Recipes For Tweens and Teens to Cook for the Family

Recipes for Tweens and Teens to Make - Aviva Goldfarb

I’m not sure what sort of change is afoot, but lately I’ve been hearing from a lot of Six O’Clock Scramble members about how much their kids enjoy cooking my recipes for their families! Maybe the encounters are inspired by the article I wrote a few months ago in the Washington Post about the 6 recipes every kid should know how to make before they leave home. Or maybe the kids themselves are inspired by the influx of cooking shows, like Master Chef Junior and Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, that feature super-talented and fearless kids in the kitchen.

Now, please don’t feel bad if your kid still hasn’t mastered anything beyond pouring cereal into a bowl or microwaving leftovers—I think you’re in the solid majority.  However, I hope hearing about these kids might inspire your own children to take on a more active role in the kitchen or you to encourage them to do so.

My son Solomon didn’t really become motivated to learn to cook until his senior year in high school when he realized he might soon be fending for himself in the kitchen.  Although he doesn’t have a kitchen in his tiny college dorm room, he has befriended a group of upper class-women for whom he cooks and eats with on the weekends in their group house. (This has led him to appreciate our well stocked and clean kitchen!)  Recently he made them these Purple Pancakes.

Nick in the kitchen
Nick in the kitchen

Longtime Scramble member (since 2008!) and recipe tester Anne O’Neill told me that her 13-year-old nephew Nicholas Bubb of Helena, Montana, became seriously interested in cooking when he was 10, and now loves to cook Scramble recipes for his family each week. His mom Lynn says that when Nick was younger, “he helped us in the kitchen often and later we turned him loose to cook on his own.”

He keeps a binder of his favorite recipes with notes about what he liked or changed. What Nick likes best about cooking is “seeing the end result and tasting what he made, and it’s just plain fun!”

Nick’s aunt Anne suggested I create an eBook with recipes for kids to cook for the family, which I may do if there’s enough interest, (so tell me what recipes your children have cooked up) but until then, here’s a listing of some recipes Nick likes and that your teens may enjoy cooking for your family.

Here are some of Nick’s favorite Scramble recipes:

*Note: if you’re not already a Six O’Clock Scramble member, you can try it for two weeks for FREE…and these are great recipes to start with!

Spinach Calzones

Nick makes the dough from scratch (easy) and adds basil & fresh diced tomatoes.

Spanish Pan-Fried Eggs and Potatoes with Chorizo

Mexican Lasagna with Avocado Salsa

A new five-star from last week! Nick made this for a group of friends and it was a huge hit.

Ravioli Lasagna

Nick adds mushrooms.

Mini-Wonton Soup with Asian Vegetables

Double the veggies. This recipe includes Nick’s favorite side dish recipe: Ambrosia Fruit Salad.

Nick cooking
Nick cooking

Crispy Bean Quesadillas

Super easy, great for lunch.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Nick skips the bread crumbs on this one because Jake (his brother) likes it without.

Hot Turkey, Cheddar and Apple Melts

This one changes whenever Nick makes it based on tastes (and what’s in the fridge).

Costa Rican Black Beans and Rice

Add more salsa and double the curry powder. Sometimes Nick makes this as a side dish to go with something Dad is cooking.

Three-Cheese Spinach Orzo Bake

Add fresh garlic and more spinach and mozzarella. Nick sometimes adds sausage or pepperoni.

Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup

This is a family favorite that we like to make together in the winter.

Does your child like to cook with recipes from certain websites (such as The Scramble) or cookbooks?

Please share their favorites with me in the comments below so I can add them to the list and possibly to a future eBook especially for tweens and teens.

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Aviva Goldfarb

Aviva Goldfarb is a Washington Post contributor, author of 4 cookbooks, and founder of The Six O’Clock Scramble, an online healthy meal planner. She writes about food, cocktails, travel and parenting, is an entrepreneur, and a marketing consultant for food related ventures.

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