a gluten free pasta salad idea

a gluten free pasta salad ideaSince Memorial Day is behind us, it’s safe to say that it’s officially barbecue season. Everyone is looking for that dish that is easy to make while also being a crowd-pleaser. Unfortunately, many crowd-pleasing recipes aren’t necessarily healthy. That’s why I’m sharing my healthy summer recipe for roasted cauliflower “pasta” salad. The title is a misnomer though because there is zero pasta in this salad, yet, that is what makes it interesting for parties and great for a variety of guests. Plus, it’s so good that you won’t even miss the pasta!

Unlike a typical pasta salad, this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and keto — a triple threat!

As a recent as four years ago, pasta salad was one of my favorite summer recipes to make. A box of pasta doesn’t cost much and of course it stretches to feed a crowd. Yet, how about trying a healthier alternative for favorite pasta salad this year? This roasted cauliflower “pasta” salad is based on how I used to make my own pasta salad but instead, recipe uses delicious vegetables and herbs.

It’s the combination of herbs and flavors that makes this cauliflower salad so enticing. I knew that I hit “the nail on the head” when my kids asked for more. Serve the salad with grilled chicken, fish, or pork.

You don’t have to choose between this recipe and potato salad. This cauliflower recipe can be served right alongside it. The flavors are tasty enough to enjoy right away, but like a typical pasta salad, set up in the fridge nicely overnight for peak flavor to serve the next day.

If you’re planning a summer barbecue, also be sure to try my recipe for summer-thyme blueberry lemonade too!

gluten free pasta salad idea

Roasted Cauliflower “Pasta” Salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 heads of cauliflower (cut into segments)
  • 1 6-ounce can of black olives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 3-5 basil leaves cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Spread cauliflower on large baking sheet.
  • Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
  • Place roasted cauliflower in bowl and add olives, onions, tomatoes, peppers, onion, thyme, Italian seasoning, basil, and scallions.
  • In small food processor add ingredients to make dressing (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper).
  • Mix dressing into the salad.
  • If you can, let set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.


About the author

Lisa Leslie-Williams

Lisa Leslie-Williams

Lisa Leslie-Williams is a pharmacist turned health and wellness lifestyle blogger, with a style that’s all her own. She lives in the Washington DC-metro area with her college sweetheart and their two homeschooled children. Since trading her script pad for a keypad, Lisa has never looked back. Inspired by changes in her own diet and health, her blog, The Domestic Life Stylist, offers posts on healthy living. Lisa passionately believes that food/wellness (and not pharmaceuticals) are the first line to attaining optimal health, self-care is a necessity (not a luxury), and “momming” with style is not an oxymoron. Lisa is frequent TV guest and has appeared on shows like the Dr. Oz show and Good Morning Washington. She's also the author of the popular e-book, “7 Dangerous Health Mistakes Every Mom Makes."