I find that at least once a week, even with meal planning in advance, I find myself working right until dinner time, and needing to be able to pull together something FAST. That’s why I just loved this idea I saw in a magazine a few months ago (and which I can’t find to save my life! Maybe it was Parents? Maybe Family Fun?).
Mix and Match Pasta Recipes
All you need to do to pull together a large variety of options for everyone in your family is to have several different types of pasta available in your pantry, as well as several different sauces in your pantry or fridge, and several different toppings that come together in a flash. Most of those toppings can also be found in your pantry, your fridge, or even your freezer! Stay stocked up on theses items and a meal almost makes itself for you! If you have older kids, this is a great way for them to start to learn to cook for themselves!
Here’s what I offered up to my family as options. I actually decided to cook a small amount of each pasta type, and then kept unused pasted sealed in the fridge, and that made lunches even easier for the next few days. It was glorious!!!
I think wagon wheels would also be great to offer, but I couldn’t find any at my local store :-(.
Pasta Sauce Offerings:
I got every single thing featured here from a jar to save time and hassle!
Pasta Recipes Add-Ins:
Now it’s time for the really fun part: the add-ins! This is where kids can start to feel really empowered about their meal options, and they can build exactly the kind of pasta they want, switching it up depending on their mood! I have tried lots of different dishes just by rearranging the key ingredients, and it has been a great way for “leftovers” to feel brand new!
Extra Indulgence: Cheese!
If you really want to go all-out and make a super rich pasta dish, just offer up a selection of cheeses. It is SO yummy, you guys!
Want to see what my 4-year-old “made” for her dinner? I think she did a great job!
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