Lunchbreak: DIY After School Snacks

Midday News

Sara Haas – Chef and Dietitian


DIY Pasta Snack


½ pound short or long cut pasta (semolina pasta, whole grain, legume, veggie or gluten-free)

1-3 sauces (marinara, pesto, salsa, vinaigrette, tahini, etc.)

1-2 proteins (leftover chicken, cooked beans, nuts/seeds, cured meat)

1-2 veggies (bagged veggies including slaw and spinach, canned/jarred, frozen & cooked)

Optional – shredded or crumbled cheese


Cook pasta to al dente following package directions.

While pasta is cooking, set out your DIY bar by placing sauces, proteins, veggies and cheeses in bowls for serving.

Drain pasta and portion ½ cup of cooked pasta* into each bowl. Invite kids to add 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce, 1 ounce protein or ½ cup beans, ¼ – ½ cup veggies and 1-2 tablespoons cheese of their choice.

Serves 8

NOTE: Generally 1 cup cooked is 1 serving of pasta; however, because this is a snack, I recommend cutting portions in half for kids. Additionally, pasta can be cooked up to 1 day in advance.


Try the following ideas!

Stir ½ cup cooked pasta with….

Pizza Style

Diced bell peppers, turkey pepperoni, black olives, marinara and shredded mozzarella cheese.

BLT (use cooked, chilled pasta)

Crumbled bacon, shredded romaine lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes and Italian salad dressing.

Positively Pesto

Thinly sliced spinach, kalamata olives, sliced jarred roasted red bell peppers, pesto and feta cheese.


Halved cherry tomatoes, salami, diced mozzarella, banana peppers, romaine lettuce, black olives and Italian dressing.


Cooked broccoli florets, diced sharp cheddar cheese, diced rotisserie chicken, diced red bell pepper, buttermilk Ranch dressing.

*Sara Haas partnered with Barilla & That’s It Fruit Bars

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