ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make Pasta Salad Using Leftover Ingredients: a Quick and Easy Recipe

Updated on June 22, 2017
Country Homemaker profile image

Thelma is a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine and currently owns a marketing company for the promotion of community cookbooks.

Easy Pasta Salad made with Leftovers
Easy Pasta Salad made with Leftovers | Source

A Simple Recipe for an Experienced Cook or a Beginner

Please Rate This Quick and Easy Recipe

5 stars from 2 ratings of Pasta Salad Made With Leftovers

Don't Throw Out Those Leftovers

This recipe for Pasta Salad is so quick and easy because you can use up the leftovers you have in the refrigerator that have already been cooked. If you liked the dish when you served it the first time, you are sure to like it again as an ingredient in this simple salad. Just about anything works well!


  1. Of course, the basic ingredient for Pasta Salad is pasta. No brainer there! So start your salad with whatever type of leftover pasta you might have or cook some fresh, using what you have available in your pantry. In the salad pictured here, I used spaghetti noodles because I had some leftover from preparing spaghetti and meatballs a couple of nights earlier. Instead of being wasteful and throwing out my abundance of pasta, I saved it in the refrigerator as I knew I would find a way to use it. Then, I had the bright idea of making a big bowl of pasta salad for a light lunch.
  2. Next, I decided to put some meat in my salad. I had a few pieces of leftover pork roast in the refrigerator. It wasn't enough for the main course of a meal but it was just the right amount to cut into small pieces and add to my pasta bowl. Before I added it, I decided to heat it just a short time in the microwave because it didn't look very appealing. I heated it about 30 seconds to melt any grease that was showing because of it being cold. If you like the meat cold, you can skip the heating step.
  3. I had a block of Swiss cheese from Pennsylvania Amish country. It was the perfect taste to go along with the pork, so I cut up some small chunks and into the bowl it went.
  4. We love tomatoes in just about any kind of salad. Since I had one just ready to be eaten, I cut it into pieces and added it to the other ingredients.
  5. I almost always have a big Vidalia onion on hand. I keep it in a baggie in the refrigerator and cut off just the amount I need each time. The sweet onion tastes great with tomatoes, so some small pieces of Vidalia found their way into the salad.
  6. At this point, I realized the dish needed some more color! I had a small bowl of leftover cooked carrots I had originally served with the pork roast. Again, there weren't enough to serve as a side dish with a meal, but too many to throw out. I had never used cooked carrots in a salad before, but I decided since raw carrots taste so good why not try cooked.
  7. I had the color red from the tomatoes and the orange carrots but I wanted one more colorful ingredient. So I scoured the refrigerator and came up with green olives! Personally I don't like them but another plus for this salad is you can pick out any of the ingredients you don't want to eat.
  8. This brings us to the last ingredient and in my opinion the most important except for the pasta. I poured Zesty Italian salad dressing over the ingredients and mixed everything together well. There is no need for any additional spices because this particular salad dressing does the trick unless you want to add a spice you are fond of. I use Kraft Zesty Italian dressing but any dressing with spices would work well.
  9. If you plan this salad for lunch, put all of the ingredients together first thing in the morning. That way, the dressing will have a chance to meld with the ingredients by the time you are ready to eat it.

Photo by author, The Country Homemaker.  May not be used without written permission of the author.
Photo by author, The Country Homemaker. May not be used without written permission of the author.

Do You Plan to Try this Easy Pasta Salad Made from Leftovers?

See results

I served this pasta salad with crusty Italian bread along with apple slices and grapes for dessert. I put some Parmesan cheese on the table for anyone that wanted to sprinkle it over their salad for a little extra cheese flavor. Simple, budget friendly, easy and very colorful, especially when served on my beautiful Blue Ridge pottery dishes.

The beauty of this salad recipe is you add ingredients that are already cooked and waiting in the refrigerator to be used. It is like a FREE Lunch! You can't get any easier or cheaper than this.

© 2016 Thelma Raker Coffone

Please Share Your Comments on this Recipe

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • peachpurple profile image


      2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i agree that left over could make wonderful pasta too


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)