Ladybug Pasta School Lunch

What all do you use olives for?

Black olives are not just for pizza; they go with everything! Their sweet flavor is one my daughter loves, and the health benefits are a big bonus.

We typically go through a can or two per week. Seriously. Olives are a staple in my house—I am from Spain after all—and we do eat a fairly typical Mediterranean diet.

My daughter eats them right out of the can while I am trying to slice them to top our pizzas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, dips, salads—yes, we are an olive-obsessed family.

Since this is a school lunch site, why not show you one of my daughter favorite ways to bring them to school? We’ve had this lady bug pasta salad in our MOMables menus for over a year, and it remains a favorite.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

MOMables Lady Bug Salad

Makes 1 or 2 lunch servings, depending on portion size.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch


Pasta salad:

  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup California ripe olives
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Olive swords:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cubes
  • California ripe olives


Pasta salad:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve.

Olive swords:

  1. Alternate skewering the tomatoes, mozzarella, and olives onto rounded-edge food picks.


Our friends at California Ripe Olives know we are serious about lunch packing, so they’ve offered to give away a California Ripe Olive bento set!

CONTEST IS CLOSED. Our winner: Erin -myhappilyeverafter. Congrats!

Thank you Little Daisies for the inspiration. 

About MOMables - Laura

Mom to 3 kids, obsessed with coffee, meal planning, and helping you cook fresh meals for your family fast!

51 thoughts on “Ladybug Pasta School Lunch”

  1. Jenn M says:

    Just like Momma, my kids like to put them on their fingertips and wave them around like they’re aliens. Then we eat them one at a time. ;)

  2. tracie says:

    my daughter LOVES olives… she takes them regularly in her lunch, mainly in salads… she has them in her lunch today!

  3. becca says:

    Straight out of the can…or off their fingertips LOL!

  4. Rachel B. says:

    My kids like to slice olives to use as eyes on english muffin pizzas! So fun to play with food! :)

  5. Jade says:

    My kids favorite way to eat olives is in right from the frig or on pizza!!! ~Jade

  6. Rina says:

    My son loves them on pizza and pasta!!

  7. Patsy says:

    We like them best in pasta salad.

  8. Amber Dominguez says:

    my son loves eating em straight from the can. I usually put an overload in my pasta salad. Yummy!

  9. Sunny says:

    My mom always put them out before thanksgiving meal and I would fill up on them straight off my fingers! My kiddos have to fight me for them. :)

  10. Erin says:

    My kids favorite way to eat olives are right off their fingers!

  11. Laura Shepherd says:

    My daughter loves olives just as a compliment/side to chicken salad or tuna salad on a cold plate sampler!!!

  12. Melody York says:

    Stuck on their fingers, chopped up for tacos or pizza, “snuck” out of the can while I’m trying to make dinner…there are endless ways my daughters like to eat olives. :-)

  13. Amber Smith says:

    We love olives in a fresh greek salad but we also have recently discovered how yummy they are in an olive tapenade… mmm!!

  14. Shannon says:

    My son loves them as eyeballs…on deviled eggs, sandwich faces, pizza faces, you name it. An occassional wheel olive has been enjoyed as well!

  15. My kiddos absolute favorites are Kalamata olives.. she loves Mediterranean flavors! But black olives on finger tips, garlic stuffed or traditional pimento green.. doesn’t matter.. they are all a hit!

  16. Z likes poking one onto each finger and eating them off again.

  17. Jennifer Hill says:

    On her fingers of course,lol. She loves to stick the black olives on her fingertips and then eat them off! I even remember doing that as a kid too!

  18. Crystal says:

    My kids love to put olives on each finger and then eat them off one by one!

  19. My hubby and daughter love olives in arroz con pollo! :)

  20. Mamabelly says:

    My kids love to eat the olives off their fingers or stuffed with cream cheese :)

  21. karen says:

    John LOVES black olives on his pizza, too!

  22. Cheryl says:

    My son’s favorite way to eat olives is to stick them, whole, onto the end of his fingers, wiggle them around a little and then pop them into his mouth one by one.

  23. Jenn says:

    My son loves them best on pizza! :)

  24. Our favorite way to eat olives is right from the jar ;)

  25. Krista Hanna says:

    My kids love to eat olives FAST! Sometimes they peek through the holes or put them on their fingers, but mostly they just love to eat ’em up! We pack them in lunchboxes too and they are on of my favorite little things to put on a cute food pick or mini-skewer.

  26. DKMM says:

    My sons love to put whole pitted olives on their fingertips. It is the cutest thing!

  27. Kerri S says:

    I love black olives with italian dressing and cold noodles!

  28. We love olives in pastas – hot or cold! The only way Little Miss will eat them right now is in pasta or on a pizza. I need to experiment with them more :)

  29. Bree says:

    My son loves to eat olives just like I did when I was a child. Put one on each finger, pretend you are an olive monster, then eat them off your finger!

  30. Dorothy says:

    Black olive pizza!

  31. Irene Craig says:

    Planning to start a nursery I D.C. where the First Lady Michelle Obama is behind healthy foods for children, from day one. So all these ideas come in handy. Plus I take care of my 1 year old granddaughter and she is a very healthy eater. Your ideas are wonderful, especially in a Bento Box.

    1. Laura says:

      Hi Irene! thanks for the compliment! I applaud what the First Lady is doing. I am a firm believer that healthy eating starts at home and parents need to take responsibility to for the health and well being of their children. you can visit my personal mission here

  32. Sandi P says:

    We eat olives in or on just about everything! The kids love to try and toss them into each others mouth! and yes 5 second rules apply when one hits the floor because no one wants to waste one!

  33. Marlena U. says:

    My kids love to put olives on their fingertips and eat them off, one by one!

  34. My kids would eat an entire can in the matter of seconds. They just like to eat them off of the tips of their fingers. :) They also request them on pizza a lot.

  35. Myra Perron says:

    My girls can be challenging when it comes to eating healthy. I’ve adapted our homemade mac-and-cheese and add in diced black olives. Before I even presented it to them, I told them that we were having “Bumblebee Pasta” for dinner. It was a hit, and is certainly their most favourite way of eating olives. :)

    1. Laura says:

      Myra, this is a great idea!! thank you!

  36. Cassie Webster says:

    My 5 year old daughter loves olives SO much that she eats them while I’m still cooking, wants extra extra olives on her plate, AND drinks the juice from the can!(ew!) She loves them black or green(eats those right out of the jar too!) :D I would love to win this for her! :)

  37. Heidi B says:

    WE love them in tortellini salad

  38. Kristie says:

    My kids eat olives off their fingers! : ) it’s the only way they’ll eat them – I’m the real olive lover in the family!

  39. Beth says:

    Mine loves them on pizza…or straight out of the can!!

  40. Ginger F. says:

    Our favorite way is in a cold salad!!!

  41. Monica says:

    They place them on their fingertips and then they start eating them.

  42. Anna says:

    My daughter loves olives! Eats them any way they are presented. They are in her lunches almost everyday.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Our two year old loves to eat black olives on our homemade pizzas!

  44. Dina says:

    My daughter loves them right out of the can and I love them in a pasta salad!

  45. Michelle says:

    My daughter loves to eat olive on her pizza but will eat them almost any way (including right out of the can).

  46. Palmer says:

    pasta salad, pizza and with mac and cheese

  47. Heather C. says:

    My son looooves to eat olives with cream cheese stuffed in the center:-)

  48. Astrid says:

    My kids will eat olives in a tapenade, but not yet whole … but it’s something to work on!

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