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easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!

School Lunch Idea: Pizza Pasta Salad (and video)

Need an easy school lunch idea to put leftover pasta to use? Your kids are going to love this pizza pasta salad recipe! It’s almost like pizza but eaten with a fork.

easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!

With recipes like this one, making healthy school lunches becomes an easy task and much more affordable! By repurposing leftovers, you are able to save both time and money on food you would otherwise throw out! As a busy mom of three kids, I’m all about saving time in the kitchen.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

The recipe is super easy; it’s more like a one-bowl wonder recipe. Check out this quick and easy video to see how it’s made.

Of course, you can make this ahead of time and store the pasta salad for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Customize this recipe any way you like to add a little variety to your school lunch routine.

Check out the step-by-step of the recipe here

School Lunch Idea: Pizza Pasta Salad (video)

easy school lunch idea: pizza pasta salad. Quick to assemble and you can customize with your kids favorite toppings!
  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 1 lunch


  • 1 cup cooked pasta (we used whole-wheat)
  • 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1-2 broccoli florets, chopped
  • Nitrate-free pepperoni slices, quartered
  • 3-4 black olives, sliced
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons Italian dressing (or plain olive oil)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate or pack inside a lunch box.



Peanut Butter and Jelly Dippers: A “Sandwich” Alternative

Do you have kids who ONLY WANT PB&J?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Dippers a fun school lunch idea via MOMables.com

Sometimes changing up a classic is all it takes to keep lunch interesting. And with something as basic as the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it gives you the opportunity to let the “sides” take center stage!

Believe me, it’s okay to need more ideas; we all fall into a school lunch rut! For this reason, you can get more delivered to your inbox by clicking here

Isn’t it funny when kids want the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich over and over again? Funny enough, I often see it as an opportunity to introduce new treats and things with this popular lunch.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

In this lunch, I surprised them with “dippers.” Kids just love to dip! They were a huge hit! Everyone was happy, PLUS they all ate double the amount of veggies they’d normally choose at lunch time! They came back for seconds (not pictured).

They were having so much fun showing off their sandwich fingers that they sat at the table longer, and nibbled on their carrots and broccoli while watching each other.

Another fun way to encourage kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is with dip, and what better than a healthy dip that works well with both!

A yummy dip paired with fresh fruits and veggies and a fun twist on an old favorite, this lunch is full of lots of smaller, easy-to-eat foods and is perfect for short lunch periods.

MOM Tip: This fruit dip tastes great with apples, so be sure to treat them after cutting so they don’t turn brown by lunchtime with tips from MOMables!

Dip tastes amazing with strawberry yogurt instead of plain, but omit the honey, and stick to dipping fruit. Maybe celery, if you’re adventurous like me! *wink*

PBJ Dippers – Dip

This dip is perfect for fruit, sandwiches, or even veggies!

  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1-2


  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey (omit if using sweetened yogurt)


  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and blend well.
  2. Serve with an assortment of dippable fruits and vegetables, such as apples, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, and celery.


31 Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars

Warning: You are going to want to pin and print this recipe because your kids are going to LOVE it and will ask for more. Trust me. This recipe is a winner.


Recipes like this one are the type of treats and snacks that the subscribers to our weekly school lunch menus get to try out before anyone else. Let’s face it. EVERYONE could use a little help in the lunch-packing department.

Lucky for you, school lunches and kids’ food is all I do. Finding ways to make food healthier and “out of the box” is one of the reasons I started MOMables. Whether you’ve been a paid subscriber, our blog reader for a while, or you stumbled upon this recipe—welcome!

You should know that if you want to get the scoop on new, fun recipes, our newsletter is FREE. It’s delivered to your inbox each week—free of spam too.

Okay, okay. Back to the recipe. I love oats and raisins. My kids love those chewy bars with the oat man on them, but I don’t like buying them. We finally came to a happy place when, after hundreds of tries, I nailed this recipe. Goodbye box, hello homemade.

I love this recipe because it’s also no-bake! You read it correctly. It’s a no-bake recipe! Woohooo!!! I hope this recipe is as much of a success at your house as it is in mine.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars – MOMables.com

Yields 12 “bars.” After cutting the bars, store in an airtight container or zip bags for up to 1 week.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 12
  • Cuisine: Snacks


  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons California raisins
  • ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan or glass baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, rice cereal, salt, and raisins. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter, brown rice syrup, and brown sugar. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat, and cook for 4 minutes on medium-low, but make sure the mixture continues to minimally bubble. Stir often. After 4 minutes, turn off the heat, and add the vanilla. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
  5. Dump evenly coated mixture into the lined baking dish. Cover with parchment paper, and press down with your hands until the mix is well packed. Just when you think you’ve pressed down enough, press again.
  6. Allow the pan to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
  7. Lift the parchment paper out onto a cutting board, and slice into 12 bars.


How to Make Your Kid’s School Lunch Better in 30 Seconds

Need an easy way to make lunches more fun? 30 seconds is all it takes to wow your kids.

30 Second WOW LunchesOkay, I admit it. I have way too much fun making my daughter fun food. However, I have found that presentation is everything with picky eaters!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

While making food fun might seem time-consuming, I promise you, it can take as little as 30 seconds, and your kids will love it.

Are you ready to wow your kids in 30 seconds? Let’s do it:

You’ll need any shape cookie cutter and your kid’s favorite sandwich. Here I used a star cookie cutter, but you can use any shape you have.

My daughter’s favorite sandwich is a nut butter (or non-nut butter) and honey sandwich, so that is what I made for her.

Use your cookie cutter on your sandwich. Place the cookie cutter on top of the already-made sandwich and push down hard.

MOM Tip: You can cut each layer separately if a cleaner cut is desired.

Place your shaped sandwich in your kid’s lunch box and serve with a side of fruits and vegetables.


This is also the perfect opportunity to let your kids help out in the kitchen and get them involved in eating healthy. My daughter loves to help me make her fun lunches!

Not sure what do do with the bread scraps and crusts? Save the crusts to make Frugal French Toast Sticks!



How to Make a Healthy Packaged Lunch

Convenient can be healthy. See?

If you are tired of your kids asking for packaged foods every time you go to the grocery, you are not alone. We receive dozens of e-mails asking for help on how to compete with what is shiny, boxed, and convenient.

Our solution: Make it fresh at home. It is, after all, our mission to help parents make fresh lunches quickly!

To make this lunch, you’ll need:

  • A compartmentalized container
  • Fresh fruit and veggies
  • 1-2 cheese sticks, diced or
    1-2 ounces cheese, sliced
  • 2 slices ham, rolled and cut into pieces
  • Handful of crackers
Assemble items in the lunch container, and pack in a lunch box. It really is that simple.
xo Laura – the Chief MOM