Gluten Free Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad

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Our Gluten Free Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad is allergy friendly and makes a fantastic side dish or main dish. Bring this salad to your potlucks and BBQs, it’s so creamy and flavorful, no one will know it’s gluten free!

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by iHerb and contains affiliate links for them. All opinions are my own.

This Gluten Free Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad is a creamy and flavorful side dish (or main dish) that’s so good people won’t even know is gluten free and dairy free!

You can serve this pasta salad warm or chilled (we love it warm), and you can customize it with your favorite add-ins like olives or artichoke hearts.

The best part of this pasta salad is the creamy and zesty ranch dressing, it’s completely dairy free and made at home!

Not only is this delicious pasta salad gluten free and dairy free, it’s also:

  • peanut free and tree nut free
  • egg free (if using vegan mayo)
  • soy free (if you use a soy-free mayo, the one we link to in this post is soy free)
  • whole grain

We made this allergy friendly ranch pasta salad with ingredients from iHerb, let us show you how to make this amazing dish and our favorite ingredients!

How to make gluten free ranch pasta salad

Although there are a few steps to follow to make our dairy free ranch pasta salad, it is not overly complicated and it’s worth the few extra steps to make this amazing dish!

sheet pan with chopped vegetables on it

Here are the steps to make the pasta salad (the full recipe card is at the end of the post, this is a quick recap of the steps):

  1. Heat up a saucepan of water to cook your pasta according to package directions (add a splash of olive oil and salt to the water).
  2. While the water for the pasta is heating up, preheat your oven and spray a cookie sheet pan lightly with oil and set aside.
  3. Chop your zucchini and halve the cherry tomatoes and place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
  4. Add the olive oil, pressed garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to the bowl and toss the vegetables with the oil and seasonings.
  5. Spread the veggies on the prepared cookie sheet and roast in the oven until they are softened (but not too soft).
  6. Allow the vegetables to cool.
  7. When your water comes to a boil, add the Jovial gluten free fusilli and cook according to the package directions.
  8. Drain the pasta and rinse it in cool water for a minute or 2 to reduce the temperature of the pasta (it’s fine if they are still a bit warm, you just don’t want them hot). Toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  9. When the roasted vegetables have cooled, stir the pasta together with the vegetables, the zesty ranch (recipe below), and the cajun/creole spice in a large bowl.
  10. Either chill for later or serve immediately warm or at room temperature.
  11. Store the pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
overhead photo of ranch pasta salad in a large black bowl

I think that our ranch pasta salad tastes best served at room temperature or warm. You can serve it cold, but I think the textures and tastes are better when warm!

If you’d like to add some other flavors to this dish, try mixing in some chopped bell peppers with your zucchini and cherry tomatoes before roasting. Or stir in some marinated artichoke hearts just before serving.

We also like to add some chopped chicken or sausage to this pasta salad as well to make it a full meal instead of a side dish.

How to make dairy free zesty ranch dressing

Our recipe for zesty ranch dressing is so easy, you don’t even need a blender to mix this up! It’s creamy and has just the right amount of zest and flavor, your friends and family won’t know it’s made without dairy.

Here are the steps for mixing up your own dairy free ranch dressing at home:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy free mayo, water, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard (this gives it some zest!), and the seasonings.
  2. Whisk together until it’s smooth.
  3. You can add a little more mayo or reduce the water to make it thicker. Or add a little more water or less mayo to make it thinner, depending on your preference.
  4. Drizzle this on top of your pasta salad or add the entire batch of zesty ranch to the pasta salad, and stir it all together before serving.
  5. If you make extra ranch or don’t use all of it in the pasta salad, store the extra ranch in a jar or airtight container for up to 7 days.
homemade ranch dressing in a glass bowl

When you serve the pasta salad with the ranch dressing, you can drizzle it on top, but we loved it when we mixed the entire batch of ranch into the salad and served it mixed together.

How to make this pasta salad grain free or low carb

If you are avoiding grains, you can make this recipe using the Jovial grain free cassava penne pasta instead of the brown rice pasta if you like! Just don’t forget to check the cooking directions on that package because it might be different than the brown rice pasta we have listed here.

This will be grain free and paleo, but not low carb. But if you want a low carb option, try replacing the pasta here with zucchini noodles (zoodles), cucumber noodles, or some Miracle Noodles.

Ingredients we used in this recipe

Here are some of the specific ingredients we used in this recipe. Feel free to change these up a bit (like using penne instead of rotini if you like), but don’t forget to check ingredient labels on these and any other packaged ingredients if you have food allergies.

gluten free ranch pasta salad in a black bowl
  • Jovial gluten free brown rice fusilli: the texture of this pasta is just like regular whole grain pasta! It doesn’t crumble like some other kinds of gluten free pasta, which is great for pasta salads.
  • Lucini organic extra virgin olive oil: a great olive oil can really elevate your dish with rich olive flavors. The Lucini extra virgin olive oil is not only organic, it’s also naturally low in acid.
  • Sir Kensington’s Organic Mayo: the Sir Kensington’s mayo is soy free, which is great for anyone with soy allergies! If you are looking for an egg free mayo, check out Sir Kensington’s vegan mayo.
  • Eden Foods Organic Brown Mustard: most ranch dressings don’t have mustard added to them, but I wanted to add a bit more zest and flavor to our ranch, so I added this organic brown mustard. It tastes great in the ranch and adds a tangy zing!

Shopping with iHerb (and grocery haul)

If you have food allergies and need to buy specialty grocery items, shopping online at iHerb is a great option that’s convenient and available globally (they ship to over 180 countries!).

iHerb carries over 30,000 natural products and they have a wide selection of grocery items, staples, herbs, spices, condiments, and more.

We got several of the ingredients for this recipe from iHerb, plus we got some extra grocery items as well. We got some pretty great ingredients for making cookies!

allergy friendly baking items from iherb
soy free grocery items from iherb

iHerb ensures the quality of their products by shipping from climate-controlled distribution centers, and if you ever need customer service, they have customer service staff available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week and in 10 different languages.

Save some money at iHerb! New and returning customers will get a discount OFF their iHerb order with no minimum purchase by clicking here.

photo of pasta salad with text overlay

Gluten Free Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad

Our Gluten Free Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad is allergy friendly and makes a fantastic side dish or main dish. Bring this salad to your potlucks and BBQs, it's so creamy and flavorful, no one will know it's gluten free!
Makes 4 servings as a main dish, 6 servings as a side dish. Dressing recipe makes 1/2 cup dressing
Gluten free, dairy free; Free of: tree nuts, peanuts, soy
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free pasta salad, gluten free pasta salad, ranch pasta salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 260kcal

Ingredients

Pasta salad

Zesty ranch

  • 1/3 cup soy-free mayo (vegan if you need it egg free, too)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Pasta Salad

  • Fill a 4 quart saucepan 3/4 the way full of water. Add a splash of olive oil and a dash of salt and heat over medium heat until boiling. This will be for cooking the pasta.
  • While the water for the pasta is heating up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet pan lightly with oil and set aside.
  • Chop your zucchini with the skin on and place into a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  • Add the olive oil, pressed garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to the bowl and toss the vegetables with the oil and seasonings.
  • Spread the zucchini and tomatoes on the cookie sheet and roast in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes. You want the vegetables softened a bit but not too soft.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool on the pan.
  • When your water comes to a boil, add your gluten free rotini and cook for 12 minutes until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and rinse the pasta in cool water for a minute or 2 to reduce the temperature of the pasta. Toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  • When the roasted vegetables have cooled down for about 15-20 minutes, stir the pasta together with the vegetables, the zesty ranch (recipe below), and the cajun/creole spice in a large bowl.
  • Either chill for later or serve immediately at room temperature.
  • Store the pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Dairy Free Zesty Ranch

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the zesty ranch.
  • You can add a little more mayo or reduce the water to make it thicker. Or add a little more water or less mayo to make it thinner, depending on your preference.
  • Add the entire batch of zesty ranch to the pasta salad, or use it on salads or for dipping vegetables.
  • If you make extra ranch or don't use all of it in the pasta salad, store the extra ranch in a jar or airtight container for up to 7 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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