Skip Nav
Here's What I Regret From My First Year of Motherhood
Kid Shopping
These Are the Best Swimwear Brands For Kids in 2017
Mom Says "Hello and Goodbye" to Baby She Carried to Term For Organ Donation

Melissa D'Arabian's Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipe

Dinnertime Crunch: Melissa d'Arabian's Quick and Affordable Crisper Drawer Pasta

Our tasty and easy Dinnertime Crunch series continues with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs sharing their favorite 30-minute weeknight dinners that help Mom and Dad spend more time with the kids each night. Today's recipe comes from Melissa d'Arabian, host of the Food Network's Ten Dollar Dinners and author of Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week.

With four daughters running around her home, Melissa d'Arabian knows about the chaos that can occur at dinnertime. The Food Network host and author of Ten Dollar Dinners also knows that busy moms can't always remember what's hiding in the corners of the refrigerator. That's how she came up with "Crisper Drawer Pasta," a quick and productive weeknight meal — the whole recipe can be made in 30 minutes — that helps use up everything in the crisper drawer.

"The most expensive food is the one you have to throw away because you forgot to use it," Melissa says. "Once a week, be sure to take a quick peek into your crisper drawer to take stock of veggies and herbs. My two favorite ways to use the odds and ends from the crisper drawer is to make either an anything-goes pasta or a kitchen-sink–style soup (also in the book!). This is a plug-and-play recipe, meaning you can use any of the vegetables you have in the house simply by following the parameters given."

Keep reading to get Melissa's recipe.

Crisper Drawer Pasta

Crisper Drawer Pasta

Melissa D'Arabian's Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipe


  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 small red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  3. ½ teaspoon dried herbs, such as basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, plus a squeeze of lemon juice, or herbes de Provence
  4. 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  5. 1 to 2 cups soft vegetables or leafy greens (sliced bell peppers, corn, chopped and salted eggplant, escarole sliced crosswise, sliced fennel, sliced mushrooms, peas, chopped spinach, chopped Swiss chard)
  6. Kosher salt
  7. 14.5-ounce box pasta
  8. 1 to 2 cups cut-up hard vegetables (chopped beets, carrots, celery, zucchini, green beans; broccoli or cauliflower florets)
  9. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  10. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  11. 1 tablespoon finely chopped aromatics or fresh herbs (basil, chives, crushed red pepper flakes, dill, fennel fronds, flat-leaf parsley, lemon zest, scallions, tarragon)


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the dried herbs and the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then stir in the soft vegetables or leafy greens and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the greens are wilted, 30 seconds to 4 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add the hard vegetables and continue to cook according to the package instructions until the pasta is al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot. Stir the sour cream and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt into the pasta, then add ½ cup of the Parmesan, the aromatics, and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Stir to combine, add the cooked soft vegetables or leafy greens, and add more pasta water if needed. Serve with more Parmesan on the side.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Joanna Gaines Lemon Pie Recipe
The Best Avocado Toast Recipes
Coconut Milk and Fruity Pebbles Popsicles Recipe
FSU Football Player Eats Lunch With Boy With Autism
Protein Waffle Recipe
Trail Mix Recipes
Easy Baked Egg Recipe
Oprah's Unfried Chicken Recipe
Acai Bowl With Berries and Banana Recipe
Roasted Chickpeas With Cumin and Za'atar

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds