This quick pasta salad will hardly take longer to make than a sandwich. Just add some fresh ingredients to leftover pasta plus a squeeze of lime and it's done. It's perfect to eat at home or out and about as a tasty packed lunch too.
Recently I've been trying to become more organised in the kitchen in order to save time when preparing meals. It also makes it easier for me to eat healthily throughout the day and not just in the evenings.
I've started washing and preparing fruit and vegetables soon after I buy them so they're ready to eat or cook with very little extra effort. If I've got some clean celery and carrot sticks in the fridge I'm much more likely to eat them for a snack than I am if I've got to wash them first. I'm also more likely to eat extra vegetables with my lunch if I don't have to prepare them at the time. For a super lazy lunch I'll just take out my boxes of cleaned vegetables, put a few things on a plate and eat, as you can see below.
I never have much time at lunchtime to prepare lunch. If I'm at home I've usually been out most of the morning or if we're out somewhere we'll often be eating a packed lunch.
So when I found out that this month the theme for The Recipe Redux was healthy lunch ideas, especially packable lunches, it came at the perfect time.
I have to be honest, I do usually make sandwiches for lunch at the moment if I'm going to be out so I am in rather a lunch rut. This wasn't always the case. Before Little Miss Spice was around, I would regularly prepare filling packed lunch salads to take to work instead of sandwiches every day.
I would often cook rice, pasta or new potatoes as I was having my breakfast. I'd drain and cool them then add some protein such as beans, nuts, lentils, cold chicken or cheese. Then I'd add some salad vegetables: tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, green beans etc. Finally I'd add some dressing. Just a little so as not to make it soggy. I'd use things like olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil and soy sauce. No lunch was ever exactly the same as it just depended on what I had in the fridge. Way back in 2012 I made a seedy couscous salad using that method and this tuna and cannellini bean salad from 2011 is another quick and easy lunchtime salad.
In the years since then I'd got rather out of that habit but this month I have been trying to get back into it and so I'm sharing a super simple quick pasta salad. The only cooking required is to cook the pasta but you can do that the night before if it's easier for you. It makes a great packed lunch or you can just eat it at home on a plate. I have to say I did both.
I haven't included any quantities in the recipe as this type of quick pasta salad is not the type where exact quantities are important. Just add enough so it looks right to you. I have to say, after taking the pictures I decided I needed a lot more sunflower seeds so I sprinkled on another large handful. You could also up the protein by adding a few kidney or cannellini beans. When I ate this the second time I crumbled in some cheese as well.
If you're looking to liven up your lunches too then do check out some of the other Recipe Redux posts at the end of this post.
Recipe for Quick Pasta Salad
Quick Pasta Salad
- 160 g Leftover cooked pasta
- 100 g Cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 Yellow pepper sliced
- 1 Avocado diced
- 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds roasted
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Lime juiced
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together.
Places I'm sharing this Quick Pasta Salad
Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.