3 pasta lunches in containers

Meal prep: pasta

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins


Each box serves 1

Make three lunchbox pasta meals in one go to save you time midweek. They're nutritious and healthy with variations using salmon, chicken and aubergine

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: Chicken pasta

  • kcal475
  • fat10g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre9g
  • protein47g
  • salt0.4g
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    For the pasta base

    • 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
    • 150g wholemeal penne
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
    • 30g pack basil, chopped, stems and all



      Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

    For the salmon pasta box

    • ½ red pepper, sliced
    • 1 salmon fillet



      With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish.…

    • 1 tsp capers
      Capers in bowl



      Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

    • big handful rocket



      Rocket is a very 'English' leaf, and has been used in salads since Elizabethan times. It…

    For the chicken pasta box

    • 1 large courgette, sliced



      The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

    • 1 skinless chicken breast fillet, thickly sliced (150g)



      While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

    • 2 tsp pesto



      Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


    • 5 large cherry tomatoes, halved (80g)



      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    For the aubergine pasta box

    • 1 small aubergine, sliced then diced (about 275g)



      Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

    • 5 large cherry tomatoes, quartered (80g)



      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    • 5 kalamata olives, halved
      Bowl of olives



      Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they've been cultivated since biblical times…


    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Arrange the red onions, red pepper, courgette and aubergine in lines on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a little oil and roast for 15 mins.

    2. Cook the pasta for 10-12 mins until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, loosely wrap the salmon fillet in foil and do the same with the chicken and pesto in another foil parcel, then put them on another baking tray.

    3. When the veg have had their 15 mins, put the salmon and chicken in the oven and cook for a further 12 mins (or until the chicken is cooked through). Drain the pasta, put in a bowl and toss really well with the lemon zest and juice, rapeseed oil, garlic and two-thirds of the basil. When everything is cooked, add the red onions to the pasta. Toss together and divide between three lunch boxes.

    4. Top the first box with the salmon fillet (remove the skin first), then add the red pepper from the tray. Scatter over the capers and add the rocket. To the second box, add the chicken and pesto with any juices, the roasted courgette and the halved cherry tomatoes. In the third box, toss the aubergine into the pasta with the quartered cherry tomatoes, olives and the remaining basil. Seal up each container and chill. Eat within three days, preferably in the order of the salmon, then the chicken and then the aubergine.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    19th Jan, 2020
    I really like this recipe, it means I can make three tasty lunches on a Sunday for the week ahead. As others have advised, I left out the garlic (I was gonna roast it with the rest of the veg, but kept forgetting). I also didn't use the capers or olives. The first time I made this, I did the aubergine box and it was okay but much preferred the other two boxes, so now I do two chicken boxes.
    27th Sep, 2019
    I really like this dish, but it is better if you omit the garlic (or follow the advice of other commenters and roast it with the veg)
    21st Mar, 2019
    We really loved this! A great way to have interesting and varied lunches with little prep time. Love the lemon zest and juice with the pasta, very summery and light. I followed the advice from a previous comment to roast the garlic with the vegetables.
    21st Nov, 2018
    I'd recommend roasting the garlic whole with the veg rather than raw and grated because it made it nearly inedible it was so overpowering
    Frantic Flapjack
    17th Oct, 2017
    This was lovely. I didn't stick to the recipe exactly. Left out the bits we don't like and added bits in we do like but kept to the basic pasta base and added diced red pepper and sliced cherry tomatoes. I didn't add the oil though. I stirred pesto into the pasta and served with plain cooked chicken breasts/salmon.
    10th Oct, 2017
    I found this recipe disappointingly slimy and oily... now working my way through three grim lunches. Won't be making again!
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