Gluten Free Italian Pasta Salad (Mayo Free, Dairy Free)

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and with that comes backyard get togethers, BBQ’s, and picnics.   Chances are the usual cast of characters will be present at most summer gatherings.   You know them well: coleslaw, potato salad, and pasta salad.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a big fan of each of those, but I must admit that I do get a bit weary of the mayo overload.  Sometimes I think that I can literally feel my cholesterol and LDL rising with each bite (OK, that’s a bit of hyperbole there).  Again, I like mayo…really like mayo, but I am also game for changing traditional foods up to improve the nutritional value.

Know what?  Sometimes those new, remade dishes are better, far better, than the original.  That’s how I feel about my pasta salad.  This is a no mayo pasta salad, but I  haven’t skipped out on one ounce of the creaminess that you expect in pasta salad.

The secret to this pasta salad comes in a humble (and inexpensive can) of cannelini beans.  Pureed, cannelini beans are smooth and luxurious (if a bean can me).  Blended with some healthy avocado oil, lemon juice, and some seasoning, you have the perfect mayo substitute.  I’ve been working on remakes of other mayo-based dishes, all using the same bean base just with tiny tweaks to seasoning.  Keep a look out for them in future blog posts.

So if you’re heading out to a gathering this weekend, consider trying my remade pasta salad.  It’s a healthy dish that everyone will love.

One last thing, if you haven’t done so already, head over to my Instagram page and enter a great giveaway. One entrant will win a $50 gift certificate from Jovial Foods.  You can use it to buy anything from their online story.  You could even order some of their GF fusilli and make this recipe!

Gluten Free Italian Pasta Salad (Mayo Free, Dairy Free)
Serves 4 (main course serving) or 6-8 (side dish serving)

Salad:
12 oz. package Jovial Gluten Free Fusilli pasta, cooked, drained, rinsed under cold water
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup diced grape tomatoes (mixed colors of red, yellow, & orange tomatoes)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3/4 cup cooked, diced Canadian bacon
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil & herbs, drained
1 cup finely chopped kale leaves, packed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, packed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, packed
1 cup finely cubed mozzarella cheese (optional, eliminate if dairy free or opt for a dairy free cheese instead)

Dressing:
15 oz. can cannelini beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup avocado oil (or other oil of your choosing)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon prepared, jarred pesto
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook gluten free pasta according to package instructions.  Drain.  Rinse under cold water.  Drain.  Set aside in a large bowl.

To create the dressing, place the drained beans, avocado oil, lemon juice and zest, pesto, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into a blender.  Puree until completely smooth.  There should be no large pieces or chunks remaining.

Pour the dressing into the bowl with the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

Add all of the remaining salad ingredients into the pasta mixture (peas, tomatoes, onion, Canadian bacon, sundried tomatoes, kale, basil, parsley, and mozzarella).  Stir to combine.  Cover and chill if desired, or serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Chewy Chocolate Fudge Oat Revel Bars

I love creating recipes, and I especially love the challenge of creating gluten free recipes.  I’ve had many people ask me how I come up with my recipes.  Usually it all starts with a blank piece of paper and a pen.  I jot down my ideas and rough out my recipes on my own.  Like many bloggers, I’ve come up with a combination of certain ingredients that just plain work well together.  My recipes are not knock-offs, they’re original creations that I have tested.

Continue reading “Gluten Free Chewy Chocolate Fudge Oat Revel Bars”

Chicken and Broccolini Panzanella Skillet

I love veggies, and among my favorite is broccolini.  Broccolini is not baby broccoli, instead it is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale created back in the 1990’s.  This is NOT some genetic engineering product.  It is a product of slow cross pollination efforts – that’s what all hybrid plants are.

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Gluten Free Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

We’ve all had epic fails in the kitchen.  Most of us usually do not photograph the evidence for all to see.  But a friend of mine was brave enough to do just that.  As we sat talking about gluten free baking, she detailed the trouble that she was having making a tasty gluten free cupcake.  She described her attempts as flat, dense, and sunken.  She even showed me a photo.

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Gluten Free Lemon & Berry Slab Tart

Despite the fact that more snow is forecasted to fall tomorrow (no April Fool’s joke), I know that warmer weather is on the horizon! So I am transitioning my thinking to the sun-drenched days ahead.  Come spring and summer I am always trying to create recipes that come together with relative ease (and with little time in the oven as well).  This Lemon & Berry Slab Tart fits the bill.  It was part of our Easter dessert table, but I think that it will be a festive recipe for Memorial Day or July 4th as well, and that’s why I am making sure to share the recipe with you (so I have it as well).

Continue reading “Gluten Free Lemon & Berry Slab Tart”