Easy and quick pasta recipes for kids

Pasta is a great meal option for kids for many reasons.

Pasta is a great meal option for kids for many reasons. It is quick and easy to make, it can be prepared in a variety of ways, and it is packed with nutrients that are essential for growing children.

When we say pasta and nothing more, we refer to Italian pasta made with semolina from durum wheat. The flour is mixed with water and egg to form a firm dough. Semolina pasta, made from durum wheat, is a great option for kids who are picky eaters. The pasta has a firm texture and a slightly nutty flavor that kids will love. There is also wholegrain wheat pasta.

Pasta contains high amounts of carbohydrates, which are the body's main source of energy, and essential nutrients all without having high amounts of fats. It is also a good source of protein, which is necessary for the growth and repair of tissues. In addition, pasta is a good source of iron, which is necessary for the production of haemoglobin, and folic acid, which is important for the development of the neural tube.

Other types of pasta for kids

Many types of pasta can be enjoyed by kids. Besides semolina patas, some of the most popular pasta varieties include:

  • lentil pasta
  • chickpea pasta
  • rice pasta
  • quinoa pasta

Each type of pasta has its unique taste and texture, so be sure to experiment to find the perfect pasta for your little ones. All of them can be used in recipes for Italian pasta.

Lentil pasta is made from red lentils and is a great option for kids who are looking for pasta with a bit more protein and iron than normal pasta. The pasta has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. It is gluten-free.

Chickpea pasta is made from chickpeas and is a great option for kids who are looking for pasta with a bit more fiber and iron. The pasta has a slightly earthy flavor and a firm texture. It does not contain gluten.

Rice pasta is made from rice flour and is a great option for kids who are allergic to wheat. The pasta has a mild flavor.

Quinoa pasta is made from quinoa flour and is also a great option for kids who are looking for pasta with a bit more protein. The pasta has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Quinoa pasta is gluten-free.

How do I spice up my simple pasta?

Pasta can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces and toppings. To make pasta meals more interesting for kids, you can try serving them with a side of vegetables. You can also try adding some sauces and fun toppings to their pasta dishes, such as grilled chicken, mozzarella balls, or Parmesan cheese. If your kids are picky eaters, you can try hiding some vegetables in their pasta sauce.

Some popular pasta sauce options include:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Pesto sauce

Toppings that can be added to pasta include:

  • Cheese
  • Meatballs
  • Sausage
  • Vegetables

Easy sauces for pasta

Some sauces for pasta are surprisingly healthy to prepare for all age groups. Each can be made before use or stored in advance. For larger portions, divide this sauce into two containers with ice. Once cooled, put it in a container in the refrigerator. Distribute into individual portions or into ice cube trays, if you like. Take out all air possible and freeze for up to six months. For one cube at a time, place the contents in a sealed storage container overnight.

Broccoli pesto

Making broccoli pesto is easy. You can make a little more and save leftover broccoli pesto for an upcoming dinner. It can double as pizza sauce.

Broccoli pesto recipe

Spinach pesto

It has a mellow pesto that works perfectly with most types of pasta. Try this tasty pesto with pasta or as a substitute for pizza sauce!

Spinach pesto recipe

Easy tomato sauce

Tomato sauces are healthy sauces for pasta. Making tomato sauce with pureed tomato saves time and energy. 

Tomato sauce recipe

12 healthy pasta recipes for kids to enjoy

Pasta can be an instant favourite for children. There are plenty of easy and quick pasta recipes that kids will love. One option is to make a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce and cheese. Another option is to make a creamy pasta dish with chicken and vegetables. For a more interesting pasta dish, you can try making pesto pasta, or pasta primavera. If your kids are picky eaters, you can try adding some fun shapes to their pasta dishes.

We have compiled some good pasta recipe ideas that kids can enjoy. Pasta e fagioli is a fully vegan and vegetarian recipe if you don´t add milk cheese. Pesto pasta salad, noodle salad with sesame seeds, straw and hay are vegetarian recipes; meatless recipes, not vegan because they use butter and cheese which are dairy products.

Bow tie ham and cheese

Pasta with cheese sauce has been a kid-pleaser since such a dish was served for the first time. This recipe uses a fancy pasta shape and adds some extra protein sure to benefit all active kids, especially those in after-school sports. Cooked peas are a good extra ingredient for this recipe.

Pasta with ham and cheese sauce recipe

Pesto pasta salad

Take it for sharing at the potluck or barbecue. It is a convenient meal choice for a family dinner or a light meal.

To make it, combine pesto with a little water from cooking pasta. Add to a salad bowl with boiled fusilli with cherry tomatoes, baby spinach or blanched broccoli florets, and pitted olives. Toss.

Noodle salad with sesame seeds

This pasta salad tastes delicious either warm or chilled.

Noodle pasta salad with sesame seeds recipe

Alphabet soup

Various ingredients make it easy to prepare and enjoy pasta with your kids, and ABC pasta certainly helps. Chicken noodle soup can be made with any type of pasta, not only noodles. The broth in this recipe is made only with chicken breast meat so there is no risk of finding bits of bone or skin.

Chicken noodle soup

Pasta with butternut squash sauce

It's a simple recipe for autumn and winter and is the perfect winter squash recipe for the young ones. Prepare the sauce, cook the pasta as instructed in the package and mix together. This sauce complements best pumpkin ravioli. Add some Italian sausage to make it a one dish dinner.

Butternut squash sauce for pasta

Pasta with summer squash

Make a quick and simple pasta recipe for your children. The dish is easy to make and a great alternative to pasta made from tomatoes.

Skillet summer squash and pasta recipe

Alfredo bacon and pasta (with peas)

This is a pasta recipe that will last a lifetime. Add cooked peas or other vegetable to make it more nutritious. Children can help cook this and they will remember the good times they had learning how to prepare it.

Alfredo bacon and pasta recipe

Straw and hay

This dish is simple to make and perfect for kids and for the whole family. Combining plain pasta and spinach pasta makes the dish look more colorful and interesting. Serve with butter and grated cheese, with tomato sauce, or add mushrooms and vegetables to the sauce.

Straw and hay recipe

Pasta with clams and broccoli florets

This recipe for pasta with clams and broccoli florets contributes a wide spectrum of essential nutrients to your family's daily diet, such as vitamins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and 6 essential fatty acids.

Pasta with clams and broccoli recipe

Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is classic comfort food and is not only children who love it. This dish is easy to make and can be tailored to children's liking. You can add different types of cheese, meat or vegetables to the mix to create a unique and delicious mac and cheese dish every time. Use yellow cheese according to children's coloring requirements.

Mac and cheese recipe that kids can cook

Spaghetti and meatballs

This dish is easy to make and is always a hit with both kids and adults. The great thing about spaghetti and meatballs is that there's no wrong way to make them.

Spaghetti and meatballs recipe

Pasta e fagioli

Mix pasta, beans and tomato sauce and you have a nutritious vegetarian meal. Pasta e fagioli is an old Italian dish that the peasants ate because it was easy to make, inexpensive, and hearty. It does not need grated Parmesan cheese, serve it with crusty Italian bread to mop the sauce.

Pasta e fagioli

Tuna and pasta bake

A quick tuna casserole that everyone in the family will like for dinner, with added broccoli for more nutrition.

Tuna and pasta bake recipe

More questions about kid-friendly pasta

How good is pasta for kids?

Pasta is a great meal option for kids because it's easy to make and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Plus, pasta is packed with nutrients that are essential for growing children.

  • Pasta is a good source of energy for kids because it contains carbohydrates
  • Pasta is a good source of protein for kids as it has 10-15 g of protein for 100 g of dry pasta. Fresh pasta has more protein than dry pasta.
  • Pasta is low in fat and calories
  • Wholegrain pasta has a good amount of fiber.
  • White pasta cooked and cooled is healthier because part of the starch becomes resistant starch that is not absorbed. Better if it is cooled and reheated.
  • Pasta contains vitamins and minerals, wholegrain pasta has more vitamins than white pasta.

Which pasta is good for toddlers?

When your toddler is ready to start chewing solids, one of the first foods you may introduce is pasta. It's a common first food because it's easy to chew and digest. But with all the different types of pasta out there, which one is the best for your toddler?

When it comes to pasta, there are two main types: long and short. Spaghetti is long and thin, while penne is short and tubular. Both are made from durum wheat flour, water, and eggs. The difference in shape means that spaghetti will take longer for your toddler to eat, but it will also be easier for them to pick it up with a fork. Penne, on the other hand, is easier to eat but can be more difficult for toddlers to pick up.

If you're not sure which type of pasta to choose, a good rule of thumb is to go with spaghetti if your child is 18-24 months old and penne if they're older than 2 years.

What dishes can be made from pasta?

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods around. You can make pasta dishes with a variety of sauces, vegetables, meats and cheeses. There are comforting oven dishes and cool pasta salads.

What is the easiest type of pasta to make?

Just boil the pasta and add the minimum amount of ingredients.

Spaghetti with butter and grated cheese

Cook the pasta, drain and put back in the warm pan. Add small chunks of butter and mix, the butter will melt. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top before serving.

Pasta carbonara

Cook the pasta, drain and put it back in the warm pan. Mix in beaten egg or beaten egg yolk and freshly cooked bacon, crumbled, or guananciole. The egg cooks because the pasta is still warm.

Any type of pasta with simple tomato sauce

Now is the time to put to the test that tomato pasta sauce recipe I shared before. Make some, and then cook the pasta, drain and mix into warm tomato sauce. That's easy, lean and healthy.

You can place the pasta into an oven pan, dot the surface with butter, sprinkle some grated cheese and cook in a moderate oven 30 minutes. This is a much more comforting dish, it also has more fat.

Any type of pesto with pasta

Cook the pasta, drain and put it back in the pan. Mix with your favorite pesto recipe. We have shared some above or use the classic pesto genovese.

Pasta Caprese

Cook the pasta, drain and place it on a serving dish. Add fresh mozzarella, sliced, sliced tomatoes or whole cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil.

Pasta salad

Cook the pasta, drain and place it on a salad bowl. Allow it to cool. Mix in your favorite dressing, minimum some olive oil, and add tomatoes, salad leaves, cooked chicken, diced ham, canned tuna or whatever ingredients you fancy.

Can babies have chickpea pasta?

Babies close to 12 months old can have cooked pureed chickpeas. They could also have chickpea pasta pureed in the sauce. I would give them whole chickpea pasta when they are toddlers and they can chew properly.

What pasta can I give my 9-month-old?

Most 9-year-month-old babies do not chew very well yet. If they are already having gluten cereals and eggs, the best option for them is pasta pureed into a sauce or a soup with tiny pasta shapes.

What do I do with the pasta water?

The pasta water is the liquid in which the pasta was boiled. It is wate with some salt and some starch from the pasta. Use some of this water if you need to thin the sauce for the pasta. You can also add it to a soup or stew. It is very good to use this water to make bread, if you make your own.

Pasta is good food for kids

The benefits of eating pasta for growing children are many. Pasta is a good source of energy, it is packed with nutrients that are essential for growth and development, and it is an easy and quick meal option. When choosing a pasta dish for your kids, be sure to select one that is low in salt and fat. Also, be sure to add some vegetables or fruit to their plate to make it a complete meal. By doing this, you will ensure that your kids are getting all of the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly.

I have shared our favorite pasta recipes for kids and hope your children will love them as much as mine. I am sure all the recipes are kid friendly. I hope you will enjoy many happy family dinners while making good use of these pasta recipes.

The other think kids like as much as pasta is cookies, check our fun cookies to make with kids and easy cookies to make for kids.

Find as well tasty and wholesome recipes that are easy enough for kids to make on their own will help young chefs build confidence in the kitchen and develop essential cooking skills.