Meal prep: pasta

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

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:30 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 475
  • fat 10g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 45g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 9g
  • protein 47g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 150g wholemeal penne
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 30g pack basil, chopped, stems and all
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1 tsp capers
  • big handful rocket
  • 1 large courgette, sliced
  • 1 skinless chicken breast fillet, thickly sliced (150g)
  • 2 tsp pesto
  • 5 large cherry tomatoes, halved (80g)
  • 1 small aubergine, sliced then diced (about 275g)
  • 5 large cherry tomatoes, quartered (80g)
  • 5 kalamata olives, halved


Nutritional information

Salmon pasta: 579 kcals, fat 25g, saturates 4g, carbs 43g, sugars 10g, fibre 9g, protein 41g, salt 0.5g

Nutritional information

Chicken pasta: 475 kcals, fat 10g, saturates 1g, carbs 45g, sugars 0g, fibre 9g, protein 47g, salt 0.4g

Nutritional information

Aubergine pasta: 367 kcals, fat 11g, saturates 1g, carbs 48g, sugars 15g, fibre 15g, protein 11g, salt 0.8g


  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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