Easy Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe with Veggies

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Looking for a good pasta salad recipe that’s gluten free? This homemade gluten free pasta salad recipe with fresh veggies, cilantro, and lime is easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser. 

One of the main challenges of eating gluten-free is figuring out what to eat when you are on the go and entertaining. This healthy and easy gluten-free pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish for your clean eating family meal plan. It’s a great dish to make ahead for a summer picnic, backyard barbeque, potluck, or even a baby shower dish. And it’s a favorite lunch to make for the summer months. 

This version of cold pasta salad includes fresh broccoli, yellow cherry tomatoes, carrots, and feta cheese. It’s topped with fresh cilantro and a lime vinaigrette that gives this vegetarian pasta salad a fresh and delicious flavor that’s completely different from most pasta salad recipes. The best part – it’s ready in under 30 minutes!

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Ingredients For Gluten Free Penne Pasta Salad

Here are the simple ingredients needed for the pasta salad:

  • 1 bag gluten free penne pasta
  • baby carrots, quartered and sliced – this is about 20 baby carrots
  • cucumber quartered and sliced – you can use a regular cucumber or English cucumber
  • small head of broccoli chopped – the one I used was about 9 oz
  • baby yellow grape tomatoes, halved (1/2 pint)
  • cilantro, chopped – sub fresh parsley, but it will change the flavor
  • feta cheese

While you could easily use regular wheat pasta in this recipe, the gluten free pasta tastes just as good and is better for you! 

After trying several brands of gluten free pasta, I find that Schar is my favorite brand of gluten-free pasta. It tastes the most similar to regular pasta and has a great texture. I serve it to gluten eaters all the time and no one has ever noticed the difference. 

And it also holds up well to the mixing necessary in this recipe. 

If you can’t find Schar gluten-free pasta, Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta is another solid alternative. 

I like using penne for this recipe, but you could also use gluten-free rotini or any type of pasta you like.

Ingredients pasta salad dressing

The dressing is what really makes this the best pasta salad recipe. This lime vinaigrette dressing is loaded with flavor and you’ll be surprised how easily it comes together.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the homemade dressing:

  • lime juice  – sub lemon juice if you like
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • granulated garlic
  • oregano
  • onion powder
  • turmeric, allspice and cumin
  • Dijon mustard
  • apple cider vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey – sub with maple syrup for a vegan option

You could also use homemade Italian dressing or take a shortcut and use store-bought Italian vinaigrette if you like. 

Check out more healthy dinner ideas for families here.

How to Make the Best Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

This really is a pretty easy pasta salad recipe to make. It takes just a few steps and a little chopping and mixing. 

Start by cooking your gluten free pasta according to package directions. I like to make pasta in the instant pot because it’s so simple and fast. Cook penne on high pressure for 1 Minute + 10 Minutes of natural release. Comes out perfectly. The key is to cook it al dente so that the pasta does not break apart while mixing. 

While the pasta cooks, chop up your fresh vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Run the cooked pasta under cold water for 2-3 minutes or until it feels cool to the touch. 

Place the pasta and veggies in a large mixing bowl.

Next, make the dressing for the pasta salad. I like to use a small jar because once you add all the ingredients, you just shake it for 1-2 minutes and it’s ready to go without much extra cleanup. This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing. I find this to be the perfect amount of dressing to fully coat the pasta and still leave you with semi-crunchy veggies the next day. 

Check out all my meal prep tips for busy moms while you are here!

Pour the dressing over the pasta salad, then add the cilantro and crumbled feta.

Use a large spoon or spatula to gently mix the pasta salad until everything is well combined. 

At this point, it’s ready to serve. However, I recommend placing the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill or until ready to eat. 

Give this delicious gluten-free pasta salad a try for your weekly healthy meal prep or next family gathering. It’s sure to be a hit. 

Get the full recipe below!

What to serve with GF Pasta Salad?

This pasta salad is so hearty it could easily be a full meal. That said it goes nicely alongside BBQ chicken or grilled boneless thighs, and a big glass of one of these iced tea recipes for a nice summer meal. 

For an easy lunch just serve it along with fresh fruit. 

More Healthy Recipes Good for a Crowd

Whether you are feeding a big family or making a dish for potluck, you should try these recipes too!

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Big Batch Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Crock Pot Fall Apart Roast Beef

Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe

Gluten Free Pasta Salad Recipe

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Easy gluten free pasta salad with veggies and lime vinaigrette that's perfect for on the go lunches, pot luck, side dish or main dish.


For Pasta Salad

  • 1 bag gluten free penne pasta
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots, quartered and sliced
  • 1 cucumber quartered and sliced
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 handful baby yellow tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (half an 8oz block)

For Dressing:

  • juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Dash each turmeric, allspice and cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp honey


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking slice and quarter the carrots and cucumber. Cut up broccoli and tomatoes. Chop cilantro.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
  4. Add prepared vegetables to the bowl.
  5. Combine all ingredients for dressing in small jar. Seal and shake to mix for 1 minute.
  6. Pour dressing over pasta and veggies.
  7. Add crumbled feta cheese and mix to combine.
  8. Store in refrigerator until ready to eat.


  • Cook pasta al dente so that it does not break apart when mixing
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving for best results.
  • This salad is best when eaten within 3-4 days.
  • To prevent spoiling, do not leave it out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Tips to Make This Recipe

    Ready to give this healthy gluten free pasta salad a try? You might also want to keep these tips in mind when making this recipe.

    • Cook pasta al dente so that it does not break apart when mixing
    • Don’t skip the salt (even if it seems like a lot). There are a lot of veggies in this dish and the salt is needed to bring out the flavors.
    • If serving at a potluck or gathering, make sure to not leave it out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
    • This recipe is naturally vegetarian. To make it vegan – use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing and either omit the feta or use vegan cheese. To make it dairy free – leave out or substitute the feta.

    How to store Gluten Free Pasta Salad?

    This pasta salad is best the next day.  The best way to store leftover gf pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. But you could also store it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap or in smaller portions in a mason jar.

    I would not recommend freezing this recipe. But you shouldn’t need to because it goes fast!

    Make sure to save this one for later! It’s soon going to be one of your family’s favorite recipes!

    More On Healthy Eating

    If you’re a busy mom trying to get healthy meals on the table, we’ve got lots of resources here for you!

    Clean Eating Food List PDF – print it and take it with you to make grocery shopping easier

    Easy Clean Eating Meal Plan – one week plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas

    Beginners Guide to Clean Eating – tips for busy moms

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