This Gluten Free Taco Pasta Salad is creamy, hearty, a little spicy, and the best side dish! This Paleo pasta salad is bold and hearty enough for any time of the year. It is great as a side dish, easy appetizer, or light meal. The flavors make this pasta salad unique and unforgettable!

White bowl with pasta salad

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Gluten Free Pasta Salad is packed with so many great flavors and textures!
  • It is easy and versatile. Great as a side dish, appetizer, or light meal.
  • The flavors are unique, which makes this pasta salad irresistible and original.
  • The easy two ingredients spicy mayonnaise dressing adds spiciness and creaminess to this recipe.
  • Unlike most pasta salads, this one can be served warm OR cold!
  • This is made without Italian dressing, without cheese, and without vinegar.
  • This recipe is Paleo friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and refined sugar free.

The Best Gluten Free Pasta Brands (& Grain Free Options!)

There are so many great Gluten Free pastas these days. Some of my tried and true favorites include Barilla, Banza, Thrive Market, La Rosa, and Jovial. In addition, major retailers make house brands of gluten free pastas. Check Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s for their options.

My favorite Grain Free pasta brands include Jovial, Cappello’s, and Banza.

The BEST thing about grain free and gluten free pastas is that they are very similar in taste and texture to regular pasta. With any gluten free cooking, double check ingredients to make sure they are in fact gluten free. Cook according to package directions, as all brands will vary slightly.

Paleo pasta salad in a white bowl

What is Pasta Salad?

Pasta salad is a summer salad that is made with pasta. In addition, it is usually served cold as a side dish or appetizer.

Commonly, pasta salad is tossed with an oil based, vinegar based, or mayonnaise based dressing. They typically feature pasta, veggies, and dressing. Occasionally, meat is used.

Pasta salads are most popular in the spring and summer, but can be made and enjoyed year round.

Pasta salad ingredients in cast iron skillet

How To Make

Step 1

First, cook gluten free pasta to al dente. Drain pasta and run under cold water. Set aside.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, add ground beef, spices, olive oil and diced onion.  Break up beef with a spatula.  Then, continue cooking until beef is brown and crumbly.  Finally, remove from heat.

Step 3

In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, ground beef mixture, baby tomatoes and chopped peppers.

Step 4

To make the sauce, add mayonnaise and salsa to a blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Depending on your brand of salsa, add a little water to make it thinner.

Step 5

Pour sauce into mixing bowl.  Gently mix until sauce is completely coating pasta.

Step 6

Finally, serve Gluten Free Pasta Salad warm or place in the fridge to cool for an hour before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you eat gluten free pasta salad cold?

Yes! This gluten free pasta salad can be enjoyed warm or cold.

How do you keep gluten free pasta from getting hard?

Add a little olive oil to the boiling pot of water to keep gluten free pasta from getting hard.

Which dressing should I use?

Most pasta salads are made with an oil or vinegar based dressing. For this recipe, a mayonnaise based sauce is used.

Should pasta salad be served warm or cold?

Pasta salad is great warm or cold. Serve according to your preference.

Should you rinse pasta for pasta salad?

Yes, always rinse pasta for pasta salad. Rinsing under cold water stops the pasta from cooking further. In addition, it helps prevent the pasta from getting gummy or sticky on the outside.

What goes well with pasta salad?

Pasta salad is a versatile side dish. Serve with grilled meats, BBQ dishes such as ribs or pulled pork, or any protein. It can also be eaten by itself.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Sure! Make ahead of time and store in fridge until needed.

Gluten free past salad on white plate

You May Also Like

If you make this recipe, I would love to see it! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, see my Side Dishes Recipes page.

White bowl with pasta salad

Get the Recipe: Gluten Free Taco Pasta Salad (Paleo)

This easy Gluten Free Taco Pasta Salad is the ultimate healthy side dish or appetizer! It is creamy, hearty, a little spicy, and so delicious. This pasta salad has Mexican flavors and is unique! Great for entertaining and hosting.
5 from 9 votes


Pasta Salad



  • First, cook pasta to al dente. Add a drop of olive oil to the pot of water to keep pasta from getting too firm. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a skillet over medium heat, add ground beef, all of the spices, olive oil and onion.
  • Break up beef with a spatula. Cook until beef is browned and onion is soft. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, ground beef mixture, chopped peppers and tomatoes.
  • Then, make sauce. Blend together mayonnaise and salsa. Add a little water if needed to make sauce thinner.
  • Pour sauce over pasta in mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately for a warm pasta salad or place in fridge to cool for an hour before serving.


  • For a Paleo option, I recommend Jovial grain free pasta.
  • I recommend adding a drop of olive oil to the boiling water to keep gluten free pasta from hardening.
  • I used Primal Kitchen Foods Dairy Free Mayonnaise for this recipe.
  • The mixture of spices can be replaced with about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.  Check label to make sure it’s gluten free.
  • Ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken can be used in place of ground beef.
  • Cook pasta to al dente.  Do not overcook pasta!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • This serves about 8 as a side dish.  For a meal, it makes about 4 to 6 servings.
Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 242mg, Potassium: 224mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 730IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg

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