For adults, Thanksgiving is one of the few nights of the year that doesn’t require too many decisions about what to serve for dinner. Aside from deciding between different types of casseroles or flavors of pie, Thanksgiving dishes are usually pretty standard; if you have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie, you’ve essentially made a complete Thanksgiving meal.
But while many adults wait all year for traditional favorites like candied sweet potatoes and green bean casseroles, younger family members may have a different perspective on Thanksgiving food. For picky eaters, if it’s not a chicken nugget or a hot dog, it’s probably not going to get eaten, making it difficult for parents who are trying to feed their families roast turkey and stuffing.
One solution to the parent-child food dilemma during the holidays is to make special dishes specifically for the kids table that will help make the rest of Thanksgiving dinner seem more kid-friendly and less intimidating. And even better than making kid-friendly side dishes is having your kids actually help out with the cooking! Cooking with kids is one of the best ways to get picky eaters to try out new foods, so don’t be afraid to put your kids to work when you prep for Thanksgiving!
Mac and Cheese Pot Pies
This recipe for individual mac and cheese pot pies is the perfect way to bridge the gap between kid-approved treats and traditional Thanksgiving dinner. These pies have all the comforting taste of a hearty baked casserole but use ingredients that kids will recognize and enjoy. Making them in individual servings also allows each child to have his or her own, meaning they’ll be more likely to gobble up their personal pies. Have the kids help mix the ingredients, paint the pastry with egg wash and form the pot pies; they’re an easy way to get kids involved in Thanksgiving dinner and are sure to become a kids-table tradition for years to come.
Easy, Peasy, Mac and Cheesy, Kickin Pot Pie from Chef Boyardee®
- 1 10-oz package frozen “steam in bag” broccoli cuts
- 2 15-oz cans Chef Boyardee® Mac & Cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped nacho jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup reduced fat (2%) milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 17.3-oz package frozen puff pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 400°F. Steam broccoli in the microwave according to package directions; let stand for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together the mac & cheese, jalapeños, Pepper Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese and milk in a large bowl just until combined. Stir in broccoli.
Divide mac & cheese mixture between 6 individual round baking dishes. Beat together egg and water to make an egg wash.
Cut the puff pastry into 6 circles, slightly larger than the top of each baking dish. Brush the outer edge of each circle with egg wash. Place egg wash side DOWN on dish; lightly press pastry to the edge of the dishes. Brush the top of crusts with additional egg wash. Cut a slit in the top of each crust so that steam can escape. Place baking dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot.
Tip: To make a decorative edge on each crust, twist and press a 1/2-inch wide strip of pastry on the top edge of each pie. Brush the entire top with egg wash.
Author Bio: Meredith K. writes on behalf of Chef Boyardee, whose kid-friendly, parent-approved products that are perfect for incorporating into your holiday meals this season. For more recipes that are great for easy cooking with kids, visit www.chefboyardee.com.