This easy gluten free pasta salad whips up in under 30 minutes and is so easy to customize depending on your preferences. Classic Mediterranean ingredients make this the perfect summertime low FODMAP side dish!
Name an occasion where pasta salad isn’t welcome as a side dish.. go on, I’ll wait.
See, you can’t do it! Pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to just about anything you’re throwing on the grill this summer, but also works as a wonderful addition to low FODMAP side dishes during the holidays. It’s a classic year round recipe that everyone is sure to love.
This gluten free pasta salad is also garlic + onion free and low FODMAP friendly so it is easy on your digestion but does not skimp on flavor. The addition of garlic infused olive oil gives the low FODMAP dressing an authentic Italian flavor without the irritating fructans so you can enjoy your meal worry and discomfort free.
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Low FODMAP Tip: Goat cheese is low FODMAP friendly in 40g serving sizes, cucumbers are low FODMAP friendly in 1/2 cup servings + cherry tomatoes are low FODMAP friendly in 2.65 oz servings. Always remember to adjust quantities based on your personal tolerances.
What to serve with gluten free pasta salad
Pasta salad is one of the most perfect low FODMAP side dishes you could serve at BBQs and parties. Try pairing it with these other delicious low FODMAP recipes:
- Grilled Chicken Thighs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce
- Rosemary Dijon Chicken with Lemon Aioli
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Oven Baked Steak + Arugula Sandwiches
Gluten Free Pasta Salad Tips, Tricks + Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best gluten free pasta for pasta salad?
The best pasta shapes for gluten free pasta salad are:
- Farfalle aka Bow Tie Pasta
Some of my favorite gluten free pasta brands are:
- Cassava Kitchen Fusilli
- Jovial Kitchen Farfalle (shown in this recipe)
- Banza Rotini
- Ancient Harvest Penne
Do you rinse pasta?
You may already know that when you boil pasta, starches release. Most of these starches incorporate into the pasta water, but some remain on the surface of the pasta. Rinsing your pasta removes the starches, which you might think is a good idea, but it is actually completely counter-intuitive!
Think of it this way, if you rinse away the starches, you create a slippery smooth surface on the pasta, allowing for whatever sauces or dressings you’ll likely be adding to, well, slip right off. In order to ensure the dressing in this gluten free pasta salad adheres to the pasta so you enjoy the flavors in every bite, do not rinse the pasta after draining.
How to cook pasta for pasta salad
The best way to cook gluten free pasta for pasta salad is to cook it until it is al dente, meaning until it is just slightly undercooked. You do not want the pasta to be crunchy, but rather firm. The best way to tell if your pasta is al dente is to review the cooking instructions on your pasta package. If the recommended cooking time is 12 minutes, check the pasta after 9 minutes to test for firmness. You can test this by removing one piece of pasta from the pot, allowing it to cool to the touch and then eating it. If it is still crunchy, cook it for another minute. If it is firm but cooked, it’s ready!
How to make gluten free pasta moist
It goes without saying that you must always salt your pasta water, gluten free pasta or not, but one of the best tips for cooking gluten free pasta and keeping it moist while also preventing sticking is to add olive oil to the water just before you add the pasta in. You can also toss it in a tablespoon of olive oil just after draining to prevent sticking while you’re adding the pasta salad mix-ins.
Can you substitute the mix-ins?
This recipe uses classic Mediterranean mix ins like cucumber, tomato, olives, basil and goat cheese, but you can feel free to switch things up a bit to customize it to your liking. Some other delicious add-ins are:
- Canned tuna
- Black olives
- Diced red + yellow peppers
- Fresh herbs like oregano, parsley or thyme
- Greek yogurt
- Cheeses like feta, cheddar or mozzarella
How to store gluten free pasta salad
Pasta salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will remain fresh up to 5 days.
What if my pasta salad leftovers are dry?
After resting in the fridge for some time it is possible that your pasta salad may seem a little dry. To remedy this, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and give the pasta salad a quick mix to add some moisture back in.
Can you make gluten free pasta salad ahead?
You can and you should make this recipe ahead! This will allow the pasta ample time to cool down before serving. It is OK to add in your ingredients while the pasta is still warm, but it is recommended to immediately store the pasta salad in the fridge to chill prior to enjoying.
What temperature should you serve pasta salad at?
Pasta salad is best served cold, which is what makes this such a great make-ahead recipe. Heating it will wilt the fresh basil and make the cucumbers mushy, which you definitely don’t want!
As someone who healed SIBO through a gluten free and low FODMAP diet, having easy and delicious low FODMAP side dishes available to me was key! Summertime and holiday gatherings would have been so difficult without recipes like this gluten free pasta salad, these low FODMAP truffle mashed potatoes, or this delicious low FODMAP grilled panzanella salad.
Gluten Free Pasta Salad Step By Step
Add 1-2 tbsp of sea salt to boiling pasta water.
Once water is boiling, add pasta + boil until al dente.
Once pasta is al dente, drain but do not rinse. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Steps 4, 5, 6
Add in chopped cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, mixing gently to combine. Some gluten free pastas can be more fragile than others, so mixing gently in between adding ingredients is helpful. If you are trying to mix in too much at once it could break up the pasta.
Step 7, 8, 9
Add in chopped olives and fresh basil. Mixing again gently to combine.
Step 10, 11, 12
Add in goat cheese and gently mix. Then drizzle the low FODMAP Italian dressing over pasta salad giving it one final mix to fully coat the pasta and mix-ins and enjoy!
Gluten Free Pasta Salad (Low FODMAP Friendly)
- Pasta Pot
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Small Mixing Bowl
- 1 lb gluten free pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 cup kalamata olives chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled
For the Italian Dressing
- 1/4 cup garlic infused olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 10 cracks fresh black pepper
- In a medium pasta pot, bring well salted water to a boil.
- Once water is boiling, add gluten free pasta + cook according to package directions until al dente.
- While pasta cooks, chop your tomatoes, cucumbers, basil + olives, then in a small mixing bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until combined.
- Drain pasta, but do not rinse, and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cucumbers to the pasta and gently stir to combine. Then add olives and basil, gently stirring again to combine ingredients.
- Fold in goat cheese gently to combine, then drizzle in dressing continuing to mix in order to evenly incorporate the dressing and all ingredients throughout.