6 Recipes to Make With a Box of Pasta

Chances are, you have a box of pasta (or many!) stashed in your pantry right now. While an extra box of pasta may be great to have on hand for a quick meal with your favorite jar of sauce, you can also get creative to expand your recipe repertoire. Here are 6 recipes to try at home with an extra box of pasta you have on hand! 

Pasta Salad 

Nothing screams summertime quite like a big bowl of pasta salad! We love the versatility of this dish. You can nearly add anything else that you also have stashed away in your pantry. You can opt for a more traditional pasta salad, like this Classic Macaroni Salad from Taste of Home, or this Sun-Dried Tomato, White Bean, and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad Recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Try one as a side dish for your next cookout with a box of macaroni or rotini noodles!

Rigatoni Alla Vodka 

No sauce? No problem! What if we told you that you can easily create a delicious homemade sauce in minutes? Making your own vodka sauce can be intimidating at first, but we promise that this homemade sauce will rival your favorite jarred sauce. You’ll want to make this again and again! We love this Easy Vodka Sauce recipe from Bon Appetit

Mac & Cheese

Use an extra box of macaroni or cavatappi to create the ultimate comfort meal! We love adding breadcrumbs on top of our Mac & Cheese for texture, plus broccoli or brussel sprouts for added nutritional value. This recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes is a great go-to! Bonus: the kids will love it!

Caesar Salad 

If you haven’t tried adding noodles to your favorite salad, you’re missing out! Noodles add fantastic texture to a salad, as well as make them more filling if you’re opting to make a salad for dinner. Dress up your traditional caesar salad with a box of penne, ziti, or fusilli noodles. Just a Taste has a delicious recipe here that even includes homemade caesar dressing! 

Skillet Lasagna 

Who doesn’t love lasagna? While we enjoy this Italian staple as much as the next person, it can be such a process to make! Skillet lasagna is an amazing way to get the taste of this family favorite, without all of the time and effort. Try this Easy Skillet Lasagna recipe from House of Yumm with an extra box of lasagna noodles the next time you need a quick, one-pot dinner! 


Use your spare box of spaghetti noodles to make a delicious stir-fry! While you could opt for traditional lo mein noodles, spaghetti noodles work just as well. One of the best things about making stir-fry is that you can use whatever produce you already have in your refrigerator! A few add-ins we love are mushrooms, red pepper, onion, chives, and carrots. Try this 15 Minute Lo Mein recipe from Pinch of Yum.

What are your go-to pasta dishes? Share them with us on Facebook!

10 Easy Flowers to Grow in Your Garden

After talking about easy indoor plants to care for inside your home on Monday, we thought we would step outside once more to explore flowers for your garden. Growing a garden is a summertime ritual many of us at Shopkick greatly look forward to each year. It’s a chance to embrace spending time outside, exploring a hobby for a complete season, and adding plenty of color to decks, porches, and balconies. But, where to start if you’ve never planted flowers before may give you pause. So, today we thought we would share 10 of the easiest flowers to plant in your garden or simply in a few pots outside. Take a look!

10 Easy Flowers to Grow in Your Garden:

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1. Begonias:

Begonias are a classic flower to grow during the late spring and throughout the summer. We often spot them in red, which is sure to brighten up your outdoor space. If you have a spot that offers some shade, begonias will do well there. An important thing to note: Begonias thrive most when pruned, which means popping flowers that have died off of the stem in order to encourage the new growth underneath to flourish.

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2. Dusty Miller:

Dusty Miller is often included in wedding bouquets because it resembles greenery. For that reason, it’s also popular to add to pots and flower boxes to act as a “filler” of sorts. Think about placing Dusty Miller in between flower groupings to add texture and fullness.

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3. Geraniums:

If you’re considering making your own hanging pots, look no further than geraniums! These flowers easily cascade over the side of pots, which looks lovely when hanging. Plus, they are one of the more fragrant summer annuals, but their scent is always fresh rather than overpowering. Geraniums also do well in pots if you don’t have a spot to hang them!

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4. Gerbera Daisies:

If your kids will be involved in your garden, consider planting gerbera daisies. The flowers can be found in a variety of colors, and many of them are bright and fun. Like other flowers, gerbera daisies do like both water and sun, so if you have both available, you will be all set!

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5. Lantana:

If you’re hoping to attract butterflies to your garden, add lantana! It’s available in several different colors, but one we always enjoy seeing is yellow. It does tend to grow taller than some other flowers, and it looks wonderful when paired with petunias and vincas in the same pot.

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6. Marigolds:

Marigolds are one of the easiest flowers to grow on a list that’s already filled with easy options! They do like sun and drained soil, so you will want to make sure they don’t become over watered. Marigolds are also known to keep critters, including bugs and deer, away from gardens, which makes them an excellent choice to add to vegetable patch exteriors.

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7. Petunias:

Similar to vincas, which we’ll talk more about below, petunias are relatively easy to care for. They do well in full sun and definitely thrive when watered regularly. In order to encourage new growth, make sure to pop off flowers that have died from the stems. New growth is likely well underway underneath!

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8. Salvias:

If you live in an area that experiences high heat, salvias will thrive in your conditions. These red flowers love warm temperatures and water, so if you can combine both you will see great results. Salvia also grows taller, which means it’s a great flower to include if you’re looking to add height to your garden.

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9. Vincas:

If we could only choose one flower to suggest for you to grow, it would be vincas. These flowers are hearty and beautiful, and they love being in the sun. They tend to spread to fill pots throughout the summer, and while they do thrive when watered regularly they can also survive well on less. Another perk? Depending on your climate, your vincas may last through early fall.

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10. Zinnias:

Similar to gerbera daisies, zinnias are also known for their rich and bright colors! Consider pairing zinnias with vincas or petunias for a vibrant flower box, and make sure to remove flowers that have died. As long as you maintain them, zinnias will keep blooming throughout the summer season and into early fall.

What flowers will you grow in your garden? Chime in on Facebook!

*All photos via The Home Depot.