Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

Even though we already covered the perfect Gluten Free Mother’s Day Brunch Menu, I’ve got a last minute addition. Gluten free pasta salad with mayonnaise is not my thing. If it’s your thing, I love you still. (I never loved you for your salad tastes anyway.) This gluten free pasta salad is mostly about the roasted shallot vinaigrette, but it stands squarely on the shoulders of properly boiled gluten free pasta. Make your gluten free pasta the right way, and you’re free to enjoy it in a cold salad. It’s all in the technique, baby.[pinit]

A bowl of pasta salad and vinaigrette in a pouring dish

Add some cubed salami and a few olives, it’s an Italian gluten free pasta salad. Just like that. Amazing! Serve it over some lettuce, maybe, and double up on the dressing, why don’t you?

A close up of vinaigrette being poured over pasta salad

The vinaigrette is a simple mustard vinaigrette, but its real depth of flavor comes from the slowly roasted shallots.

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

You can saute the shallots in a skillet instead of roasting them in the oven, but you are much more likely to burn them that way before they get soft and sweet enough. And good news! The shallots can easily be roasted ahead of time.

Close up of pasta salad

Unlike gluten free baking, gluten free cooking means you can play with the ingredients. Don’t like bell peppers? Leave them out! Prefer cilantro to parsley? Sub it right in. You get the idea. Oh, and one tip: You can make any homemade vinaigrette dressing you like with a simple ratio of 3 to 1, oil to acid (like vinegar or lemon juice). Never buy dressing again!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: Serves 4 to 5


1 pound spiral-shaped dried gluten free pasta (penne would work just fine, too)

1/2 pound shallots, peeled and halved

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey, or to taste

2 teaspoons dijon mustard (I used whole grain dijon), or to taste

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces asiago cheese, diced

1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 small red sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small yellow sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

2 handfulls fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  • First, roast the shallots (this step can be done ahead of time and refrigerated once cool). Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the shallots on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two sheets of regular foil, stacked) about 10 inches square. Drizzle the shallots with about 1 tablespoon of the 3/4 cup olive oil, and toss them to coat. Gather the edges of the foil over the shallots into a packet, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the shallots are tender. Open the packet and continue to roast for another 10 minutes or until the shallots are just beginning to brown very lightly around the edges. Remove the shallots from the oven and allow to cool completely.

  • Cook the pasta according to my directions on how to boil gluten free pasta the right way, to serve cold. Place in a large bowl (you don’t want to crowd the pasta or it will clump and stick), toss with a bit of oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside.

  • Make the dressing. Place the remaining olive oil, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, salt and cooled roasted shallots in a blender and blend until smooth. The shallots should be completely broken down, and the dressing emulsified. Taste the dressing and add more salt, honey and/or mustard to taste.

  • Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, place the cooked pasta, asiago cheese, tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers and toss to combine. Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing, and toss to combine. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the parsley, and toss again to combine. Store covered at room temperature until ready to serve.



P.S. There’s still time to pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy … for your mom! Your support makes the blog possible. Like your mom made you possible!

Comments are closed.

  • […] No bake gluten free pie. Blah blah blah blah pie. As long as it ends in pie, you’ve got my attention. Now that I have yours, we can talk about how this gluten free pie is a perfect warm weather treat that won’t having you slaving away in the kitchen when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors, and your lovely guests. Make it ahead, freeze it and then allow it to thaw a bit while you eat, say, a lovely gluten free cold pasta salad. […]

  • […] Pasta salad with shallot vinaigrette. […]

  • Jamie
    May 13, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I made this for Mother’s day lunch and YUM! It was a hit! Everybody loved it and I have some left over for dinner tonight! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  • […] on May 10, 2013 by iammrscrooks recipe credit: Gluten Free on A Shoestring […]

  • May 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    P.S a little typo on the header – it says ‘Shallow’ instead of ‘Shallot’ ;)

    • gfshoestring
      May 10, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      I can’t find “shallow,” Heather! I keep searching and finding only “shallot.” End my embarrassment! xoxo Nicole

      • May 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        Its only showing up on my iMac when I have multiple tabs open but its fine on my iPad. Weird!!! Sorry about that!!!
        The shallots are roasting away and my house smells divine!!!! I can’t wait to eat this yummy salad!!!!!!

  • May 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Yum. and Thank you. Can’t wait to make this for lunch today and again on Sunday for our family potluck! Happy Mother’s Day!! xo

    • gfshoestring
      May 13, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      That’s awesome, Heather!

  • Donna
    May 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I’ve made one pasta salad – we always cook for two meals since GF requires cooking all the time. My brown rice pasta turned into a rock and was horrible. Is there a GF pasta that stays soft in the refrigerator? I’m reluctant to make something that is only for one meal unless it was a potluck dish with lots of eaters.

    • gfshoestring
      May 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Donna, if you follow my method of cooking pasta precisely, you should be able to refrigerate your pasta and then still serve after allowing it to come to room temperature. That being said, I have kept a covered bowl of cooked pasta tossed lightly with oil in a roomy bowl on the counter for 2 days before (notably, during Hurricane Sandy, when I had no power for days on end).

  • Julee
    May 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    This is perfect for Sunday’s BBQ. Thank you!

    • gfshoestring
      May 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Pleasure, Julee. That’s the idea! :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Donia Robinson
    May 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    This looks really tasty. The shallots sound incredible. I might make those and put them on everything. My kids probably won’t eat the salad, but more for me! Will the texture of the noodles still be good if put in the fridge, or would it have to warm to room temperature? I feel like cold rice noodles turn out like cold rice – pebbly.

    My mom’s famous cold pasta salad relies heavily on Miracle Whip (and canned peas, which are disgusting). I’m glad you can overlook it and still love me. ;)

    By the way, apparently my husband said to his mom that the waffles made from your waffle recipe last week were the best ones he has ever had. Just had to pass that along!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • gfshoestring
      May 10, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Hi, Donia,

      The shallots are invisible in the vinaigrette (all 3 of my kids loved it, and only 1 of them adores onions, 1 thinks they’re ‘meh’ when cooked and 1 really doesn’t enjoy them much), and shallots are so mild even when raw that after roasting, they are even more so. They might surprise you. :)
      As I mentioned to Dona above, if you follow my method of boiling pasta precisely, you should be able to refrigerate it and then serve it after allowing it to come to room temperature. It is especially important that you allow it to sit, covered, after boiling, though. And you could always allow the pasta, without the dressing to sit out and make the dressing separately, then dress the salad right before serving, if you are at all concerned.

      xoxo Nicole

      P.S. So glad about the waffles!! And Happy Mother’s Day to you, too. :)

  • Lisa
    May 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Nicole-How did you know I was craving cold pasta salad?? My GAWD you are a mind reader!! I luv you! I am going to try your method of pasta cooking this weekend!! Everytime we have had leftover pasta it gets hard if it is not drenched in the sauce and I have not been able to solve this connundrum.. Thank you again and especially thank you for all that you do!!!

    • gfshoestring
      May 10, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      If your cooked pasta gets hard if it is not covered in a lot of sauce, that tells me that most likely it is not quite soft enough after cooking. The final step in my pasta-boiling method of covering the bowl of still-warm cooked pasta with plastic wrap allows the pasta to steam a bit and trap just enough more moisture to stay soft. Hope you enjoy it – and you’re welcome!
      xoxo Nicole

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