Gluten-Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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This Gluten-Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad is made with light flavourful dressing, fresh veggies, bocconcini cheese and plenty of fresh herbs. 

Gluten-Free pasta tossed with marinated cherry tomatoes, bocconcini (mozzarella balls), blanched mushrooms and zucchini and plenty of delicious dressing. The rainbow colours showcase the freshness and deliciousness of this Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

This gluten-free pasta salad recipe takes almost no effort, very little cooking, made with the best tasting Mediterranean dressing soaked up by the pasta, veggies and bocconcini.

 

mediterranean pasta salad, gluten free

 

I know a pretty simple pasta salad recipe…summer is about simple, delicious pasta salads, fresh veggies, and light dressings. The Mediterranean dressing is the key to this gluten-free pasta salad. If you prefer rice to pasta, check out this Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad

 

mediterranean vinnaigrette

 

let’s get started with the Mediterranean dressing…

As with most dressing, we start with a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I used two kinds of vinegar. The apple cider vinegar and a tasty balsamic vinegar. I added dijon mustard, garlic, a little sweetness from maple syrup or honey, and plenty of fresh herbs for added flavour.

 

the gluten-free pasta salad…

Using short-cut gluten-free pasta is probably the best for this Mediterranean pasta salad. I find the short-cut pasta absorbs the dressing much better, making the salad most flavourful.

 

mediterranean pasta salad, gluten free

 

The cherry tomatoes are halved and are marinated in the tasty dressing with the bocconcini. By marinating the tomatoes and the cheese before tossing them with the gluten-free pasta, makes them exceptionally flavourful.

 

zucchini and mushrooms

 

 

the veggies…

I used zucchini and mushrooms. Both of these veggies are mildly flavoured, and they absorb the tasty Mediterranean dressing beautifully. But, before I add the zucchini and mushrooms to the salad, I blanch them.

 

zucchini and mushrooms in water

 

why blanching the veggies first?

By blanching the zucchini and mushrooms first, they will keep longer, taste better, and have a good texture. But don’t worry, there is no extra work to blanching the veggies. Let me explain.

Once the gluten-free pasta is almost done cooking, add the zucchini and mushrooms to the boiling salted water with the pasta. They take only thirty seconds to blanch for this pasta salad, and no extra pots. 

 

pasta zucchini mushrooms, gluten free

 

Once the pasta with the veggies is done cooking, immediately rinse everything well with cold water. Otherwise, both the gluten-free pasta and the veggies keep cooking and will become mushy.

For extra saltiness, I added sliced ripe black olives. The olives make all the difference in this Mediterranean salad. The saltiness from the olives mixed with the pasta tastes outstanding!

 

mediterranean pasta salad, gluten free

 

to finish this Mediterranean pasta recipe…

Add everything to the same bowl that has the marinated cherry tomatoes and bocconcini. Mix briefly and set aside, allowing for the flavours to develop. I prefer to make this salad a day in advance and refrigerate it overnight. 

However, if you need it the same day, be sure to leave the pasta salad at room temperature for about a couple of hours. The pasta and veggies absorb the tasty Mediterranean dressing faster at room temperature.

This gluten-free pasta recipe is great for prepping ahead. Whenever you have parties or need light lunches for the week, this tasty healthy Mediterranean pasta salad is it! If you like pasta salads check out this easy Gluten-Free Italian Pasta Salad.

Mediterranean pasta salad is the best! 

 

mediterranean pasta salad, gluten free

 

What I love about this summer salad, it tastes even better after a few days in the fridge.

I like to keep my meals light in the summer, which is why this recipe is my go-to pasta salad. It is light, filled with seasonal fresh veggies and is exceptionally flavourful. 

But, when the cooler weather hits, I like to serve this salad warm. Just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and you will enjoy a lovely warm salad to go with your mains. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • MEDITERRANEAN DRESSING
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. GF dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup or liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, I used oregano, parsley and basil
  • Sea salt, GF coarsely ground black pepper, GF red pepper flakes to taste
  • SALAD
  • 3/4 lb. gluten-free dry short cut pasta, I like the penne
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups small brown mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved, I used multi-coloured
  • 1 1/2 cups mini bocconcini balls, or sliced bocconcini
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
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    Instructions

  • Using a large bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Please note that pasta salad requires more salt than other salads. I used 3 teaspoons.
  • Stir in cherry tomatoes and bocconcini and set aside
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Just before the pasta is cooked, add the zucchini and mushrooms. Once the water starts to boil again, cook for 30 seconds. Drain pasta with veggies and immediately rinse well with cold water
  • Add cooled pasta with veggies and olives to the salad bowl with tomatoes and bocconcini. Toss well to combine
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight
  • Just before serving, add fresh basil leaves and mix to combine. Enjoy
  • You can serve the salad at room temperature, or you can warm it up in a microwave and serve it warm
  • Note; The salad will keep up to 5 days when refrigerated
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