This Summer Pasta Salad is an easy side dish perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks, cook-outs and picnics. Made with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, olives, fresh basil, parsley and a zesty homemade vinaigrette. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free with grain-free paleo-friendly options.
Easy Gluten-Free Summer Pasta Salad
The sun is blazing and summertime calls for quick and easy meals! This Summer Pasta Salad is easy to make with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, olives, fresh herbs and a zesty homemade vinaigrette. Pasta salads are always a delicious crowd-pleaser and perfect for lunch, a light dinner and spring and summer potlucks, Fourth of July picnics, Memorial Day cookouts and backyard BBQs.
Vegan Pasta Salad Recipe ingredients
- Dried pasta– any gluten-free or grain free pasta brand you like. We love these grain-free pastas from Jovial and Cappello’s. If you are looking for a chickpea or lentil based pasta, you can use Banza pasta shells that are made with chickpeas. For keto, there’s Almond Love or use your favorite low carb pasta you like.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes – cut in half
- Onion – diced.
- Zucchini – chopped. You can also use cucumbers instead.
- Fresh herbs – I used basil and parsley.
- Kale – for some extra greens.
- Radishes – thinly sliced
- Vegan Feta – We like Violife Vegan Feta. You can omit or use your favorite feta if not dairy-free.
- Salt and pepper
For the homemade vinaigrette
- Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dairy-free Parmesan cheese – grated. We like Violife.
- Pure maple syrup – or sub with any sticky liquid sweetener of choice. Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple syrup, coconut flower nectar syrup or date syrup or honey (if not vegan) all work.
- Garlic clove – minced
- Sea salt
- Italian seasoning
- Black pepper to taste
- Red pepper chili flakes, optional
How To Make this Summer Pasta Salad
- COOK THE GLUTEN-FREE PASTA: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a resealable jar. Shake well and set aside.
- COMBINE INGREDIENTS: In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked pasta then toss together with 1/2 of the dressing. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl and add remaining dressing. Toss well and add salt and black pepper to taste. Chill in fridge until ready to serve or enjoy immediately.
- SERVE: Chill in fridge until ready to serve or enjoy immediately.
Make Ahead Tips
- Cook the pasta ahead of time and store in a large reusable container in the refrigerator.
- Wash and chop the broccoli and tomatoes in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Make the dressing in advance and store in a resealable jar in the refrigerator.
Summer pasta salads variations
Pasta salads are always a delicious crowd-pleaser and perfect for lunch, a light dinner and spring and summer potlucks, picnics, cookouts and backyard BBQs.
- They’re quick and easy to make and can easily be customized to what you like or have on hand.
- Plus, they work for a variety of diets and can easily be made gluten-free, vegan, low carb, grain-free, keto or paleo depending on the pasta you use which we’ve included suggestions for below in the recipe card.
How To Store This Gluten Free Pasta Recipe
This easy pasta salad will last in the refrigerator for up to four days, and it is perfect for meal prep. Divide the cooked pasta into reusable airtight containers. This is our favorite lunch container. Here are a few of our other favorites for storing food:
- Glass meal prep containers – Divided containers with 2 compartments are great if you want to include a portion of salad plus a side of protein or fruit.
- Jars with lids – Mason jars are great for portioning out salads and they make your fridge look Pinterest-worthy. We love these reusable plastic jar lids for everything you can put in a jar. And for dressings and sauces, these flip-top lids are a must-have!
- Silicone bags – The great thing about silicone bags is that they can be re-used, are dishwasher-safe and don’t absorb odors. We LOVE stand-up bags from Stasher for their 56-ounce capacity and the fact that they stand up minimizing any risk of leakage.
Can you freeze pasta salads?
Yes, you can freeze a pasta salad to preserve it. Here are a few tips:
- Only cook the pasta al dente.
- Be sure to freeze the pasta separate from the other ingredients and dressings for best results.
- Use freezer-safe plastic bags, silicone bags or freezer-safe containers.
- If you would rather freeze it all mixed up in a single container, the pasta may get mushy from the liquid during freezing/thawing.
To thaw: Thaw the pasta, dressing and vegetables in the refrigerator overnight before combining the ingredients. Toss all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and adjust seasonings / liquids as needed. Do not refreeze and serve on the same day.
More healthy salad recipes you will love:
This Summer Pasta Salad is an easy side dish perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks, and parties. Made with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, olives, fresh herbs, and creamy vegan feta. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free with grain-free paleo-friendly ⅐⅐options.
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons dairy-free grated Parmesan cheese , We like Violife.
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup , or sub with any sticky liquid sweetener of choice. Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple syrup, coconut flower nectar syrup or date syrup or honey (if not vegan) all work.
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste (I use sea salt or Himalayan pink)
- 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- black pepper to taste
- pinch red pepper chili flakes optional
- 8 ounces dried gluten-free pasta , use any gluten-free or grain free pasta brand you like, but if you are paleo these from Jovial, or Almond Love for Keto or Cappello's grain-free pasta. If you are looking for a chickpea or lentil based pasta, you can use Banza pasta shells that are made with chickpeas.
- 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/3 cup black olives slices
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 1/2 red or white onion chopped
- 1/4 cup kale chopped (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a jar and shake well. You can also use your blender to emulsify ingredients instead.
- Cook, drain and dry pasta to al dente according to pasta instructions. Add to a large mixing bowl and toss together with 1/2 of the dressing. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl and add remaining dressing. Toss well and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Chill in fridge until ready to serve or enjoy immediately.