so much. 

No more wondering what the easiest thing to cook for dinner is. This list is full of good home-cooked meals you or your teenager can whip up in a flash.

↓ ↓ ↓ PIN IT ↓ ↓ ↓ 
collage of dinner ideas that are easy to make
↑ ↑ ↑ PIN IT ↑ ↑ ↑
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details. 


Let's get to it! 

Since there are lots of ideas,  I've divided the meal ideas into the following categories: sandwiches, soups, pasta, Mexican (I use this term loosely, it's very Americanized), and chicken.  

If it didn't fit in any of these, it will be under the More Dinner Recipes section. 

Oh yeah, and I added a pizza category for all my pizza loving teens! Mix it up with these great ideas for pizza variations. 

Lastly, stick around for the breakfast and lunch ideas at the end of the post. I hope you will find some new recipes to love!


If you want an easy dinner recipe, you can't go wrong with a sandwich. And I'm not talking about a boring sandwich.  

These sandwiches will have your taste buds singing and they'll be on the dinner table in no time. Cook up some frozen French fries and you have an easy side as well.
collage of easy sandwiches to make


Soups are a great one pot meal that are easy to make. My kids absolute favorite soup is taco soup. And it's so easy and fast to make.


Pasta is my go-to easy meal. There's a lot of variety in the types and flavors of pasta dishes.  
collage of easy pasta recipes


In the mood for Mexican? These delicious recipes are all easy to make and teen favorites.


Anything with chicken in it is a teen friendly dinner idea. Chicken cooks quickly and is very versatile. 
collage of chicken meal ideas



A few items to always keep on hand: pepperoni, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Pizza seems to be the preferred meal around here. Teach some basic skills with these teen and kid-friendly recipes. Need a dessert? Try one of these dessert in a cup recipes.


Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to learn how to make. So what better way for a teen to learn to cook?

Below is a list of easy breakfasts. These are all things I make often (A lot of times we have breakfast for dinner!) 

Most of these recipes I have not yet made into blog posts. So I decided to create a printable recipe book.

For your free copy simply sign up below. .
  • Muffins
  • Smoothies
  • Pancakes (You can make homemade, but there's nothing wrong with a pancake mix!) 
  • French toast
  • Waffles
  • German oven pancake
  • Eggs & sausage
  • Oven Omelets
  • Breakfast Sandwich


Sick of boring lunches? Try these simple, yet delicious lunch ideas.
  • Grilled Cheese - Try adding ham, turkey, bacon or tuna for a delicious twist.
  • Tuna Melts
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Crab Salad Sandwich
  • Scones - thaw Rhodes dinner rolls for several hours. Flatten and cook in hot oil until golden brown turning once. Serve with jam, honey butter, Nutella or ranch.
  • Peanut Butter Toast - Toast a piece of bread, adding peanut butter while still hot. Top with honey if desired.
  • Cheese Quesadillas - I make these just like a grilled cheese, buttering one side of each tortillas and the cooking them in a skillet on the stove. You could also cook them in a tablespoon or so of hot oil.
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
  • Santa Fe Turkey Sandwich
  • Turkey Bacon Ranch Pinwheels
Check out this article if you need some simple side dishes. I hope you found several meal ideas to try. If you need a dessert, I've got you covered. Check out my recipes tab for TONS of dessert ideas.


  1. I don't want to be picky but most of the meals here mimic fast food options rather than proper meals.

  2. true. i wanted dishes that are more nutritious.