Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad 7

My love for Pesto started when I was a college student and began waiting tables at a restaurant called the Old Vienna Cafe. This was a quaint little place that served European style dishes. When the owners Arthur and Oley were cooking my favorite dishes, I would try and figure out how much of the ingredients they were using because none of their recipes were written down. Over the years I have recreated many of the dishes I enjoyed most from that restaurant.  Pesto tops the list.

This recipe of Pesto Pasta Salad is gluten Free and was created for my family and friends that are sensitive to wheat or have Celiac. When we invite people over for a BBQ it is important that everyone can enjoy amazing food whether they have a wheat intolerance or not.  

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The ingredients you will need include: gluten free rotini pasta, garlic, real mayonnaise, roasted red bell peppers, a lemon, pine nuts, spinach, basil, flat leaf parsley, olive oil, grape tomatoes, and to add an authentic flavor, real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

The most important ingredient is the gluten free pasta. I prefer to use a fusilli or rotini brown rice pasta because it does not dry out and holds it shape. The other reason to use this type of pasta is it also tastes the best for this recipe. 

Get your pasta cooking before you start the pesto. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Since gluten free pastas are made from a variety of ingredients, be sure to read the cooking instructions to know how long to boil it. Once your pasta is cooked all the way through and soft, drain it. Rinse it with cool water, place it a large bowl and stir in the olive oil. 

While the pasta is cooking it is time to make the Pesto sauce. In a small dry pan toast your pine nuts on medium high heat until they just starting to turn brown and set them aside to cool.

To make the pesto put the basil, parsley, pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor. Puree the ingredients together, add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.   

In a large bowl, mix the pasta, pesto, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and mayonnaise. 

Side Note: Parmesan is not Parmigiano Reggiano. American parmesan is an entirely different cheese. A little sweeter and creamier, and nowhere near as expensive, parmesan is not the right cheese for any pesto recipe. Always use the real deal for pesto.

Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and pine nuts. Chill for at least two hours before serving. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

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5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

This Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad uses roasted red peppers and real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to make a delicious summer time side. It’s so good, you’d never know it is Gluten Free.    
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8


  • 12 ounces gluten free pasta brown rice fusilli pasta is recommended
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1 cup basil packed
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley packed
  • 1/2 cup spinach packed
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise


  • Cook pasta in salted water until it is soft according to the directions.
  • Drain, rinse with cold water and place it into a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil olive.
  • Toast pine nuts in a small dry pan on medium heat until golden brown.
  • In a food processor, puree basil, spinach, flat leaf parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice. Add olive oil and pulse until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine the pesto, red roasted peppers, tomatoes, and mayonnaise to the pasta.
  • Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and pine nuts.

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