Dinner can be a breeze when the entire family is involved. But creating a dinner that doesn’t have a surplus of steps or is, well, boring, can make it hard to decide what to make. If you want to create a family environment where there’s plenty of helping hands in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered with two simple dinners a family can cook together.
Easy healthy family dinner: chicken quinoa salad bowls
Chicken quinoa salad bowls are perfect for families committed to healthy eating. There isn’t any added sugar to this meal, plus you can customize it depending on your family’s individual tastes. Get the kids involved by prepping ingredients ahead of time and let them build their own bowls.
Why this dinner is so simple
Chicken quinoa salad bowls are packed with healthy macronutrients including protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Vegetarian or vegan? Sub out the chicken with black beans or chickpeas. The quinoa gets cooked with wild rice on the stove for roughly 20 minutes. This gives you enough time to chop up some veggies or throw a few chicken breasts on the grill.
Chicken quinoa salad bowl recipe ingredients
For the quinoa and rice:
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
½ cup of uncooked wild rice blend
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 ¾ cup water
1 tbs. butter
For the rest of the bowl:
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
¼ cup chopped Medjool dates
¼ shaved parmesan
Sliced yellow and orange bell peppers
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
How to make chicken quinoa salad bowls
Cook the quinoa and rice:
Bring 2 ¾ cup of water and two chicken bouillon cubes to a boil in a medium pot. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and wild rice. Reduce heat to a simmer and put the lid on. Simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa and rice mixture has absorbed liquid completely. Add one tablespoon of butter and mix with a spoon until melted. Set aside.
Meanwhile, chop up your favorite vegetables. Older kids can help with this part! Cut up fresh cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or slice up a few radishes. Dice up a few Medjool dates. Shave some parmesan. Set out all toppings on a cutting board.
Dice up cooked chicken breast and set aside. To assemble, start with a handful of spinach at the bottom of each bowl. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Have each family member add quinoa and toppings of their choosing. Enjoy!
Naan pizza: simple dinner for the family
We all love the idea of homemade pizza but sometimes the dough just isn’t the same as your favorite pizza joint. That’s where naan bread comes in. Naan is a type of flatbread that originates from south-central Asia. It’s great for soaking up spicy Indian curry, but it’s even better as the base for a simple and unique pizza dinner for the family.
Why this is so simple
You don’t need to worry about whipping up a homemade dough with this recipe. Look for naan flatbread in your local grocery store. Costco also sells a package of 18-count mini naan bread for $6.59. The best part is naan flatbread is freezer-friendly so use what you need and save the rest in the freezer.
This recipe is great for families because each pizza can be customized. I’m particularly fond of adding cream cheese dollops with crispy bacon and caramelized onions. You could choose to do a classic red sauce with mushrooms and pepperoni. Even a simple Margherita pizza works well. Have your family assemble and pop in the oven!
Naan pizza ingredients:
Mini naan flatbread
Pizza sauce or marinara sauce
8 oz. package of shredded mozzarella
How to make it:
Cream cheese and bacon naan pizza
Caramelize half an onion in a medium pan with two tablespoons of butter. Cook on medium to low heat until onions are soft and browned. Remove from pan. In the same pan, crisp up two to three pieces of bacon. Chop into pieces and set aside.
To assemble, sprinkle two tablespoons of olive oil on the naan bread. Add a layer of mozzarella. Sprinkle generously with bacon and caramelized onions. Dot the naan bread with cream cheese.
Margherita naan pizza
Spoon pizza sauce over the naan leaving a ¼” border around the naan to form a crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Tear up three to four leaves of basil and layer on top. Sprinkle with olive oil.
Bake in the oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Cooking does not have to be hard
Making dinner can be a full-family activity. That keeps the kids busy, completes a chore for you, and not eating out or ordering takeout may save you some money. You don’t need to do anything too elaborate — simple ideas like the ones above get kids involved and let them make choices about what they eat without you having to prepare a whole separate meal.
–By Justine Nelson