School Lunches – Recipe: Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Summer and I had a different kind of mommy/daughter day today.  We ran errands, which is not her favorite thing to do.  So, we started out by getting her a few things that just made her day – hair accessories and jewelry.


From there, we went to The Container Store.  Seriously, where has that store been all my life?  I am more of a Target kind of girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Target, and I have bought wonderful containers there.  But, The Container Store took my breath away a little.  It was just what I needed today.  Summer was in love, too.  She totally forgot that she wanted to be home because she was so impressed with the aisles and aisles of containers…even pink ones.

What I really wanted was some snack and lunch containers for the littles.  I do not like packing everything in a zillion different containers.  I wanted one container, with dividers, that would hold everything.  And, I found exactly what I wanted.

Not only that, but I found some that will be perfect for snacks, too.  They hold something cold on top and something else on bottom – yogurt and granola, apples and peanut butter, hummus and carrots.  I am so excited about all of the possibilities.

With Ethan’s food sensitivities, I have been packing snacks and lunches a bit differently this year.  Last year, it was almost always sandwiches, chips, yogurt, and fruit.  This year, I am trying to mix it up and try different things.  So, when I am making my dinner menu, I often think about how that can be turned into a lunch.  I found…and then adapted…a recipe that would do just that.

With these fun little containers, I can put a pasta salad on one side and then nuts and a fruit on the other divided side.  I can pack it up easily.  One container….and a simple, healthy lunch.  That makes me one happy momma!

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

I did not list precise amounts in the ingredients because this salad can be made according to your liking. Gabriel loves the corn, so I add more of it. You can also add tomatoes, bell pepper, or onions, again, according to what you prefer in your salad. Adapted from Our Best Bites Southwest Pasta Salad.



Grilled chicken, sliced

Corn, fresh or frozen

Black beans, dried (and cooked) or canned

1 package of pasta (we used gluten free)

Goat cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste


6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)

1/4 C white wine

4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 C canola oil

1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Slice up the chicken.
  3. Cook and drain the black beans.
  4. Cook and drain the corn.
  5. Add the chicken, corn, and black beans to the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and add the goat cheese.
  7. Dressing
  8. Mix together the dressing ingredients.
  9. Drizzle onto the salad, according to how much or little you like on your pasta salad.

This pasta salad is a perfect school lunch food because it tastes great at room temperature.  I am so excited to come up with even more fun, tasty school lunches to pack in these awesome new containers.

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