What if a dinner recipe could get your kids to finish what's on their plates and minimize the number of dirty dishes? Yes, it's possible! Sheet pan recipes with beef use a protein most kids enjoy, and allow to you pop supper in the oven and step away to help with homework, change out of your work clothes, or, just maybe, even take a few minutes to yourself.
Anyone with a picky kiddo knows it can be a real challenge to get them to sit down at the table and be happy about it. It can be even harder getting them to eat the fruits and vegetables you know they need. And just like some children would do anything for a chicken nugget, others just aren't keen on poultry. For kids more comfortable with beef, whether ground or still in steak form, there are plenty of recipe options for moms and dads to try.
Having a few standby recipes that are easy for you and exciting for them alleviates that dinnertime pressure. Opting for sheet pan recipes means most of the work happens in the oven, and you're free to do other things while you wait for dinner to cook itself.
1. Big Mac Sliders
Is McDonald's what your kids ask for as a reward after getting their shots at the doctor or being brave at the dentist? Then making these mini Macs from Fresh Family Meals at home is a great way to get them excited about dinnertime. Bonus points if you dress up like the Hamburglar.
2. Sheet Pan Mongolian Beef
Want to make your main and side all on one pan? Consider it done. This sheet pan Mongolian beef from A Spicy Perspective is perfect solo or served over rice since it's prepared right alongside fresh green beans.
3. Baked Empanadas
Kids love eating with their hands, and honestly, most adults should too! Washing silverware is a pain. These empanadas from A Cozy Kitchen are flavorful, fun to eat, and can easily use storebought pie crust to save time. Your little ones could even help fill and fold these if you're looking to get them involved in the kitchen.
4. Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Ah, meatloaf, the most classic of meals. This version from Budget Bytes incorporates shredded cheddar to entice little ones to take a bite. And, you can serve it up next to your children's favorite side items. Everyone wins.
5. Beef & Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Meal prep queens will love this recipe. It calls for slow cooker Mexican-style shredded beef, which you can reuse in other dishes a hundred different ways. But for this dinner, they're the filling of these cheesy baked enchiladas from Foodie Crush. Roast some diced squash on a sheet pan, hide it in layers of beef and cheese, bake your enchiladas, and serve to your kids. They'll be none the wiser they just ate a vegetable.
6. Balsamic Steak Sheet Pan Dinner
If you're looking to prep a bunch of veggies alongside delicious steaks, here's your plan, courtesy of A Spicy Perspective. Oven roasting your steaks is an easy, hands-off method, and your plans won't get ruined if it rains on the grill outside. If your kids like having fun with their food, adding blue or purple potatoes may get them excited, too.
7. Pull-Apart Meatball Garlic Bread Sliders
It's a party recipe. It's a tailgating MVP. And it's a dinnertime must if your kids enjoy Italian flavors. Pull-apart meatball sliders from I Am A Food Blog are a little more hands on than some sheet pan recipes, but most of these steps are safe for children to join in on. They'd make a delicious way to spend time together cooking a family dinner.
8. Spicy Baked Nachos
This budget-friendly recipe from Budget Bytes calls for black beans as the protein, but swap in ground beef and you've got a crowd-pleasing dinner on your hands. Simply brown the beef in a skillet with seasonings, top your chips, bake, and enjoy. And if everyone eats off the pan, you won't even have to wash plates.
9. Fully Loaded Burger Bowls
What if you could hide some mushrooms and other veggies under a layer of melted cheese? Burger bowls from Family Fresh Meals may help you sneak a bite or two of veggies into your little one. And for families who have a member with a gluten sensitivity, these have all the tastiness of a burger with no buns in sight.
You can toss these meatballs from Domestic Fits in with spaghetti and red sauce. Serve them with a favorite dipping sauce and let kids eat with their hands or a cocktail stick. Break them up for little ones to try while practicing their motor skills. They're seasoned well but versatile enough to use in any way that will convince your kids to sit down and eat.
11. Just-Like-Taco-Bell Tacos
Kids' favorite restaurants usually involve at least one fast food restaurant, so if yours isn't into McDonald's made at home, maybe Taco Bell will do the trick. Making Taco Bell-like tacos like these from Foodie Crush at home is easy, quick, and a slightly messy kind of fun. It's also easy to set up a taco and toppings bar for nights when you kiddos have a few friends over.