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Gluten-Free Cold Italian Pasta Salad

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Gluten-free cold Italian pasta salad is flavorful and perfect for indoor or outdoor gatherings. Makes a great party dish too.

gluten free cold Italian pasta in a with bowl

One of my favorite summer dishes is this gluten-free cold Italian pasta salad because it’s a great side dish for so many different types of meals. It’s popular in the summer time and is often served at outdoor gatherings like BBQ’s or picnics.

It’s typically served cold, so it can be kept in the fridge, or in a cooler, until it’s ready to be served. I use Banza rotini pasta to make my cold Italian pasta.

Their products are more than just gluten-free, they are higher in protein and fiber than the average pasta. It is made using chickpeas, which is what makes them gluten-free.

What is chickpea pasta?

It’s very similar to regular pasta but with a hint of chickpea flavor and a slightly more chewy texture. It’s also a high-protein, high-fiber alternative, packing about 13 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber into each two-ounce serving.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Side dish that pairs well with most summer dishes
  • Great way to get in more vegetables
  • Perfect to prep ahead of time
gluten free cold Italian pasta in a with bowl

Ingredients

What you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Gluten-free rotini pasta
  • Fat free Italian dressing
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red onion
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Broccoli florets

How to make this recipe

1 – Start by cooking the pasta to al dente, about 6 minutes.

It’s important to not overcook the pasta. If the pasta is overcooked, it will become mushy, won’t taste as good, and it will also be harder to work with. 

2 – Drain pasta from water and spread it out on a tray to cool. Spreading the pasta out on a tray rather than leaving it in the colander or in a bowl will help it cool quicker, and will prevent the pasta from sticking together.

The next step it to blanche the broccoli so it will be ready for the salad.

3 – To blanch the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil.

4 – Add broccoli to the boiling water and cook until barely tender and bright green. This takes about 3 minutes.

5 – Drain and immediately put broccoli florets into a bowl of ice water to prevent the broccoli from cooking further.

6 – After the ice bath, lay the broccoli out flat onto a plate. This helps it to cool faster.

7 – Once the pasta and broccoli are done, chop up the onion and peppers and add them to a large bowl.

8 – Add the cooled broccoli and pasta.

9 – Add in the dressing and Parmesan cheese and stir until everything is combined well.

10 – Chill the pasta salad for about 2 hours before serving.

Before serving, stir the pasta again and add any additional dressing if the pasta seems dry. 

gluten free cold Italian pasta in a with bowl

How long does pasta salad last in the refrigerator?

Properly stored in an airtight container, pasta salad will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze pasta salad?

Yes, place the pasta salad in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Frozen pasta salad can last about a week in the freezer.

When ready to eat, transfer the container from the freezer into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once the salad is defrosted, consume it right away. It’s not advisable to freeze more than once.

Calories per serving (1/2 cup): 110

Yield: 12 Servings

Gluten-Free Cold Italian Pasta Salad

gluten free cold Italian pasta in a with bowl

Gluten-free cold Italian pasta side dish is flavorful and perfect for indoor or outdoor gatherings. Makes a great party dish too.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz box gluten-free rotini pasta, I use Banza
  • 4 oz fat-free Italian dressing
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched

Instructions

  1. Cook box of pasta to al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain well and cool flat on a plate.
  2. To blanch the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli to the boiling water and cook until barely tender and bright green. This takes about 3 minutes.
  3. Drain and immediately put broccoli florets into a bowl of ice water to prevent the broccoli from cooking further. After the ice bath, lay the broccoli out flat onto a plate. This helps it to cool faster.
  4. Combine cooled blanched broccoli florets, bell peppers and onion in a large bowl. Add cooled pasta, Parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing. Combine well.
  5. Place in an airtight container, or in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Chill for approximately 2 hours before serving.
  6. Stir again before serving. If salad is dry and needs more dressing, feel free to add more as needed.

Notes

  • To blanch broccoli, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook until barely tender and bright green. About 3 minutes. Drain and immediately put broccoli florets in a bowl of ice water to prevent the broccoli from cooking further.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

    Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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    I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

    gluten free cold Italian pasta in a with bowl
    gluten free cold Italian pasta

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    Enjoy!

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    Sophie

    Wednesday 12th of June 2019

    Pasta salads are my kind of thing. Live this version of your too.

    simplylowcal

    Tuesday 16th of July 2019

    Thanks! :)

    Mimi

    Tuesday 11th of June 2019

    This cold dish will be a perfect one to make this summer - it is promising to be really hot!

    simplylowcal

    Tuesday 16th of July 2019

    Yes, it's perfect in the summertime. :)

    April

    Tuesday 11th of June 2019

    Thank your for sharing this amazing brand! And the salad looks absolutely delicious - just what I need for this week!

    simplylowcal

    Tuesday 16th of July 2019

    I hope you enjoy. I love Banza!

    Amanda

    Tuesday 11th of June 2019

    I'm in a pasta salad kick right now, so this recipe came at the perfect time! The Italian dressing and Parmesan adds such great flavor. Thanks for sharing!

    simplylowcal

    Tuesday 16th of July 2019

    You're welcome. I hope you enjoy.

    Jacqueline Debono

    Monday 10th of June 2019

    I also love pasta salad especially in summer as a side for a bbq or picnic! Yours looks and sounds delicious. I'd love to try pasta made from chickpeas sounds so interesting!

    simplylowcal

    Tuesday 16th of July 2019

    I hope you are able to make soon and I hope you enjoy!

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