Healthy Gluten Free Pasta Salad

This delicious and simple gluten free pasta salad is light and fresh with tons of veggies, gluten free pasta, and a light vinaigrette dressing. It’s dairy free and plant-based too!

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

A Tasty Gluten Free Pasta Salad

 

This delicious gluten free pasta salad is my ode to Spring! It is light, fresh, and loaded with bright, crunchy, vegetables, tangy capers, and wonderful fresh herbs. To make things super simple I used my favourite store-bought vinaigrette dressing, but the simplicity, throw-it-together kind of meal is what this dish is all about. 

While I used certain vegetables you can definitely choose a variety of whatever you have in your fridge to make this gluten free pasta salad shine. 

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

Can you eat gluten free pasta salad cold?

 

You bet! However, gluten free pasta cooks a little differently than regular pasta and if it’s overcooked it can start to fall apart, and when chilled for longer periods of time without ample dressing, the pasta can get tough or hard in consistency.

Two tips to avoid these issues include:

  1. Cook gluten free pasta on the more al-dente side and avoid overcooking to prevent the pasta from breaking into pieces when chilled. 
  2. Chill the gluten free pasta salad after it’s been dressed so it doesn’t get hard or tough when chilled. 

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

What type of gluten free pasta should you use?

 

To make a delicious homemade gluten free pasta salad you can choose from a variety of gluten free pastas on the market. They are often made with different blends of gluten free grains such as rice and quinoa, or they can be corn based as well. 

To make this pasta salad you can use any blend or single grain/corn gluten free pasta. I love GoGo Quinoa brand, a quinoa based pasta, as the favour is really nice, and the pasta has a nice consistency when cooked. 

The style of pasta you choose is up to you as well but I recommend a fusilli or rotini noodle style rather than penne or macaroni as the twist-like shape of the fusili and rotini allow the dressing to get enveloped into the pasta and really soak in the flavour! 

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

Ingredients in Gluten Free Pasta Salad

 

The ratio of pasta to vegetables in this pasta salad is pretty balanced making it a wonderfully healthy salad with a blend of fibre, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and all-around-goodness. Here’s what you’ll need to whip it up:

  • Gluten free pasta of choice (fusilli or rotini style)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Green peas
  • Asparagus
  • Capers
  • Fresh dill
  • French or Italian dressing (your favourite brand)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon

When barbecue season arrives, this makes the perfect dish to bring along or serve with your favourite grilled protein and you can switch and swap out vegetables as they come in season, try different combinations of herbs, and even switch up the dressing if you so please!

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

How To Make The Pasta Salad

 

When it comes to preparation time, this pasta salad is quick, quick, quick!

  1. Cook the pasta to al-dente, then drain and rinse briefly under cool water. 
  2. Toss in the veggies (which you can chop/dice/slice while the pasta is cooking)
  3. Pour in the dressing and stir well to combine.
  4. Pop in the fridge and chill, or enjoy warm (it’s delicious both ways).  

Simple Spring Pasta Salad // Gluten & Diary Free via Nutrition in the Kitch

I actually enjoyed this salad slightly warm when I first prepared it (because I was too impatient to wait for it to chill), and then I ate it again after it had chilled in the fridge and was happy with both versions.

Pasta salads have seem to long received a bad reputation, but my friends, this ain’t no sloppy macaroni salad (I have vivid childhood memories of that stuff). This gluten free pasta salad is sophisticated, delicious, and nourishing.

Do you have a token go-to pasta salad? Is it healthy, not so much, or maybe right in between? I’d love to read about it in the comments! Also, be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later!

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes

This delicious and healthy gluten free pasta salad is packed with veggies and tossed in vinaigrette dressing for a perfect, light meal!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked gluten-free pasta of choice* (cooked to al dente)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • 12 blanched asparagus spears, chopped (add the spears to boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse under very cold water, then chop)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/3 cup of your favourite organic French or Italian dressing
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Optional Garnish

  • Dairy free cheese of choice (I topped my pasta salad with a dollop of dairy free cashew-based chive cream cheese to add a little richness. This is totally optional but definitely like the cherry on top!)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables, herbs, and blanch and chop the asparagus.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it under cold water for 30 seconds, then drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add in the vegetables, capers, dill, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and give everything a good toss.
  5. Pour in the dressing and toss again to coat.
  6. Enjoy right away or chill in the fridge for 1 hour if you prefer the salad to be cold.
  7. Before serving, garnish with a dollop of dairy free cream cheese, or crumbled goat or feta cheese, if desired.

Notes

Gluten Free Pasta Options:

  • Quinoa pasta (subtle flavour)
  • Brown rice pasta (subtle flavour)
  • Corn pasta (subtle flavour, usually a more yellow tone)
  • Buckwheat pasta (more unique flavour)
  • Multigrain blends (may have a more unique flavour depending on the blend)
  • Lentil, chickpea, bean pasta (usually a stronger flavour and unique color such as red or green)

Pin me!

Gluten Free Pasta Salad Pin

 

More Tasty Salads You’ll Love:

Healthy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

Classic Crunchy Marinated Vegetable Salad

Vitality Kale Superfood Salad

 

 

Have a great day, 

Christal // NITK 

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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