Family Friendly Pasta Recipes Even Your Toddler Will Eat

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Toddlers can be frustratingly picky, and fussy children can often dictate what the rest of the family eat too. Today I’m sharing my favorite family friendly pasta recipes, made regularly from scratch and always a guaranteed to please. There is not a week that goes by when I do not make one of these recipes… I hope your family enjoys them as much as we do!

family friendly pasta recipes pin

The Twins are fussy customers at the moment and I’m frequently confronted with “Yuk!” followed by giggles around the table. When Mom is outnumbered by three kids they can really egg each other on to show their displeasure at the dinner offerings and find it all very amusing in the process.

We eat a lot of pasta. Partly because I can make a sauce one day and it tastes just as good the next day, and partly because it’s cost effective and not too destructive to the kitchen. But mostly, we eat a lot of pasta because our kids will always eat it. However fussy they’re feeling, they’ll always manage to fill themselves up with a plate of penne.

I thought it was time I shared my favorite sauces… I’m not claiming to have created these recipes myself, but I make them all regularly and have finally got around to taking pictures when I do! 

My 5 Family Friendly Pasta Recipes

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese

I’ve been making this sauce regularly for four years now and I still look forward to every plate. It is hands down the best meat sauce you will ever make… seriously rich and delicious. Yes, it has wine in it but don’t worry, you’ll want to simmer for hours and you can be assured the booze will not be getting your toddler drunk!

Recipe found here at NYTimes Cooking.

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce RaguCreamy Mushroom & Peas 

We’ve gone from the slow simmer to the fastest recipe here… you’ll quickly through this sauce together while you’re boiling the pasta. Those little ones can be eating in ten minutes! I often add some sweet onion in with mine and the tomatoes on top are my boys’ favorite so it’s always a good way to get them enthused!

Recipe found here at Today.

Creamy Mushroom and Pea Pasta


Classic Marinara

I love the simplicity of a clean marinara sauce. The key is decent tomatoes… do go cheap, get the proper San Marzano tinned tomatoes. Personally, I like to but the whole peeled tomatoes and crush them myself, it gives a better flavor than the crushed or chopped ones, who knows why?! I always have a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard, ready to go for this recipes because it never fails to please.

Recipes found here at She Loves Biscotti although I add a little more oil and a little more garlic. You can never have enough garlic, right? You may also want to go easy on the chili for the little ones!

Classic marinara pasta sauce


Classic Carbonara

It’s not the prettiest to photograph but carbonara is delicious and my kids love it… well, Elsie picks out the bacon bits but hey, you can’t please everyone. Make sure you get the egg into the hot pasta immediately to allow it to cook, this is another speedy recipe you can put together in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

Recipes found here from Jamie Oliver, although don’t panic if you can’t find pancetta, bacon will do the trick!

classic carbonara jamie oliver

Cream Cheese With SPinach

I discovered this recipe more recently, although I’ve been mixing cream cheese into pasta for years. It’s a really simple way to make a creamy pasta sauce… just add a little of the pasta water to stop it getting too sticky!

The spinach is a little controversial for the kids, and it really depends what mood they’re in as to how much goes in. Because the spinach is just mixed in at the end, it does not overly wilt and is easy for kids to avoid if they really refuse to eat it. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles!

Recipe found here at Kraft Recipes.

Creamy Pasta with Spinach

These family friendly pasta dishes are all classics and for good reason. You can’t go wrong with a hearty plate of pasta and it’s so easy to keep and reheat for lunch or dinner tomorrow. Enjoy!

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

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