10 Pasta Ideas for Lunch Boxes

updated Nov 30, 2023
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Close-up of pasta salad with halved cherry tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, chopped English cucumber, cucumbers, and salami
Credit: Joe Lingeman

The lunch box — whether it’s yours or your kid’s — can feel pretty constricting sometimes. That’s why sandwiches are such a mainstay. Pasta, however, is a solid choice that’s totally lunch box-approved. It can be made ahead, holds up well in transport, and usually can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warm, with no ill effect. Here are 10 recipes to try.

Pastas for Lunch Boxes

1 / 10
The Easiest Pasta Salad

Your lunch game will infinitely improve if you make a big batch of this classic pasta salad on Sunday and bring it along with you throughout the week.

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2 / 10
Orzo Tabbouleh

While tabbouleh salad is usually made with bulgur wheat, orzo is a fun and easy swap-in, since you probably already have it in your pantry.

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3 / 10
Pasta with Feta, Broccoli, and Sausage

Since this pasta calls for pre-cooked sausage, it comes together quickly. It also holds up well in the fridge since it includes sturdy ingredients like broccoli and feta.

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4 / 10
Antipasti Bar Pasta

The best part about this pasta is how customizable it is: Take a stroll through your grocery store’s antipasti bar and make it your own.

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5 / 10
Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

This four-ingredient pasta salad comes together is just about the time it takes to boil a pot of water and cook the tortellini.

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6 / 10
Turkey and Greens Skillet Pasta

Cook up this spicy, smoky pasta for dinner tonight and then set aside the leftovers for a comforting, protein-rich lunch tomorrow.

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7 / 10
BLT Pasta Salad

To keep this pasta salad at its freshest, reserve the baby spinach and toss it in when you’re packing your lunch in the morning — that way it won’t wilt too much.

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8 / 10
Greek Chicken Pasta with Olives and Feta

If you want to make this recipe extra easy on yourself, pick up a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the meat yourself.

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9 / 10
Orzo with Butternut Squash, Spinach & Blue Cheese

This satisfying pasta is fun to play around with: Swap the squash in for sweet potato, try baby kale instead of spinach, or opt for goat cheese instead of blue cheese.

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10 / 10
Greek Pasta Salad

This pasta salad has all the classic elements of Greek salad — the juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, briny olives, and salty feta — yet it feels a little more hearty, thanks to the shells.

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