Teaching Teens to Cook

Getting Your Teen Comfortable in the Kitchen!

One thing that many young adults realize once they’re out on their own is that they have absolutely no idea how to cook.  Many teens grow up either going out to cooking with teens and tweenseat with their friends or eating meals made by Mom and Dad.  Once college rolls around, meal-plans and pizza delivery become mealtime staples and the most advanced cooking most students attempt is heating up ramen.  By the time college kids enter adulthood, many have never learned how to cook.

Teaching kids and teens basic cooking skills and getting them comfortable in the kitchen before they leave home is an excellent way to ease the transition between home life and being independent.  Cooking is a necessary life skill, and instilling kitchen confidence early on will only help teens later down the road.  It doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult; just stick to these basics and your teen will be well-equipped to fend for him or herself in the kitchen:

  • Teach them about basic ingredients – Learning how to stock a pantry or refrigerator are important skills for any cook to learn.  Make sure teens know which ingredients are good to always have on hand for easy dinner creations.
  • Provide them with easy recipes – Start small with simple recipes that are difficult to mess up too badly.  Providing teens with a few basic dishes will allow them to branch out from there once they feel comfortable.
  • Put them in charge of dinner – Designating certain nights of the week for teens to be in charge of dinner will force them to practice their cooking skills and become familiar with kitchen appliances.  Plus, the more often they cook, the more likely they are to actually enjoy the experience.
  • Stay positive – Mistakes happen in the kitchen, but don’t make a big deal of them.  Negativity is a huge confidence-crusher, so stay positive and just eat around the burned bits—the more teens cook, the more they will improve.

This recipe for Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake is an easy dinner recipes that beginner cooks should be able to handle with ease.  It only requires 5 ingredients—one of which is a childhood favorite for many teens—and can be on the table in just 35 minutes.  It’s the perfect dish to put your teen in charge of since it’s the ideal balance of healthy, hard-to-mess-up, and delicious.  Enjoy!


Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 6 (298 calories per serving)


  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1-1/4 cups original baking mix
  • 1/2 shredded reduced fat (2%) milk
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Chef Boyardee® Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup sliced turkey pepperoni


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.  Spray a 13×9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine baking mix and milk in a medium bowl; stir until soft dough forms.
  2. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the bottom of a baking dish (it will not completely cover the bottom).  Spoon 1 can of spaghetti and meatballs over the dough and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese.  Top with the remaining can of spaghetti and meatballs, the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the pepperoni.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dough is done in the centers and browned.


Enhanced by Zemanta
The following two tabs change content below.
Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge