This easy, vibrant and cold Gluten Free Pasta Salad is a must have dish during the summer months and the holiday season. Made without mayonnaise and paired with an Italian vinaigrette dressing, classic vegetables and hard boiled eggs, this pasta salad recipe is satisfying served alone or alongside your main dish.
This is my best gluten free cold pasta salad recipe that I have enjoyed throughout recent years. I usually add a creamy Italian dressing however, this olive oil based vinaigrette is perfect for the summer and adds a freshness to this cold pasta salad.
Cold pastas made into salads are not only easy to make, they’re hearty and will leave you feeling satiated.
To make it a main course meal, serve it alongside my Quick Roasted Canned Potatoes.
Or try my Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes!
The hard boiled eggs add extra nutrition and substance but you can leave the eggs out if you want an egg free or vegan recipe.
🥘 What To Serve With Cold Gluten Free Pasta Salad
Serve this gluten free pasta salad as a side dish alongside your main meal which can include dishes such as:
🥗 Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Gluten free penne pasta to make this a completely gluten free pasta salad.
- This cold pasta salad is made without mayo.
- A simple salad dressing with red wine vinegar, lemon, garlic, herbs and more.
- Vibrant vegetables makes this salad healthy and refreshing.
📋 Ingredient Notes
Hard boiled eggs: These are a delicious and hearty addition however if you wish to make this salad egg free or vegan, simply don’t add the eggs. It will be just as tasty!
Pasta: I use and recommend Barilla’s gluten free penne or spiral pasta for this recipe. I find this pasta and how it’s cooked and prepared in this recipe, doesn’t go hard or firm up too much over the following days after it’s made. Otherwise, if you have a favorite brand of gluten free pasta you love, use that.
Honey: This is included in the vinaigrette to add sweetness. You can replace it with maple syrup if desired.
Fresh parsley and basil: If these aren’t in season or you cannot get your hands on these fresh herbs, swap them for their dried versions. Use 1 teaspoon of each dried parsley and basil as their dried equivalent.
Vegetables: I love to use these classic vegetables and they’re always on hand. I encourage you to use your favorite vegetables or what you have available to you or already in your fridge to make this recipe easy and quick.
🥣 Step By Step Instructions
There is a full and detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1) Cook eggs for 5 minutes in boiling water until hard boiled.
2) Once cooked, turn off the heat and remove eggs using a slotted spoon and place in the cold water. Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 10 minutes.
3) Slice eggs lengthways or however you desire. Set aside.
4) Cook pasta according to packet instructions until a bit softer than al dente. Drain off water through a colander and rinse pasta under cold water for 5 seconds.
5) Keep pasta in colander sitting in the pot it cooked in. Drizzle pasta with olive oil and gently mix with a wooden spoon so the oil coats all of the pasta. This will keep the pasta from sticking as it cools. Set aside.
6) Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar or glass fit that can be fitted with a lid.
7) Place on the lid and give it a good shake until all ingredients are well combined. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
8) Add all chopped vegetables to the pasta in a large mixing/serving bowl and gently mix with a wooden spoon until vegetables are well distributed through the pasta.
9) Stir through sliced hard boiled eggs.
10) Pour over the vinaigrette and gently mix until the pasta and vegetables are coated in the dressing. TIP: the dressing can pool/sit at the bottom of the bowl, be sure to mix it all through from the bottom.
11) Serve and enjoy! Or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
💭 Tips For Recipe Success
- Cook your hard boiled eggs first to allow them time to cool down. You can cook your eggs in advance/the day before and leave them in their shells then peel when ready to add to your salad.
- Choose either gluten free penne or spirals for this salad, either work great.
- Make the vinaigrette in advance/the day before and keep it stored in the airtight glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- If serving the salad after it’s been refrigerated either on the day you made it or the following days, I recommend letting the salad sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before consuming. This softens the pasta and prevents you from eating firm/hard pasta from the fridge.
- Store in a large airtight container, refrigerated, for 1-3 days.
- If your salad has dried put too much the next day or following days, drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil to add back moisture and to refresh it.
💬 Recipe FAQ’s
Yes, you can make this pasta salad the day before you will be serving it. If you’re going to make it the day before, my first expert tip is to add the sliced hard boiled eggs just before serving on the day.
My second tip is to follow the recipe as normal but when you go to pour over the vinaigrette dressing, only pour over half on the day you make it. Then the next day before serving, pour over the remaining vinaigrette and stir it through. This refreshes the salad and adds back moisture.
Gluten free pasta is firmer after cooking than regular wheat pasta. To prevent the pasta in this salad from going hard once it’s served or the next day, I recommend coating the pasta immediately in some olive oil after it’s cooked and drained. This keeps the moisture in the pasta whilst it cools. Also cook it a bit further than al dente until it’s softer, which will keep it as soft as possible as it cools and firms up again.
Yes, this salad dressing is 100% naturally gluten free!
Yes, it’s dairy free! There is no dairy in the Italian vinaigrette, pasta, or vegetable mix.
🥄 Related Recipes
If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x
Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe
Hard Boiled Eggs
- 5 large eggs each weighing approx. 55g-60g in shell
- Room temperature water to cook eggs
- Cold water to cool eggs down
- 350g gluten free penne or spiral pasta I use Barilla GF Penne
- 1/2 Tbsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Cracked black pepper, to season
- 1 large carrot chopped into small cubes
- 1 large cucumber cut into half moons
- 1/2 medium red capsicum chopped into small cubes
- 1 medium tomato roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery sliced and add leaves, roughly chopped, if desired
- Half 1 medium red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 stalks spring onion trimmed and thinly sliced
Hard Boiled Eggs
- Add eggs to a medium sized pot.
- Pour over room temperature water to just cover the eggs.
- Pop on the lid and place over a medium-high heat on the stove. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, remove the lid and boil for 5 minutes.
- Whilst cooking, half fill a small-medium sized bowl with cold water.
- Once cooked, turn off the heat and remove eggs using a slotted spoon, and place in the cold water.
- Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Remove and dry off. Peel off the shells.
- Slice eggs lengthways or however you desire. Set aside.
- In a large pot, fill it 2/3 of the way up with water and add salt. Bring to a rolling boil and add pasta. Cook according to packet instructions until a bit softer than al dente. Stir the pasta as it cooks to prevent it from sticking together in the pot.
- Drain off water through a colander and rinse pasta under cold water for 5 seconds.
- Keep pasta in the colander sitting in the pot it cooked in. Drizzle pasta with olive oil and gently mix with a wooden spoon so the oil coats all of the pasta. This will keep the pasta from sticking as it cools. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
- Grab a medium sized mason jar or a glass jar that can be fitted with a lid.
- Add all vinaigrette ingredients to the jar.
- Place on the lid and give it a good shake until all ingredients are well combined.
- Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl or large serving bowl, add cold pasta. TIP: make sure the bowl is large enough to hold all of the pasta and vegetables combined.
- Add all chopped vegetables to the pasta and gently mix with a wooden spoon until vegetables are well distributed through the pasta.
- Stir through sliced hard boiled eggs.
- Pour over the vinaigrette and gently mix until the pasta and vegetables are coated in the dressing. TIP: the dressing can pool/sit at the bottom of the bowl, be sure to mix it all through from the bottom.
- Serve and enjoy! Or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. If serving straight from the refrigerator, I recommend letting the salad sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before consuming. This softens the pasta and prevents you from eating firm/hard pasta from the fridge.