Gluten-Free Pasta Salad Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Chill time: at least 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Pasta:

  • 12 ounces gluten-free pasta (choose your favorite shape: rotini, fusilli, penne)

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion

Protein (optional):

  • 1 cup cubed cooked chicken or ham
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup cubed mozzarella or feta cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh Herbs (optional):

  • Chopped fresh basil, parsley, or oregano

Instructions:

  • Cook the pasta: Follow package directions for al dente pasta. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
  • Prep the veggies: While the pasta cooks, chop all your vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine the salad: In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, any optional protein you’d like to add, and the dressing. Toss well to coat.
  • Chill and marinate: Cover and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes (or preferably, a few hours). This allows flavors to blend and pasta to slightly absorb the dressing.
  • Serve: Taste the pasta salad and adjust seasonings if needed. Add fresh herbs just before serving, if desired.

Customization Tips

  • Veggies: Add anything you love! Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, broccoli florets… get creative!
  • Protein: Use shredded rotisserie chicken, crumbled Italian sausage, diced salami, or keep it vegetarian.
  • Cheese: Try cubed cheddar, provolone, or crumbled goat cheese.
  • Dressing: Go for a creamy base with bottled Italian dressing or a pesto vinaigrette instead.

Important Notes:

  • Don’t overcook your pasta: Mushy pasta is nobody’s friend in a pasta salad!
  • Choose good-quality gluten-free pasta: Some brands hold their shape better than others.
  • The longer it chills, the better it gets: This salad is perfect to make ahead.

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