Fresh Lunchbox Recipe: Tri-Color Rotini Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Juice, Mozzarella and Basil

Fresh Lunchbox Recipe: Tri-Color Rotini Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Juice, Mozzarella and Basil

This quick and easy rotini pasta salad recipe is the perfect treat for growing kids, and the nutritional value can't be beat! The health benefits of pasta make it a lunchbox recipe staple. Efficient energy and room to pair with nutritious vegetables. Ensure your kids are eating healthy at school and making nutritious choices throughout their future by starting them off right with simple portions and tasty nutrition!

Combine Barilla Tri-color Rotini with fresh mozzarella and basil, and add it all to a complete lunch box of healthy snacks and goodies. School lunches will never be the same once this pasta salad arrives on the scene!


1 box of Tri-color Rotini pasta
4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ pints of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lemon, juiced
½ pound of bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella)
6 leaves of basil, julienned
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook rotini pasta according to instructions on the package. When done, toss in one tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil and set aside to cool on a sheet tray.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes and lemon juice with the rest of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Once tri-color rotini has cooled, mix in the sauce and fold in the basil.

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

About ¾ cup of tri-color pasta (1/9 of recipe)
1 ounce whole grain crackers
3 ounces carrots (about 9 baby carrots)
½ small fresh apple
¼ ounce walnuts (3-4 halves)
1 tablespoon raisins

These come close to fitting within the K-5 elementary guidelines outlined here which have a calorie threshold of 550-650 for this age range. However, our meal doesn’t include the fluid milk that is required in school lunches at 8 ounces daily—if we added that in, we’d fit perfectly.

Recipe and Photo Credit: Chef Lorenzo Boni,

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


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