Welcome to Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids shares a kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a Learning Moment that brings learning to life in the kitchen.

These are unprecedented times. Due to COVID-19, many of us are experiencing significant disruptions to our everyday lives.

One way to regain a sense of normalcy in these uncertain times? Cook or bake with your kids. You’ll spend quality time together, away from any screens. You’ll feel good about what you’re doing, what you’re teaching your kids, and what they’re learning through osmosis — there is a great deal of science, math, and even social studies inherent in cooking. Plus you’ll end up with something delicious to eat. In this article, we’ve collected five of our favorite pantry-friendly recipes to get you started — a mix of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sweets.

And there’s lots more where those came from: You can now access our entire library of 150-plus kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, experiments, hands-on activities, and quizzes for free. Show us what you and your kids make by sending photos to kids@americastestkitchen.com or tagging us on social media at #atkkids. You’ll also find even more home-cooking resources from America’s Test Kitchen, updated daily, at www.americastestkitchen.com/kids .

One-Pot Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce

A simple, satisfying (and vegetarian) dinner for the whole family. Cooking the pasta directly in the sauce means more flavor and fewer dishes. Everyone wins!

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion

1 teaspoon salt

4 garlic cloves,

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¼ teaspoon sugar

3¾ cups penne pasta

3 cups water

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Grated Parmesan cheese

In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Carefully stir in pasta and water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 16 to 18 minutes.

Turn off heat. Drizzle pasta with extra oil and sprinkle basil over top. Use ladle to divide pasta and sauce among individual bowls. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

Brining the chicken for just 30 minutes not only seasons it inside and out, it also makes the meat especially tender. If you have fresh parsley and cilantro on hand, make the Chimichurri Sauce—and save any extra to drizzle on eggs, veggies, and more. Leftover chicken is perfect for sandwiches, salads, tacos, or a Buffalo Chicken Lavash Flatbread. (If you’re starting with frozen chicken breasts, thaw them first.)

What You’ll Need:

2 quarts water

½ cup table salt

4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In large bowl, whisk water and salt until salt dissolves. This mixture of salt and water is called a brine. Place 4 chicken breasts in brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Wash your hands.

Place parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes (if using) in food processor. Lock lid into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until all ingredients are roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Remove lid and use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl.

Add oil and vinegar to processor bowl. Lock lid back into place and pulse until mixture is evenly combined, about 5 pulses. Remove lid and carefully remove processor blade (ask an adult for help). Transfer sauce to small bowl. Set aside. (Chimichurri sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days.)

Line large plate with paper towels. Remove chicken from brine and place on paper towel–lined plate. Discard brine. Use more paper towels to pat chicken dry. Sprinkle pepper evenly over all 4 chicken breasts. Wash your hands.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Use tongs to carefully place chicken breasts in skillet. Cook until browned on first side, 6 to 8 minutes.

Use clean tongs to flip chicken breasts and cook until chicken registers 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes (ask an adult for help). Turn off heat.

Use clean tongs to transfer cooked chicken to serving platter. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Breakfast Tacos with Bacon

Breakfast tacos aren’t just for breakfast — they’re great for quick, filling lunches and dinners, too. And there’s lots of flexibility in this recipe. No scallions? Omit them. Vegetarian? Skip the bacon. No Monterey Jack in the house? Cheddar is a great swap.

What You’ll Need:

4 large eggs

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch pepper

1 slice bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 scallion, sliced thin

4 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas

½ cup tomato salsa (jarred or homemade)

¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 lime, cut into wedges

In medium bowl, whisk eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined and uniform yellow color, about 1 minute. Set aside.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula until crispy, about 4 minutes.

Stir scallion into skillet and cook until just softened, about 1 minute.

Add eggs to skillet and gently stir, scraping bottom of skillet, until eggs have clumped and are still slightly wet, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner.

Stack tortillas on microwave-safe plate, cover with damp dish towel, and heat in microwave until warm, about 20 seconds.

Divide egg mixture among warm tortillas. Serve with salsa, cheese, and lime wedges.

Banana Bread

Got any ripe bananas hanging around? Turn them into a loaf of banana bread for tomorrow morning’s breakfast or this afternoon’s snack. If you’re feeling fancy, dress up your loaf with chocolate chips or toasted nuts.

What You’ll Need:

Vegetable oil spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 very ripe bananas

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 8½-by-4½-inch metal loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Peel bananas and place in large bowl. Use large fork or potato masher to mash bananas until broken down but still chunky. Add sugar, eggs, melted butter, yogurt, and vanilla to bowl with bananas and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and use rubber spatula to gently stir until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Do not overmix—batter should look thick and chunky. Use rubber spatula to scrape batter into greased loaf pan and smooth top.

Place loaf pan in oven. Bake until banana bread is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove banana bread from oven (ask an adult for help). Place loaf pan on cooling rack and let banana bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Use oven mitts to carefully turn loaf pan on its side and remove banana bread from pan. Let banana bread cool on cooling rack for at least 1 hour. Transfer to cutting board, slice, and serve.

Fudgy Chocolate Mug Cakes

Let them eat cake — without turning on the oven! This recipe makes two individual gooey, chocolaty cakes in the microwave. We love making them for movie nights or a sweet afternoon snack.

What You’ll Need:

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

2 large eggs

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

In small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate chips. Heat in microwave at 50 percent power for 1 minute. Stop microwave and stir mixture with spoon. Heat in microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 1 minute. Remove bowl from microwave. Add eggs, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Use spoon to divide batter evenly between 2 coffee mugs.

Place mugs on opposite sides of microwave turntable. Cook in microwave at 50 percent power for 1 minute. Stop microwave and use spoon to stir batter in each mug, making sure to reach bottom of mug. Cook in microwave at 50 percent power for 1 minute (batter will rise to just below rim of mug and cake should look slightly wet around edges—if top still looks very wet, cook in microwave at 50 percent power for another 15 to 30 seconds).

Use oven mitts to remove mugs from microwave and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

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