11 Yummy Pasta Recipes For Toddlers

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Your search for delicious yet healthy pasta recipes for toddlers ends here. Pasta is Italian food that has several varieties. You can use those varieties to make delectable, age-appropriate dishes for toddlers and older babies. Generally, pasta is made of unleavened wheat flour.

However, to make your toddler’s pasta dish healthier, you can pick pasta made of other nutritious ingredients, such as whole grains, millets, and pulses. In addition, you can add different nutrient-rich ingredients like dried herbs, seeds, vegetables, meat, fish, etc., to pasta to make the dish attractive and flavorful.

So, are you ready to tango with your children using pasta? Let’s try some tasty and nutritious pasta recipes for toddlers!

In This Article

Delicious Pasta Recipes For Toddlers

If you are into healthy eating and want to make your toddler imbibe that behavior, check some of the nutritious meals with considerable amount of protein given below:

1. Baked Pasta:

Baked pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Yes, baked pasta is a thing! And it is sure to be a hit with your fussy eater.

You will need:

  • 1/2 package wheat pasta
  • 1 medium-size onion (chopped)
  • 1 fresh tomato (chopped)
  • ½ cup corn
  • ⅓ cup mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Take a flat pan and pour one tablespoon of olive oil on it. Heat the oil on the flame.
  2. Add chopped onion and sauté them until they turn translucent. Now add all the other vegetables and tomato into the pan.
  3. Cook all the vegetables until they turn tender. Once done, switch off the flame and keep the pan aside. Next, cook pasta.
  4. For pasta, follow the directions given on the pasta package and cook it accordingly.
  5. Mix the cooked pasta with part of the mozzarella cheese and the other ingredients in a casserole dish.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve it hot to your toddler as a yummy breakfast or as an early dinner.

If you want to ace your food presentation to feed your fussy toddler, try cutting the cheese into star shapes and place them over the pasta instead of spinking the cheese, to pique their interest.

protip_icon Point to consider
Cold pasta can be dry to swallow, leading to gagging in some toddlers. Thus, feed warm pasta to your toddler.

2. Chicken pasta salad

Chicken pasta salad recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Who doesn’t love chicken pasta? If you are a vegetarian, you can use tofu instead of chicken. This pasta salad recipe for toddlers is definitely a winner among the list.

You will need:

  • 8oz wheat pastai
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup assorted vegetables (stir-fried)
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 2tbsp soy sauce

How to:

  1. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes or as per the directions on the pack.
  2. Add one tablespoon sesame oil/olive oil and fry the chicken.
  3. Once the chicken is done, add it to the pasta.
  4. Now heat the remaining oil and sauté the green onion.
  5. Next, add the veggies and stir-fry until crisp.
  6. Add the veggies to the chicken and pasta.
  7. Add soy sauce and sesame oil over the pasta then mix and toss.
  8. You can serve this dish either cold or warm.

3. Udon noodles soup

Udon noodles soup pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Soups soothe your little one’s tummy while also providing nutrition. You must try to add soup to your toddler’s diet on a regular basis. Here’s a pasta soup recipe that’s sure to tickle your toddler’s taste buds!

You will need:

  • 6 cups low sodium, fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1tbsp ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 pound boiled udon or soba noodles
  • 1 cup tofu
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 2 scallions
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup bean sprouts

How to:

  1. Mix both the broth and ginger in a pot and bring it to boil.
  2. In a different pot, heat lightly salted water and bring to boil.
  3. Next, add the pasta and cook for four to five minutes.
  4. Add the chicken, scallions, and sesame oil to the broth and simmer for five minutes.
  5. Now put the noodles in serving bowls and add the hot broth and vegetables.

4. Macaroni and two cheeses

Macaroni and two cheeses pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Macaroni and cheese – now that’s a match made in heaven! This recipe can be made delicious by adding a variety of seasonal vegetables to it.

You will need:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp flour
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (cooked)
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

How to:

  1. Cook the macaroni for 8 to 10 minutes and drain the water. Run it under cold water and keep it aside in a strainer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and grease a large baking dish.
  3. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. As the oil heats, add the flour and make a paste. Cook for some time.
  4. Then slowly add milk to make a smooth sauce. Cook for another five minutes.
  5. Now it’s time to season with salt and pepper.
  6. Next, add half of each type of cheese and mix them together to get a smooth sauce -like consistency.
  7. As the sauce is ready, place the pasta in the casserole and add the cheese sauce and cooked vegetables to it. Make sure all the pasta is coated with it.
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese on top.
  9. Now bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Serve it hot for breakfast with a glass of lemonade.

This is one of the classic dishes that mothers can make for their little ones and is among the tasty and quick meals to prepare when in a hurry.

protip_icon Point to consider
Avoid adding unpasteurized cheese to pasta as it may contain harmful bacteria, which can put your toddler at risk of foodborne infection (1).

5. Spinach pasta

Spinach pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Spinach is a not-so-favorite vegetable of many toddlers and kids. In such a case, you can sneak this vegetable into your toddler’s most loved recipes.

You will need:

  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 30g mini pasta shells
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 2tbsp cream cheese (grated)
  • 4tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)

How to:

  1. Cook the pasta as per the directions on the pack.
  2. Wash the spinach and cook it in water. Discard the water.
  3. Now melt some butter in a pan and sauté the spinach.
  4. Now, add milk and grated cheese to the spinach. Mix well to make a smooth sauce.
  5. Add pasta to the sauce and give a good mix again.
  6. Serve hot with a cup of mint and lemon cooler.

6. Pasta stars with cheese and vegetables

Pasta stars with cheese and vegetables pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Do you want to help improve your toddler’s relationship with food? Try interesting shapes and colors! This recipe has all that you need to make a recipe visually pleasing and nutritionally umpteen.

You will need:

  • 125g carrots
  • ½ cup capsicum (diced)
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup pasta stars

How to:

  1. Cook star pasta as per the directions given on the pack.
  2. Then, steam the carrots, capsicum, and corn for 15 to 20 minutes until they are tender.
  3. Heat the butter and then add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté until mushy.
  4. Now, remove from heat and add the cheese. Mix them well.
  5. Next, mash the cooked carrots, capsicum, and corn. Blend together with tomato and cheese mixture.
  6. Add the cooked pasta stars to the mashed puree of vegetables and serve.

Try this one of the best hidden vegetables dishes to sneak in extra nutrition to your toddler. If you want to add more vegetables into the dish to make it colorful, you may add broccoli and zucchini.

In addition to the star-shaped pasta, various other shapes are worth trying. A mother shares how she caters to her son Anush’s love for pasta by exploring different shapes. She writes, “We all love pasta a lot, and my son loves it… So wherever I go, I try to get some beautiful and interesting shaped pasta. This time, I went to a beautiful store where they sell locally made, healthy, and authentic Italian ingredients, and most of them were organic…as soon as I saw these shaped pastas, I grabbed it because I know Anush loves cars, wheels, trains, etc…. The wheel pasta was whole wheat. He enjoyed eating this pasta (i).”

7.Chickpea pasta

Chickpea pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

You got to try this recipe! Not just your toddler, you too will love it for sure! This recipe has a seamless blend of a legume with pasta that is tasty and healthy.

You will need:

  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 garlic
  • ½ tin of tomatoes (chopped)
  • 400g chickpeas
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 150g macaroni
  • Rosemary (to taste)
  • Chili flakes (to taste)

How to:

  1. Take a thick bottom pan and pour some olive oil in it.
  2. Next, gently fry carrots, celery, and garlic.
  3. Now add the chickpeas, rosemary, tomato, stock cube, chili, and water.
  4. Simmer until the chickpeas and carrots are slightly soft.
  5. Mix the cooked pasta and drizzle some olive oil, pepper, grated cheese.
  6. Serve warm.

Try the recipe for yourself with alfredo sauce or pesto and if your toddler is a meat lover, add some chunky pieces of chicken sausage or meatballs for an extra dose of protein.

8. Curly salmon pasta

Curly salmon pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Repeat after us ‘fish is good for my baby’! Yes, with this recipe, you can give your toddler the best of two worlds – The taste of pasta with the goodness of salmon!

You will need:

  • 300g pasta
  • ½tsp unsalted butter
  • ½ onion
  • 1g head of broccoli
  • 2 carrots
  • 1tsp mustard powder
  • 3tbsp cream cheese
  • 50g cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1tsp corn flour
  • 1tsp wheat flour

How to:

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions given on the package.
  2. Now, add the butter and chopped onions to the pasta. Pour the water and cook until tender.
  3. Once done, add broccoli and carrot. Cook for a minute.
  4. Next, mix the mustard powder, cream cheese, and grated cheddar. Now cook for about five to seven minutes.
  5. Now you need to add a teaspoon of corn flour and wheat flour along with cold water, stirring continuously.
  6. Add the salmon and cook for another 10-11 minutes. Mix the salmon, sauce, and pasta together. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.

Interested to try out for yourselves? Try adding some spices to the sauce and relish it.

9. Toddler spaghetti bolognese

Toddler spaghetti bolognese pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

This special recipe is geared up to suit your toddler’s developing palate. It has the smoothness of long, cylindrical pasta and meaty flavor of beef. This dish is nutritious and health-benefiting when consumed in moderation.

You will need:

  • 1tsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 400g tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 carrot (cut into chunks)
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1tsp corn flour
  • 200g spaghetti

How to

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the pack.
  2. Then, pour some oil into the pan. As the oil heats, add the onions and garlic. Sauté till you get a fine aroma.
  3. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, tomato puree and black pepper. Cook until the tomato turns mushy.
  4. Now, sprinkle oregano and add chunks of carrot, and bring the mixture to boil.
  5. Add the beef mince and cook till the beef is fully cooked.
  6. Once done, mix corn flour and cook for another four minutes. The bolognese sauce is ready.
  7. Serve the cooked spaghetti with bolognese sauce for the early dinner.
protip_icon Quick tip
Avoid adding processed meats such as ham to pasta to avoid exposing babies to food additives, such as sodium nitrite (2).

10. Jungle pasta

Jungle pasta recipe for toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Let your toddler’s imagination run free with this next recipe – the jungle pasta. As the name goes, this creative pasta is all about a variety of vegetables dressed in cheese, served over pasta. Your toddler will love it on those lazy Sundays when you want to cook something creative.

You will need:

  • 300g animal-shaped pasta
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • one clove garlic
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 400g tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tbsp fresh basil
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1 broccoli
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp wheat flour
  • 450ml milk
  • 300g cheddar cheese (grated)

How to:

  1. Cook the pasta until tender or as per the instructions given on the pack. Once done, keep it aside.
  2. Take a thick bottom pan and place it on medium heat.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add olive oil to it. As the oil heats, put the onion and garlic in it. Cook until they are soft.
  4. Next, add tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, and a little pepper. Cook the mix for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and broccoli to the pan and give a thorough whisk.
  6. Now, add butter and wheat flour. Mix everything together and cook for an additional two minutes.
  7. Now add milk with constant stirring.
  8. Take the pan off the heat once the milk starts simmering. The sauce is ready.
  9. Now, mix the pasta with the sauce and pour this into a microwave-proof dish.
  10. Garnish with grated cheese.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes and the dish is ready to serve.

11. Avocado pasta

Avocado pasta

Image: Shutterstock

You’ll be surprised to know how the addition of avocado to a pasta recipe alleviates the taste, adds wonderful nutrients, and flavor and could be your toddlers favorite food. Serve this wholesome dish for lunch or dinner and watch your little one feel full and happy.

You will need:

  • 8oz penne pasta
  • 1 ripened avocado
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Crushed black pepper as per taste
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2-3 cups of water or as needed

How to:

  1. Cook pasta with some salt and keep it aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine avocado, spinach, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and salt. Add water and blend it until you get a smooth sauce like consistency.
  3. Once the avocado sauce is ready add it to the cooked pasta and toss everything well. Garnish with some parmesan cheese and serve warm.

While you enjoy these recipes, do check some frequently asked questions about pasta for toddlers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is eating pasta bad for my toddler?

No, pasta is not bad or harmful for your toddler. However, just like any other food groups, portion control is key. Thus it must be consumed in moderation. It is important to have a variety of starches as they all have different nutrition content, thus avoid serving pasta to your toddler daily. Selecting the right type of pasta for your baby is also important. It is best to choose wheat or multigrain pasta for your baby instead of those made from refined flour. Multigrain pasta is high in fiber and low in GI thus it will keep your child’s gut healthy and prevents constipation, keep them full for a longer period (satiety) while preventing childhood obesity.

2. How much pasta can my toddler eat in a day?

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, six servings of grains per day are recommended for toddlers. One serving of cooked pasta for a toddler equals four tablespoons (3).

3. Is pasta better than rice?

Both pasta and rice are starchy foods that are considered good sources of carbohydrates. However, pasta may provide more energy and protein than rice (4) (5). Additionally, some pasta varieties made with pulses and millet may offer more fiber and nutrients. Therefore, you should make pasta and rice a part of your toddler’s well-balanced diet to achieve optimum variety and nourishment.

Pasta is a versatile food that can be mixed with different ingredients to make delicious dishes. Most children love pasta, so you should give them healthy pasta made from whole grains or millets. Further, add vegetables, cheese, chicken, and eggs to make the recipes more nutritious and look more attractive and delectable. This article provides several pasta recipes for toddlers that are easy to make and healthy. So explore our wide variety of pasta recipes such as Udon noodles soup, spinach pasta, and chickpea pasta. Further, you could customize these recipes according to your toddler’s taste so that they gulp down their food in no time.

Infographic: Delicious Toddler’s Pasta Recipes To Try

With its soft texture and mild flavor, pasta is a great way to introduce your toddler to a wide range of flavors and textures. Pasta recipes are also easy to prepare and made with healthy ingredients. So, scour through the infographic below to learn about simple and delicious pasta recipes for toddlers.

savory pasta recipes for your toddler (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Pasta is an Italian dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways to satisfy your toddlers and young ones.
  • Your dish can be made healthier by choosing pasta made from wholegrain, millet, and pulses. Adding other nutritious ingredients such as vegetables and meat can make the dish more enticing and flavorful.
  • Although pasta isn’t particularly bad for children, portion control is important.
  • It is best to choose multigrain pasta for your children as it is high in fiber and low in GI. Multigrain pasta will help keep your child’s gut healthy and prevent constipation.
Pasta Recipes For Toddlers_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Searching for the perfect pasta recipes for your toddler? The following video consists of an interesting, delicious, and nutritious meal for your little one.

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Foods and Drinks to Avoid or Limit; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Food Additives: What Parents Should Know; American Academy of Pediatrics
3. Serving Sizes for Toddlers; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
4. Rice, white, long-grain, regular, unenriched, cooked without salt; USDA
5. Pasta, fresh-refrigerated, plain, cooked; USDA

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Moloko Mehlape
Moloko MehlapeMSc Dietetics
Moloko Mehlape is a registered dietitian in private practice with around nine years of experience in the field. Her special interest lies in nutrition education, sports nutrition, weight, and chronic disease management. She is a philanthropist passionate about making a positive impact in public health through nutrition.

Read full bio of Moloko Mehlape
Swati Patwal
Swati PatwalM.Sc. (Food & Nutrition), MBA
Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with more than a decade of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children.

Read full bio of Swati Patwal
Rohit Garoo
Rohit GarooBSc, MBA
Rohit Garoo is a writer-turned-editor with over 9 years of experience in content writing, editing, and content marketing. He did his bachelors in Science at St. Xavier's College, Hyderabad, and masters in Business Administration at Osmania University.

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Ghazia Shah
Ghazia ShahMSc, MA, BEd
Ghazia is a scientist-turned-writer with three years of research experience in Cancer Biology. She did her masters degree in Biotechnology at the University of Kashmir and bachelors in Education at the same university. Ghazia then delved deeper into the science of language with a masters in English.

Read full bio of Ghazia Shah