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Top 10 Favorite Recipes for Youth Group Activities

If you work in youth ministries, you’ve probably prepared a lot of food.

Of course, youth ministries is more than food.  It’s about encouraging hearts who are often trying to navigate the turbulent waters of adolescence, affirming the love of God to kids who often don’t feel good enough or accepted.

It’s about loving kids when they are unlovable and teaching truth at appropriate times, gauging when your listener if ready and able to receive it. And it’s about enjoying life together as joint heirs and members of the same body of Christ.

It’s about encouraging moms (and dads) to persevere in truth, and being a listener and friend when they struggle in this fallen flesh as we all do.

teenagers drinking soda 1950s

But, no doubt, food for teens is huge. I’ve had several friends ask me to share some of my go-to recipes for feeding our youth group, so here you go.

1. Pizza. 

My dough recipe: (makes one crust)

1 cup warm water

1 pkg. yeast

1 T. sugar

Dissolve these three together. Allow to sit until surface looks “bubbly” so you know the yeast activated.

Stir in 3 cups flour, 2 T olive oil, 1 T. salt. Knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl to rise, about an hour.

Spread into pizza pan that has been heavily greased with Crisco. Add toppings: sauce, cheese, garlic powder, oregano.

Pizza sauce (this is enough for two pizzas)

I make my own pizza sauce by draining the water out of a can of crushed tomatoes. Then I saute 2 cloves or garlic in olive oil, add the tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, and 1 T sugar. Cook until thick and dark, about 10 minutes. I throw in some chopped parsley at the last minute and add some black pepper if I feel like it.

I bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is slightly bubbly and browning.

2. Cranberry Meatballs

In a crock pot, mix 2 bags frozen Swedish meatballs, 2 cans Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce, 2 jars Heinz chili sauce (NOT cocktail sauce which looks similar.)

Cook several hours on high in crock pot, stirring to cover the meatballs occasionally.

3. Cranberry Kielbasa

Slice 2 pkg Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa into 1/2 inch slices. Fry in a large frying pan until mostly cooked. Add a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and 2 T. brown sugar.

Easy and delish.


4. Taco Salad with Doritos 

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 sm. onion, diced
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 lg. bottle Catalina salad dressing (16 oz.)
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 med. size bag Doritos, crushed
3 med. tomatoes
Large bag of iceberg lettuce salad
Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning mix according to package directions. After cooking, drain excess liquid.
In a large bowl combine meat, chopped onion, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. Add crushed corn chips. Toss to coat together with Catalina salad dressing. 
5. White Chocolate Covered Chex Mix :: this recipe is just like mine but I don’t use Cheerios. I double the Chex Mix. And I never measure, so… :)
6. Ice Cream Pie. Easy. Chocolate cookie graham cracker crusts, filled with softened ice cream. Freeze. You can drizzle with with hot fudge and garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy before serving.
7. Chocolate Chip cookies.  This is the recipe I use.
8. Buffalo Chicken Dip. An all time favorite with our teens. I don’t use canned chicken. I just boil a few chicken breasts and shred them myself.
9. Soda floats. Root beer, coke,  or orange soda, over ice and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum. 
10. Just like Sonic Cherry Limeade. We make these by using a bottle of Sprite, 1/4 c grenadine syrup, the juice of 4 freshly squeezed limes, and small jar of maraschino cherries, juice and all.