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Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

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    Pasta salad for kids: An easy kid-friendly pasta salad that makes the perfect summer (or anytime) lunch idea for the whole family!

    This pasta salad recipe is the perfect lunch idea for busy moms; make ahead of time or in the morning before the kids are up, perfect for lunch boxes, and easy to customize based on your kid’s favorites.

    My kids love this pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, and everyone’s favorite mozarella pearls. I toss it in Italian or ranch dressing and serve cold so all the flavors have time to marinate together. But really, anything goes!

    Pasta Salad Ingredients

    Here are the basic ingredients to include in your pasta salad for kids.

    • Pasta: of course pasta is the base of your pasta salad recipe. I like to use tri-colored pasta so it looks more fun and choose bow-tie or rotini shaped pasta.
    • Veggies: pasta salad is a great way to add veggies into your child’s diet or even expose them to new veggies. My kids like cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and corn.
    • Cheese: shredded cheese is great, but take this recipe to the next level by using diced fresh mozarella or mozarella pearls. Feta is another great cheese option.
    • Dressing: our favorite is Italian dressing, but almost anything goes. Try butter, olive oil, oil & vinegar, ranch, or any other store-bough favorite.

    Read More > Toddler Peanut Butter Strawberry Banana Quesadillas

    kid-friendly pasta salad ingredients

    How to Serve Pasta Salad

    This pasta salad is best served cold, preferably chilled for at least two hours or even overnight. This makes sure that all the flavors have time to marinate together.

    Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad Recipe

    Kid-friendly pasta salad

    Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

    An easy and delicious kid-friendly pasta salad recipe that's perfect for the whole family.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 8 minutes
    Servings 8


    • 1 box pasta, cooked and cooled
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 cup corn (canned or thawed frozen corn)
    • 8 oz fresh mozarella pearls
    • 1/2 cup Italian dressing (more or less to taste)
    • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil optional


    • Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and cool. (I like to add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil to avoid sticking). Cool to keep cheese from melting.
    • While pasta is cooling, dice veggies.
    • Stir all ingredients together. Chill 2 or more hours (best if chilled overnight).

    Serving Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

    Below is how I serve kid-friendly pasta salad to my 2 and 4-year old. Pasta salad with grapes and chocolate graham cookies.

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