Simple Pasta Salad for Kids ( …and Adults)

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Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken and Peas
Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken, Peas and Corn

Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken, Peas and Corn
Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken, Peas and Corn

A few weeks ago, I decided I would challenge myself to not make my two kids ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch every day of the week. I have had no incentive to stop because my kids don’t complain and actually love ham and cheese sandwiches. I just can’t believe they can eat it for lunch every school day and even request for it on non-school days.

This challenge started not because of any healthy commitments but um, well, because I actually didn’t have any ham in the fridge on Sunday morning (Sunday is the start of the school/work week in Dubai). So as I scanned the fridge for sandwich ingredients, I came upon the eggs…

Day 1 – I made the kids fried egg and cheese sandwiches.  (This went down a treat with my daughter, the picky eater, but my son did not like it. Go figure)

Day 2 – Fried egg and cheese sandwiches. Yes. Again. My husband thought it was a weird lunch item but I still hadn’t made it to the grocery store.

Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken, Peas and Corn

Day 3 – Since my son wouldn’t eat his egg sandwich, I decided to go the pasta route as that’s what I had in my pantry.

I whipped up a pasta salad with mayo, canned corn, frozen peas, and leftover roast chicken. My daughter ate only the pasta but my son cleaned his lunchbox.

Day 4 – Pasta salad again. My son couldn’t get enough of it. My daughter decide to give it a all a pass.

Day 5 – My kids lucked out. They would’ve had more pasta salad for lunch again as I had made a huge batch but it rained the day before and the streets were so flooded that the government canceled all schools.

I definitely need to make more of an effort to vary things up for the kids.

One day I’ll get my mom act together.

Anyway, this pasta salad is also a great dish for a quick weekday meal or a salad to bring to a potluck or picnic.

And I really love that this is another one of those versatile recipes that can be made with pantry items and basically just four sets of ingredients:

  1. Pasta: Use almost any kind that you have in the cupboard;
  2. Vegetable: Frozen or fresh peas, carrots, corn (or canned corn);
  3. Protein: I’ve used leftover chicken, canned tuna or sardines (not the tomatoey ones though);
  4. Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and mayonaise or you can substitute a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for the mayonnaise and then add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Simple Pasta Salad for Kids ( …and Adults)


Simple Pasta Salad with Chicken, Peas and Corn

Simple Pasta Salad

Ginger and Scotch
This is a quick and easy pasta salad using mostly pantry ingredients and either leftover chicken or canned tuna.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad


  • 1/3 box of pasta (my pasta boxes are 500 g or about 1 lb)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 can tuna (in oil or water), drained or 1 cup of leftover cooked chicken cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen or canned corn (or fresh)
  • salt and pepper


  • Boil pasta according to directions. I like my pasta a little bit soft so I cook it for one minute longer than al dente. Drain pasta using colander.
  • If using frozen peas and/or corn, defrost by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over it to cover. Drain after 30 seconds.
  • Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste.


-This recipe doesn't have to be exact: use whatever is available in your fridge and pantry and adjust the amount of vegetables and mayonnaise to your liking

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Recipe Rating


  1. This reminds me I haven’t made a pasta salad in a long time! My son loves it with boiled broccoli, carrots, grilled chicken and a simple dressing of olive oil. Will give mayo a try next time 🙂

  2. Sometimes the simple things in life are often the best! 😉
    Love that there are other Mothers out there who do repeat lunch boxes. (Agree with Tarana site looks awesome!)

  3. Oh my gosh tuna salad is one of my ultimate comfort foods that reminds me of being a kid! I’ve made it with peas before, but never with corn- what a great addition!

  4. I’ll be your kids enjoyed the break from ham and cheese. The pasta salad is perfect for a school lunch or going on a picnic.

  5. My kids (and myself) would love this pasta salad! I love that you can make a batch of this at the beginning of the week and lunch is done for the next few days!

  6. Yum, it’s so good to have these handy simple salads for a quick-to-prepare lunch when you need it. I’ve made something similar before with tuna and rice instead of pasta which also works quite well!

  7. That looks like a very easy and kid pleasing lunch! Kids do like the same things over and over but it’s nice to have a few recipes you can pull out when you don’t make to the store. 🙂