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This is what I make pretty much every week in the summertime.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Please do not hate me for talking about summer in mid May (I used to hate those people who did, especially when I live in a climate that still snows in May, but now I am one of those people…oops). I know we still have a good month until summer, but Memorial Day is about ten days away and I am exited. Plus, my grocery store has had things like corn, watermelon, peaches and tomatoes in for a good week now, so umm, I had to buy them! I know that they are not at their best yet, but again, it just leaves me really excited for what is to come!

And ok, I am a major planner, prepper, preparer, whatever you want to call me. The truth is I want to start preparing you all for an extra awesome summer filled with good food.

I also really want to share this Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad recipe. Well, this recipe that isn’t really a recipe, but then it sort of is. Yeah, I just really want to tell you about it. You know what kind of recipe I am talking about right??

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The kind where you throw everything together, hope for the best, and end up with delicious!! Yes, that kind.

This is the dinner I make when sauces, veggies and cheeses start piling up in the fridge, which if you are me, is at least a weekly occurrence. The salad is honestly just a little bit different every time I make it, but today I am sharing my base version, which also happens to be my favorite version.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

It’s really just a simple mix of pesto, veggies, pasta and cheese. Nothing too special, except for some smoked salt (if you have it…or want to get it).

Here’s the thing though, you can really add anything to this salad. Just pick a sauce that’s sitting in your fridge (I pretty much always have some homemade pesto and sun-dried tomato pesto, so I normally use a combo of the two). It can really be any sauce though, just something with some good flavor. Basil based sauces are my favorite, but leftover salad dressings, tomato sauce or even peanut sauces can also be used. Just be sure to know what flavors you have going on so that you can add other ingredients accordingly.

Typically, I go heavy on the mediterranean flavors, fill the bowl up with veggies and then add lots and lots of cheese. I mean, of course.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I do have to say, I make a mean pasta salad and I think I learned it all from my dad. Growing up he’d make this pasta salad for dinner with literally just pasta, broccoli, red peppers and cheddar cheese. So maybe not really a true pasta salad, but still, I loved every bit of that salad, especially the raw broccoli cause I was a freak kid.

Anyway, the point is, I learned two very important things from my dad’s pasta salad.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

>>>ONE: Use cubed cheddar cheese no matter what other flavors you have going on. You can just never go wrong with cheddar (unless it’s a peanut based sauce…oh wait, I still add the cheddar to those too…it’s good, I swear!)

>>>TWO: Add the cheese to the bowl, with the sauce and other ingredients BEFORE adding the pasta, and when you add the pasta, make sure it’s HOT. Hot pasta = melty cheese, which equals extra freaking delicious.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Another major bonus to this recipe – takes no time at all to come together. AND you get to clean out your fridge.

Win. WIN!

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 458 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al dente, drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, juice of 1 lemon, olives, red peppers, corn kernels, peach or nectarine, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and a pinch of smoked salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Add the hot pasta and a little drizzle of olive oil. Toss well to combine. Top with toasted sunflower seeds and fresh sprouts. Serve warm or at room temperature, but my family personally loves this warm. The salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. I have found that the longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, those cute little tomatoes… taste just like sweet candy to me. So good!

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Comments

  1. Are you mixing in field greens, or arugu1la, or fresh basil in your salad? There doesn’t appear to be any leafy greens listed in the recipe but I see some greenery in the gorgeous photo. I am making this weekend for a potluck and wanted to make sure I am not missing anything. Thanks much!

    1. Hi Lynn! I added some spouts to this recipe, but I am sure those greens would go great! Thank you!

  2. Yesss I want this right now! Next to Mexican/BBQ, I really really crave salads and they go so well with both, But sometimes I just have to have a biggggg bowl of everything salad – this will do it! Love love love your food combos Teighan!

  3. This is hands down the BEST pasta salad I have ever had!
    I made it last Sunday and I am making it again today.
    I found a nice smoked cheddar and apple from Mariano’s, which really enhanced the abundance of flavors

  4. This is hands down the BEST pasta salad I have ever had!
    I made it last Sunday and I am making it again today.
    I found a nice smoked cheddar and apple from Mariano’s, which really enhanced the abundance of flavors.

  5. Tieghan, this looks amazing! We are having guests over tomorrow. I am definitely making this salad for them. Can’t wait. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. This is hands down the BEST pasta salad I have ever had!
    I made it last Sunday and I am making it again today.
    I found a nice smoked cheddar and apple from Mariano’s, which really enhanced the abundance of flavors.
    Thank you Tieghan!

  7. Just finished dinner and had to let you know how delicious it was. I made some changes based on what I had in the fridge but it turned out wonderful. Fresh basil picked from my herb garden this morning, turned into pesto this afternoon and this fabulous salad tonight. Thank you once again!

  8. Recipes like this are the best kind!
    I haven’t heard of smoked salt before, but it sounds amazing! Can you get it at just about any grocery store??

  9. I’m making this for my Birthday dinner tonight , lots of peps coming over. I’m so excited to eat it! I love the colors! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness! That is one stunning – and loaded – salad! I live in Upstate New York where the temps in May fluctuate somewhere between 40 degrees and 80 with snow and sunshine, so I can completely understand craving those Summer vibes ASAP! We’ve had a taste of it, but I wish it would stick around. Have a beautiful weekend! : )

  11. I’ve totally become that person where Memorial Day = Summer, full stop! loving this quick, easy, and fun pasta salad, can’t be a fridge clean out in a tasty way! x

  12. Yes to pasta salad! It’s such a simple solution to dinner on a hot day. I love the blackened corn here!

  13. Wow that is fab tip about the cubed cheese and the hot pasta. I would have never
    figured that out. I would/will love this salad!!!!

  14. Haha I absolutely love this post! It is so humorous whilst showcasing an absolutely delicious looking recipe which is making my mouth water, especially that slightly charred corn cob lying on top. I love your reference to yourself as the freak kid who liked raw brocolli! Awesome blog with beautiful photographs, I’m looking forward to seeing more 🙂
    X Sam

  15. Whoa! This looks just like my go-to pasta salad! Even the corn & micro greens! So good!

  16. Wow! this looks delicious! …and dare we say (kind of) healthy!? Mmmmm, you’ve done it again Tieghan!

  17. I’m with you, I start planing for summer in like March. Really. I just love all of the summer foods! What I love most about this pasta salad, is it’s adaptability, the sky is the limit! Or the produce section. 🙂

    1. Haha! I am so with you! 🙂 Summer has the BEST food! And yeah, the sky is totally the limit here!!

      Thanks Nicole! Hoping you are having a great week!

  18. This is one of my favorite dishes to make! Yours looks gorgeous!! I have been chowing down on this for the past 2 weeks now!:)

  19. Wow! Your pasta salad looks so gorgeous! I love the name too 🙂 Very creative way to use whatever’s in the fridge. Thanks for sharing!

  20. This Pasta Salad recipe looks delicious and nutritious. It is very unique compare to other pasta salad. This salad is everything and it’s ingredients are all everything. I am craving for this good recipe for healthy eating . Can’t wait to try this and share it with my family. Thanks for your yummy recipe. Your other recipes also awesome, I love it. Perfect for summer.

  21. I love the combination of both pestos and I love those sweet little tomatoes! Basically, I love this pasta salad. Delicious! Great recipe!

  22. This is a salad after my own heart! Great Mediterranean twist; I especially love the use of pesto sauce.

  23. This is totally my kinda salad….loads of veggies and flavor! And that charred corn? Bring it to me!
    And no hate for talking about summer….I am all ready for it!!

  24. This salad is EVERYTHING! Like, it has everything in it….and It’s everything that my pasta salad loving face wants in it.
    Totally don’t hate you for talking about Summer. it’s almost here! Pinning!

  25. Love it! Summer produce + melty cheese + carbs is always a great combo. If you ever happen to go to NYC (in which case you could write a food journal and the rest of us could drool relentlessly), there’s a place in Chelsea Market that has the best flavored salts- there’s a smoky one, and a really fragrant white truffle one too.