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Healthy School Lunch Pesto Pasta Nigeria

My daughter now has to stay in school for an extra hour after closing time so that she can participate in extra-curricular activities.  For me, that means giving her an even more substantial meal because that extra hour means that she will be spending lunch time in school and will be starving by the time she gets home.

A good choice for a filling meal is Pasta and rather than just regular pasta, whole wheat pasta is sooooo much better.

That is the inspiration for today’s Healthy School Lunch Idea.


  • Pasta is filling.
  • Kids love the sauces that come with it.

Why Whole-Wheat and not regular pasta?

Whole Wheat Pasta Nigeria

Pasta available at Fig Health Store, Lagos.

Image Source

  • Unlike white/regular pasta, it has not been stripped of the bran and germ of the seed so it retains a lot more nutrients and fiber.
  • It is more filling than regular pasta.
  • It contains fiber. It contains fiber. It contains fiber. Very very important. This keeps you full and also keeps the bowel moving.
  • It contains more nutrients – Vitamin E, major B Vitamins, Phosporus, Magnesium and even calcium than regular pasta. In some cases, up to 100% more.
  • It is not “enriched” like White Pasta because the nutrients were not stripped away in the first place. “Enriched” meals are by their very definition lacking in certain nutrients.

Bearing all these in mind , I got this pack of Pasta from Fig Health Store (read about them here and visit/follow them on Instagram) and set to making a Pesto.


 Why Pesto? 

  • It stays fresh.
  • It is made primarily of vegetables
  • It can be made ahead of time.
  • Easy to pack.
  • I was in the mood for something different from our usual tomato juice.

To see how I made my pesto and to get a printable recipe for it, go to the end of this post. I also have to put in a note saying that I know that this is not a typical Nigerian meal, I will be trying out similar recipes where I swap out the nuts and leaves for those that can be found more easily, locally.

Healthy School Lunch - Pasta and Pesto_Ingredients.jpg

Gather your ingredients together


Roast your pine nuts. As you can see, I like them quite brown. Not this brown, I left them in the pan for too long 🙁

Healthy Lunch idea - Pesto

Pesto is ready

Packing up the meal



I packed her pasta in this small thermos food flask and placed the pesto in a small plastic container that seals tight. I am sorry I have no pictures of this.

Healthy School Lunch – Pasta & Pesto

20 minutes

10 minutes

Healthy School Lunch – Pasta & Pesto


  • ~3 cups of Basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Pinenuts ( I like pine nuts and always use a lot)
  • 1/2 cup Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt to Taste


  1. Option 1, Blender - Put all the basil, pine nuts, garlic and cheese in a food processor or blender and blend until finely chopped. In a food blender, you will need to put in all the oil at once as the liquid is necessary to get it going. Keep going until you have a smooth pesto. Add salt to taste.
  2. Option 2, Food Processor - If using a food processor, go ahead and add all the ingredients but the oil. Then scrape the ingredients down and drizzle the oil in while the processor is running and continue to blend until the oil has mixed in properly with the pesto. This makes a much better, smoother pesto than when using the blender and throwing everything in. Add salt to taste.

The top of your pesto goes brown quickly but is still fresh and edible. That is just oxidation. You can store pesto in your fridge for 3 days (for those that do not have constant electricity) 1 week if you do. You can store in your freezer for up to 3 months.


This post was sponsored by Fig Health Store (Inst



I love pesto so much, but never figured I’d get the ingredients to make it in Nigeria thanks for this!

Dayo B


I love this recipe and I’m to try this out asap. Do you know if pine nuts are sold locally in Lagos and where they are sold? If yes, please where can I get them? Thanks

Natural Nigerian

Hi Dayo, I am glad you like them. I really do not know but you can look in Goodies, L’Epicere or La Pointe. If you don’t find, you can substitute with Almonds. I am sure those are sold at Goodies.


I love pesto too! Please where do you get fresh basil leaves in Lagos?
Thanks and cheers!

Natural Nigerian

Hi P! I bought these at L’Epicere but if you follow me on Instagram you would see that I complained a lot about the cost. A teeny weeny bunch of 3 stalks cost N400. I used 6 bunches and they came to N2400 just for leaves. Imagine. So, I am in the market for new sources, alternative leaves or for just planting Basil myself.


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