26 Easy And Healthy Recipes For Teenagers To Cook

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Image: iStock

Eating habits change during adolescence mainly because teens tend to eat most of their meals outside the home, where their food choices are driven by convenience and peer influence (1). Identifying easy but healthy recipes for teenagers to cook can help them choose foods not based on appearance and taste rather than their nutritional value. Merely instructing your teen to eat healthily isn’t sufficient. Instead, try building their interest in food and nutrition by involving them in meal planning and preparation. Experts suggest cooking with teens is a fun way to help them recognize the importance of healthy eating habits (2).

Read this post to learn some easy-to-cook, appealing, and nutritious recipes that will make cooking with teens an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Simple Yet Healthy Recipes That Teens Can Cook

Here’s the list of simple recipes that your teen can cook for themselves and others in just a few minutes. These recipes are easy to prepare and require no special cooking skills.

1. Tofu and vegetable taco

Tofu and vegetable taco recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need: 

  • 1 corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup silken tofu (mashed)
  • 3tbsp white cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 3tbsp onion (finely chopped)
  • 3tbsp tomato (finely chopped)
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp salsa sauce
  • ½tsp dried herbs mix
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2tbsp groundnut oil

How to make: 

  1. Put a tablespoon of oil, salt, dried herbs mix, garlic powder, and lemon juice into a bowl.  Add mashed tofu and mix well.
  1. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. As the oil warms, add onions and fry them until they turn golden brown.
  1. Next, add tomatoes, cabbage, tofu mixture, and salsa. Mix all the ingredients well and cook for two to three minutes.
  1. Once the veggies turn tender, transfer the tofu mixture into a bowl and heat the taco in the same skillet for two to three minutes.
  1. Place the taco on a plate, put the tofu mixture in its center, and the taco is ready to serve!

2. Deviled egg and toast

Deviled egg and toast recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • ½ cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup parsley (freshly chopped)
  • ½tsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp mustard sauce
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp dried herbs mix
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper powder, to taste

How to make:

  1. Cut the boiled eggs in two halves and scoop the yolks out into a mixing bowl. Put the egg whites on a plate.
  1. Add Greek yogurt, mustard sauce, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper powder to the yolk and mix everything well using a fork until you get a smooth paste.
  1. Spoon the mixture into the sliced egg whites and sprinkle over the filling with herbs mix and parsley. Ta-da.., deviled eggs are ready to serve!
  1. Let your teen choose healthier bread options, such as seeded wholemeal loaf or seeded multigrain baguette.

3. Vegetable omelet with toasted bread

Vegetable omelet with toasted bread recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • ½ tomato (thinly diced)
  • ½ bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 2tbsp corn (boiled)
  • 1tbsp sesame seeds oil
  • 1tsp mixed cheese (shredded)
  • ½tsp dried herbs mix
  • Handful of baby spinach (chopped)

How to make:

  1. Add all the ingredients, except cheese, into a bowl and whisk well using a fork or whisker. Set the bowl aside.
  1. Now, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. As the oil warms, pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook until both sides turn golden brown.
  1. Once done, transfer the egg to a plate and serve with toasted whole-grain bread. You can also add mashed potatoes and boiled snap beans.

4.  Hamburger

Hamburger recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 seeded, wholemeal burger buns
  • ½ cup cottage cheese (minced)
  • 1 capsicum (finely chopped)
  • ½ red onion (chopped)
  • ½ plum tomato (chopped)
  • 2tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried herbs mix
  • ¼tsp salt

How to make:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. As the oil warms, add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  1. Next, add tomatoes, capsicum, parsley, dried herbs mix, and salt. Mix all the ingredients well and let them cook over low heat for five minutes.
  1. Once the capsicum and tomato turn slightly mushy, add cottage cheese and mix everything well. Cook the mixture for five minutes on low flame and then transfer it to a plate or bowl.
  1. Toast the burger buns in the same pan until they turn light brown on both sides.
  1. Next, put the cottage cheese mixture between the burger buns, and voila, they are ready!
  1. Allow your teen to experiment with the recipe and make different burgers using healthy ingredients like lean meat or pulses.

5. Chicken bacon ranch wrap

Chicken bacon with ranch wrap recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shuttestock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 whole wheat tortilla wraps
  • 4 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 cup leftover chicken (coarsely shredded)
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • ½ cup low-fat cheese (shredded)
  • ¼ cup green onions (chopped)
  • ¼ cup plum tomato (chopped)
  • 1tsp olive oil

How to make:

  1. Put lettuce, cheese, chicken, bacon, onion, tomato, and ranch dressing in a bowl. Mix well until everything combines.
  1. Spread the chicken mixture on tortilla wraps and roll them up. Put the wraps on a plate and set the plate aside.
  1. Now, heat olive oil on a grilling pan and grill the wraps for five to six minutes. The wraps are ready!

6. Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni (cooked)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½tsp dried herbs mix with salt
  • Pinch of black pepper powder

How to make:

  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat. As the butter begins bubbling, stir in all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper powder. Mix well to get a smooth mixture.
  1. Slowly pour in the milk and cook the mixture for five minutes while stirring continuously.
  1. Add cheddar cheese to the mixture and cook for three to four minutes until the cheese melts and begins bubbling.
  1. Fold cooked macaroni into the mixture and cook for a minute until macaroni is covered with the cheesy sauce. So easy for your teen to cook, right?

7. Egg sandwich

Egg sandwich recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 multigrain bread slices (corners removed)
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • ½ red onion (chopped)
  • ½ tomato (chopped)
  • 2tsp mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 2tsp parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1tbsp rice bran oil
  • ¼tsp dried herbs mix
  • ⅛tsp sea salt

How to make:

  1. Put eggs, onion, tomato, parsley, herbs mix, and salt into a bowl. Mix well using a fork until the mixture turns frothy.
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan while stirring continuously and cook the eggs until the scrambled egg looks well cooked.
  1. Fill the scrambled egg between the bread slices and cut the sandwich Serve warm.
  1. The next time, ask your teen to make a sandwich using leftover foods to improve their meal planning and preparation skills.

8. Salsa and cheese nachos

Salsa and cheese nachos recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 pack of Tortilla chips

For Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1tsp (all-purpose flour)
  • ½tsp tomato ketchup
  • ½tsp hot sauce (optional)

For Salsa

  • 1 plum tomato (peeled, de-seeded, and chopped)
  • ¼ cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup red capsicum (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • ¼tsp sea salt

How to make:

  1. Melt butter in a thick bottom saucepan over medium heat. As the butter begins bubbling, add all-purpose flour while constantly stirring until the mixture forms a thick roux.
  1. Add milk, cheese, tomato ketchup, and hot sauce. Mix the ingredients well and add more milk to adjust the thickness of the sauce, if needed.
  1. Once the sauce begins bubbling, turn off the heat and set the pan aside to cool.
  1. Take a bowl and add in all the ingredients for salsa. Mix well.
  1. Line the tortilla chips on a plate and layer them with alternating layers of salsa and cheese sauce. Add a final layer of fresh veggies, such as boiled corn, chopped red tomato, and your salsa and cheese nachos are ready!

9. Quesadilla

Quesadilla recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 whole-grain tortilla
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
  • ¼ cup black beans or pinto beans (rinsed, drained, and cooked)
  • 1tbsp red bell pepper or jarred roasted bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1tbsp red onion or green onion (chopped)
  • 1tbsp corn (boiled)
  • 1tbsp pickled jalapeno (chopped)
  • 1tsp dried herbs mix
  • 1tsp avocado oil

How to make:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. As the oil warms, place the tortilla on the skillet and warm it for about 20 to 30 seconds, flipping halfway.
  1. Sprinkle about half of the cheese on half of the tortilla and layer the cheese with beans, onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno.
  1. Add over the remaining cheese and fold over the tortilla. Brush the top of the quesadilla with oil and flip the tortilla using a spatula.
  1. Cook quesadilla for about two to three minutes until its bottom turns golden brown and crispy.
  1. Now, brush some oil on the other side and flip it. Cook until the other side also turns golden brown and crispy.
  1. Once done, turn off the heat and transfer the quesadilla to a plate. Set the plate aside to cool. Cut the quesadilla using a pizza cutter and serve.
  1. As your teen masters making a quesadilla, task them next to make the tortilla from scratch at home.

10. Spaghetti

Spaghetti recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 cups dry spaghetti
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan (freshly grated)
  • ⅓ cup parsley (freshly chopped)
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼tsp red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ lemon (juice and zest)

How to make:

  1. Prepare spaghetti as per the instructions given on the pack. Drain spaghetti, reserving at least one cup of pasta water. Transfer the spaghetti to a bowl and set it aside.
  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. While the oil is warming, mince three garlic cloves and put them in a bowl. Add bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix well and pour the mixture into the skillet.
  1. Cook the mixture for about three minutes until the bread crumbs turn golden, and garlic releases some fragrance.
  1. Once done, remove the bread crumbs from the skillet and wipe the skillet clean using a paper towel.
  1. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in the same skillet. While the oil and butter are heating, thinly slice the remaining garlic cloves and add them to the skillet. Sauté garlic for about two minutes until they turn light golden and aromatic.
  1. Add cooked pasta and toss. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmesan, and pasta water to make the pasta a bit saucy.
  1. Add parsley and three-fourth of the bread crumbs. Mix the spaghetti well and add the remaining bread crumbs. Transfer the spaghetti to a bowl and serve immediately.
  1. Once your teen acquaints to this simple recipe, guide them to experiment with its ingredients and make a healthier spaghetti.

11. Garlic fried rice (leftover rice recipe)

Garlic fried rice recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup leftover rice
  • ½ cup carrot, French Beans, and parsley (chopped and cooked)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2tbsp spring onion (thinly chopped)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1tbsp low-sodium soya sauce
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt, to taste

How to make:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-hot. Add sliced garlic and sauté until they turn light brown and crisp. Remove the garlic slices from the pan and pour the oil into a small bowl.
  1. In the same pan, melt butter on a medium-low flame. Add chopped garlic and black pepper powder. Stir fry until garlic turns pale golden.
  1. Add sliced garlic, garlic oil, veggies, cooked rice, salt, and soya sauce. Increase the flame and mix everything well until the rice starts sizzling.
  1. Turn off the flame and transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Garnish with the fried garlic slices and spring onion.

12. Ham and cheese sliders

Ham and cheese sliders recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4 sweet Hawaiian rolls
  • 4tbsp unsalted (melted) butter
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp parsley (dried)
  • ⅛tsp onion powder
  • ⅛tsp garlic powder
  • ½lb deli honey ham (cooked and thinly sliced) or nitrate-free roasted chicken, turkey or beef deli slices
  • ½lb. Swiss cheese (thinly sliced)

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
  1. Add melted butter, mustard, dried parsley, honey, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix well.
  1. Slice the Hawaiian rolls in half to separate their tops from the bottoms. Place the bottoms into the baking tray and layer them with half of the ham.
  1. Next, add a layer of Swiss cheese and top it with the remaining ham slices. Finally, cover the filling with bun tops to make the sandwich.
  1. Brush the buns with butter mixture and put the baking tray into the oven with a closed top using foil paper.
  1. Bake the sliders for about 12 minutes. Then, take the baking tray out of the oven and put it back inside the oven uncovered. Bake the slider for an additional ten minutes.
  1. After ten minutes, take the baking tray from the oven and set it aside to let the sliders come to room temperature. Serve with homemade dip or ketchup.

13. Scrambled tofu

Scrambled tofu recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup silken tofu (scrambled)
  • ¼ cup cremini mushrooms (chopped)
  • ¼ cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 plum tomato (chopped)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried herbs mix
  • ⅛tsp sea salt

How to make:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. As the oil warms, add onions and sauté until they turn light brown.
  1. Add tomatoes, herbs mix, salt, parsley, and mushroom. Cook until the veggies get mashed.
  1. Add scrambled tofu and cook the mixture on high flame for about five minutes until everything combines.
  1. Turn off the flame and transfer the tofu to a bowl. Serve with pita bread or any bread of your choice.
  1. Encourage your teen to add more seasonal veggies to make this recipe

14. Watermelon fries with coconut lime dip

Watermelon fries with coconut lime dip recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup watermelon (cut into semi-thick fingers)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • 2tsp Tajin Classic seasoning
  • 1tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)

How to make:

  1. Add yogurt, coconut sugar, lime juice, and zest in a small bowl. Mix well and set the bowl aside.
  1. Place the watermelon slices on a plate and serve with coconut and lime yogurt. Healthy and simple!

15. French toast

French toast recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 3 thick bread slices
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup low-fat milk
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste

How to make: 

  1. Put egg, milk, salt, spices, and vanilla bean paste into a bowl. Whisk together to make a smooth-flowing mixture. Set the bowl aside.
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Soak each bread slice in egg mixture and place them in the pan. Cook both sides until they turn golden and serve hot. A simple recipe your teen can make on their own.

16. Pancake

Pancakes recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp cooking oil
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp sea salt

How to make:

  1. In a large bowl, sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
  1. Pour milk, egg, and melted butter, and mix thoroughly until a smooth batter forms. Set the bowl aside.
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. As the oil warms, pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet. Cook the pancake for two to three minutes on each side until both sides turn brown. Serve hot with a cup of fresh berries and some agave nectar on top.

17. Egg muffins

Egg muffins recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ¼ cup fresh spinach (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2tbsp onion (finely chopped)
  • 1tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F(180°C). Grease a muffin tin with oil and set it aside.
  1. In a large bowl, mix eggs, onion, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the muffin tin filling each muffin cup half full.
  1. Put the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the muffin’s crust turns golden.
  1. After 20 minutes, take the muffin tin out of the oven and keep it on a wire rack to cool.
  1. Serve as many muffins as needed and store the rest in an airtight container for up to four days.

18. Roasted salmon

Roasted salmon recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • ½tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1tsp dill (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper powder, to taste
  • Cooking oil, for greasing

How to make:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F(190°C). Grease a baking tray with some cooking oil and set it aside.
  1. Mix melted butter and lemon juice in a small bowl and keep the bowl aside.
  1. Place the salmon in the baking tray and brush them with the butter and lemon juice mixture. Sprinkle over minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  1. Put the baking tray into the oven and bake salmon fillets for 12 to 15 minutes until they are cooked through.
  1. After 15 minutes, take out the fish fillets from the oven and transfer them to a serving plate. Sprinkle chopped parsley and dill before serving.

19. Vegetable oats

Vegetable oats recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup red onions (chopped)
  • ¼ cup tomato (chopped)
  • ¼ cup carrot (chopped)
  • ⅛ cup green peas
  • 1tsp dried herbs mix
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

How to make: 

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. As the oil warms, add onions and sauté them until they turn translucent.
  1. Add all the veggies and salt. Cook the mixture for five to seven minutes until the vegetables turn tender.
  1. Stir in dried herbs, oats, and water. Mix well and cook the oats for seven to ten minutes.
  1. Turn off the heat and transfer oats to a serving bowl. You can enhance the flavor of the recipe by adding some lemon juice.

20. Slow cooker casserole

Slow cooker casserole recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup nitrate-free roasted turkey or chicken deli slices
  • 1 cup cheddar (grated)
  • ½ cup frozen hash browns
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ cup mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 3 eggs (whisked)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 red capsicum (chopped)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste

How to make:

  1. Put olive oil, half of the whisked eggs, milk, garlic powder, and salt in the slow cooker. Mix well until all the ingredients combine.
  1. Layer the egg mixture with half of the hash browns, meat slices, onion, and cheese. Repeat layering until the entire egg mixture is used up.
  1. Close the slow cooker’s lid and set the temperature to low heat. Cook the casserole for about six hours until the eggs are fluffy and set.
  1. Once done, serve some casserole and store the remaining in an airtight container for later use.

21. Baked zucchini chips

Baked zucchini recipe for teenagers to cook

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 zucchini (thinly sliced)
  • ½tsp onion powder
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • ½tsp red chili powder
  • 1tbsp virgin olive oil

How to make: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (148°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  1. In a small bowl, mix onion powder, red chili powder, oil, and garlic powder.
  1. Put the zucchini slices on the baking sheet and brush them with the onion powder mixture.
  1. Put the tray into the oven and bake the zucchini for about 90 minutes until their edges turn golden and crispy. Serve with a homemade dip of choice.

Besides these, your teen can try preparing the following simple yet healthy recipes with you.

  1. Avocado soup
  2. Broccoli and cheese quiche
  3. Fruit-loaded baked oatmeal
  4. Fish fajitas
  5. Tortilla pizza

Cooking is a basic life skill that parents should teach their children from a young age. Involving your teen in meal planning and cooking helps them learn the basics of making healthy choices. Also, it helps teens understand the value and importance of healthy eating for life. So, cook with your teen as much as possible and let them try healthy recipes from different cuisines.

Key Pointers

  • Teens can start with easy recipes such as a vegetable omelet with toasted bread or chicken bacon ranch wrap.
  • Learn the classic egg sandwich or mac and cheese.
  • Even complex dishes for beginners such as spaghetti, pancakes, and roasted salmon have been simplified in this post.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Dina Totosegis

(RD)
Dina Totosegis is a registered dietitian specializing in pediatrics. She has graduated from McGill University with Bachelors in Physiology as well as Dietetics and Human Nutrition. She started working in wellness clinics and fitness clubs in Montreal, Canada, and Austin, US, helping individuals establish a healthy way of life through nutritious food, an active lifestyle, and a positive mindset.  Since... more

Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist and toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different organizations. Her interest in scientific writing... more

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