"Cleaning out the Kitchen" Pasta Salad

I love pasta. It is one of my food vices in life. I think I could eat it everyday if my husband would go for it. One of our favorite pasta dishes in the hotter months is pasta salad. It’s cold and refreshing, full of fresh vegetables. I really like making “Clean out the Kitchen” Pasta Salad because it helps to clean out the pantry and refrigerator at the end of the week in addition to making a great side dish.

All it takes it some fresh vegetables, leftover uncooked pasta, some cheese, and pepperoni. I normally use carrots, onion, peppers, and tomatoes as my vegetables, but any fresh vegetables that are left over in the refrigerator at the end of the week will work. This week I didn’t have any tomatoes left but I did have celery so I substituted it in. I had two cups of corkscrew pasta left from a pasta salad I had made the week before and a cup of macaroni noodles leftover from a macaroni and cheese we had 2 weeks ago.

I like to make my own dressing with the pasta salad because it just makes it taste that much better.  However, if you have an Italian dressing or vinaigrette you need to use in your refrigerator it will work just as well.  Cook it up, mix it together, and sprinkle with your choice of seasonings!

“Cleaning out the Kitchen” Pasta Salad

3 c. uncooked pasta (I used 2 c. corkscrew pasta and 1 c. macaroni)
1 ½ c. fresh vegetables, diced (I used 2 celery stalks, 1 large carrot, ½ an onion, and a green pepper)
4 oz. cheddar cheese, diced
3 oz. pepperoni, cut into small chunks
1 t. sea salt
2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 t. oregano
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 c. Italian vinaigrette (already prepared or using the recipe that follows)
¼ c. Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, making sure it is al dente. Drain and run cool water over the pasta.

2. In a large container that the pasta salad will be kept in toss the vegetables, cheddar cheese, and pepperoni together. Add the Italian dressing. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle the pasta salad with the salt, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasonings. Mix well.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Italian Vinaigrette

2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. oregano
1 T. chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. In a bowl mix the vinegar with the garlic, oregano, and chopped parsley. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This post is linked to:
Friday Potluck
Foodie Fridays




  1. says

    Using pasta to clean up the pantry is a great idea! This is my 1st time visiting your blog and I’m happy to follow you for more cooking ideas 😀

  2. says

    Love this! I really enjoy dishes that are based on random ingredients — they’re often some of the best combos! Thanks for linking this to Friday Potluck… and for the inspiration for slow cooker apple sauce!

  3. says

    I should try this more often, great idea. I one who always finds that “What was that?” in the bottom of the crisper drawer. Thanks for a great idea. New follower… I’ll be back often to see what other tricks you have up ypur sleeve 😉

  4. says

    I never get tired of pasta salad, it’s such a nice idea to clean out the fridge and use up your veggies, and what ever you might find on hand.
    Great pasta salad…thanks for sharing!

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