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Pantry Pasta Salad

pantry pasta salad

Pantry Pasta Salad

Serves 8

(Gluten-free option, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)

You get the call…friends invite you for a last-minute BBQ or family decides to drop in unexpectedly for a casual summer dinner on the deck. What can you whip up without a big shopping trip? This recipe for Pantry Pasta Salad is just right when there’s no time to plan because most of the ingredients come from a well-stocked pantry and what you don’t have, you can improvise. And by simply substituting vegan mayonnaise for regular, you eliminate that pesky cholesterol. There's nothing hard and fast here about the recipe; adjust it, persuade it, make it your own, but whatever you do, you should make it soon…wasn’t that the doorbell ringing!


1 pound macaroni (use GF if you prefer) + salt for water

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

¼ cup prepared mustard

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup or other liquid sweetener (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Dash of red pepper flakes

1 (14-ounce) can of quartered artichoke hearts

½ cup olives (black, green, or kalamata)

½ cup diced roasted red peppers

⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Fresh Ingredients (if you have them)

Chopped herbs like basil, parsley, or thyme

Chopped scallions or red onion

Baby greens, like spinach or arugula


Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water, according to the package directions; best to cook pasta slightly “al dente”, or with a little bite to it so it doesn’t become too mushy after adding the dressing. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, syrup, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine everything. Mix in any fresh ingredients you may have. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve immediately or chill for 30 minutes first.

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