This spring pasta salad is made with gluten-free pasta, chicken, green vegetables, and a simple dressing. It’s gluten-free and can be made paleo and AIP.

Pasta salad served in a bowl

Gluten-Free Spring Pasta Salad

Spring is FINALLY here! With the warmer weather, pasta salad starts screaming my name. I mean, who doesn’t love pasta salad? It’s an easy main dish or perfect side dish to compliment those sunnier days!

I used to get so sad when I couldn’t have classic dishes like this anymore! But thankfully, there are so many great gluten-free and even AIP pasta alternatives out there now! This pasta salad has all the nostalgic taste of the original, but none of the nasty side effects. It is gluten-free, paleo, and can easily be altered to be AIP and dairy-free.

 

The Ingredients for this Spring Pasta Salad

  • Gluten-free fusilli pasta (or other pasta of your choice). I personally love the Jovial rice pasta or their cassava pasta for paleo/AIP!
  • Chicken breast. You can also use chicken thighs, just be sure to modify the cooking time as needed.
  • A mix of fresh veggies. I used zucchini and frozen peas (omit for AIP), but you could mix in whatever veggies you have on hand!
  • Fresh arugula. This gives this pasta salad a special little bite!
  • Red onion. 
  • Black olives. 
  • Pecorino cheese. You can omit or sub nutritional yeast for AIP/paleo.
  • Olive oil.
  • White balsamic vinegar. Regular balsamic vinegar will work great here too!

How to make Gluten-Free Spring Pasta Salad

  • Cook the pasta. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot and add the pasta. Cook as directed until cooked to your liking. Strain and set aside.
  • Prep the dressing. Combine 1/3 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  • Saute the veggies. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan and add the zucchini and peas and cook for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  • Cook the chicken. Add the chicken to the same pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 F. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Combine all ingredients together. Mix the pasta, chicken, vegetables, dressing, and optional cheese. Toss to combine and serve lightly chilled.

Progression of the preparation of the pasta salad

Can you make this without the cheese?

You can! The cheese adds a lot of flavor, but you can either omit it altogether or add a bit of nutritional yeast if you prefer.

How do you store this pasta salad?

If you’re not going to be serving the entire pasta salad fresh, the best way to store this pasta salad is to separate the pasta, the dressing, the chicken, and the vegetables. Not only does the pasta get a bit hard in the fridge and needs some reheating before serving again, but the arugula can get soggy if sitting in the dressing for too long.

How long does this pasta salad last in the fridge?

If you store everything separately, you can eat this pasta salad again in about 2-3 days. However, it’s always best fresh!

Pasta salad served in a bowl

 

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Spring Pasta Salad (Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz gluten-free fusilli pasta (I use Jovial rice pasta, or cassava pasta for AIP/Paleo)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 3 tbsp white (or regular) balsamic vingear
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (omit for AIP)
  • 1 lb chicken breast (or thigh), cubed
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp pecorino cheese (omit or sub nutritional yeast for AIP/paleo)

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot 3/4ths of the way with water and salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook as directed until cooked to your liking. Strain and set aside, tossing in a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and to allow to cool.
  2. While the pasta cooks, prep the dressing by combining 1/3 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and peas and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the zucchini and peas are cooked through. Set aside.
  4. Add the chicken to the same pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 F. Set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Prepare the pasta salad by combining the pasta, chicken, vegetables, dressing, and optional cheese. Toss to combine and serve lightly chilled.

Notes

All nutrition facts are estimated and will vary.

  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 511
  • Fat: 29.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.4g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 36.2g