A simple, healthy, tasty lunch box pasta recipe suitable for children and adults.
I love to look at wonderfully creative images of lunch box ideas. I especially love the bento box style. I am positive that they would elicit a squeal of delight from any child who opens their lunch box to find such gorgeous creations awaiting them. However our family lunch boxes are not so glamorous. My rule when it comes to lunch boxes is – keep it simple, keep it healthy.
I do not have a lot of time to spend putting together an elaborate lunch box each day. We are usually a little rushed in the mornings and I prefer to spend the additional time on creating the family dinner. My general checklist for my son’s lunch box is:
- One roll/wrap or alternative – like the Lunch Box Pasta recipe below
- 2 – 3 serves of fruit: This may include one serve of dried fruit. I regularly dehydrate seasonal fruit to make fruit leathers and chips for snacks.
- One home baked item such as a muffin or piece of cake
- Plus one extra: This may be yogurt, plain popcorn, rice crackers and cheese, an item left over from dinner.
Lunch Box Pasta Recipe
This recipe is versatile as it can be made for school and work lunches, and can also be served warm as a side dish for dinner. The kids enjoy the little sweet pops of flavor from the cranberries, and the apple provides sweetness to the spinach.
- 200 grams pasta of choice – I used Farfalle
- 90 grams fresh spinach
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium apple – grated and cored
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 50 grams ricotta (approximately)
- Set a pot of water to boil on the stove.
- Add the pasta to cook for the duration specified on the packet instructions.
- Add the spinach, garlic, oil and apple to a food processor to combine to a thick paste.
- Drain the pasta and stir through the spinach pesto while it is warm.
- Add the cranberries.
- You can then either stir the ricotta through while warm which will result in a creamier pasta, or wait until the pasta cools and add it to serve as per the image above.
For more lunch box ideas, check out these related recipes;