Summer isn’t complete without the pasta salad! This gluten-free, allergy-friendly, vegan pasta salad is packed with bright summer veggies and tossed with a zesty Italian oil-free dressing. A classic made healthy and safe for everyone to enjoy at any summer cook-out!
As you can tell by this blog (if you’ve been reading for awhile), is that I rarely, well okay, never, eat pasta. It’s just not my thing, regardless of Celiac Disease. Growing up, I was a little girl who loved and adored her pasta. All shapes, sizes, dishes, everything. In more recent years, pasta had absolutely no appeal to me. I’m still not 100% about it, but for some reason I was craving that classic boxed pasta salad mix my mom used to make years ago. Just soft tri-colored spirals with those red pepper pieces, awesome Italian dressing, and I think my mom would throw in a can of olives as well to jazz it up.
I could remember it being one of my favorite things! Cold, delicious, Italian pasta salad. Not exactly healthy or gluten-free though. So I listened to my pasta craving and decided to try my hand at my own amp-ed up veggie version. Might I say, I think I nailed it with this one! Nailed it so much, I may just enjoy pasta again every now and then.
The first step was finding the perfect gluten-free pasta. None of this grain-free alternative stuff. I needed some real quality Fusilli pasta. One that would hold up when cooked, not get like soggy mush, and taste like the real deal. What did I end up choosing? My new go-to pasta brand, TruRoots. I had used their pasta for a recipe over winter break and had good results, so when I saw they had some beautiful Ancient Grain Fusilli, I had high hopes. It’s made with organic quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, and corn.
My, this pasta held up so well! Not mushy or soggy, perfectly soft, yet al dente, and tasted like some damn good pasta. It can be rough finding a good gluten-free pasta…really rough. Sometimes, down right scary, but this pasta had a wonderful flavor and texture. You can say, I’m a fan! (No, this post is not sponsored…I just really like TruRoot’s pasta!) And you get the added bonus of eating pure whole grains, and not some cheap rice or gmo corn pasta with added preservatives and stripped of nutrition. You know, the empty-calorie pasta.
Now, the next hurdle I had to overcome, was the dressing situation. Soy, gluten, sodium, sugar, who know’s what in the classic. But of course I had faith that I could make my own stellar dressing. (Condiment Queen here!) I went to my spice cabinet and gathered every Italian herb I could think of. Then my trusty Pompeian red wine vinegar and we were in business. I usually don’t cook it added oil in my dishes, so this dressing is oil-free. Just vinegar, herbs, and spices.
After that, It was just time to choose the best pasta salad veggies. I added them all, cucumber, bell pepper, corn, broccoli, tomato, red onion, mushrooms, olives. It’s packed and delicious! See for yourself!
Summer Veggie Pasta Salad
- 8 oz (1 bag) TruRoots Gluten-Free Ancient Grain Fusilli
- 1 Small Cucumber (chopped)
- 1 Small Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
- 1 Medium Vine Ripe Tomato (chopped)
- 1 Small Red Onion (diced)
- 1 Cup Diced White Mushrooms
- 1 Cup Sweet Yellow Corn
- 1 Cup Chopped Broccoli
- ½ Cup Sliced Black Olives (rinsed)
- 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
- 2 TB Fresh Italian Parsley (chopped)
- Italian Dressing:
- ¾ Tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ Tsp Dried Basil
- ¼ Tsp Crushed Dried Rosemary
- ¼ Tsp Dried Marjoram
- ¼ Tsp Dried Thyme
- ¼ Tsp Ground Sage (scant)
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- ½ Tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 TB Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- Cook pasta according to directions. I did the full 8 minutes. Then drain the pasta, but DO NOT rinse it. Simply set it aside in a colander while you prep your veggies.
- In a very large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, all veggies, lemon zest, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, combine the spices and herbs and whisk together with the vinegar and lemon juice.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir everything to combine and get coated.
- Serve right away at room temperature, or refrigerate for later. Pasta salad should be served room temperature, not freezing cold, not warm and hot, but just so. Enjoy!
I had this pasta salad two days in a row (of course leftovers are the best!) and I just adore it more and more. I’m not joking when I tell you this tastes like my childhood…but better if I do say so myself 😉 Now everyone, even me, can enjoy a healthy allergy-free pasta salad at every summer cook-out! My brother, a total gluten-eater, even ate and enjoyed this! So that means just nix the gluten pasta salad entirely and just make this safe dish for everyone! Don’t tell them and see if anyone notices. (They won’t, trust me!) If you make this for a cook-out or BBQ, let me know what everyone thinks! I guarantee it will be an all-around crowd-pleaser and will become a new classic and staple dish!
So tell me:
+ Are you a fan of pasta salad? I think I need to make a healthy macaroni salad next. You know, the creamy super unhealthy, but delicious one!
+ What’s your favorite summer cookout dish? Gotta love potato salad! Which I have a killer recipe I’ll be sharing soon! It will blow your mind!
*Recipe linking up for the week! Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays, Savoring Saturdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Meatless Mondays, Lena’s Tasty Tuesdays!*Strength and Sunshine Twitter: @RebeccaGF666 Instagram: rebeccagf666 Pinterest: RebeccaGF666 Bloglovin’: Strength and Sunshine Google+: Rebecca Pytell