For a kid meal that’s anything but boring, give your standard spaghetti recipe a new twist! We’ve rounded up ways to revamp your noodle dish into something tasty and creative. Scroll down for our favorite variations on classic pasta recipes that are cheap, easy to make, and ready in no time.
1. Threaded Spaghetti Hot Dog Bites
This fun idea from Damn Delicious gets the tots involved in the cooking. Have them thread uncooked spaghetti through hot dogs before you boil the pasta, and pair it with homemade or jarred marinara sauce for a delicious meal. To get the recipe, click here.
2. Revamped Spaghetti Carbonara
Bacon, eggs and parmesan cheese—what more could you need? Keep things simple with a delicious bowl of pasta carbonara. Find out how it’s done by clicking here.
3. Spinach & Avocado Pesto Pasta
This lightened-up pesto recipe swaps the traditional olive oil for avocado, making it a great option to get some extra veggies into your tot’s diet. Top with a generous sprinkling of parmesan and no one will know the difference. To get the full recipe, click here.
4. Dairy-Free Perfect Noodles
This easy dish subs nutritional yeast for parmesan and olive oil for butter to make a simple, dairy-free alternative to your kiddo’s favorite go-to pasta dish. Just cook spaghetti or linguine noodles according to package, toss in enough olive oil to coat and sprinkle liberally with nutritional yeast. You can add parsley, pepper and a pinch of salt if you’re a rule-breaker.
5. Spaghetti Squash & Cheese
photo: Sue Bee Homemaker
7. Spaghetti del Contadino
For those of you who live close to farmer’s markets and local produce, this Italian dish from Girl’s Gone Child is a must-try. Colorful, flavorful, filling, this arugula-laden dish is a nutrient-boosting, tasty reward for your hungry little market shoppers.
8. Baked Spaghetti Lasagna
A perfect alternative to a big lasagna dish, you can vary the spaghetti lasagna by adding different sauce or veggie combos. Get the basic recipe here and get cooking!
9. Zoodles with Meatballs
Give your usual noodles a twist! Zoodles with meatballs is a great veggie-ful meal that still has all the slurpable goodness of your favorite pasta. Grab your spiralizer and get the recipe from My Flourless Kitchen.
10. Spaghetti Nests
Here’s a recipe worth tweeting about! These adorable little nests are simple to make and a fun way to play with your food. Plus, they’re filled with a delicious and hearty chicken mushroom filling. For the recipe, fly on over to Sweet and Savory Meals.
11. Garlic Bread Spaghetti
Love garlic bread? Then you’ll love the flavors of this quick 20-minute dish from Kitchen Sanctuary. With just a bit of crispy garlic breadcrumbs, lemon, chili, and parmesan, you’ll have a dinner that will be a hit with kids and grownups alike. Get the recipe here.
12. Baked Spaghetti Pie
This retro recipe is tried and true—and a creative twist on spaghetti! Not only can you freeze and reheat this dish, you can also adapt the meat sauce to your family's tastes. Perfect for potlucks, busy weekdays and more! Get the recipe from A Spicy Perspective.
13. Spaghetti and Meatball Soup
The genius of this idea from Damn Delicious is that it takes your favorite pasta dish and turns it into an irresistible creamy soup. All it takes is 20 minutes to make, and you can always use store-bought meatballs. Snag the recipe here.
14. Braided Spaghetti Bread
It’s a bread loaf! It’s a spaghetti dish! Even better—it’s both! Yep, with this multi-tasking idea, you can surprise the kiddos with a surprise spaghetti feast that looks like regular bread before you dig in. Any way you slice it, this is a creative idea worth trying. Get the how-to over at A Taste of Madness.
15. Make-Ahead Spaghetti
You’re going to want to add this pasta to your collection of make-ahead meals. It has lots of veggies and crispy bacon, and you can even freeze it for those days when you need dinner on the quick. For the recipe, visit Kitchen Sanctuary.
16. Spaghetti Salad
The standard pasta salad gets a twist with this tasty idea from Dinner at the Zoo. It sports crunchy vegetables, Parmesan cheese and a homemade Italian dressing that will wow a crowd. Get the recipe here.
17. Spaghetti Pizza
Ready for a slice of spaghetti? This idea from Playful Cooking uses spaghetti as the base for a pizza that’s as creative as it is tasty. Use your family’s favorite toppings for a truly personalized pie! Get the instructions here.
18. Sesame Soy Noodle Bowl
Hooray for 30-minute meals! Not only can this dish be made in a snap, but it also only calls for a few simple (but tasty) ingredients and can be served hot or cold. Plus, you’ll love the leftovers. For the recipe, head on over to Life Made Simple.
featured image: Wendy Hale via Unsplash
— Abigail Matsumoto & Amber Guetebier