Learn how to make more vegetable recipes for kids with my go-to kid-friendly dishes—and you might just be able to increase the chances that the kids will actually eat what you cook for them!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids
I’m always recommending that the best way to get our kids to eat more vegetables is to make sure that they taste good to us. These vegetable recipes for kids hit that mark and are great places to start if you’re looking to introduce new veggies—or veggies that you’ve previously tried—in new ways. Because while we all know that kids need their veggies for so many aspect of their health, they are often so reluctant to actually eat them!
Vegetables for Kids
I should say that this is not a comprehensive list of recipes (that would be epic!) but it’s a perfect place to start if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your kid’s diets. I will note any potential issues with choking hazards for toddlers, cooking tips, and flavor profiles for each recipe to give you a head start with trying some of them out.
These recipes are more side dishes than main dishes, though there are some main dishes here in the mix that show off one vegetable or another. A mix of approaches is always a good idea!
I should say that almost any veggie, except ones that are hard to chew and are super spicy, can be a “kid’s vegetable”, but these recipes are some of our go-tos.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Asparagus
- Oven-Roasted Asparagus: When I learned how to cook asparagus in the oven, it was like a lightbulb went off. This method is so easy because all you do is to toss the asparagus with a little oil, sprinkle, with salt, and let the heat from the oven soften up the stalks. They even get a little sweet as they roast!
- Sauteed Asparagus with Butter and Parmesan: Super simple and bursting with flavor, this is a great way to make asparagus for the kids.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Beets
- Simple Boiled Beets: beets are naturally pretty sweet, when cooked they have a soft texture that’s easy for kids to eat, and they taste ridiculously good with a little butter and salt. This boiled beets recipe takes about 30 minutes and is mostly hands off—and it’s a good one to make-ahead to reheat later!
- Simple Roasted Beets: When roasted in the oven, beets become a little sweeter—which may be just the thing to inspire your little eaters to try them!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Bell Peppers
- Oven-Roasted Red Peppers: With a simple sheet pan method and pantry spices, you can learn how to Roast Red Peppers in the oven to use in tacos, sandwiches, and just as a simple side. You can season them with just salt or add cumin and a dash of chili powder for a Mexican take.
- Skillet Stuffed Peppers: With the classic flavors of easy Stuffed Peppers, but much less work, this skillet version cooks up in just 20 minutes for a healthy family dinner option. You can use a mix of colors of peppers for a bright and fun visual.
- Raw Bell Peppers: Older toddlers and kids may love raw bell pepper sticks since they tend to be sweet, especially the red, yellow, and orange varieties. They can be hard to chew for kids under 3, so keep that in mind.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Broccoli
- Broccoli Tots: With a handful of accessible, healthy ingredients, you can bake broccoli tots that are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. And…they kind of taste like broccoli tater tots! You can even make them ahead and store them in the freezer for later.
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Broccoli, cheddar, and split peas team up in this healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe that’s packed with plant-based protein and fiber—and is a great family meal alongside crackers or muffins. It also freezes wonderfully!
- Roasted Broccoli: When my oldest kiddo was little, she went to a daycare that served roasted broccoli regularly and all the kids devoured it. (Really!) It gets slightly sweet when roasted, which is a plus. Try to cut the florets to the same size for even cooking.
- Stir-Fried Broccoli: We love the Asian flavors in this stir fry recipe but I suggest that you cut the garlic in large pieces to add flavor, but then you can easily not serve the garlic pieces to the kids. (Many don’t like tiny pieces!) And use a fine microplane to grate the ginger so it disappears.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Brussels Sprouts
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Honey: Try this quick Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Honey for a simple side for dinner. It’s slightly sweet and pleasantly nutty, and not a bit bitter!
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts: This method for making Brussels sprouts may be on that your kids love. In my house, I have one kiddo who loves them and one who doesn’t so keep trying if the first time isn’t a success!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Carrots
- Easy Baked Carrot Fries: These are easy to prepare (you basically just need to slice them). They cook in just about 20 minutes (with no stirring or tending required). And they are totally delicious dunked into ketchup.
- Glazed Carrots: With or without the parsley at the end, this carrot recipe is easy and just a little bit sweet!
- Carrot Pancakes: Like carrot cake, only healthy and appropriate for breakfast!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Cauliflower
- Cauliflower with Parmesan: It’s simply steaming the cauliflower florets and then tossing with flavorful enhancements—butter or olive oil (if you need dairy-free or just prefer olive oil) and cheese. (We usually find that cheese helps almost any veggie go down easier.)
- Cauliflower Tots: With just 6 simple ingredients, these Cauliflower Tots are a healthy homemade finger food the kids (and the parents) will enjoy. Bonus: They reheat from frozen beautifully!
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: With a simple cheese sauce that has cauliflower right in the mix to help thicken, this healthy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fast weeknight lunch or dinner option for toddlers.
- Homemade Veggie Nuggets: This simple veggie nugget recipe is made with quinoa, cauliflower, and some cheese, so they have a nicely cheesy texture and flavor.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Cucumber
- Raw Cucumbers: You can of course make cucumber salads and such, but this is a good veggie to serve raw. Peel and chop into small pieces for younger toddlers until you know they can handle the texture and chewing skills needed to handle larger pieces.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Edamame (Soy Beans)
- Steamed or Boiled Edamame: Buy a bag of frozen edamame in the pods and cook according to the package directions. (It’s usually boiling or steaming them for 5-10 minutes until the beans are soft). Sprinkle with salt and show the kids how to pop the beans out from the pods. You can also serve the beans chilled as a simple snack.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Green Beans
- Sesame Maple Green Beans: These green beans are slightly sweet, a little bit salty, and it’s a perfect side dish to meat, chicken, eggs, or even beans. And they’re quick to make!
- Green Beans with Ginger and Garlic: Classic Asian flavors and tender green beans make for a winning combination! You can leave the garlic in large pieces to give flavor without tiny pieces that the kids might want to pick out.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Kale
- Cheesy Kale Bites: These Cheesy Kale Bites are basically a meatball with shredded kale in place of meat. They have tons of flavor from the cheese, and they taste really great when dunked into ketchup or salsa.
- Quick and Easy Cheesy Greens: You can use almost any leafy green you like (though baby kale and spinach will be one of the softest/easiest to manipulate for younger eaters) and you can vary the cheese according to what you have on hand. These are lightning fast and easy to make in small or larger amounts.
- Tropical Greens Smoothie: Tuck some kale into a smoothie with fruit to balance the flavors with natural sweetness.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Mushrooms
- Stovetop Mushrooms: I was shocked when I realized that my then 1 year old LOVED mushrooms so try these if you haven’t thought to try them yet. This recipe is easy and the result is soft and flavorful.
- Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Mushrooms: This recipe is easy and just needs a sheet pan and the flavors are so good!
- Pizza with Mushrooms: This is a good way to try mushrooms, delivered on a familiar food!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Peas
- Frozen Peas: Many kids love eating peas straight out of the freezer, so try that if nothing else has worked!
- Simple Buttered Peas: Add frozen peas to a colander and rinse with warm water to thaw. Drain and add to a bowl and warm for 1-2 minutes. Stir in a little butter and salt to taste.
- Mac and Cheese with Peas: We have a tradition of having boxed mac and cheese for one weekend lunch and I always add some frozen peas to the mix. I find that my kids have no complaints about veggies in their mac and cheese since they love mac and cheese so much! (I just add the peas to the colander and drain the pasta over them to thaw.)
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli: With just one pot and 4 ingredients, these potatoes are creamy, filling, and flavorful—and they have broccoli for an added nutritional punch too.
- Baked Potato Soup: I know some kids are hit or miss about soup, but this one is way more fun from the added toppings!
- Twice-Baked Potatoes: Because a little cheese can go a long way!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Spinach
- Easy Spinach Pesto: This Spinach Pesto is one of our go-to sauces. I like it because the color stays bright green, the ingredients are straightforward, and it packs a serious punch of vitamins and iron from the spinach. This is, hands down, my favorite way to serve up greens to my kids.
- Spinach Banana Muffins: Serve up greens in a sweet and easy to eat format with these simple muffins.
- Simple Green Smoothie: With just a few ingredients, you can make a healthy smoothie that has spinach and lots of natural sweetness from fruit.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Snap Peas
- Raw Snap Peas: For older toddlers (closer to 3 and up), raw snap peas are often a big hit since they are crunchy and so naturally sweet. Younger toddlers may have a hard time chewing them, so keep that in mind.
- Sauteed Snap Peas: This recipe is super simple and can help soften crunchy raw snap peas into a more tender veggie that younger toddlers can enjoy too. I’d still recommend you chop them up!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Squash (Winter)
- Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto: This Butternut Squash recipe involves roasting the squash, pureeing it into a sauce, and simply stirring it together with cooked short grain brown rice. Easy—and with steps you can do ahead.
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese: The beauty of this recipe is that the squash adds that classic orange color and nutrients, but the kids just get the cheesy pasta flavor and texture that they love. Pick up a bag of precut butternut squash and you literally just need to fill a pot with water to get this recipe started!
- Roasted Butternut Squash: Simply cut up butternut squash (into fun shapes if you want!) and roast them up in the oven. With a little salt, they’re a naturally sweet side dish to share with the kids.
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa: With simple ingredients and lots of nutrition, this is a less messy way to serve grains to little kids—and a vegetarian side dish packed with fiber and Vitamin A.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Silky, smooth, and dairy-free, these Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes are SO darn good as a holiday side or a weeknight veggie. They have fiber, Vitamin A, and naturally sweet flavor.
- Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes: This sweet and creamy version is made with such a simple method in the slow cooker and makes the best mashed sweet potatoes every single time. I honestly don’t bake sweet potatoes much anymore now that I know how foolproof the crock pot method is!
- Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato: You can make homemade chicken nuggets easily and add way more nutrition by tucking in mashed sweet potato. So smart and yummy!
- Roasted Sweet Potato Hash: With an easy sheet-pan method, this is a delish breakfast-for-dinner option for kids.
- Sweet Potato Smoothie: This tastes like pie, but is full of healthy ingredients.
- Sweet Potato Fajitas: The sweetness of sweet potatoes pairs so well with Mexican spices!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Tomatoes
- Raw Tomatoes: Chopped up, raw tomatoes (bigger ones or diced cherry or grape tomatoes) are a good way to offer tomatoes. Yellow or orange ones are often sweeter—such as the Sungold variety.
- Veggie-Packed Marinara Sauce: Add extra veggies to your next pot of marinara sauce for more nutrition and flavor—but the comfort that your family expects!
- Creamy Tomato Soup with Sweet Potato: With bright flavors from tomatoes and non-dairy creaminess from sweet potato, this is a simple and nutritious tomato soup. Serve it in a small mug or with a dipper!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Zucchini
- Corn Muffins with Squash and Raisins: With a moist interior, whole grains including cornmeal, and a fruit and a veggie, this Corn Muffin Recipe is a perfect dinner side or breakfast main dish.
- Easy Zucchini Fritters: Baked in a muffin tin, this simple fritter recipe is a great way to serve up zucchini to kids. They’re soft enough for younger toddlers and reheat nicely.
- Ratatouille: With lots of veggies in the mix—which you can toss with pasta or even blend up in the blender and then toss with pasta—ratatouille is an easy recipe that can be very family-friendly.
I’d love to hear how your kids like to eat veggies, so please comment below to share!