Gluten-free pasta can be bland, mushy and horrible.
Pasta has always been a favourite of mine but when I went gluten-free, I didn’t enjoy it anymore. It took a while but now it’s my favourite food to eat.
Are you ready? These tips will completely change your gluten-free pasta salad. Fall in love with pasta again.
THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE PASTA
Let’s face it, the type of gluten-free pasta you buy can make or break your meal. That’s why it’s important to choose the right pasta.
Common problems are:
- It goes rock hard
- It falls to pieces
- It tastes like cardboard
Gluten-free pasta doesn’t have to be like this.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF GLUTEN-FREE PASTA
There are so many types of gluten-free pasta. The key thing to remember is to check it says gluten-free on the packet and doesn’t have a ‘may contain wheat, gluten’ label.
If you are allergic to corn, there are so many other pasta options that you could try.
Buckwheat pasta is safe for most people as long as it is certified gluten-free. This is because buckwheat is actually a seed not a grain. The reason why it has to be labelled gluten-free is because it can be processed on the same line as gluten grains which could lead to cross-contact.
CORN AND RICE PASTA
This is the most common combination for supermarket own brand gluten-free pasta. A mixture of corn flour and rice flour.
Chickpea pasta is often made from ground chickpeas. This makes it a plant based and protein filled pasta option. If you want to add more protein to your diet, this is a great option.
Lentil pasta is a high-protein, plant based pasta made from lentils. The most common type of lentil pasta is red-lentil pasta.
Pea pasta is made from pea flour! It is green in colour which adds a bit of fun to your meal. It is also high in protein and fibre.
Gluten-free pasta made from quinoa flour. Quinoa is a gluten-free high-protein seed. This makes it high in fibre.
Plain rice pasta isn’t as common. But you can buy it. It can be made from brown rice flour or white rice flour.
CAN YOU TAKE THIS TO AN EVENT?
Gluten-free pasta salads are amazing to take to summer BBQs, picnics, days out, lunchboxes, potlucks and more.
They are easy to make. With endless sauce and flavour combinations, you can change it up each time you go to an event.
You can make gluten-free pasta the night before. You just need to follow the tips below for the best results.
GLUTEN-FREE PASTA SALAD TIPS
- Add more gluten-free salad dressing than you think. Gluten-free pasta absorbs more liquid so it needs more dressing.
- If you’re going to fridge pasta, take it out 30 minutes beforehand so it has a chance to soften.
- Before serving the pasta, add more sauce or gluten-free salad dressing.
- Stir the pasta in the pan for 30 seconds when you first bring it to the boil. This helps to stop the pasta from sticking.
- Add 1 tsp of oil to the pan of pasta to reduce sticking even more.
- Choose dressings with a higher fat content if you’re going to fridge the pasta. The fat in the dressing helps keep the pasta moist.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Gluten-free pasta goes to mush if it’s cooked longer than the recommended time.
MAKING THE DRESSING
The dressing or sauce of a gluten-free pasta salad is crucial. It alters the taste. There are 2 ways to make this dressing.
IN A JAR
Add all the ingredients to a clean jar. Then shake the jar until the ingredients are all combined.
IN A MUG
Add all ingredients to a clean mug. Stir it with a spoon until it’s combined.
WHAT TO EAT WITH PASTA SALAD
Sometimes you just want a big bowl of pasta! Other times, you want something else with it.
- A baked sweet potato.
- Corn on the cob.
- Grilled meat, like chicken, salmon or pork.
- Roasted chickpeas.
- A vegetable slaw.
- Gluten-free bread.
- Gluten-free chips – homemade or store-bought.
This pasta salad recipe can be changed to suit you.
- Avocado, cubed and tossed in a squeeze lemon juice.
- Beetroot, diced – avoid beetroot that has vinegar in the ingredients
- Broccoli, steamed or roasted.
- Cauliflower, steamed or roasted.
- Mushrooms, sliced and fried.
- Peppers, diced or sliced.
- Rocket leaves.
- Spinach leaves.
- Squash, cubed and roasted.
- Sundried tomatoes, diced.
- Sweet potato, cubed and roasted.
THE DRESSING CAN BE USED IN
- Quinoa salads.
- Vegetable salads.
Gluten-free Pasta Salad
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 85 grams gluten-free pasta
- 3 tomatoes sliced
- 4 grapes quartered
- 1 inch cucumber sliced and cut into 1/2 moons
- 4 tbsp sweetcorn
- 6 tsp dairy-free mayonnaise
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Bring a pan of water to the boil.
- Once boiling, add the oil and pasta and stir for 30 seconds.
- Cook the pasta according to the packets instructions.
- Chop the tomatoes, grapes, and cucumber.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it.
- Toss the pasta and vegetables in the sauce.
- Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a jar or clean mug until combined.
What pasta meals do you enjoy?