5 Kid-Friendly Dinners You Can Make Entirely in a Toaster Oven

5 Kid-Friendly Dinners You Can Make Entirely in a Toaster Oven

Make 'em on the weekend and reheat them for faster weeknight meals.

After a long day at work, you definitely don't want to wait for the oven to preheat, and neither does your hungry child. Certainly, you're not in the mood to stand over the stove to stir and flip food. That's why we recommend putting your toaster to work with these dinners the whole family will enjoy, (even the pickiest of kids).


BBQ Meatballs

Few people can walk by a platter of meatballs. They are a snacking food as well as part of a meal. Serve as an appetizer, with mashed potatoes and a salad as a main course, or with kettle chips, rolls and pickles as sides.

Makes 4 servings

Make Ahead:
Meatballs can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated overnight. Add 1⁄4 cup water to the baking dish and reheat, covered with foil, in preheated 350°F toaster oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

1 lb extra-lean ground beef, chicken or turkey 

1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1⁄4 cup dry breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce 

1⁄4 cup water

  • In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, Parmesan, if using, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, egg and Worcestershire sauce. Shape mixture into about 25 meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Arrange in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish.

  • Combine barbecue sauce and water. Pour over meatballs.

  • Bake in preheated 375°F toaster oven for 35 to 37 minutes, stirring gently a few times to coat meatballs with sauce, until meatballs are no longer pink inside.

Vegetable Bean Chili

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Working Mother

There are never enough chili recipes and ideas. This quick and easy version is a substantial one‑dish meal. Serve condiments alongside, such as chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, corn chips or sour cream. Cornbread is an excellent accompaniment that can be prepared ahead.

Makes 3 servings

Make Ahead:
Chili can be prepared a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat, covered, in preheated 375°F toaster oven for 25 minutes, stirring a few times, until hot.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 19-oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup rinsed, drained, canned black beans or chickpeas
1 cup tomato juice or tomato sauce
11⁄2 tsp chili powder
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp black pepper

  • In an 8-cup shallow casserole or baking dish, combine garlic, onion, celery, zucchini, red pepper, tomatoes, corn, beans, tomato juice, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

  • Bake, covered, in preheated 400°F toaster oven for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 20 minutes, or until celery and zucchini are tender and chili is bubbling. Stir a few times during cooking.

Stuffed Pork Loin Roast with Cranapple Sauce

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Working Mother

The beauty of this roast is that it is tender and oven-ready. Many butcher shops have their own house stuffing, and they will cut a roast that is the size you need.

The cranapple sauce goes well with chicken, turkey and ham dishes, or you can use it in sandwiches. The raspberry juice concentrate gives the sauce a bright red color. Freeze leftover concentrate to use in salad dressings (add 1 tbsp to a vinaigrette), desserts or in a punch.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

Pork

2 tbsp orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 oven-ready stuffed pork loin roast (about 3 lbs) 


Cranapple Sauce

1 lb fresh or frozen cranberries
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup raspberry juice concentrate, or orange juice 


  • In a small bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, mustard, garlic and sage. Rub over roast.

  • Place roast in an 8-inch square baking pan, fat side up. Add 1⁄4 cup water to pan.

  • Bake in preheated 350°F toaster oven for 1-3⁄4 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in meat (not in stuffing) registers 160°F. Add extra water if pan becomes dry.

  • Meanwhile, to prepare sauce, combine cranberries, apples, sugar and raspberry juice concentrate in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until apples are cooked and mixture is sauce-like. Stir frequently during cooking. Cool.

  • Remove roast from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Serve roast with sauce.

Spaghetti Pie

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Working Mother

This recipe evolved when I had leftover cooked spaghetti and cottage cheese in the fridge. Now it is one of my favorite one-dish meals. Serve it with a green salad. Leftovers are good, slightly warmed, the next day.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

6 oz uncooked spaghetti
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup tomato sauce or pasta sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup grated Fontina cheese
1⁄2 cup grated Swiss cheese
3⁄4 tsp salt
3⁄4 tsp chili powder
1⁄4 tsp dried oregano leaves
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large saucepan, cook spaghetti in a large amount of boiling salted water for 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well and return to saucepan. (You should have about 2-1⁄2 cups cooked spaghetti.)

  • Add cottage cheese, tomato sauce, eggs, Fontina and Swiss cheese, salt, chili powder, oregano and pepper. Combine thoroughly.

  • Turn into a well-greased 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

  • Bake in preheated 350°F toaster oven for 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Roasted Fish Fillets with Crumb Topping

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Working Mother

A simple topping of breadcrumbs adds a bit of crunch to these fillets. Try using salmon, halibut or grouper, and buy fillets that are at least 1 inch thick. Serve with ratatouille or tartar sauce.

Makes 4 servings

3⁄4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, dillweed or parsley 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
4 fish fillets (about 6 oz each)
4 lemon wedges

  • In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, basil, oil, garlic and lemon zest.

  • Place fillets in a single layer on lightly greased oven pan. Press crumb mixture over top of fillets.

  • Bake in preheated 425°F toaster oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

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Working Mother

Courtesy of 150 Best Toaster Oven Recipes by Linda Stephen © 2018 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Photos: Mark T. Shapiro

Written by Linda Stephen for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.