Sesame pasta salad with mandarin oranges & a tangy Asian-inspired dressing make this gluten-free pasta salad a perfect summer recipe! (Gluten-Free or Not)
For The Dressing:
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup low sodium gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 3–4 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil (or another neutral oil)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
For The Pasta Salad:
- 8 oz. Gluten-free bow tie pasta (farfalle) or rotini (spirals) – we recommend Jovial brown rice pasta
- 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
- 4–5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 15–16 oz. mandarin oranges packed in juice, drained
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
- Optional: 1 avocado, diced
- Start By Cooking The Pasta. Cook your pasta according to the package directions, making sure that the pasta is soft rather than al dente (with a little bite), since gluten-free pasta hardens up a bit when cold. Drain & cool the pasta a bit by rinsing with cool water.
- While The Pasta Cooks, Mix Up Your Dressing. In a mason jar or small mixing bowl, combine rice vinegar, low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos, avocado oil, sesame oil & pure maple syrup. Whisk or shake until totally combined. Set aside for later. (Dressing can be made in advance and will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.)
- Assemble The Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad. In a large salad bowl or large mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta, spring mix, chicken, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, cilantro, green onion & avocado (if using).
- Add The Dressing. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine & coat with dressing.
- Top With Sesame Seeds. Sprinkle with sesame seeds & serve.
- Making This Salad In Advance? Wait To Add The Dressing! If you’d like to make our gluten-free mandarin pasta salad in advance, we recommend waiting to add the dressing until just a few minutes before serving for best results. Otherwise, the greens can begin to wilt and the almonds will soften somewhat.
- Use LOW SODIUM tamari! Any recipe that uses tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) can easily get too salty for some folks. I recommend using low sodium tamari or coconut aminos for best results. If you’re salt sensitive or tend to find foods saltier than others do, you can even start with less tamari & add more till you reach your perfect ratio.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: sesame chicken pasta salad, sesame pasta salad, mandarin pasta salad, pasta salad with mandarin oranges, gluten-free pasta salad