Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

Yesterday, I was hungry. (Surprise!) At approximately the same time, I found out that while my kitchen is fully stocked to make any kind of cake or cookie imaginable, it is sorely lacking in the “real food” department.

In desperation, I turned to an old, familiar friend: pasta. Before college, pasta played a pretty significant role in my life, especially on random school days off. I would sleep until 1 or 2 pm, stumble out into the kitchen, peruse my food options, and then, without fail, make some pasta. My favorite dish (no judgment) was rotini under cream of chicken soup, with shredded sharp cheddar cheese melted on top.

Somewhere along the way, I started to love pasta salad – usually with tri-colored rotini, olives, ham, you know, the classic. Yesterday, though, when the pasta salad craving hit (hard), I had zero of the above ingredients. No rotini. No olives. No ham.

Thus, I improvised. And while this is called kitchen sink pasta salad, it should really probably be called “refrigerator” pasta salad . . . because everything from my refrigerator went right into the bowl. I was feeling way too lazy to search out herbs to make a real dressing, so I just put in rice vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. It. was. delicious.

So, if you want some pasta salad and don’t have any of the “classic” ingredients or even any dried herbs for dressing, have no fear. Pasta salad is super adaptable. Just take any kind of pasta you have, all the veggies/meat in your fridge, and bam! Perfect pasta salad. I’ve posted two recipes below – one for the specific pasta I made, and a general recipe with proportions for any ingredients you want to use. Happy Fridge Cleanout Friday!

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad (My version)

Notes: I marinated the chicken in a combination of soy sauce, salt, and pepper, but you can use whatever kind of seasoning you like. I also like to bake my chicken wrapped in foil in a small cake pan, but you can bake/roast it your favorite way.

Yield: 4 medium size servings, or 2 servings for a hungry person (me)

Ingredients

  1. 4 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins (or 2 chicken breasts)
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  5. 8 oz whole-wheat macaroni
  6. 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 cup corn
  8. 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  9. 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  11. Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with enough foil to also cover the chicken. Combine soy sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Dip the chicken tenderloins in the marinade (both sides) and wrap in foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  2. Boil pasta as stated on the package, then strain water and place into a large bowl. Add tomatoes, corn, and cheese.
  3. When chicken is done, shred with fork and knife and add to pasta. Then, pour on vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad (Everything that’s in your fridge)

Yield: 4 medium size servings

Ingredients

  1. 8 oz pasta
  2. 2 cups cut-up veggies
  3. 1/2 cup cheese (shredded/cubed/etc.)
  4. 1 cup meat (shredded chicken, salami, ham, etc.)
  5. 1/2 cup vinegar
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine pasta, veggies, cheese, and meat in a large bowl. Pour on vinegar and olive oil, then season with salt & pepper to taste.
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One thought on “Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

  1. Pingback: Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake | 3pastriesaday

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