Leftover Spaghetti Salad

A Revamped Classic: Leftover Spaghetti Salad

One of my favorite recipes is the Leftover Spaghetti Salad. It’s not just a practical way to use up leftover pasta but a flavorful and refreshing dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year. View the recipe below!

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Leftover Spaghetti Salad

Leftover Spaghetti Salad

Leftover Spaghetti Salad is a versatile and easy-to-make recipe that breathes new life into your pasta leftovers. It's perfect for those moments when you don't feel like reheating your spaghetti or simply want to enjoy a different take on it. The beauty of this recipe is that it's highly customizable. You can use any type of spaghetti you have on hand, whether it's whole wheat, regular, or even gluten-free.
The key to making this salad shine is the combination of fresh vegetables and a tangy dressing. The classic trio of bell peppers, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes adds a refreshing crunch, while the Italian dressing infuses the dish with a burst of flavor. But here's the twist: to make this recipe truly unique, add a pinch of smoked paprika to your dressing. This smoky spice will elevate the flavor profile, giving your salad a delightful, unexpected depth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups leftover spaghetti
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
  • ¼ cup Italian dressing
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika (for the dressing)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the leftover spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, basil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and black olives.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the Italian dressing and the smoked paprika. Drizzle this dressing over the pasta and vegetables.
  • Toss everything together gently to ensure the dressing coats all the ingredients evenly.
  • Season your salad with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Before serving, give the salad a quick toss, garnish it with some extra basil leaves, and sprinkle a bit more Parmesan cheese on top for that finishing touch.


Cooking Tips for the Best Results:

  1. Use cold leftover spaghetti: Cold pasta holds up better in salads, and it won’t become mushy when mixed with the dressing.
  2. Be generous with herbs: Fresh basil and parsley add a burst of freshness to your salad. Don’t skimp on them.
  3. Customize your veggies: Feel free to add or swap vegetables according to your preference. Bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers are classic choices, but you can get creative with what’s in your fridge.
  4. Let it chill: Allowing the salad to rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving enhances the flavors.
  5. Go easy on the dressing: Start with a modest amount of dressing and add more if needed. You don’t want to overpower the salad with too much dressing.

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FAQs about the Leftover Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Can I use any type of pasta for this recipe?

Absolutely! While spaghetti works wonderfully, you can use any leftover pasta you have on hand, such as penne, rotini, or fettuccine.

How long can I store leftover spaghetti salad?

Leftover Spaghetti Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days in an airtight container.

Can I make the salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the salad a few hours in advance. It actually tastes even better after the flavors have had a chance to meld.

Is there a vegan version of this salad?

Yes, you can make this salad vegan by using a dairy-free Parmesan cheese alternative and a vegan Italian dressing.

What can I serve with Leftover Spaghetti Salad?

This salad pairs well with grilled chicken, and fish, or as a side dish for a picnic or barbecue.

Read more here for additional info about leftover pasta. Also, I recommend other interesting articles related to this topic, including articles on Leftover Pasta Primavera, Leftover Pasta Frittata, Leftover Spaghetti Casserole, Bacon and Leftover Pasta Casserole, Cheesy Leftover Pasta Bake, Leftover Pasta Stir-Fry, Leftover Pasta and Bean Soup, Leftover Pasta with Pesto Sauce, Leftover Creamy Alfredo Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and more.

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