12 Vegetable Recipes That Anyone (Yes, Even Kids) Will Love

September 16, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

How do you get kids to eat vegetables? is a good question. How do you get kids to want to eat vegetables? is an even better one. Ever since we debuted our latest video series, More Ketchup, Please!, we’ve been thinking about this a lot.

Turns out, our friends at Sweetgreen have been, too.

This month, Sweetgreen is rolling out its annual program, Sweetgreen in Schools, which started in 2010 in local DC schools, and has recently expanded to NYC, Maryland, and Virgina. Its goal is to educate children about healthy eating and staying active, as well as make parents’ aware of the USDA’s standards for school lunches across the country.

That’s why we teamed up with Sweetgreen to share some of our favorite vegetable-forward, feel-good, little one–approved recipes.


1. Crispy Farro & Tomato Salad

Get this: If you take cooked farro and slide it under the broiler, it turns into a better-than-croutons topping for salads, especially ripe tomatoes.

2. Brown Butter Tomatoes

A recipe so simple, you barely need to look at it. Just sprinkle thick tomato slices with crunchy, flaky salt, then douse in sizzling, nutty brown butter. Eat warm.

3. Best Tomato Sandwich

It’s hard to beat a classic tomato sandwich, with soft bread, juicy tomatoes, and creamy mayo. Don’t be shy with the salt—it makes the tomatoes taste more like themselves.


4. Tahini Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli gets tossed in a garlicky tahini dressing, then roasted into bliss. This would be great piled into a rice bowl or sandwiched between whole-wheat bread with a smear of Greek yogurt.

5. Broccoli Tots

Tots don’t have to be made from potatoes. This version turns to broccoli instead—and throws in some grated cheddar for good measure. Perfect alongside a veggie burger or tuna sandwich.

6. Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich

Once you realize that a sandwich can hinge on vegetables instead of meat, you’ll never have trouble thinking of a lunch idea again. This favorite has skillet-charred broccoli, spicy mayo, and pickled onions (or raw, if you’re pinched for time).


7. Moroccan Carrot Salad With Harissa

Pair this flavorful salad with any protein: chicken fingers, tuna salad, soft-boiled eggs, you name it. The harissa, preserved lemon, and cilantro make the carrots sing.

8. Carrot Fries

These fries defy all expectations. First, you use carrots instead of potatoes. Second, you don’t fry them! Instead, crank up an oven to 425°F.

9. Mulligatawny Carrots

This recipe will make you want to roast all your vegetables with coconut oil (and why not?). Garam masala, cumin, and ginger make the dish extra cozy.


10. Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges With a Sage Hazelnut Pesto

Roasted butternut squash wedges are already lovely, but they’re even better with a fall-ready sage–hazelnut pesto. This is great with polenta.

11. Butternut Squash Queso

How to make spicy-smoky queso even better? Blend in roasted butternut squash, which somehow makes the dip taste even cheesier. Psst: This also makes a great sauce to drizzle on roasted squash (yes!).

12. Roasted Grape and Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted grapes are an unexpected salad ingredient you’re going to want to put on everything. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to double the mustardy vinaigrette either; it’ll come in handy for more salads and veggie dunking later in the week.

What are your favorite recipes with tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and squash? Let us know in the comments!

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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.