How to Make Gluten-Free Pasta Salad
This gluten-free pasta salad is super easy to make. It's my twist on the classic tomato and basil caprese salad, with some added asparagus for a springy touch!
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This pasta salad is my all-time favorite side to make in the spring. It also makes for a great light main dish. There’s nothing better than fresh, ripe tomatoes and basil! But it never hurts to add gluten-free pasta and my delicious garlic basil salad dressing to the mix to make an excellent, colorful caprese pasta salad.
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How to Make Gluten-Free Caprese Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces gluten-free pasta (I used Barilla Gluten-Free Rotini)
- 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 16 ounces asparagus
- 1/2 cup olives (I used Graber Olives.)
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella pearls
Garlic Basil Salad Dressing
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Editor’s tip: For a picnic salad with no pasta at all, check out this keto-friendly pasta salad made with zoodles.
Step 1: Cook the pasta
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Then, add the pasta to the water and cook as directed. You want the finished pasta to be al dente. Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water; set aside.
Step 2: Prep the vegetables
While the pasta is cooking, chop and saute the asparagus over medium heat for 2 minutes. Set the asparagus aside. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Step 3: Make the salad dressing
Place all the ingredients for the salad dressing into a blender. Blend until it’s smooth and green.
Step 4: Assemble the salad
In a large bowl, add the cooked gluten-free pasta. Then, add the remaining vegetables and mozzarella cheese. Toss together with the salad dressing and season with salt and pepper. Voila! Now you can serve up this delicious pasta salad to friends and family.
Tips for Making Gluten-Free Pasta Salad
- The first step is to use a really good gluten-free pasta like Barilla’s Gluten-Free Rotini. The curls and grooves of this pasta are perfect for the salad dressing to cling to!
- Add salt and olive oil to the water when cooking the gluten-free pasta. The salt will add flavor and the oil will help to keep the pasta from sticking to itself.
- Don’t overcook the pasta, or else it will become mushy. You want to cook the pasta until al dente. This will give the pasta a great texture.
- Rinse the pasta immediately and then drain it. This helps to keep the pasta from becoming sticky. Let the pasta cool down before adding the vegetables.
- Keep in mind that gluten-free pasta needs extra flavor. I normally use one clove of garlic in my salad dressing, but with the gluten-free pasta, I use two cloves for extra punch.
Don’t miss our full list of picnic salad ideas for every diet, including vegan and low-carb pasta salads.