These pasta recipes for kids are 100% picky eater approved.
I know how hard it can be to feed little tikes, but I promise they won’t be able to resist these family-friendly meals.
20 Picky Eater-Approved Pasta Recipes for Kids
Whether it’s avoiding fruits and veg or turning their noses up at anything that’s not chicken nuggets, feeding kids and toddlers can be challenging.
But I find pasta is almost always a win.
Especially if you leave out all those yucky greens! (Don’t worry, we’ll sneak some in, and they’ll never know.)
And I’ve found the best pasta recipes for kids so you can make just one meal for the family!
1. Toasted Ravioli
One surefire way to feed picky eaters is to play to their likes. And how many kids do you know that would turn down a crunchy french fry or nugget?
Hence these toasted ravioli!
They’re golden and crisp, with a nice, mild cheesy filling. And they’re not smothered in sauce, which is what puts a lot of kids off.
That said, the kids can pick them up and dunk them with ease if they want to.
It’s a great compromise because they’re actually super delicious.
2. Simple Tomato Spaghetti
If your kids like sauce, you can’t go wrong with spaghetti and a simple red dressing.
It’s easy and quick, and much healthier to make at home. You can even add extra veggies to the mix!
I recommend blending the pasta sauce until it’s smooth. Then start with a small amount over the pasta.
3. Buttered Noodles
Buttered noodles are perfect for little ones. Although, I find older kids love the simplicity too.
There’s no acidity or spice to bother their tummies. Just yummy butter and tender noodles.
It may not be exciting, but it’s almost always devoured.
I recommend melting the butter in a saucepan and taking some out for the kids. Then add garlic, chili flakes, and onions for the grown-ups.
4. Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a family-friendly dinner that never goes out of style. And this timeless classic is great no matter how you make it.
Old-fashioned, though, is foolproof when it comes to feeding kids.
It’s creamy, buttery, and super cheesy. So, in other words, it’s perfect.
And it’s great for you because you can have it on the table in four easy steps.
5. Super Easy Pizza Pasta Bake
Like nuggets, pizza is usually a safe bet. And even though pepperoni is pretty flavorful, kids usually enjoy the salty, meaty taste.
So why not take that cheesy goodness and turn it into pasta?
I mean, this looks like pizza on the surface. And since it’s just pasta, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, it’s very inoffensive to picky eaters.
If they like tomato and cheese pizza, they’ll like this.
6. Broccoli Pesto Pasta
So, obviously, this one is for kids that don’t mind color. And Hulk fans, of course.
It’s super simple, with salty Parmesan and just a little herby goodness in the pesto.
Plus a generous serving of broccoli they’ll never even know is there.
7. Meatless Baked Ziti
If you’re a meatless family or your kids just don’t like the texture, try this baked ziti.
It’s 100 percent meat-free, and it’s seriously delicious.
At a glance, it’s hard to tell there’s any pasta in it. It’s coated in a hefty smothering of marinara sauce and cheese.
So, in other words, the kids will gobble it up, bite after bite.
8. Threaded Spaghetti Hot Dog Bites
Ah, hot dogs and spaghetti. Did you grow up with it too?
These look so fun, so the kids will definitely want a try. And all kids love hotdogs, right?
Add a little butter and cheese, or maybe a spoonful of red sauce. Either way, they won’t last long.
9. Ravioli Cupcakes
I think portion size has a lot to do with kids being picky. They see a huge spoonful of pasta on their plate, and they freak out.
But these ravioli cupcakes are just right for little hands.
The recipe calls for ground beef, but you can swap that out for chicken or leave it out altogether.
Just don’t be shy with the cheese!
10. Spaghetti Tacos
I said before that playing to their likes is a great way to get kids to eat new foods.
And no matter how picky they are, they almost always love crunchy tacos. So why not fill them with spaghetti?
Is it weird? Yes. But is it fun? YES!
This is a super fun family meal. I promise everyone will love it.
11. Fettuccine Alfredo
Everyone loves creamy pasta! Especially when it has a healthy dose of cheese.
There’s something in particular about Fettuccine Alfredo that kids love. And whatever it is, I’m not complaining!
I love it too. And it’s so easy to jazz up with slice steak or grilled chicken.
12. Pancake Spaghetti
I’m cheating a little with this one, but hear me out.
Kids love pancakes, right? So why not get them used to eating spaghetti with this fun, sweet breakfast treat?
Texture is such a big deal to some kids. But if they’re used to pancake spaghetti, maybe they’ll be more willing to try real spaghetti.
13. Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
What three things are universally loved? Chicken, ranch, and bacon.
Even kids love this creamy, meaty trio. So if you want them to eat pasta, why not drown it in ranch and add some mild chicken?
You can leave the bacon off if you like. But I’ve never met a kid who said no to bacon.
14. Homemade Spaghetti-Os
When in doubt, go old school!
Spaghetti-Os are nostalgic, soft, and kind of bland, to be honest. But they’re usually kid-approved.
So rather than buying a can full of preservatives, just make them yourself.
It’s easier than you think – and you can sneak veggies in the sauce too!
15. Rainbow Pasta (With Garlic Butter Sauce)
You know what’s kind of funny – kids that say they “don’t like green things” are always the first to grab that bright green cupcake or cookie.
I guess it depends on how the color got there.
So if you want to entice your kids to eat pasta, how about making it into a rainbow?
Serve it with butter, and your family might even ask for seconds.
16. Spaghetti Pie
Now, here’s a kid-friendly recipe I guarantee your little tikes will eat!
You’ll make a pie crust out of spaghetti, eggs, and Parmesan. Then add an herby cheese layer, meaty pasta sauce, and bake.
Right before it’s done, add another layer of cheese. How fun and tasty is that?
17. Cheesy Orzo
I mentioned texture earlier. But I also know plenty of kids that don’t like taking big bites of food.
If that sounds like your little one, try orzo instead of penne. It’s small, like rice, so your kid can take as small a cheesy bite as they like.
It might take longer to eat, but it’ll help if they don’t enjoy a huge mouthful of food.
18. Leftover Pasta Fritters
Back to texture for a minute: kids love foods they can pick up and crunch. Like nuggets, apple slices, or fries.
And again, I think the sloppy sauce of most pasta recipes can be offputting.
That’s why I love these unique pasta fritters.
The kids can grab and chomp and dip them in sauce if they like.
19. Easy Pastina Pasta
Pastini is an even smaller kind of pasta than orzo. So it’s perfect for really small mouths or extra picky eaters.
It’s kind of like couscous or polenta in that it has texture. But it’s mushy (when compared to, say, penne), so it’s much easier to eat.
Make it with cheese and chicken broth, and it’s pretty tasty. And if they’ll allow it, you can throw in veggies or chicken.
20. How to Make Ravioli
I’ve included this homemade ravioli recipe for one reason: you don’t have to make them square.
And you don’t have to make them beige, either. (So, two reasons)
So if you want your kids to eat pasta, try this easy recipe, but cut them into dinosaurs, fish, stars, cars, or anything else your kids love.
And you can color the pasta too! So make red superheroes or pink hearts. Nobody can say no to that!
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