No-prep pasta: Grab ingredients from the grocery salad bar

When the weekend rolls around I often (read: usually) lose my motivation to cook. My solution last weekend: Salad Bar Pasta. Our local grocery store has an amazing salad bar complete with interesting vegies, tuna, olives, artichoke hearts, marinated beans and several cheeses. I tossed a few promising fixins (including plenty of grated Parmesan) into a to-go box, cooked some pasta at home and tossed it all together with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Looked fancy, tasted lovely, good and fresh, relatively cheap, and I barely did a thing. Total cost for the toppings: $4; more than if I were to buy-and-prep but way less than a prepared dinner.

If some of the vegies are cut large, blanch them for a minute or two in the boiling pasta water before tossing.

Some inspiration:

Mediterranean: Olives, roasted peppers, spinach, tomatoes, feta

Asian: Bean sprouts, carrots, snow peas, green onions, peanuts, sesame oil, soy sauce

Springtime: Asparagus, peas, artichoke hearts, Parmesan

Related: Let new eaters sample foods from the salad bar and 20 minute dinner: Chicken Dumpling Soup

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  1. -Dadgonemad says

    I tried it this week. I liked it. Any leftovers make a great lunch for work.

    To make this a real parent hack, one should let the kids pick out the stuff. They’d be more likely to eat it I bet.

  2. says

    These ideas would make such a great addition to any of our favorites! We really love making pasta from Kamut Khorasan Wheat…and these are such a great way to add even more nutrition! Thanks.