5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads

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These 5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads will be a hit with your little one, and will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time!

Raise your hand if you have a child who loves pasta! I’m right there with you. My three year-old asks for pasta nearly every night of the week.

While I don’t acquiesce every time, I do like to serve whole wheat pasta often, along with fresh, vibrant veggies that nourish her body with lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Instead of turning to a box of mac and cheese for pasta night, I like to cook up a half a pound of whole wheat or gluten free pasta, add in tons of veggies, and toss with some healthy fats.

Sometime I add beans or cheese for extra fiber and protein. It all depends on what we have on hand and what she’s in the mood for eating. I keep the sauce super simple; usually a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or melted butter does the trick. Cooking half a pound of pasta at once also ensures we’ll have leftovers, which can be gently reheated for lunch the next day.

You can easily adapt all of these kid-friendly pasta salads depending on your child’s dietary needs. Use olive oil and omit cheese for a dairy-free dish. Choose gluten free pasta if you like. And if you’re soy-free, you can swap in peas for shelled edamame in the Soba, Broccoli, and Edamame Salad, and use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce. All of these pasta salads are naturally vegetarian and nut-free.

Also, go nuts with pasta shapes! Let your own creativity and pantry be your guide.

Kid-Friendly Note

Some kids are still learning to like foods all-mixed-up. If this sounds like yours, try deconstructing the pasta salad. Serve the cooked pasta, peeled or chopped veggies, beans, and cheese separately on his plate with the sauce on the side for dipping.

5 Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads

5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads. 5 pasta salads for the whole family!

Confetti Macaroni Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or gluten free macaroni
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen, defrosted peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli to the boiling water (along with the cooking pasta) during the last minute of cooking.
2. Drain the pasta and broccoli. Then toss together with the carrots, peas, and bell pepper. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, sprinkle with cheese and then serve warm.

5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads. 5 pasta salads for the whole family!

Southwestern Penne Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or gluten free penne
  • 1/2 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen defrosted or fresh corn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Then Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt.
  3. Toss together the warm cooked pasta, beans, pepper, corn and also the dressing. Then serve warm.
5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads. 5 pasta salads for the whole family!

Soba, Broccoli and Edamame Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound 100% buckwheat soba noodles, whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup frozen, defrosted shelled edamame (or substitute peas for a soy-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos (for a soy-free option)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli to the boiling water (along with the cooking pasta) during the last minute of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli. Then set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking whisk together the tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos with the honey and olive oil until well combined.
  3. Finally, toss together the warm cooked noodles, broccoli, edamame, and dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, then serve warm or at room temperature.
5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads. 5 pasta salads for the whole family!

Peas, Carrots, and Orzo Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or gluten free orzo
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen, defrosted peas
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions and then drain.
  2. Then toss warm pasta with the carrots, peas, cheese and olive oil or melted butter and then serve warm.
5 Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Pasta Salads. 5 pasta salads for the whole family!

Tomato, Chickpea, Cheddar and Shells 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or gluten free pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions and then drain.
  2. Toss warm pasta with the tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese and olive oil and finally, serve warm or at room temperature.

Confetti Macaroni Salad

4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Confetti Macaroni Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 283kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup broccoli, florets
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 cup green peas, frozen
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, red
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounce macaroni pasta, dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Chop broccoli into bite size pieces; peel and chop carrot; thaw peas; chop red bell pepper; and grate the Parmesan.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli during the last minute of cooking.
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli; toss together with the carrots, peas, and bell pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 192mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g
5 quick and easy kid friendly pasta salads

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2 Comments

5 stars
Simple and pretty good. I have little kids in so I briefly cooked the broccoli, carrots and red pepper to make it easier to eat. Next time I’ll add black olives too.