Skip to content

Last-Minute Pasta Salad

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

200g pasta of choice (wholegrain if possible, gluten free if needed)

2 peppers, finely chopped or sliced

2 tbsp pesto

½ cucumber, diced

2 handfuls pitted olives

4 spring onions, finely sliced, optional

50g Cheddar cheese (or your favourite cheese), cut into small cubes, optional

Salt & pepper, to taste

Drizzle of oil (olive is best, but use what you have)

Veg Portions / Serving: 2

Share:

Need a quick midweek dinner, simple lunch or veg-packed lunchbox? This veg filled pasta salad is perfect and easy to adapt. Great for using up the bits and bobs of veg in your fridge at the end of the week!

Method:

Cook your pasta according to the package instructions, usually simmering for about 5-10 mins (this can be done the night before and kept in the fridge).

While the pasta is cooking, chop your veg and cheese, if using. Drain the cooked pasta and rinse under cold water to help it cool quickly if not making ahead. Mix everything together and serve or chill until ready to use.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

The eventual aim, if possible, is to get kids in the kitchen. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean they are with you from start-to-end creating mess and rising stress levels! It can be as simple as giving them one small job (stirring, measuring, pouring, grating, chopping…) ideally involving veg. They can come in to do their little bit, and have fun with you for a few minutes. Getting them involved, making it playful and praising them plenty for their involvement, perhaps even serving it as dinner they “made”, makes it much more likely they will eat the food offered, not to mention teaching them important life skills. Find ideas, safety tips, videos and even a free chart in our Kids in the Kitchen section here.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Similar recipes

Easy Homemade Tomato Salsa

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Leftover Veg Salad | Veg Power

Leftover veg curried salad

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Zoe’s Summer-on-a-Stick Salad Sticks with Yogurt-Mint Dip

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Zoe Griffiths

Burrito Salad | Veg Power

Burrito Rice Salad

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright