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Kids lunchbox pasta salad

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Super easy kids lunch box idea – kids pasta salad that squeezes in three portions of fruit and veggies!

Kids Lunch Box Ideas

Looking for lunchbox pasta ideas? We’ve teamed up with Iceland using the #PowerOfFrozen to create a quick and easy kids lunchbox pasta salad.

Once the kids start back to school, family life becomes hectic but I still like to squeeze in time to make nice lunch.

And kids just love cold pasta salads for lunch, they make a nice change to sandwiches and wraps.

The kids just love cold pasta recipes for school lunches.

This quick kids lunchbox pasta salad recipe using frozen peas and corn, alongside tinned pineapple chunks.

And that means I can pack 3 portions of fruit and vegetables into this really simple lunchbox recipe.

Kids Pasta Salad Ingredients

Pasta for school lunch is always a good idea, especially if your kids aren’t all that keen on sandwiches.

ingredients for lunchbox pasta salad in small bowls on a wooden chopping board - sweetcorn, frozen peas, fusilli pasta, sun dried tomato pesto, chopped ham, pineapple cubes
  • 50g dried pasta shapes – kids seem to like fusilli or penne for pasta salad but you can just use whatever shaped pasta you have in.
  • 50g frozen peas – you could just use a peas and corn mix and use a total of 100g rather than weighing the vegetables out separately.
  • 50g frozen corn
  • 50g pineapple cubes – my kids love pineapple in pasta salad – it kinda has that Hawaiian pizza flavour vibe.
  • 1 slice ham – chopped into bitesized pieces
  • 2 tsp sun dried tomato pesto – feel free to swap this to green pesto if your kids like that one better.

How to make kids lunchbox pasta salad

To make our pasta lunchbox you’ll just need about 15 minutes.

  • Put the pasta, peas and corn into a pan of boiling water – bring the pan back to the boil and cook for around 10 minutes until the pasta is soft.
black le creuset saucepan filled with pasta, peas, corn and water on a wooden chopping board next to a small white bowl of sun dried tomato pesto
  • Drain the cooked pasta, peas and corn in a colander then run them under a cold tap to cool them down quickly.
small joseph joseph green colander filled with cooked pasta, peas and corn being run under a cold tap to cool it down quickly
  • Put the cold pasta, peas and corn into a mixing bowl.
bright green joseph joseph mixing bowl filled with cooked fusilli pasta, peas and sweetcorn with small white bowl of sun dried tomato pesto next to the bowl
  • Tip the pineapple cubes in with the pasta and stir in gently.
bright green joseph joseph mixing bowl filled with cooked fusilli pasta, peas, sweetcorn and pineapple cubes
  • Tip the chopped ham into the pasta salad.
bright green joseph joseph mixing bowl filled with cooked fusilli pasta, peas, sweetcorn, pineapple cubes and chopped ham
  • Add the sun dried tomato pesto to the mixing bowl and stir everything together gently to coat all the ingredients in the pesto.
bright green joseph joseph mixing bowl filled with cooked fusilli pasta, peas, sweetcorn, pineapple cubes, chopped ham and a spoonful of sun dried tomato pesto
  • Tip the pasta salad into lunchboxes and serve.

Be sure when making pasta and rice salad that you follow food hygiene guidelines – cool the rice/pasta quickly and store it at the appropriate temperature – even when packed in lunch boxes – rice needs to be stored at less than 5 degrees C. 

Get loads of lunch recipes and ideas here

girl eating lunchbox pasta salad from a yellow bowl with a green spork

Get lots more delicious, healthy kid friendly recipes here

Make Kids Pasta Salad Recipe Your Way

Okay – we’ve shown you the basic pasta for packed lunch, that we use for a quick and easy lunch box recipe.

You can mix things up and change the ingredients to suit your own likes and dislikes. Try…

  • don’t fancy ham, use Iceland chargrilled chicken strips instead, just defrost and they’re ready to eat!
  • go vegetarian and add mini mozzarella balls or a handful of grated cheese and skip the meat altogether.

Ways to Serve Pasta Salad 

Pasta lunch ideas for kids

  • great for school lunchboxes – you can make this pasta and pack it up into boxes the night before ready to just grab and go in the morning.
  • turn the pasta salad into after school pasta snack pots. Make up a few pots and they’ll keep in the fridge for a 48 hours ready for the kids to grab when they get home from school hungry.

For more #PowerOfFrozen lunchbox recipes try….

If you like the idea of using frozen food to make quick and easy lunch box recipes then we’ve rounded up some great recipes below for you to try.

Lunch Box Snack Ideas

Kids are always super hungry by lunchtime so it’s a good idea to add in a couple of lunch box snacks alongside lunch.

Try adding any of the snacks below alongside the little pasta salads.

  • Piece of fruit – banana, apple, pears, berries, melon slices.
  • Homemade scones – these are nice spread with butter and a little strawberry jam.
homemade cinnamon raisin cookies.
little snack pots filled with dip and vegetable sticks

Get more snack recipes here

  • Crackers with cheese – make up a little stack of cheese and crackers to put in alongside the pasta salad.
  • Cheese sticks – just slice up little batons of cheese for the kids to snack on.
  • Yogurt – you can make up little yogurt pots with fruit, natural yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Get lots of fresh and healthy salad recipes here

Yield: Serves 1-2

Kids Lunchbox Pasta Salad

kids pasta salad with ham, peas sweetcorn and pineapple.

Super easy kids lunch box idea – kids pasta salad that squeezes in three lots of fruit and veggies!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 50g fusilli pasta 
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 50g frozen sweetcorn
  • 50g pineapple cubes 
  • 1 slice ham 
  • 2tsp sun dried tomato pesto


  1. Put the pasta, peas and sweetcorn in a saucepan of boiling water - bring the pan back to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked.
  2. Drain the pasta and vegetables in a colander and then rinse them under cold water to cool them donw quickly.
  3. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a mixing bowl, add the pineapple cubes, chopped ham and pesto and mix everything together gently.
  4. Tip into lunchboxes


This will serve 1-2 children depending on appetite.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 633Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1504mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 48g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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kids lunch box pasta with pasta, peas, ham, pineapple and sweetcorn. Text overlay "kids lunch - lunch box pasta"

Grab our school packed lunch planner with menus here

If you’re stuck of packed lunch ideas for the kids – we’ve got a two week menu plan of packed lunch ideas for kids that are easy to make, delicious and healthy to eat.

printable school packed lunch ideas - weekly meal plan

Need some new packed lunch ideas? We’ve lots of delicious recipes here!

printable school lunchbox ideas

Hey – we hope you enjoy the recipe and when you cook it don’t forget to tag us your creations on Twitter @daisiesandpieUK or Instagram @daisiesandpie

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Iceland, For full details of my disclosure policy please read here. The Joseph Joseph nesting bowl set used to make this recipe was gifted for review in November 2017 – you can read the Joseph Joseph nesting bowl review here.

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