This is the best gluten free pasta salad! It’s loaded with brown rice pasta, fresh veggies like cucumber and tomato, protein from chicken and a simple olive oil vinaigrette.
My mom always made so many pasta salads when I was young. Except I would pick out all of the veggies and literally just eat the pasta lol.
Times have certainly changed and now I love extra veggies in my gluten free pasta salad! This particular one has cucumber, tomato, red onion, pepperoncini and parsley.
You can prep the veggies and dressing all while the pasta cooks, so everything can be done and ready to go in about 20 minutes!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to make
- Perfect for a summer barbecue
- Healthy & high protein
- Gluten free and dairy free
- Can be made ahead
PASTA. When it comes to gluten free pasta, brown rice pasta is the absolute closest to the regular stuff. I love a good lentil or legume based pasta, but brown rice pasta just has the best texture!
I specifically love Jovial pasta, I used the fusili for this recipe.
VEGGIES. The beauty of pasta salad is that you can use just about any veggies you like and it will still be delicious.
I went with a more greek pasta salad theme and did cucumber, tomato, red onion and pepperoncini.
CHICKEN. For protein, I used two grilled chicken breasts that I chopped up into bite sized pieces. For a vegan option, you can use chickpeas or another white bean.
DRESSING. This simple vinaigrette is made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey for sweetness and some dried herbs and spices.
How to make gluten free pasta salad
COOK PASTA. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Always salt the water really well, this will help gluten free pasta taste better!
For gluten free pasta salad, I actually recommend over cooking the pasta just by about 1 minute because it tends to firm up as it sits in the fridge. No need to do this if you’re planning to serve it all the same day!
PREP VEGGIES. Meanwhile, prep all veggies and add to a large salad bowl.
MAKE DRESSING. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside. I also love this salad dressing shaker.
COMBINE & SERVE. When the pasta is done, rinse with cold water then add to the salad bowl. Toss with the dressing until well combined. Serve and enjoy!
Can you eat gluten free pasta cold?
Yes! But there is a caveat. Gluten free pasta tends to firm up a bit as it sits in the fridge, so I do suggest overcooking it just slightly- maybe a minute or so.
I wouldn’t usually recommend doing that but it can help the pasta stay soft while it’s in the fridge. If you’re going to serve it all right away, no need to do this!
Just cook as usual, then rinse it so it’s cold and stops cooking, then you’re good to go.
How long does it keep?
Once prepared, this gluten free pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Keep it covered with foil or in an air tight container for best results.
Other additions and variations
CHEESE. Because this recipe has more of a greek vibe to it, some fresh feta cheese would pair really well with the other flavors.
However, it’s kind of a mixed cuisine because of the pepperoncini and Italian seasoning, so mozzarella balls would also be great!
BEANS. I love adding a can of chickpeas for extra protein and fiber!
VEGGIES. Olives, bell peppers, carrots are all great additions to pasta salad. Some will give more of an Italian feel, some more greek, but whatever you like is good!
PROTEIN. I added chicken, but many Italian pasta salads will have Salami for protein instead.
More gluten free pasta recipes!
Gluten Free Pasta Salad
by: claire cary
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- For gluten free pasta salad, I actually recommend over cooking the pasta just by about 1 minute because it tends to firm up as it sits in the fridge. No need to do this if you're planning to serve it all the same day!
- Meanwhile, prep all veggies and add to a large salad bowl.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside. I also love this salad dressing shaker.
- When the pasta is done, rinse with cold water then add to the salad bowl.
- Toss with the dressing until well combined.
- Serve and enjoy!