As the age-old saying goes: Kid cannot live on buttered noodles alone. That’s why we’ve combed through oodles of noodles recipes so you can keep your pasta-loving crowd happy and mix up your dinner routine! Scroll down for 54 recipes that put a new twist on classic pasta.
Quick & Easy Pasta Salad
A quick and easy veggie pasta salad that is perfect for a BBQ side dish or a light and refreshing main meal. Gluten free, but tastes great even the next day!
Spaghetti and Meatball Soup
The genius of this idea from Damn Delicious is that it takes your favorite pasta dish and turns it into an irresistible creamy soup. All it takes is 20 minutes to make, and you can always use store-bought meatballs. Snag the recipe here.
Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Skillet
This one’s a winner! Courtesy of Boulder Locavore, this recipe only takes 25 minutes and one pot to make. Plus, it’s like a cheeseburger in pasta form and guaranteed to be a kid hit. Get the recipe here.
Sausage Pepper Pasta
It’s easy to make a dynamite weeknight meal, thanks to this recipe from One Lovely Life. Roasted red peppers give it a little something extra, and your choice of sausage makes it a meal to remember. Get the recipe here.
Broccoli Pasta Bake
Homemade Instant Noodles
Make your own healthier version of those instant cup-o-noodles with this recipe from Kitchen Sanctuary. It’s easy to adjust the spices and seasoning to suit your family—and it’s an excellent option when you need a meal on the quick! Get the recipe here.
Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta
Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Can you keep a secret? This oh-so-tasty pasta dish from The Vegan Year only uses two tablespoons of oil and no cream! So when you need a healthy dinner option, this dish has you covered. Get the recipe here.
Salmon with Creamy Lemon Spaghetti
Love lemon and salmon? Kitchen Sanctuary combines those divine flavors into a quick and easy meal! Tangy and refreshing, it even includes some sugar snap peas for an added healthy kick. Get the recipe here.
Ham and Cheese Pasta Rollup Gratin
Get your hands on fresh pasta sheets (you can usually find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store) and whip up these creative pasta rollups from The View from Great Island. Add your favorite deli meat and top everything off with a cheesy gratin! Get the recipe here.
Japanese Vegetable Noodle Soup
One Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Chicken Caesar Salad
If your kiddos are fans of Caesar salad, then you’ll want to give this idea from Life Made Simple a try. Instead of anchovies, it’s loaded with crisp romaine, pasta, herbed chicken, ripe cherry tomatoes and lots of cheese. Get the recipe here.
Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna
Bust out the crock pot for this low-carb version of a pasta fave: lasagna! The recipe comes courtesy of Well Plated and features cottage cheese and tons of veggies. It’s a great option for busy weekdays! Get the recipe here.
Peanut Sesame Noodles and Veggies
Creamy Parmesan Orzo
You’d better bookmark this recipe from Life Made Simple because we guarantee it’s the orzo of your dreams. Creamy, garlic-y, and made in 30 minutes, it’s gonna be your new go-to pasta. Get the recipe here.
Pasta Meatball Soup
This revamped spaghetti carbonara from Evan of Gourmet Dough is the ultimate creamy comfort food. You can omit the wine for your littlest eaters or even add extra cheese for an extra yummy meal. Get the recipe here.
One-Pot Black Bean Enchilada Pasta
Hawaiian Pasta Salad
This delicious pasta salad pairs perfectly with burgers and barbecue food, but we’re pretty sure kids will be glad to gobble it up with any main. To grab the full recipe, click here.
Chicken Apple Pasta Primavera
Bulk up your pasta dinner by adding some chicken apple sausage, zucchini, and yellow squash. To get the full recipe, click here.
Baked Penne Pasta
Warm up with this delish recipe for baked pasta. A base of Alfredo sauce is the perfect blank canvas for chicken, veggies, and whatever other mix-ins your fam likes. Click here for the full recipe.
Lemony Tuna Pasta with Fennel, Capers and Olives
If your kiddos are fans of tuna salad, chances are they’ll also love this twist on the dish. Capers, lemon juice and fresh basil round it all out. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Pasta with Cream and Ham
Instead of plain buttered pasta, go for this super simple recipe that comes together in just 20 minutes. Find out how it’s done by clicking here.
Chicken & Veggie Pasta Casserole
Use red peppers, zucchini, and chicken in this yummy casserole that’s perfect for a busy week. It makes enough for leftovers, too! Click here to grab the recipe.
Baked Roasted Veggie Pasta
A feast for the eyes and the belly, this dish is a surefire hit with the kids. The sweet roasted veggies paired with feta cheese and basil make for a perfect combination. Get all the details by clicking here.
Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta
Whip up this guaranteed crowd-pleaser using fresh tomatoes and basil, and add zucchini, chicken, or anything else you’ve got in the fridge to round out the meal. Click here for the full recipe.
Pasta with Peas and Bacon
Go back to basics with a tried-and-true, kid-approved recipe. For those nights when the tots are fussing, and the clock is ticking, you can’t go wrong with this 30-minute meal. To see the full recipe, click here.
Baked Cheesy Winter Squash Pasta
Take advantage of in-season squash to warm up with this amazing dish. The cheesy crust makes it an instant kid fave. To grab the recipe, click here.
This yummy take on the classic jambalaya packs an extra punch of healthiness with the addition of veggie puree. Even picky kiddos will love noshing on the yummy sausage and shrimp. Click here to get the recipe.
Whip up a colorful pasta salad using whatever veggies you’ve got on hand. This version uses gluten-free pasta to keep sensitive tummies happy. Click here for the full recipe.
Pasta al Pastore
This comforting dish comes together in a flash using just five ingredients. Flavorful Italian sausage and ricotta cheese are the stars of the show. Get the full recipe by clicking here.
Bacon, eggs and parmesan cheese—what more could you need? Keep things simple with a delicious bowl of pasta carbonara. Find out how it’s done by clicking here.
One Pot Tomato Chicken Pasta
The phrase “one pot meal” is music to our ears, and this delish dish is no exception. With cheese, chicken, and mushrooms, we’re pretty sure this one will be an instant hit in your house. To grab the recipe, click here.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
Our kiddos go crazy for pesto, and this yummy recipe is a weeknight savior—the addition of chicken breast makes it a filling but quick meal. To find out how it’s done, click here.
Penne with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese
If you think your child is a squash scaredy cat Stacie and Simran have got you covered! This recipe features great tips on how to disguise the squash and other non-traditional kids' foods to make this dish extra pleasing to the picky palate. Get the recipe here.
Have you ever read the list of ingredients on one of those “helper” boxes? We can honestly say that we don’t know what half of those words mean. That’s not the case here. This skillet lasagna, which comes to us from Our Family Eats, is full of wholesome, nutritious ingredients that come together to create a creamy, comforting plate of deliciousness. Get the recipe here.
Give your ravioli a flavor boost with a heaping of yummy meat sauce. After making the ravioli and pasta sauce like you normally would, stick everything in the oven in a baking dish. The outcome is a tasty twist on your traditional ravioli dish. This recipe comes to us courtesy of Laughter and Grace. Get the recipe here.
Creamy, warm, and um, healthy fettuccine Alfredo? Yep! The secret to this recipe is sneaking in spinach to the sauce and adding grilled chicken to the side. Carbs, veggies, and protein--you've got yourself a kid-pleasing twist on the classic (and unhealthy) fettuccine Alfredo. Special thanks to Frou Frou & Frills for the recipe! Get the recipe here.
Chicken Pizza Pasta Bake
It can be tough to convince kids to eat anything beyond their beloved pizza or pasta. Combine these two popular meals and add healthy chicken to create a tasty, simple single-dish meal like this one from Abbe’s Cooking Antics. Get the recipe here.
Nut-Free Basil Pesto Pasta
If your kids have nut allergies, or their school is a nut-free zone, then this easy basil pesto pasta dish is just what lunchtime ordered. The recipe, courtesy of the awesome book The 52 New Foods Challenge, is easy to whip up and features sunflower seeds instead of the standard pine nuts. Get the recipe here.
Tricolor Pasta Salad
It doesn't happen that often but sometimes all it takes to get our kids to eat their meal is switching up the look of it. Try out this tricolor pasta salad, which we came adapted from Melissa d'Arabian's recipe found here. With vegetables and a sour cream, parmesan mix we can't get enough of the deliciousness. Get the recipe here.
Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna
Catherine McCord of Weelicious is a wealth of information when it comes to kid-friendly recipes. Her Crock Pot veggie lasagna exemplifies her ability to come up with tasty dishes that will please the picky palate and the busy mom. This recipe is a must-make for any parent pressed on time and with hungry stomachs lying in wait.
Get the recipe here.
If your kids love Italian food as much as ours do, then this Baked Ziti recipe (spotted at Sisters Gourmet) is sure to be a hit. Think of it like a lasagna, but with more cheese and more creamy goodness–all things that kids love. This is a great dish to make ahead and bake when needed. Get the recipe here.
Pasta with Fresh Pesto
This recipe, courtesy of The Budding Cook, is a cinch. No joke. It takes less than 15 minutes to make and the end result is fresh, basil pesto pasta that your kids will gobble up. Get the recipe here.
Creamy Avocado Pasta
Instead of opening a jar of pasta sauce, keep things fresh with an avocado-based topping. Garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil round out the dish—click here for the full recipe.
Sometimes nothing hits the spot more than a no-frills vegetable pasta dish, brought to us by PDXFoodLove. We like that the veggies can always be switched out for whatever you have on hand. Served hot or cold, this dish is delicious either way. Get the recipe here.
One Pot Wonder: Tomato Basil Pasta
It’s no wonder this one-pot recipe won us over. Who wouldn’t want an awesome pasta dish that only gets one pot dirty? Bonus: It's got kid-friendly ingredients and isn't too fancy. Get the how-to here.
Spinach and Avocado Pesto Pasta
Traditional pesto gets a makeover with this recipe! Made from only fruits, vegetables, and herbs, this alternative to our usual pasta recipe is healthy, tasty, and fresh for summer. Get the recipe here.
Mac and Cheese
You'll never go back to boxed mac and cheese again, thanks to this recipe from The Culinary Dude. This recipe features three kinds of cheese and after one bite of this dish, you'll be hooked.
Get the recipe here.
Baked Penne Pasta with Roasted Chicken & Tomatoes
Baked pasta can be a welcome change from your normal go-to boiled bowl of goodness. This recipe, courtesy of Everyday Occasions, still asks for your usual cheese but also mixes in roasted chicken and tomatoes for a dish that’s easy to make and great any time of the year. Get the recipe here.
Share with us your kid’s favorite pasta recipe below!
— Abigail Matsumoto & Susie Foresman