Weeknight Meals That'll Impress the Kids (and the Picky Eaters!)

It's just a fact of life: No matter how great of a cook you are, your kids might not be into everything you make. Whip up these weeknight dinners that kids, adults, and picky eaters alike will go nuts over.
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Monday: Baked Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

Baked Gnocchi Mac & Peas

If there's anyone out there who's turned off by mac 'n' cheese, we'd like to meet 'em. This mac is so good (thank you, thyme and brown mustard) that the kids won't even mind the peas mixed in!

Recipe: Try our Baked Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

Tuesday: Chicken & Salsa Verde Tamales

tamale party setup

These yum-o tamales are fun because the kids can help prepare them. If they're a little too time-consuming for your weeknights, they freeze like a dream – so say hello to your new make-ahead meal!

Recipe: Try our Chicken & Salsa Verde Tamales

Wednesday: Grilled Brie-Stuffed Burgers with Bacon

grilledd-brie-stuffed-burgers-bacon-70e99e01

Crispy, juicy bacon? Check. Burgers filled with gooey cheese? Check. This is one of those meals your family will be begging for again and again.

Recipe: Try our Grilled Brie-Stuffed Burgers with Bacon

Thursday: Rachael Ray's Lasagna Soup

three bowls of lasagna soup

Lasagna is a pretty universally liked dish to begin with, but soup-ifying it just makes it go down that much easier. Plus, this recipe calls for three different kinds of cheeses. How can anyone say no to that?!

Recipe: Try Rach's Lasagna Soup

Friday: Hot Honey Wings

hot honey wings

Sweet and spicy wings are sure to please even the toughest of crowds! This dish isn't too spicy, but if you've got kids or picky eater pals who really aren't into the hot stuff, just add more honey to the glaze.

Recipe: Try our Hot Honey Wings

Shopping List

For the baked gnocchi mac & cheese:

  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded mild provolone
  • 5 tsp. brown mustard
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 lb. potato gnocchi

For the chicken & salsa verde tamales:

  • 45 dried corn husks
  • 3 cups lard
  • 6 cups masa harina (instant corn flour)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 3 lb. tomatillos
  • 6 jalapeño chiles
  • 1 small onion
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro tops
  • 6 tbsp. vegetable oil

For the grilled brie-stuffed burgers with bacon:

  • 8 bacon slices
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 6 ounces Brie cheese
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce

For Rach's lasagna soup:

  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. lasagna noodles with curly edges
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 12 oz. sweet Italian sausages with fennel or bulk sausage
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 1 can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cups passata or tomato purée 
  • A few leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream, crème fraîche, or mascarpone cheese
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the hot honey wings:

  • 4 lb. chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. sriracha
  • 2 tbsp. vinegary hot sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot or Tabasco)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and toasted sesame seeds