Pack our healthy and colorful pasta salad that’s loaded with veggies for lunch. It’s easy to make, stores well, and is a lot more fun than a PB & J!
Oodles and oodles of noodles with a heaping helping of chopped baby kale, spinach, and chard, sweet yellow cherry tomatoes that taste like candy, and some spicy basil, tossed with a generous splash of tangy white wine vinegar and lemon dressing. This tri colored garden pasta salad is like opening a box of edible sunshine.
Wouldn’t you have been thrilled to find this in your lunch box when you were a kid? I know I would have been. Tri colored corkscrew shaped noodles are fun! And making school lunch fun is half of the battle of getting your kiddos to eat it. The other half is that the food has to taste good, and this pasta salad doesn’t disappoint.
The dressing in this recipe is slightly tangy, with a hint of lemon. The Italian seasonings make it savory, but not heavy. And there’s a smidgeon of olive oil in it to help the dressing stick to the noodles. It’s just super bright, light and tasty, especially when you get a bite of the super sweet and juicy tomatoes. It has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, savory, and salty.
Don’t worry if your kids don’t like spinach, kale, and chard, the greens are so finely chopped that they’re barely noticeable, they just kind of stick to the pasta, but they aren’t obvious. If they object to it tell them that it’s confetti to make eating the pasta feel like a party. And who doesn’t like a party?
You can eat this healthy tri colored garden pasta salad hot or cold, both ways are fabulous. It’s all a matter of taste. I ate my first bowl while it was hot, and the second straight out of the refrigerator. I do have to say that the longer the dressing is allowed to soak into the pasta, the better it is.
Has school started where you live? Our schools start on Monday and I’m so happy that I don’t have to worry about getting my kids ready for the big day. As much as I loved taking the first day of school pictures and seeing the excitement on their sweet faces, I’m happy that I don’t have to worry about packing lunches, carpooling, and making sure homework is done. However, I have enjoyed eating all of the back to school lunch ideas that I’ve created this week. Food blogging definitely has its perks.
In case you missed the other back to school lunch recipes that I posted this week, here they are, plus a few more ideas that I dug up in the archives that I thought you might like.
When does school start in your area?
Are you a hot or cold pasta lover?
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- 1 pound box of tri colored pasta
- 2 large handfuls of super greens I bought a large bag of organic mixed baby kale, spinach, and chard – finely chopped
- 2 cups of yellow cherry tomatoes – sliced
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil – finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground sea salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
- Pasta salad:
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the pasta, drain, and put in a large bowl. Put the finely chopped super greens, basil, tomatoes, and dressing over the pasta and toss until combined. Refrigerate in an air tight container. May be eaten hot or cold.
The Nutrition Facts are an estimate only.