Lunchbox Pasta Salad Recipe with Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Ham

Lunchbox Pasta Salad Recipe with Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Ham

Worried about what your kids eat when they’re at school? Packing them a balanced and nutritious lunchbox can put your mind at ease. Pasta salad is a great way to sneak more veggies into their diet, and it tastes great too. We call that a kid and parent friendly win-win!

This easy to make pasta salad recipe calls for mini wheels, those delightful little wagon wheel pasta noodles that kids love. Toss in some zucchini, yellow squash, and ham, and you're kids will adopt a much more friendly relationship with eating healthy. This school lunch will make Passionate Pasta people out of any child, and they'll make better, more healthy food choices moving forward.


1 box of Barilla® Mini Wheels pasta
4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups of zucchini, diced
2 cups of yellow squash, diced
1 lemon, juiced
¼ pound of deli ham, julienned
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook mini wheel pasta according to instructions on package, toss in one tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté zucchini and yellow squash until slightly browned, but still crispy. 
  3. Remove from heat, place in a bowl or on a sheet tray and set aside to cool.
  4. In a bowl, combine lemon juice, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil and whisk to mix.
  5. When pasta and vegetables are cool, add to the bowl and fold in the julienned ham.

*Note from Anna Rosales, R.D. for Barilla: Below are the recommended serving sizes for the lunchbox pictured above:

½ of pasta recipe (about 1 cup)
3 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 6)
3/4 cup fruit
1 ounce whole grain crackers (about 5 crackers)
2 ounces part-skim mozzarella string cheese


Recipe and Photo Credit: Chef Lorenzo Boni,

*Healthy lunch approved for K-5th grade nutrition standards. 


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