The end-all, be-all of pasta salads. Full of veggies like artichoke hearts, asparagus and black olives this mother-load of Mediterranean flavors swimming in a homemade creamy Italian sauce will blow your mind. Plus, this can serve as a side or entree AND is free of: wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts. It’s also gluten-free and vegan.
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You know when you read over a recipe and with every line you think: “YES! I like that. Ohh…I like that too.” and on, and on it goes?
That’s how this recipe was. I’m a big fan of asparagus. I love salty black olives. Artichoke hearts are my spirit animal. And so on.
So, when I saw it had dairy–I thought: “There has to be a way!”
Pasta salads are my BFF that get me through the summer. I want something fresh, I want something cool and darn it–it better have some carbs.
Thankfully, this all came together and I remember almost shouting “Hallelujah!” when I took my first bite. Since then I’ve served it to my mom and got her full stamp of approval. Plus, I’ve made it a million times this summer and I honest-to-goodness look forward to it E.V.E.R.Y.T.I.M.E.
So, if the August heat still has you down, and you’ve worn out your other tried-and-true summer recipes–please, PLEASE give this one a try.
Did I mention that the homemade dressing is done in your blender too? Right??! How much better can this summer recipe get?
Slathered in an allergy-free version of Creamy Italian Dressing and flush with ripe summer veggies, this will be your favorite pasta salad of all time. It certainly is mine.
AND–if you want to add some meat (I know my husband does) I have the best addition. It’s wonderful all on its own, but I will purposefully make The Best Grilled Lemon Chicken the night before and make two extra breasts. I’ll then add the diced lemon chicken to this pasta and it is like the healthy, grown-up, allergy-friendly version of PB&J. I mean, these were meant to go together. And, high-five for using up leftovers!
Finally–this Tuscan Pasta Salad is great as an entrée, especially if you add the chicken, or as a lunch. I LOVE to make lots and eat it for lunch for the next day or two. It’s hearty enough because of the vegetables to be dinner, but not so heavy that it can be a great lunch. It’s the chameleon of pasta salads. And, if you have something you just HAVE to have as a main dish, smaller portions of this could also serve as a side. Just be prepared it will probably upstage anything you’re having as the main dish. Just sayin’. And, if you’re looking for another Italian inspired salad, try this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from my friend Foolproofliving.com.
So, stick out these last few weeks of hot temps and enjoy a cool gluten-free dairy-free Tuscan Pasta Salad.
Do I have other dairy and gluten free pasta salads?
I sure do! All of my pasta salads are: gluten, dairy and egg free. (With options to add those back in if you don’t need them.) Here’s to a summer full of delicious pasta salads!
- Gluten and dairy free Taco Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Avocado BLT Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Asian Spinach Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Basil, Lemon and Avocado Creamy Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Ham, Asparagus and Lemon Pasta Salad
- 1lb gluten-free pasta
- 1lb asparagus, blanched and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 cup black olives
- DAIRY-FREE CREAMY ITALIAN DRESSING:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- Bring a large pot to boil and salt it generously. Boil your gluten-free pasta to al dente. Drain and rinse it off with cold water and set it aside in a large bowl.
- Cut your asparagus and boil it until it's bright green and mostly soft. Quickly drain off the water and put the asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process. You want it soft, but with still a little bit of bite to it. If it continues to cook it will be limp and mushy, so the ice water stops the cooking completely. (This is referred to as blanching). Drain and add it to your pasta bowl.
- Dice the olives, tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Add it to the pasta bowl.
- Make your dressing by adding all of the ingredients in the blender, except for the oil. Turn your blender on, and by just cracking the lid, pour your oil in while it is blending to fully incorporate it.
- Pour your dressing into your pasta bowl coating it as much or little as you like. I like the whole amount!
- Serve immediately, or this will keep well in the fridge covered for a day. I like to make mine a few hours before so that AMAZING dressing has time to sit and coat everything well.
Feel free to add more or less amounts of the veggies. Peas are also great in this.
Adapted from the talented Meaningful Eats
DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT, SO YOU DON’T LOOSE IT. ALSO, CHECK OUT MY OTHER ALLERGY-FRIENDLY PINTEREST BOARDS.
Looking for other allergy-friendly summer salads: Check out a few of my other favs: