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Turn Those Broken Lasagna Noodles Into A Hearty Pasta Salad

broken lasagna noodles
broken lasagna noodles - Merrimon Crawford/Shutterstock

Left with a bunch of broken lasagna noodles at the bottom of every box? Well, then it's the perfect time to put an old saying to the test, namely, "waste not, want not." With food costs continuing to skyrocket, you'll be glad you did. Fortunately, there's a perfect solution for those broken noodles that will have your mouth watering and your belly full, all while leaving your wallet that much heavier. Just turn them into a lasagna pasta salad!

Repurposing those broken lasagna noodles will be well worth it — and you might even find a new favorite side dish in the process. Even better, the salad presents the perfect opportunity to go full economy and utilize whatever leftover ingredients you've got languishing in your kitchen. It's hard to go wrong with pasta salad, so why not make the most out of whatever you've got on hand and turn it into a clean-out-the-fridge meal?

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Whip Up That Lasagna Pasta Salad In No Time

standard pasta salad
standard pasta salad - Anastasia_Panait/Shutterstock

Unlike regular lasagna, you won't be waiting around for the pasta salad to bake. It'll be ready and on your plate before you know it. Just boil the broken noodles until they reach the same al dente texture you would aim for with other types. If there are any particularly large broken noodles, you may want to break them up a bit more, however, aiming for bite size. Then drain, cool, and build the salad the same way you would if you were using rotini, penne, or whatever your favorite noodle is by adding the dressings, meats, cheeses, and veggies you've chosen. These can be the same ingredients you normally use for a zesty pasta salad, or try something new.

As a side note, you don't necessarily have to let the noodles cool. Take advantage of the leftover heat to wilt some spinach or soften the cheese if you like. There are no set rules, so make it however you like. Heck, eat it while it's still hot if you want!

Types Of Lasagna Pasta Salad To Try

tuna pasta salad in bowl
tuna pasta salad in bowl - BBA Photography/Shutterstock

While broken lasagna noodles will result in a pasta salad with a slightly different texture, they also open up new possibilities. Of course, you can always make your usual recipe as discussed — but why not branch out and let lasagna inspire the pasta salad to new heights? Consider tossing the noodles with ricotta and fresh mozzarella, along with Italian sausage, and stewed diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.

A combination of autumn veggies such as squash, zucchini, and pumpkin is another great option. Add olives, cheese, tomato, and onion for a delicious vegetarian option. Leave out the cheese to make it vegan, or if you want to add some meat, try it with salami, pancetta, or bacon. Any type of vinaigrette, Italian dressing, or a simple combination of lemon juice and olive oil will work for either of these versions of broken lasagna pasta salad.

A budget version of this pasta salad is perfect for when you're running low on food but aren't quite ready to make a grocery store run. Just make do with whatever you find in your freezer: frozen shrimp, peas, carrots, and so on. Add any fresh herbs you've got on hand, along with any onion, pepper, celery, or other veggies that need to be used up before you restock. If you don't have any shrimp, you can always try canned sardines or tuna instead. The more options you consider, the more likely you are to find that they're limitless.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.