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3 ways to spice up your pasta - Stuck in a Shoebox
Cooking & Meals

3 ways to spice up your pasta

If you did anything similar to what I did 6 weeks ago when initially buying groceries, it was buying a lot of pasta. I ordered pasta on Amazon, when I popped in a bodega or when I went to Target. Nothing else I really bought out of panic, but the pasta was weirdly on that list.

I am not really sure as to why. I know partially why. Pasta has a long shelf life and there is the easy-to-make aspect of it. However, I bought enough pasta that I was taken back to my freshman year self when pasta with butter was essentially my diet. (regrets)

I didn’t realize that this was such a thing until I wasn’t eating the pasta and I moved last weekend and the pasta was taking space in a box. So in honor of old habits dying hard and getting rid of this pasta, I partnered with College Kitchen Creations blog (linked here) to give some ideas to add to your pasta to bring a little more flavor than butter, or even marinara sauce.

1. Put an Asian twist on it

If you have already spent your delivery budget on take out, I get it.. I have been there too. There are plenty of ways to make your plain pasta taste almost as good as your local favorite spot.

Some ingredients to play around with:

  • Peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Honey

2. Add some veggies

It may not sound that exciting, but if you stir fry up some vegetables and put the right sauces and seasonings it’s great. Make it more original than just broccoli and pasta. See what is already in your fridge and try some things out.

Some ingredients to play around with:

  • Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms
  • Onions, snap peas, cabbage
  • lemon pepper

3. Make it into a casserole

This also sounds slightly basic, but SO easy. Pasta bakes or casseroles are a meal you really can’t mess up. There are so many easy recipes out there and as long as you have some basic ingredients, you can really pull anything together for a great meal! (and with leftovers, too!)

Some basic ingredients to have:

  • Your favorite cheeses
  • Throw in some chicken breast, sausage, shrimp or tofu
  • Season with some herbs such as chives, thyme, basil, or parsley

Comment below if you have done any of these already! If you have done something different, what have you done? What are you go-to pasta recipes?


  • Lana Davis

    I haven’t tried any of these exactly as you have written but they sounds yummy. I especially like the idea of adding chicken bits and a little cheese. I definitely need to switch things around to shoot for variety. Thanks for the tips.

  • Karen Witcher

    LOL I have a “pasta” shelf in my pantry! One of my favorite things is making a pea pesto from frozen peas, garlic, olive oil, lemon, red pepper flakes and pine nuts (red pepper flakes & nuts optional)
    Leave the peas frozen and pour into food processor with a couple of cloves of garlic a little grated lemon and a bit of the lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Purée until smooth while slowly drizzling in oil until desired consistency. All salt, pepper and pine nuts. You can use this as a great spread on bread, dip for veggies, or warmed over pasta. Throw in some shrimp of chicken if wanting to change it up.

  • Denise Berwald

    Yesterday I cleaned out my pantry. I have enough pasta to stock a grocery store, so obviously these ideas will help to create new meals. Chicken spaghetti is my favorite pasta meal so maybe next time I will change it up. Many thanks for the encouragement.

  • Beverly Tye

    This is such a wonderful post today. I have made variations of recipe #2&3 but these gave me some additional ideas to my basics. I especially can’t wait to try the Asian recipe. It sounds so delicious and different. I will have to get the ingredients, even the pasta. Time to send out for groceries!

  • Darla Clement

    Creative! Love the ideas

    I would have never thought about writing about pasta

    It’s like you caught me red handed. I stocked up on pasta—something I rarely purchase.

    I’ll try out some of your suggestions

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