This Gluten Free Pasta Salad will easily become your favorite summer side dish. It’s full of summer’s seasonal bounty, healthy and gluten-free. Bring it to your next barbecue and watch it disappear.
This Gluten Free Pasta Salad recipe with quickly become your go-to side dish for potlucks, neighborhood parties, family gatherings, and summer picnics. It is easy to make with simple ingredients and lasts well in the refrigerator for several days.
The salad dressing is homemade with red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon, and some Italian herbs de Provence. So delicious! I make a big batch, keep it in a Mason jar and use it on salads all week.
This gluten free pasta salad is infinitely adaptable. You can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak and make it a delish, main dish for dinner. Add different seasonal vegetables depending on what is in season at the local farmers’ market. If you are not gluten free this salad works just as well with regular pasta.
Use any shape of pasta you like. Some of my favorite gluten free pastas to use in this salad are Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Penne Rigate, Jovial Penne Rigate Pasta, Banza Chickpea Pasta Rotini, and Tinkyada Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta.
- Gluten-Free Pasta – I prefer Jovial Foods Brown Rice Pasta, as mentioned above. They hold up really well and have a great flavor with no weird aftertaste.
- Zucchini – I love the taste of raw zucchini, but it needs to be sliced thin. You can also give the zucchini a quick saute, as I do in this Quinoa Salad with Greens for some extra smokey flavor.
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes – You can use any type of tomato you want, but it’s best to have a sturdy tomato that will hold up well and not fall apart. It also makes the pasta salad last longer in the refrigerator.
- Black Olives – I used black olives, but I prefer the taste of Kalamata olives so I often swap out for these. Use whichever you prefer, or leave them out if you have picky eaters.
- Tomato Basil Feta – I love using flavored feta cheese, and the tomato basil is delicious. It adds so much flavor to all types of pasta and green salads, and even Balsamic Chicken. You can also use plain feta if that’s all you can find.
- Fresh Parsley and Fresh Basil – Yes, please use fresh herbs. It adds much more flavor and some lovely color to the salad too.
- Red Wine Vinegar – This Mediterranean staple adds the perfect amount of tangy flavor to the pasta salad.
- Olive or Grapeseed Oil – I usually get my olive oil at Costco but use any brand you like.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh, please.
- Herbs de Provence – This simple dried herb from the south of France is the perfect combo of flavors for this salad. It usually contains rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. You can substitute a different Italian seasoning if you have that on hand.
How to Make Gluten Free Pasta Salad
Cook the gluten free pasta according to the directions below, slightly al dente, stirring often.
Put pasta in a large bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and toss. Then add all other ingredients.
Place all dressing ingredients in a Mason jar or small bowl and shake or whisk well.
Pour over pasta salad and toss gently. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pasta salad will keep fresh in the refrigerator for three to four days if stored in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat it, give it a good toss and add a bit more dressing if needed. I always make extra salad dressing to have on hand. It often tastes even better the next day!
Tips for Cooking Gluten Free Pasta
Gluten free pasta can get mushy and gummy if not cooked correctly. I like to cook mine al dente, so I usually subtract a few minutes from the package directions. Bring your water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt to the water. Add the gluten-free pasta and stir often to help prevent them from sticking together. You have to taste the pasta to see if it’s done. If you bite it and it’s hard in the middle, it needs more time, but if it’s mostly cooked through with a slightly chewy bite remove it from the heat.
Pour the pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Put it into a large bowl and toss it with olive oil. This will keep the pasta from sticking together. At this point, you could store it in the refrigerator or continue making your pasta salad. You could also toss the pasta with some of your homemade dressing at this point.
For Gluten Free Dairy Free Pasta Salad, just leave out the feta cheese.
If you do not like feta cheese, you can add fresh mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, parmesan, or even cheddar cheese cubes.
Want to make this even more Mediterranean? Add chopped artichoke hearts, small diced red onion, and garbanzo beans.
Add protein to make a hearty lunch or dinner. We often add salami, grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp to this salad to make a meal out of it.
More fresh vegetables! You can add any vegetables you have on hand, but my favorites are zucchini, English cucumber, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, fresh tomato, green onion, celery, sugar snap peas, or broccoli florets. The more bright colors, the better it is for your health.
- Can you use gluten free pasta in pasta salad? Well, yes, of course. Find a good gluten free pasta that you like and have at it. We prefer Jovial Foods.
- How do you keep gluten free pasta from getting mushy? I like to cook mine al dente, so I usually subtract a few minutes from the package directions. Bring your water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt to the water. Add the gluten-free pasta and stir often to help prevent them from sticking together. You have to taste the pasta to see if it’s done. If you bite it and it’s hard in the middle, it needs more time, but if it’s mostly cooked through with a slightly chewy bite.
- What dressings are gluten free? If you prefer to use store-bought dressing which I often do in a pinch, we like these gluten free brands; Primal Kitchen Balsamic and Newman’s Own Balsamic.
- What should I serve with Gluten Free Pasta Salad? Serve this delicious salad with grilled chicken, hamburgers, London Broil, shrimp, or fish.
More Gluten Free Salads
Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek Pasta Salad will easily become your favorite summer salad. It’s full of summer’s seasonal bounty, healthy and gluten-free. Bring it to your next barbecue and watch it disappear.
- I box gluten-free penne 12oz
- 2 small zucchini sliced thin
- 1- pint grape tomatoes cut in half
- ½ cup black kalamata olives cut in half
- 1 pkg of tomato basil feta crumbled
- ½ cup chopped parsley and/or basil
- For dressing:
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup grapeseed oil or olive
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoon herbs de Provence or oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions and let cool
Put pasta in a large bowl and add all other ingredients.
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake.
Pour over pasta salad and toss gently. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Vitamin C: 22.5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.6mg