Gluten-free creamy pasta salad in a bowl.

Creamy Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Recipes, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Pasta, Salads, Side Dishes, Summer This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make purchases using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It's at no extra cost to you; it helps us keep the lights on. #comissionsearned.
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I love making pasta salad. It is a quick lunch, dinner, or side dish that’s perfect for summer. This creamy gluten-free pasta salad is made with broccoli, onions, and sweet bell peppers, creating a delicious pasta salad that is perfect for your summer barbeque. 

How To Cook Gluten-Free Pasta

Cooking gluten-free pasta can be a little finicky. Follow these steps to cook the perfect gluten-free pasta. 

First, fill a large pot with water. Let it come to a boil. Add 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a tablespoon of oil to the water. Yes, I said to add oil to the pasta water. 

It goes against the pasta cooking rules, but we aren’t cooking regular pasta. We are cooking gluten-free pasta.

Gluten-free pasta is made with starchy ingredients, so it loves to stick together. Adding oil to the pasta water helps prevent it from clumping together. 

Stir it really well and let it come back to a full rolling boil after you add the oil to the water. 

Gluten-free creamy pasta salad in a bowl.

Add the gluten-free pasta to the water. Stir it for 30 seconds to prevent the gluten-free pasta from sticking together or sticking to the pot. During the first 3-5 minutes of cooking, the gluten-free pasta is more likely to stick together. So stir it every 30-60 seconds for the first 3-5 minutes. 

The gluten-free pasta will clump up, and foam will form on top of the water. Stir the pasta often to prevent it from boiling over. 

Follow the package directions and cook it just until it is al dente. 

Why Does Gluten-Free Pasta Salad Get Hard

Typically, dried gluten-free pasta is made with starchy flour like rice flour, corn flour, or potato starch. Rice gets hard when you chill it in the fridge. So gluten-free pasta made from rice flour will get hard when it’s cold. 

However, if you use a good brand of gluten-free pasta and cook it the right way, it should not get hard when cold. 

Why Is My Pasta Salad Not Creamy

You probably over or undercooked the gluten-free pasta. If you don’t cook the gluten-free pasta long enough, the creamy Italian dressing will dry out. 

In contrast, if you cook the gluten-free pasta too long, the pasta will be soggy and mushy. Cook the gluten-free pasta just until it’s al dente, and your pasta salad won’t dry out. 

Tips For Making Creamy Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Do not overcook the gluten-free pasta. Cook it just until the gluten-free pasta is al dente. 

Rinse the gluten-free pasta with cold water. It will stop the gluten-free pasta from cooking. 

Cut the broccoli, onions, and bell peppers into uniform pieces. 

Add the broccoli florets to the gluten-free pasta about 2 minutes before the gluten-free pasta is cooked. The broccoli will be perfectly cooked, and you don’t have to blanch it in a separate pot. 

Gluten-free creamy pasta salad in a bowl.

Can You Make Gluten-Free Pasta Salad Ahead Of Time

Yes, you can make gluten-free pasta salad ahead of time. The pasta salad will have an even better flavor the next day. 

How To Store Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Place the gluten-free pasta salad in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. The pasta salad will last 2-3 days in the fridge. 

Can I Freeze Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Do not freeze gluten-free pasta salad. First, the pasta salad contains mayonnaise which does not freeze well. 

Second, pasta becomes mushy when it’s frozen. The gluten-free pasta salad will have a mushy, watery texture that is extremely unpleasant. 

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Gluten-Free Creamy Pasta Salad

Recipe by Sarah
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Lunch, Dinner, SidesCuisine: gluten-freeDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time




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This creamy, rich gluten-free pasta salad is loaded with broccoli, onions, and bell peppers. It is dressed with our homemade creamy Italian dressing creating a delicious pasta salad that is perfect for a summer lunch, dinner, or barbecue. 

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  • 8 oz. gluten-free penne pasta

  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small florets

  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips

  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 batch of creamy Italian dressing


  • Cook the gluten-free penne pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water using the package instructions (make sure you scroll up and read the how to cook gluten-free pasta).
  • Drain the gluten-free penne pasta in a colander and rinse it using cold water.
  • Place the gluten-free penne pasta into a bowl along with the broccoli, onions, and bell peppers.
  • Pour the creamy Italian dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine.
  • Cover the creamy gluten-free pasta salad with plastic wrap. Chill the creamy gluten-free pasta salad in the fridge for 1-2 hours or serve it immediately.

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Nutrition Facts

2 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories408
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 17.3g 27%
    • Saturated Fat 4.8g 20%
  • Cholesterol 22mg 8%
  • Sodium 391mg 17%
  • Potassium 237mg 7%
  • Total Carbohydrate 50.8g 17%
    • Dietary Fiber 3.8g 12%
    • Sugars 2.9g
  • Protein 9.7g 18%

  • Calcium 168%
  • Iron 1%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Sarah

    Hello. Welcome to my food blog! I am a recipe developer/content writer and creator. Food is universal. Its more than something you eat. Food is an experience that can be enjoyed alone or with others. It can affect your physical health and your mood. I love food and I believe it affects how we feel which is why I started this blog that provides you with delicious healthy recipes, useful tips and tricks, guides, and informative articles.

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