And just like that, it feels like we snapped our fingers and back-to-school is on the horizon. Which, if you’re anything like me means I’m in full-blown planning mode, as our almost 8-year-old is going back to public school for the first time in two years and our almost 4-year-old is starting Pre-k 3 days a week. School supplies, clothes, shoes, backpacks- and of course- what am I going to pack for lunches?
Thankfully, planning lunches is my favorite part of the back to school process, and I love sharing them with all of you! Let’s start with this lunchbox-friendly pizza pasta salad, with kid (and grown-up) approved pizza-flavors, in an easy to meal prep format (you know I’m all about the prep ahead- no more crazy mornings!), this recipe needs to be added to your back-to-school meal prep repertoire!
Ok, now for this pasta salad. Pasta salad is the PERFECT make-ahead lunch option: it’s hearty and filling (especially when you add protein like the pepperoni and cheese in this recipe), kid-friendly, no reheating needed and it keeps in the fridge all week long. Talk about making lunches easy, right? Let’s make it!Print
Lunchbox-friendly Pizza Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8 as a side
8 oz uncooked pasta
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar (or coconut sugar)
pinch sea salt
1 ball whole milk mozzarella, chopped
1 cup pepperoni, quartered (turkey is typically more mild)
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (bite-size)
optional: 2 tbsp sliced fresh basil
1. Cook pasta fully in salted water according to package directions and drain well. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set aside to drain well.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for dressing: olive oil, balsamic, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sugar and a pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning.
3. Toss cooled pasta with dressing. Stir in mozzarella, pepperoni, olives and tomatoes (and basil if using). Let sit at least 10 minutes, taste for seasoning and pack it up!