Easy Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Here is a simple, Italian inspired Gluten Free Pasta Salad to bring to the family BBQ, or to make ahead and enjoy with dinner after a busy workday.  With no mayonnaise, it won’t go bad on those hot summer days.  It’s a light refreshing side dish that won’t leave you feeling stuffed.

My biggest tip for this recipe is to assemble it no more than a few hours before serving.  You can prep the veggies the night before, but don’t cook the gluten free pasta too far ahead, it won’t keep as well in the fridge as regular pasta.  For best consistency, I like to drain and chill the pasta for 30 minutes before tossing it with the veggies and dressing.

8 servings

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Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 8 oz. gluten free pasta
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups veggies cut into small dice –
      • frozen peas, thawed and drained
      • red onion, small dice
      • grated carrot
      • cucumber, small dice seeds removed
      • red bell pepper, small dice
      • green beans, blanched and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian cold cuts, chopped (optional but good)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

It’s been hard to find these Garden Pagodas from Ancient Harvest since the pandemic.  But they are just perfect in this pasta salad, so if you spot them be sure to grab a couple of boxes!

Tinkyada also makes tri-color spirals, as does Lieber’s although I haven’t tried them.  I will update the post if I can find any others.

Preparation:

You will need about 2 cups total diced veggies.  This is a great way to use up leftovers, use veggies you have on hand or use your favorites!  Today I’m using red onion, cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, peas and green beans.  You can do this step a day ahead to save time.  Keep everything chilled until ready to assemble the pasta.

Cook the bacon and drain on paper towels.

As I mentioned above, I recommend that you wait until a few hours before serving to assemble the salad.  Cook the pasta to al dente.  This will likely be several minutes less than the package directions, so taste frequently.  Drain the pasta and immediately rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking.

Place the colander over a large bowl, toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Combine the drained, chilled pasta with the veggies in a large bowl, toss with the bacon, cold cuts and cheese.

Add the Italian dressing and toss well.  You can serve it just like this!

Or transfer it all to a pretty serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes ♪♫ I always add a gluten free marker to a dish that I bring to a cookout, in case there are other guests with the same dietary restrictions.  I’ll bet that if I didn’t tell anyone it was gluten free no one would be the wiser!  Make it for your next get together and watch it disappear 🙂

 

Originally posted 5/28/2018                      Updated 7/15/2022  

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