This Gluten Free Pasta Chicken Salad is a gluten free pasta salad that got married with a buffalo chicken salad. This Gluten free pasta chicken salad is loaded with flavor. It’s a dairy free pasta salad and is also soy free (depending on the brand of hot sauce you use), egg free, and nut free.
What is this Salad?
Is it a pasta salad, is it a lettuce salad, is it a buffalo chicken salad? It’s all 3! This is my favorite way to make pasta salad. Instead of making just a boring old gluten free pasta salad, I like to add a lot of goodies. It’s a gluten free pasta salad combined with a buffalo chicken salad with some added veggies and mix-ins for flavor. The turkey bacon and olives add a nice salty bite to this gluten free pasta chicken salad. And it’s all topped off with a zesty dairy free dressing.
Choosing the Best Gluten Free Pasta
Not all gluten free pastas are suitable for gluten free pasta salad. Corn-based gluten free pasta tends to get too hard once refrigerated. I have found brown rice blends of pasta to be the best option.
I’m using Tinkyada Brown Rice Fusilli pasta in this recipe. The texture was great and as long as you don’t overcook it the pasta is not mushy at all.
Favorite Gluten Free Pasta Brands
To help you in your quest for finding the perfect gluten free pasta brand for gluten free pasta salad, here are some pasta brands that have never let me down.
Tips on Cooking Gluten Free Pasta
The key to cooking gluten free pasta well is to always keep an eye on it. To avoid it from sticking you’ll want to stir it frequently during cook time. You’ll also want to be sure you continue to taste the pasta throughout the cooking process. Don’t just set a timer and walk away. Gluten free pasta can quickly go from al dente to pure mush. Once you are able to chew your pasta without resistance it is done. Don’t cook it past al dente though, especially not for this gluten free pasta salad or else it will get very mushy when you start to mix it with the dressing.
Gluten Free Pasta Chicken Salad
For the Salad
- 2 large Chicken breasts
- Oil for pan
- Small Sprinkle of Salt + Pepper for Chicken
- 2 cups Dry gluten free pasta – see blog post for brand suggestions
- 1/4 pound Turkey bacon – can be replaced with pork bacon
- 2 cups Prepackaged garden or romaine salad mix
- 1/2 can Black olives – optional
For the Dressing
- 3/4 cup Just Mayo or other vegan mayo
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 2 lemons Juiced
- 2 teaspoon Buffalo or Frank’s hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- Heat a large pan on medium high with a small amount of oil or cooking spray. While the pan is heating, bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta.
Cooking the Chicken
- Once the pan is hot place your chicken breasts in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle the upward side of the breasts with a small amount of salt and pepper then cover and let cook without turning for about 15 minutes. Then flip your chicken breasts and cook for about 15-20 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Cooking the Turkey Bacon
- Chop your turkey bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry in a pan on medium heat until crisp.
Cooking the Pasta
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Always remember to keep a close eye on gluten free pasta and stir frequently. Gluten free pasta is best cooked to al dente as it can get very mushy and crumbly if overcooked.
Shredding the Chicken
- Once the chicken is cooked and has had a chance to cool you can shred it. My favorite technique for shredding chicken is to use my stand mixer. Just place your whole chicken breasts in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn onto medium speed for a few minutes until chicken has been shred.
Making the Dressing
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing together in one bowl. Whisk vigorously to ensure the oil and mayo combine into a homogeneous mixture.
Assembling the Pasta Chicken Salad
- Once the pasta has cooked rinse with cool water and place in a large bowl. While the pasta is warm but not hot, mix in your dressing. Once pasta is coated with dressing add in your shredded chicken and mix until chicken is coated. Next add in your salad, chopped bacon, and olives and mix one more time. I found mixing in separate batches like this helps ensure nothing gets mushy.
- Refrigerate until cool and then enjoy!
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