This is a guide on easy lunch ideas pasta. Menu planning can sometimes be a challenge. It can feel like you are constantly stuck on the same boring meals. Also, it can be difficult to come up with lunches that your kids will actually eat instead of complaining about. I’ve got some easy lunch ideas pasta I’d like to share with you so that you’ll have some new quick and easy go-to meals for your family. I’ve included a few easy lunch ideas pasta recipes just because they go so well together with sandwiches or sliced cheese. There’s also the choice between some vegetables, you could also add on some ham strips and corn chips into your sandwiches if you want to go even further with your creations.
Easy Lunch Ideas Pasta
Looking for healthy pasta recipes? Whether you’re on the 5:2 diet or want to find nourishing midweek meals, we have plenty of healthy pasta dishes for you to try.
When eaten in moderation, pasta can easily form part of a balanced and healthy diet. Whether a meat eater or a vegan, you can support your health with delicious and nutrient-rich toppings or sauces which add more vitamins and minerals, protein, calcium and good fats. Adding herbs to your pasta dishes, such as basil, thyme or oregano, is also an excellent way to boost the nutritional density of your dish, as they are naturally anti-inflammatory and provide benefits against heart disease and diabetes.
From lighter linguine to super-simple low-fat spaghetti, we have the best pasta ideas to make healthy meals with spaghetti, penne pasta, pasta shells and more.
Best healthy pasta recipes
1. Baked Orzo With Harissa Prawns
Flavour prawns with harissa, dill, garlic and lemon, then serve swirled through orzo pasta for a speedy but sophisticated midweek dinner
olive oil 1 tbsp
onion 1, finely chopped
garlic 1 clove, sliced
cherry tomatoes 200g
vegetable stock 200g
harissa paste 1½ tbsp
kale, cavolo nero or spring greens 100g, sliced
dill ½ a small bunch, chopped
raw peeled prawns 250g
lemon 1, ½ juiced, ½ cut into wedges
Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes with a splash of water. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the tomatoes start bursting and turn saucy. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
Stir the orzo, stock, 1 tbsp harissa, greens and half the dill into the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Transfer to the oven, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until the orzo is just tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Toss the prawns with the remaining ½ tbsp harissa and a squeeze of lemon. Scatter over the orzo, and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Serve scattered with the remaining dill and lemon wedges to squeeze over
2. Chicken Pasta Salad
Throw together this quick and easy pasta salad using leftover chicken, tomatoes and greens for a protein-packed lunch or midweek dinner
olive oil 1 tbsp
red wine vinegar 2 tbsp
Tabasco a few dashes
red onion 1/2, thinly sliced
cherry or baby plum tomatoes 200g, halved
cooked chicken breasts 2, torn into pieces
rocket a handful
basil a handful, torn
Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water following pack instructions, then drain well. Put the oil, vinegar, Tabasco and lots of seasoning in a bowl, tip in the hot pasta and mix well. Once cooled slightly, add the red onion, tomatoes and chicken, and mix again. Chill.
When ready to serve, stir through the rocket and basil, and divide between bowls.
3. Avocado Fusilli Pasta
Avocados make salad dressings and ice creams super-creamy, so why not put them in a pasta sauce? It’s a great way of using up overly ripe avocados
garlic 2 cloves, peeled
baby spinach 200g
avocados 2 small ripe, halved and stoned
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
roasted cashews 30g, chopped
roasted almonds 30g, chopped
coriander a small bunch, chopped
feta 50g, (optional)
Cook the fusilli in a large pan of boiling, salted water following pack instructions.
Meanwhile, put the garlic and spinach in a blender with the avocado flesh. Add a drizzle of oil and season. Blitz a little, add a splash of the pasta cooking water and blitz until smooth. Leave the lid on the blender and put to one side.
Put the chopped cashews, almonds and coriander in a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, season and drizzle with oil.
Cut the other lime into wedges. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the cooking water, and tip back into the pan, adding a few splashes of the water. Pour over the sauce and toss together, seasoning to taste. Divide between plates, spoon over the nut dressing, crumble over the feta (if using) and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.
4. Spicy Prawn Linguine
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. This spicy prawn linguine has a spicy chilli kick to keep it interesting. It’s so delicious you’ll forget that you’re being virtuous
shallots 2, diced
ginger 1cm piece, peeled and grated
garlic 1 clove, crushed
chilli flakes a large pinch
chopped tomatoes 400g tin
flat-leaf parsley ½ bunch, chopped
raw peeled prawns 150g
rocket salad to serve
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan, add the shallots and fry for 2 minutes before adding the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes.
Fry for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until saucy.
Cook the linguine in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain.
Stir the parsley and the prawns into the tomato base, season well and cook until the prawns turn pink.
Add the cooked linguine, toss and serve.
5. Green Linguine
frozen peas 125g
frozen broad beans 50g
olive oil 1 tbsp
leek 1 small, finely sliced
dried chilli flakes 1 tsp
parmesan (or veggie alternative) 20g, grated, plus a little extra to serve
lemon 1/2, zested and juiced
mint a small bunch, shredded
Put the peas and broad beans into a bowl and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Leave for 1 minute, drain, and pod the broad beans. Take about ¾ of the peas and blend in a food processor or with a hand blender with 1 tbsp of water until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the leek with some seasoning for 8-10 minutes until soft. Stir in the chilli flakes, broad beans and remaining peas, and fry for 2 minutes. Cool slightly and put into a bowl with the pea purée, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning, and mix well.
Cook the linguine following pack instructions, reserving some cooking water.
Tip the pasta back into the pan and add the pea and leek mix, and a splash of the cooking water. Mix well and serve with the mint and more parmesan, if you like.
6. Pasta alla norma
aubergine 1 small, cut into 3cm cubes
extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp
onion ½, finely chopped
garlic 1 large clove, crushed
dried chilli flakes a pinch
plum tomatoes 400g tin
gluten-free penne 150g
parmesan (or veggie alternative) 20g, finely grated
basil a handful of leaves
Put the aubergine into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and tip in the aubergine. Cook, tossing regularly, for 5 minutes or until the aubergine is charred. Tip into a bowl.
Turn down the heat and fry the onion with a splash of water for 5 minutes or until translucent (add a little water if it starts to catch). Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for 2 minutes, then tip in the tomatoes and ½ a tin of water. Season well and use a masher to break up the large tomato pieces. Tip the aubergine back in and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and the aubergine is soft.
Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain well, reserving some of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the sauce and toss well, adding a little pasta water if it’s too thick. Add ¾ of the cheese and toss well, divide between bowls then top with the remaining cheese and the basil.
7. Healthy Salmon Pasta
wholewheat penne or other wholewheat pasta 240g
salmon 3 x 120g fillets
extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
onion 1, thinly sliced
garlic 2 cloves, crushed
vegetable stock 125ml
reduced-fat crème fraîche 100ml
frozen peas 200g
dill ½ a small bunch, roughly chopped
lemon 1, zested
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a metal colander or tiered steamer and add the salmon. Cover with a lid and leave the pasta to cook and the fish to steam for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and flake the salmon, removing the skin.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion is golden and softened. Add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the stock, crème fraîche and peas, stirring together then simmering for 2 minutes until the peas are just cooked through. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the salmon, half the dill and lemon zest, and toss to combine, seasoning well. Serve in warm bowls with more dill scattered over.