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Cold pasta salad in a bowl ready to be the best side dish at your next gathering.

Gluten-free Cold Pasta Salad with Chicken

Sara Vaughn
This quick and easy gluten-free pasta salad with chicken is the perfect pasta recipe for an easy meal prep lunch to even a summer BBQ.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Chill 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 12 Ounce Box Gluten-free Pasta Small variety.
  • 2 Cups Cooked Chicken Diced
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes Diced
  • 2 Cups Bell Pepper of Choice Diced
  • 2 Cups English Cucumber Diced
  • 1 Cup Red Onion Diced
  • 2 Cups Black Olives Diced
  • 1 ½ Cups Parmesan Cheese Shredded
  • 1-2 Cups Italian Dressing of Choice


  • Cook and drain the pasta and set it aside.
    1 12 Ounce Box Gluten-free Pasta
  • Cook and dice the chicken as needed and set it aside.
    2 Cups Cooked Chicken
  • Dice the remaining veggies.
    2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, 2 Cups English Cucumber, 1 Cup Red Onion, 2 Cups Black Olives, 2 Cups Bell Pepper of Choice
  • Once the pasta has cooled toss it with the chicken, diced veggies and cheese.
    1 ½ Cups Parmesan Cheese
  • Drizzle in the salad dressing a little at a time until desired coating.
    1-2 Cups Italian Dressing of Choice
  • Let the pasta salad chill for at least thirty minutes before serving.


What is the best pasta to use?
For this pasta salad, I prefer to use a smaller gluten-free pasta. Avoid anything very thick or long. I prefer something like the Barilla gluten-free elbow pasta for this recipe.
How to cook the pasta, so it's perfect for pasta salad.
I cook gluten-free pasta in more water than it calls for because it tends to soak up more water than regular pasta. Be sure to salt the pasta water. I add 1-2 minutes of cooking time to the pasta for this recipe because gluten-free pasta stiffens up more than regular pasta once it cools down. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Can this be made dairy-free?
The only dairy in this recipe is the parmesan cheese. Parmesan is naturally lower in lactose, but if you want to leave it out, you can substitute it with your favorite dairy-free cheese.
Can this be made vegetarian?
Yes, it can; just leave out the chicken or sub in your favorite alternative.
What kind of chicken do you use?
This is completely up to you. I've used leftover rotisserie chicken in this before, and it's delicious. If I make chicken, I like to dice it small and then cook it in a skillet with a little bit of salt and pepper, onion, garlic, and parsley until it's cooked through.
Keyword cold pasta salad, gluten-free pasta salad, pasta salad