Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on June 12, 2011

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Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad Recipe

Summertime comes with its own little dilemmas – the clothes we wear are skimpier than other times of the year and the food can be a lot more fattening – ice cream, fatty meats with calorie laden barbeque sauces and those poolside cocktails with pretty little umbrellas can all add some extra rolls and I am not talking gluten-free hotdog rolls here! Even the lovely salads of summer can be packed with extra fat and calories, especially the coleslaws, potato and pasta salads.

All that yummy food just goes with these long, lazy, sunshine-filled days, backyard parties, beach outings and chilling-by-the-pool. So what is this gluten-free girl to do when she wants to have her cake (or in this case a gluten-free pasta salad) and eat it, too? Come up with a genius way to make a creamy, delicious pasta salad and cut back on the fat – that’s what!

This recipe starts with gluten-free pasta then is packed with veggies, a handful of kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, wonderful pistachios for crunch and flavor and then for the genius part – a rich creamy dressing with just a tiny bit of oil. What’s the secret? Boiled potatoes! I took a couple Yukon gold potatoes, boiled them up while the pasta was cooking and then made an egg-free, pistachio and mayonnaise type of dressing with just ¼ cup of oil! Best part? The potatoes add absolutely NO fat! No, actually the BEST part is the taste! Rich, indulgent, and elegant! This is not your mama’s pasta salad, but she will probably ask you for the recipe!

This post linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad Recipe


1 – 16 ounce package of gluten-free pasta
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about ½ pound), peeled and cubed
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons roasted and salted pistachios, use divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon water
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1 – 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
4 green onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
kosher or sea salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. In a small saucepan, boil the potatoes until very tender. When the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Drain the potatoes.

Make the dressing by placing the cooked and drained potatoes in a blender along with 3 tablespoons of pistachios, the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Put the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl; add the dressing, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green onions, red pepper, celery and basil and toss to combine. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and stir into the salad. Refrigerate until serving time. Can be made several hours ahead of time. Let come to room temperature before serving for best flavor.


This Gluten Free Pistachio Pasta Salad recipe serves 8-10

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Salads & Dressings

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

The Celiac Husband June 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

GF Pasta salad! An excellent summer treat for Celiacs.
Yours being healthy, is a bonus.


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

Thank you Peter!


Joy June 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Wow, this sounds fantastic! Love the addition of the potato to make the dressing creamy, would not have thought of that!


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

Thanks Joy, yes the potato really does make it all so creamy, make sure and use yukon gold potatoes.


InTolerantChef June 13, 2011 at 3:59 am

What a clever idea with the potatoes. Yummo! I also love your dish, it’s very cute too!


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thank you, and yes, I love that bowl too!


Shirley @ gfe June 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

Brilliant, Carol! Your pasta salad looks divine. Cute post and I like the nifty bowl, too. :-)



Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thank you Shirley!


Barbara June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I can’t wait to make this for a summer gathering on Friday!


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

Enjoy Barbara!


Donna June 14, 2011 at 6:54 am

This looks so yummy! Great idea with the potato.


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

Thanks Donna!


Aurea June 14, 2011 at 8:49 am

looks so tasty i could bite in right now! great idea and great shots!


Kim (Cook It Allergy Free) June 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Carol, what a brilliant idea to use the potato in the dressing! I am making this this weekend to go with our Father’s Day BBQ! It will be a perfect side!! You are too funny, by the way!! ;) xoxox k


Carol Kicinski June 16, 2011 at 7:58 am

Thank you Kim. It does go really well with ribs and chicken. xoxo


Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Gorgeous, Carol! It sounds so fresh and perfect for summer. Thanks so much for linking up to SIT! Your recipe is a fabulous addition. Hugs!


Lindsay @ Cook.Vegan.Lover. June 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

What a beautiful salad


Georgia October 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I stumbled upon this recipe by accident and made it for a recent picnic. Let me just say that it was fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. Rave reviews from celiacs and gluten-eaters alike. The only note I’d mention is to add the pistachios right before serving. If you store it overnight, the pistachios become soggy. Not a deal-breaker by any means. Still an excellent recipe – and dairy free as well. Happy eating!


Carol Kicinski October 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thanks Georgia and that is a good note on the pistachios!


Susan February 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I've been away for a while, so let me first cmnmlipeot you on your new blog design — it's great :)Now about your cookies: it's amazing how you've managed to completely transform the recipe + make your kids love cookies made out of an ingredient they didn't enjoy. Proves it must be really tasty!


Carol Kicinski February 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Thanks Susan.


Carol Privitere February 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I recently had to go Gluton Free & am definitely going to try this receipe.Looks sooo good. I do not eat red meat..I do make alot of shrimp stir-fry,turkey burgers…etc, & am more of a rice eater. Since I have gone gluton free alot of my problems have subsided & I feel much better. Any way I am definitely going to make this receipe & let you know how it goes over w/family & friends.Thanks!


Carol Kicinski February 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

Good luck on your journey to better health Carol! I am sure you will find it easier to be gluten free as you go along. Enjoy the recipe!


Carol P February 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I tried this salad, but also added cucumbers to the mix & it was excellent….


Carol Kicinski February 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm

So glad you liked it Carol. Cucumbers sound like a wonderful addition!


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