Pasta Salad

Clean Out the Fridge: Endless Pastabilities

Be a more liberated chef, make your very own pasta salad with the gang of goodies you have stashed in fridge and pantry. Think this through: it’s a salad with cooked pasta—get gathering!

Cavatappi Macaroni [Corkscrew] Notice the ridges, they collect sauce better than smooth pastas

Here’s How:

  • Prepare some macaroni and cook al denté; go for curly or shaped macaroni
  • Mince some or all of the following:
    • onion, shallot, or scallion
    • carrot
    • celery or fennel bulb
    • bell pepper or mild chili peppers
    • fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, mint, etc.
  • Seasonings:
    • salt
    • pepper
    • celery seed
    • spice blend: herbes de Provence, taco, or your own combo
  • Add-ins:
    • cooked beans or diced cooked protein [tuna, tofu, sausage, chicken]
    • olives, diced pickle or fermented veggie on hand
    • diced cheese: feta, blue cheese, mozzarella
    • tomatoes, cucumbers
    • preserved lemon [optional, or lemon zest]
  • Dressing: a classic vinaigrette; shake the following in a jar:
    • 4 TBS olive oil
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 tsp mayo [opt. thickens the dressing]
Tuna, Roasted Peppers, Celery, Cannelini Beans, Cavatappi Macaroni, Vinaigrette, Feta, Tomatoes, Fist of Herbs on a Bed of Iceberg Lettuce and Baby Arugula


  1. Cook the pasta
  2. Make the vinaigrette
  3. Prep the veggies and toss in large bowl
  4. Add other add-ins of choice
  5. Eyeball an appropriate amount of pasta and add to the bowl
  6. Toss with enough dressing to coat the pasta well
  7. Serve topped with chopped herbs

Refrigerate for an hour or more for improved flavor.

Serve warm, room temp, or chilled. If served after a few days, squeeze on more lemon juice

HINT: Undercook the pasta as the vinaigrette will soften it. Having a toothy macaroni scores big points!

Recipe by B. Hettig

2 thoughts on “Pasta Salad

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