Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (2023)

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This gluten free Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing is made with gluten free rotini pasta, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, chickpeas, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. It’s the perfect Italian pasta salad you’ll want to bring to every summer party.

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (1)

When I was younger, I knew it was summer when the big Tupperware bowl filled with Italian pasta salad would make its debut. My mother made it for every party or to have in the fridge to eat all week. To keep it easy, she used store-bought zesty Italian dressing, and it was delicious.

Since going gluten free, I don’t trust bottled salad dressing anymore; you never know what’s in all of those ingredients on the label. So when I make gluten free pasta salad with Italian dressing, I make it homemade. Same with our favorite gluten free caesar salad, Caprese salad with cherry tomatoes, and all of our gluten free salads.

Jump to:
  • Reasons to love this Italian pasta salad recipe.
  • Ingredients
  • How to Make Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Italian dressing.
  • Cooking tips
  • Variations
  • Storage
  • Other Italian Party Foods
  • Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Reasons to love this Italian pasta salad recipe.

  • Endless variations. Switch up the salad with your favorite pasta shape, swap in different vegetables and other ingredients, and use a different gluten free salad dressing for more salad options.
  • Easy to make. This easy pasta salad recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes using simple ingredients.
  • Great for potlucks. Everybody loves a cold pasta salad alongside grilled chicken, burgers, and hot dogs! It’s the perfect summer side dish.
  • Make-ahead. Save time by making this popular summer salad a day in advance.

Ingredients

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (2)

This recipe includes some jarred and canned ingredients, so please check the labels to ensure everything is gluten-free.

  • Homemade Italian dressing. This gluten-free Italian dressing is easy to make using pantry ingredients. Of course, you can also use store-bought but check the label for any gluten-containing ingredients.
  • Gluten free pasta. A spiral pasta shape like fusilli or rotini works best in pasta salad recipes because the salad dressing gets into all of the nooks and crannies. My favorite gluten free fusilli or rotini pasta brands are Barilla, Bionaturae, and Jovial Pasta.
  • Canned artichoke hearts. I prefer the artichokes in brine and not the marinated variety.
  • Jarred roasted red peppers. These are found in the Italian section of the grocery store near the jarred olives and pickles.
  • Pepperoncini peppers. If you can, purchase jarred pepperoncini rings. This will make it easier to prepare the salad. You’ll find these next to the pickles, olives, and other condiments in the grocery store. If you can only find whole jarred pepperoncinis then drain and slice.
  • Chickpeas. These beans add protein and a meaty texture to the pasta salad.
  • Cherry tomatoes. You can also use grape tomatoes.
  • Cucumber. I like using baby cucumbers because they don’t have seeds and are easy to prepare. I also find the skin not as tough, so I leave it on when using them in this salad. If you use a regular cucumber, peel the skin and remove the seeds after cutting it in half.
  • Red onion. If you don’t like onion, leave it out, but it adds a nice crunch and flavor.
  • Mozzarella cheese. I buy a block of whole milk mozzarella and cut it into small cubes. You can also use fresh mozzarella cheese balls.
  • Grated parmesan cheese. This gives the gluten-free pasta salad more cheese flavor; grate the parmesan cheese fresh for best results.

How to Make Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Italian dressing.

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (3)
  • Start by making the Italian salad dressing. Place the olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and melted honey into a mason jar. Give it a few good shakes to mix and Set aside. You can also whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Cook the gluten free pasta thoroughly. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside to cool.
  • Add the cooled pasta, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, Pepperoncini, chickpeas, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Give the ingredients a gentle stir to mix.
  • Pour the salad dressing and grated parmesan cheese over the ingredients and stir gently until everything is coated. Give it a taste for salt and pepper.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (4)

Cooking tips

  • You can make the Italian dressing a few days ahead of time to save time.
  • I like to have extra Italian dressing on hand if the salad sits and needs to be perked up or guests like additional to drizzle on their salad. Or if you don’t have extra dressing then a few splashes of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar will work.
  • This recipe makes a big batch of salad, so you’ll need a large bowl or container.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta but don’t cook it al dente either. I usually recommend cooking the gluten-free pasta al dente, but I found that it will harden or stiffen as it sits in a gluten-free pasta salad. So the pasta should be cooked thoroughly but not a minute more.
  • The pasta needs to be cold before putting the salad together.
  • Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Variations

  • Gluten free balsamic vinaigrette is also tasty. You can use any gluten free salad dressings in this Italian pasta salad.
  • You can use any short gluten free pasta like penne or farfalle. Or use your favorite noodles.
  • Swap in your favorite veggies. Bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and shredded carrots are tasty.
  • Mix in mini pepperoni, salami, ham or other Italian meats. Make sure to check that the meats are gluten free.
  • Black olives or any italian olive is delicious in this pasta salad.
  • Use provolone, asiago, or other Italian cheese in place of mozzarella. Cheddar and feta cheese is tasty too.
  • Add fresh herbs like fresh parsley or basil.
  • Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for a zesty Italian pasta salad.
Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (5)

Storage

You can make this easy pasta salad with Italian dressing ahead of time making it great for weekly meal prep or just to have ready for a party.

  • Assemble the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 days ahead of time. On serving day, toss with the dressing an hour or so beforehand.
  • You can mix the dressing into the salad ingredients the night before; I recommend mixing in half when you put the salad together and then the other half right before serving.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for five days.

Other Italian Party Foods

  • Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Pepperoni Dip
  • Italian Sausage Dip
  • Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (6)

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (7)Tammy Overhoff

This gluten freePasta Salad with Italian Dressingis made with gluten free rotini pasta, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, chickpeas, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. It’s the perfect Italian pasta salad you’ll want to bring to every summer party.

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 25 mins

Course Main Course, Salad

Cuisine American, Italian

Servings 12 people

Calories 186 kcal

Ingredients

Italian Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1-3 teaspoons melted honey

For the pasta salad

  • 1 12-ounce box gluten free fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 15-ounce jar pepperoncinirings drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 5-6 baby cucumber cut into thick slices and then halved
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cups cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Start by making the Italian salad dressing. Place the olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and melted honey into a mason jar. Give it a few good shakes to mix and set aside. You can also whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl.

  • Cook the gluten free pasta thoroughly. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside to cool.

  • Prep the rest of the ingredients.

  • Add the cooled pasta, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini rings, chickpeas, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a large mixing bowl.

  • Give the ingredients a gentle stir to mix.

  • Pour the salad dressing and grated parmesan cheese over the ingredients and stir gently until everything is coated.

  • Give it a taste for salt and pepper.

  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Don’t worry about using more or less of an ingredient. This pasta salad recipe is very forgiving.

Storage

You can make this pasta salad with Italian dressing ahead of time making it great for weekly meal prep or just to have ready for a party.

  • Assemble the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 days ahead of time. On serving day, toss with the dressing an hour or so beforehand.
  • You can mix the dressing into the salad ingredients the night before; I recommend mixing in half when you put the salad together and then the other half right before serving.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 256mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 431IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 159mgIron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you tried this Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing recipe yet? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

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Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (8)

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Comments

  1. Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (9)Jacqueline Delafe says

    Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing (Gluten Free) - Gluten Free Italian Eats (10)
    What a lovely Memorial Day! When I received in my email a wonderfully created recipe of gluten free Italian Pasta for my family get together!!
    As always Tammy’s recipes are healthy and nutrionally delicious that families can enjoy!
    She has been a wonderful caring blogger who has always given and shared her weightloss and nutrional journey in her wonderful website with so much nutrional information and well being for her bloggers. She constantly is sharing her valuable knowledge and journey with her bloggers!
    She is an amazing staple of a blogger! Keep up your great work Tammy! Great recipes always!
    Most appreciative of your website!
    Many thanks and blessings to you and your family always,
    Jacqueline delafe

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