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I’ve been asked how to prevent gluten free macaroni salad from hardening so much in the refrigerator. I find it best to make the salad right before you’re going to serve it. And if your dressing is well chilled, it should make the salad cold enough. Though, serving it room temperature is fine. I made this salad a little sweet by using stevia, but you can add sugar instead, if desired. It was just perfect! I had never made a gluten free version, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you do, too.
A slightly sweet, yet sugar-free, gluten free macaroni salad with an Italian flair.
For the Macaroni
1/2 lb. gluten free fusilli (spiral) or penne pasta
1 Tablespoon cooking oil, for boiling pasta
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove, finely minced and mashed into paste
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon vinegar: white, wine or rice (or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon gluten free dijon mustard
For the Dressing
1/8 teaspoon white pepper (I use Best Foods)
1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia (I use Stevita brand.)
1 Tablespoon water
Fine sea salt, to taste
Cooked chicken, cubed (optional)
Add oil to a 2-3 quart pot of water; bring to a boil. Cook pasta about 2 minutes shorter than the package directions. You want it al dente. Once cooked add cold water to pan; drain; and run cold water over the top while still in the colander; set aside to cool.
Add the frozen spinach to a microwave safe cup or bowl with 1 teaspoon water. Microwave on high for 30-40 seconds or until defrosted; set aside.
Using the same pan you cooked the pasta in, return the pasta to the pan along with the spinach, basil, red bell pepper, and onion. Toss lightly with fingers.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, water, and pepper. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over macaroni and vegetables. Use the entire cup if you've added chicken. Again with your fingers, toss to combine. Serve immediately.