Pasta Salads (Cooking for One)

I bought some large pearl couscous the other day, and I’m thinking it would make an interesting pasta salad.  Of course you could use any pasta you like to make this salad.

Here are some additional combinations you might like to make a pasta salad with:

  • Roasted tomatoes, cannellini beans, feta
  • Crumbled bacon, spinach, onion, crushed walnuts, garbanzo beans, fresh thyme
  • Black olive, artichoke, ham, onion, small cubes of Monterey Jack cheese
  • Black bean, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, celery, cooked shrimp, fresh basil

Pestos, tapenades, and bruschetta toppings make good additions for quick flavor.  And if you prefer mayonnaise to dress the salad, try mixing it with some Greek yogurt.

Pasta Salads (Cooking for One)

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 1 or 2

This is a light and scrumptious summer salad. You'll have leftovers, but then you'll want them.


  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup large pearl couscous or orzo pasta
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 4.5 oz tuna (optional, but if you add it, also add 1 tsp lemon zest)
  • Chopped fresh basil and mint (I used 1/4 cup basil leaves and 2 TBSP mint leaves)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add couscous, return to boil, cover, and lower heat to simmer for about 10 min. until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut garlic clove in half and rub inside the salad bowl with the cut side of the garlic.
  3. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, and the next 7 ingredients, and the reserved pasta.
  4. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Usually you put in 3 times as much oil as vinegar, but I find the proportions are subject to whatever you prefer.
  5. Add salt and pepper and toss.
  6. Eat right away or refrigerate and eat cold.
  7. Options: To step it up a bit, add smoked salmon instead of tuna. For a Greek taste, replace the basil with chopped dill and oregano