Five ways to eat pasta for lunch

I'm not a sandwich person. My favorite thing to have for lunch is pasta. Since I'm always trying to think of new (fast!) ways to make it, here are five of my favorites. They can all be finished in about the time it takes the pasta to cook.


1. Pasta with chili. Cook 8 oz. pasta. Drain and add 1 can chili and 1 cup shredded cheese. Mix well over the still-hot burner you just turned off until the cheese is melted and the chili is warm.

2. Pasta with tomatoes. Cook 8 oz. pasta. Drain and add 1 or 2 14-ounce cans of petite diced tomatoes. Add whatever of the following that sound good: several grinds of black pepper, a teaspoon or two of white vinegar, some garlic, crushed red pepper, a bit of lemon zest. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

3. Sesame noodles. Cook 8 oz. spaghetti, angel hair, or other long noodle. While noodles are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add a heaping teaspoon of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Then add 3 each tablespoons sugar, white vinegar, and soy sauce. Drain noodles and combine with sauce. (source)

4. Pasta with cheese sauce. Cook 8 oz. pasta. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small pot. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir and cook for about a minute. Add a quarter teaspoon of dry mustard, if you like. Whisk in a cup of milk, a bit at a time, letting each bit incorporate and the mixture come to a boil before you add more (this goes faster if you warm the milk first in the microwave). Whisk in about a cup of shredded cheese, salt and pepper to taste, then mix sauce with drained pasta.

5. Chicken Caesar pasta salad.  Cook and drain 8 oz. pasta. Toss with 1–2 cups cooked chicken, 3 chopped tomatoes, a chopped heart of romaine lettuce, and about 1/2 cup Caesar dressing. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. (source)


  1. Now can you tell me how to get my 6 year old to eat pasta?! Who doesn't love pasta, except him! Great ideas.

  2. Never thought to mix noodles with chili, but that sounds absolutely delicious!!

  3. My son loves chili. I never thought of mixing it with pasta either.