5 Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is more fun when you work together as a family—and offers opportunity to teach children some basic cooking skills. How much your children can help depends on their age, of course, but here are five kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes most children can participate in making.


Bacon Smokies

This fun appetizer combines the fun of assembling the bacon-wrapped treats with a quick payoff (they’re ready in 45 minutes). You’ll need:

  • 12-16-ounce package of thin bacon
  • 16-ounce package “little smokies” sausage
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open the bacon package and cut slices into thirds. The best way to do this is to cut the entire slab as if it were a single piece.

Have children wrap each sausage with a one-third strip of bacon, securing it in place with a toothpick. Kids can line up the finished pieces on a sheet pan, and with your help, sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar on each piece.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, and transfer to a serving plate. Let cool slightly, then serve.


Easy Stuffing

What’s a thanksgiving Turkey without stuffing? Once you brown the sausage, children can mix together all the ingredients.

  • 10 ½ ounce can chicken or turkey gravy
  • 10 ½ ounce water
  • 1 ¼ ounces onion soup mix
  • 12 ounces’ ground sausage
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 14 ounces seasoned stuffing mix.


Brown the sausage meat in a medium saucepan, adding the chopped celery if you’re using it. Once browned, children can add the onion soup and mix it into the meat. Pour in the gravy and water, then mix the stuffing in well.


At this point the recipe can be served, or you can transfer the stuffing into an over-ready container and heat in the oven until the top browns.


Orange Carrots

Kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes that include veggies? It’s not impossible with this sweet carrot side dish.

  • 4-5 large carrots, chopped into thick slices
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar.


Older children can chop the carrots with supervision. Boil the carrots in the orange juice until tender (about thirty minutes). Add the butter and brown sugar, reduce heat and simmer another ten minutes, until the liquid reduces and takes on a creamy texture.


Homemade Mac and Cheese

It’s almost un-American to say so, but not everyone likes turkey. This simple macaroni and cheese stands alone as an entrée for kids and makes a tempting side dish for adults. It’s also a meal children can help make.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Three tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups hot milk (not boiling)
  • 1 ¼ cups grated American cheese
  • 1 ¼ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • 1-pound elbow macaroni.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have the child grease a non-stick casserole and weigh out the macaroni. If he is old enough, have him grate the cheese.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour, and stir constantly for a minute as the flour absorbs the butter. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for three minutes. Add a cup of each cheese and stir until smooth.

Cook the macaroni and drain it, rinsing it in cold water and then draining again. In a large bowl, combine the sauce and macaroni. Pour into the greased casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for twenty minutes.


Pink Stuff

This is the simplest of all the kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes we found, and also one of the tastiest if you happen to have a sweet tooth. You’ll need:

  • 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • A cup small marshmallows
  • 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and refrigerate before serving.

Have any fun ideas you make with your kids? Feel free to share!

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