Sometimes, cooking with kids is all about teaching them measuring, mixing and knife skills. We do this a lot. The kids and I talk about the different measurements we use and measure things out together. They are often the ones to whisk-shift dry ingredients for me or to stir together whatever needs stirring. But cooking with kids isn’t just about learning. It’s about having fun in the kitchen too. So other times cooking with kids is about letting go. I don’t do that nearly enough.
But I try. Last Friday, I’d been thinking of ordering a pizza all afternoon, but with the holiday season here and our budget already strained I just couldn’t justify spending the money. So, I did the next best thing: making homemade English muffin pizzas with the kids. Actually, Will and Paige did most of the doing and I just handled the oven, the hot tray and laying out the toppings.
See how happy they are? And they hadn’t even started doing anything yet. They love being in the kitchen and having a hand in whatever we’re eating. But they love it even more when they are super-hands-on for a meal, as with these English muffin pizzas.
With a simple, flexible ingredients list and a super-fast cooking time, these pizzas are perfect for an any-night treat. Of course, being easy doesn’t hurt either.
You start by spreading sauce on English muffin halves. We used honey wheat ones, but any variety works. Well, except maybe cinnamon raisin. That could be weird.
Then the kids topped their pizzas however they liked. Will did mozzarella on both and black olives on one. Paige did Romano cheese, olives, tomatoes and a little mozzarella.
Then you broil them really quickly. It only takes about 3-5 minutes for the pizzas to be done, so I highly suggest flipping the oven light on and watching them cook with the kids. They’ll love it. And you’ll make sure you don’t accidentally char them. Win-win.
What have you been cooking with kids lately?
Easy English Muffin Pizzas
perfect for cooking with kids
yields as many as you want
English muffins, fork split in half
cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, or whatever you like)
toppings such as ham, bacon, sliced olives, sliced sausage, tomatoes, broccoli bits, onions, etc
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Start the oven boiler on high.
Have kids spread a little sauce on their English muffin halves. Top as desired with cheese and toppings.
Place all the English muffin pizzas on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler (about 6″ from it) and cook until the cheese is melted and golden in spots — about 3-5 minutes. Be sure to watch them closely so that they don’t burn.
Let cool slightly before eating.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.