Planning Shabbat dinner each week is one of my greatest joys. No, really. Cultivating a creative and seasonal menu, grocery shopping, setting the table–I really love it all. Or at least most of the time.
Then there are other weeks when I have no flipping idea what to serve. I am tired, pressed for time, or just lacking the energy to come up with something more than average.
And now that my daughter is old enough to express opinions about what’s for dinner, I have added another layer of stress to those weeks: kid-pleasing dishes.
To help on those off weeks when you barely have time to shower, nevermind come up with some brilliant dish in the kitchen, I put together a few of my favorite recipes sure to take some of the pressure off of you, and satisfy even your most demanding, little Shabbat guests.
1. Pretzel Chicken Fingers from Tales of an Overtime Cook
What’s better than chicken fingers? Chicken fingers coated in pretzels with a honey mustard dipping sauce. This is the kind of dish you make “for the kids,” but secretly can’t stop eating because it’s so good. Miriam Pascal says this is one of the most popular recipes on her site.
2. Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Icing from SparkPeople.com
These meatloaf cupcakes are too cute for words. Use whatever mashed potato recipe you like–add parsnips, sweet potatoes, or just keep it classic.
3. Herb Chicken in a Crockpot from Weelicious
Simple herb chicken is made even more awesome when you let the crockpot do the hard work. Serve it with sweet potato fries and some roasted broccoli for a complete crowd-pleasing meal.
4. Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas from Busy in Brooklyn
Roasted chickpeas are such a fun and healthful snack. Did I mention they’re super easy, too? Set out a bowl of roasted chickpeas as a simple and addictive appetizer your kids will love. You can also serve these as an easy after-school snack.
5. Mango Avocado Salad from Brooklyn Supper
My daughter will eat just about anything with avocado. When paired with juicy mango it becomes a sweet and colorful salad no kid can resist. Or adult either.
6. Butternut Squash Kugel from Food.com
This kugel isn’t just kid-pleasing. It’s everyone-pleasing. Whenever this dish is served I am compelled to eat approximately seven servings.
7. Cinnamon Noodle Kugel from MyJewishLearning.com
Noodle kugel is one of the ultimate Jewish comfort foods. Combine comforting noodles with cinnamon and raisins and you know you have a winning side dish for dinner or even brunch.
8. Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad from The Nosher
Fact: Kids love pickles. And so they will love this traditional Eastern European marinated cucumber salad. It only requires a few ingredients and it’s even tastier when you make it ahead of time.
9. Double Chocolate Chip Challah from The Nosher
Challah. Two kinds of chocolate. Need I say more? If by some miracle there are leftovers, make French toast the next day. You’re welcome.
10. Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas from SugarHero
Want to get your kids really excited about dessert with minimal effort? Take some bananas, dip them in dark chocolate, cover in sprinkles, nuts, coconut, or crushed cookies, and then freeze them. The kids will be excited to eat them and you will be excited to serve a healthful dessert everyone can enjoy.