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Kid-Friendly Rainbow Pasta Salad

This rainbow veggie pasta is a perfect healthy lunchbox option for kids.
This rainbow veggie pasta is a perfect healthy lunchbox option for kids.Frances Largeman-Roth
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Lots of kids choose to go vegetarian or vegan at some point in their lives and parents are often stumped by what to pack for lunch when they do. They worry that their son or daughter isn’t getting enough protein and may be missing out on key nutrients. One easy way to boost the nutrition in a dish that kids like is by using pasta made with chickpeas. Compared to traditional pasta, chickpea pasta serves up an additional 6 grams of plant protein per serving, plus an extra 3 grams of fiber. This dish is great hot or cold, plus you can skip the Parmesan cheese if your kiddo is avoiding all animal products.


Rainbow Pasta Salad
  • 2 (8-ounce) boxes chickpea penne
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 10 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
  • cups snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)



Bring a large pot water to a boil. Salt the water liberally. 


Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain and set aside.


Place the cooled pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with the oil, vegetables, salt and pepper.


Add Parmesan (if using) and toss again. Add a serving into a lunchbox container and pack with a freezer pack. If reheating, heat at 30-second intervals on a medium-high setting.