Recipe Tips & Substitutions
- This recipe stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- This recipe is very forgiving. You can get creative and use different types of cheese or vegetables. For instance, you can use crumbled feta cheese instead of Parmesan for more of a Greek flair.
- Feel free to get creative with the ingredients of this gluten free pasta salad recipe. You can include cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, fresh herbs like fresh basil, green onions, or mozzarella cheese.
- If you want to add some greenery to your salad, you can top it with some finely chopped flat-leaf parsley. Or, you can serve your pasta salad over a bed of baby spinach topped with some lemon juice.
Vegetarian Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe Notes
Pasta salad is a go-to meal prep lunch for me because its easy to prep, convenient to pack and serve cold, and its so versatile. Dont feel limited to the ingredients Ive chosen in the recipe below. Get creative with your gluten free pasta salad and switch things up however you like! Here are some ideas for ingredient swaps & substitutions:
Vegan Pasta Salad Is Like Summer In A Bowl
Summertime is officially here, and I dont know about you, but I hear backyard barbecues, picnics, and days spent at the beach calling my name! That means standing over a hot stove in the kitchen is not exactly how I want to be spending my days. Instead, when the weather gets warm, I find myself reaching for quick and refreshing options like my Frozen Fruit Smoothies, Chipotle Peach Salsa, and No Bake Lemon Coconut Paleo Energy Bars. Theyre the best recipes to stay fueled while putting a fresh pep in your step!
While Ive clearly got breakfast and snacks covered, I sometimes find myself stumped when it comes to putting together filling lunches and dinners. Luckily, I recently found myself with an abundance of my favorite Green Goddess Dressing. If you havent checked out that blog post yet, I highly recommend you do so. Im not joking when I say Im obsessed and put that dressing on everything. Heck, I would probably drink it if I could! Of course, its excellent on salads like my Nourish Bowl and this Strawberry Spinach Salad, but I wanted something a little more meal prep friendly that can be taken on the go.
Keep reading to find out just how quick it is to make.
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How To Make Gluten Free Pasta Salad
There are only a couple of steps to make gluten free pasta salad.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions for this gluten free pasta salad recipe, please see the recipe below.
How To Make The Pasta Salad From Scratch
This is SUCH an easy recipe and so quick to make! It’s just chopping up fresh veggies, boiling some gluten-free pasta, and tossing everything together in one BIG bowl!
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The Best Way To Store And Serve Gluten
- Store the finished pasta salad in a covered bowl or container in the fridge for up to one week.
- Let the pasta salad sit and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes in the fridge before serving. Ideally, let it sit overnight to really marinate!
- Toss the pasta salad before serving to distribute all the dressing and flavors again. Serve it cold or bring it room temperature for optimal flavor.
- Don’t leave leftovers out of the fridge any more than an hour or 2 to prevent spoilage.
Lets Make Italian Pasta Salad:
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Creamy Pasta Salad Gluten Free Option
I cant help but think that every summer picnic needs a delicious bowl of Creamy Pasta Salad.
Okay, let me make something clear, we have literally NEVER taken pasta salad on a picnic! HAHA! However, we do eat it often! I do THINK we should take this pasta salad to our next summer BBQ or picnic. Why this recipe? Because it is our absolute favorite pasta salad, and because it is a cold dish, which is always simpler to travel with.
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I love adding vegetables to my pasta salad. Vegetables give it a crunch, flavor, and some beautiful color!
Can I Freeze Pasta Salad
Yes, place the pasta salad in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Frozen pasta salad can last about a week in the freezer.
When ready to eat, transfer the container from the freezer into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once the salad is defrosted, consume it right away. Its not advisable to freeze more than once.
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What Pasta To Should You Use To Make A Gluten Free Cold Pasta Salad
I prefer to keep it a tri-color, I think thats what makes pasta salad fun and appealing. Honestly, thats part of why I never really made this again after I went gluten free.
For several years after going gluten free, the options for gluten free products was very slim. Now, its easy to find just about everything in a gluten free option.
Crazy how times have changed, isnt it?
Remember though, if you do decided to use Ancient Harvest, you will need TWO boxes. Its best to use 16oz of pasta for this, plus it will last you for days too!
Now as I whipped this up, we were able to eat on it for a while. I like to use it as a side dish for cookouts and also as a full meal too.
I forgot just how much I loved it until I remade it again. I have so missed that wonderful cold pasta salad. This Easy Cold Pasta Salad will not disappoint!
The Best Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe
This is a classic recipe for gluten free pasta salad, with super fresh vegetables and a bright homemade creamy dressing that you can blend up days or even a week before. It serves at least 8 people as a side, just the way it is, but can be scaled up or down to serve a crowd. Perfect for potlucks!
This recipe is also really adaptable, since you can customize your vegetables, salad dressing, and/or your pasta shape. Think of this recipe as a guide for the proper proportions of vegetables to cooked pasta to dressing and cheese.
For example, I like to use chopped sweet bell peppers, English cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes, but you can swap one or more of those out for chopped seeded jalapeño peppers, celery, grated carrots, and/or sugar snap pea pods. Youre limited only by your imagination!
If youve never made your own salad dressing, youre in for a treat when you see just how easy it is to make your own fresh and flavorful green goddess dressing from mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, and lots of fresh herbs. You can also keep it simple with a classic creamy vinaigrette with 3 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 part vinegar and/or freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
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Why This Is Not Your Average Pasta Salad
I first threw this dish together for our friends at a Memorial Day cookout we had. My friend, Marisol, is gluten free so I knew I wanted to make the menu very accommodating to her needs.
Good thing I love gluten free noodles anyway! For this recipe, I highly recommend using Banza noodles. Ive talked about them on my blog before and they are truly my favorite! Ive used them for years the taste is delicious and I truly cant tell that it isnt normal pasta.
I love this pasta salad because its super versatile and customizable! You can use any crunchy seasonal veg you might have in your fridge but I personally used a combo of: cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, and pepperoncinis! I often also add in green bell peppers but didnt have room in the photos for those.
I love the JUICINESS of the tomatoes they literally almost burst in your mouth with every bite. The red onion has a spicy bite to it, the cucumbers are the perfect cooling and refreshing crunchy addition and the pepperoncinis.YALL. They are tangy, juicy, a little sour and the perfect addition of deliciousness to this salad.
Mixed all together with a super simple Italian dressing using pantry ingredients.this pasta salad is DELISH. So lets get into exactly what you need for it/how to whip it up!
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients
For the Salad:
- Pasta You can use any type of pasta, in any shape for this salad. We like this gluten-free pasta from Thrive Market because it stays soft when chilled.
- Bell pepper Any color will work so use what you like best or what you have on hand. Jarred roasted red bell pepper will also work.
- Cherry or Grape tomatoes Sun-dried tomatoes in oil would also work if fresh tomatoes arent available.
- Zucchini or Yellow squash No need to peel the squash before dicing, leaving the skin intact adds color and flavor. Cucumber can be used in a pinch.
- Red onion No red onion? Opt for a shallot, sliced green onions, or a yellow onion instead.
- Hard salami Any hard salami will work so use the one you like best. This can also be left out for a vegetarian option.
- Fresh mozzarella We used small, cherry-sized balls of fresh mozzarella but you can use any size and cut it into bite-sized pieces. If you dont have fresh mozzarella, you can substitute cubed part-skim mozzarella.
- Chopped Parsley Fresh parsley gives the dish a bright and slightly peppery taste but you can leave it out if you dont have any on hand.
- Fresh Basil You could substitute a pinch of dried basil for fresh but it wont have quite the same effect
For the Dressing:
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Gluten Free Greek Pasta Salad
This Gluten Free Greek Pasta Salad is an easy lunch to pack, weeknight meal, or summer side dish, packed with protein and Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Grain Free
Hello there vegheads! Is anyone else loving the warmer weather weve been experiencing?
Warmer weather has me in the mood for easier dinners, light lunches, and less time in the kitchen ya feel me?
Plus, summer can be a hectic time of year between travel, weddings, happy hours, and the heat, so easy go-to meals are a staple!
Whats Different About Gluten Free Pasta
Dried gluten free pasta is usually made with either only rice, or a combination of rice and other grains, like corn and/or potatoes. Since cooked rice turns hard when its chilled, gluten free pasta made from rice can become hard in the refrigerator. If you know how to select the right dried gf pasta, and how to boil it properly, your gf pasta shouldnt get hard.
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How Do You Know When Gluten Free Pasta Is Done
Ideally, check the doneness of your gluten free pasta with taste rather than the cook time alone. The noodles should be fully cooked through, but not mushy or gummy. A bit of firmness is a good thing, since youll toss the noodles into your vegetarian gluten free pasta salad shortly!
To check your pastas doneness, bite into one of the noodles and look at it. If theres a dark spot in the center of the noodle, or if the color isnt consistent all the way through, its not cooked through yet. You want the color and texture to be the same all the way through the noodle!
Gluten Free Pasta Salad
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A fresh, colorful, and flavorful gluten free pasta salad that is the perfect side dish to any meal. Toss in some extra protein and enjoy this gluten free pasta salad recipe for lunch or dinner.
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Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing
I dont do packaged seasoning mixes and honestly friend, neither should you. There is nothing better than homemade dressing.
Its super simple to make, and I bet you already have what you need in your pantry.
My creamy Italian dressing is made with real mayonnaise, two types of vinegar, my Italian seasoning blend and grated Parmesan cheese.
I promise, once you taste it, you will never go back to store-bought creamy Italian dressing again.
Ingredients For The Italian Dressing
Here is a visual overview of the dressing ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
This Italian dressing couldnt be any easier! Its tangy and has a bit of garlic and olives which make it so delicious! So, lets run through the ingredients:
- Olive oil – This is the base I use for almost all my dressings. I like to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar – Vinegar adds the perfect tang to this pasta salad.
- Dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder – These spices are going to make the dressing truly come to life!
- Olive juice – I used kalamata olive juice. The olive juice is optional, but I think it adds great flavor.
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What Is The Best Gluten Free Pasta Brand
My best recommendation is this: look for an option with a shorter, simpler ingredients list. You can find many GF pastas out there with just brown rice and quinoa or just chickpeas in the ingredients list! For this healthy gluten free pasta salad recipe, I personally used a brown rice and quinoa fusilli from Thrive Market. In general, I like rice-based gluten free pastas because they tend to be sturdier and hold up better after cooking, relative to many bean pastas.
But, I do also love chickpea pasta and lentil pasta, from brands like Banza and Barilla. Both of these options can also work great in this recipe, as well as add some additional protein! Chickpea pasta is actually my #1 favorite gluten free pasta, but primarily for warm pasta dishes like chickpea mac and cheese. And red lentil pasta can add some fun color and brightness to a dish, like my Hawaiian vegan pasta salad recipe!
How Can I Make Gluten Free Pasta Taste Better
Generally, I think gluten free pastas taste pretty great! However, the issue with many gf pastas is often the texture. Cook for too little time, and the texture can be overly tough or chewy. Or, cook for too much time, and the pasta can become overly soft, gummy, and might fall apart. Neither result is ideal, so heres what I recommend:
Always undercook gluten free pasta by 1-2 minutes!
When cooking gluten free pasta of any kind, I recommend cooking the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than indicated on the box. So, in this gluten free pasta salad recipe for example, my brown rice and quinoa pasta instructs me to cook for 7-9 minutes. Instead, I cook it for about 6 minutes before draining it, and then rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
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Easy Ingredients & Allergy
Pasta For extra plant protein and fiber, we used chickpea pasta , but gluten-free pasta works just as well. Just be sure to cook whichever you choose according to the package instructions!
Vegan Goddess Dressing This nutritious dressing is the secret to the success of this vegan pasta salad recipe, but if youre short on time, you can typically find a similar version in your local grocery store.
Snap Peas Snap peas add an appetizing crunch as well as vitamins and nutrients. If you cant find snap peas, snow peas or even chopped zucchini work as well.
Broccoli This nutrient-rich veggie is perfect for reducing inflammation as well as providing a vibrant crunch in the salad. For easy eating, choose broccoli florets or chop a broccoli crown into tiny pieces using a good knife.
Spinach For a sweeter flavor, we recommend using baby spinach in your pasta salad. Opt for a handful of arugula to add a bit more bite.
Toasted Pine Nuts While optional, pine nuts add an incredible earthy flavor and healthy fats to keep you full. However, if you cant eat pine nuts, hemp seeds will do the trick!
Oil For this recipe, youll want to avoid overpowering the ingredient flavors by choosing an oil with a fairly neutral flavor such as olive oil or avocado oil.
Lemons If you choose to use real lemons, be sure to save a few slices for garnish! Otherwise, the pre-juiced kind from the bottle works, too.