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Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad

This easy delicious creamy legume pasta ham salad is gluten free, and it is the perfect dish for barbecues, picnics, and lunches.

For pasta lovers, going gluten-free may seem far more daunting than a simple diet modification. Whether you are following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, a sensitivity to gluten or personal preference, you can still have your favorite dishes.

Quick, tasty, and packed full of goodness, this delicious pasta salad tossed with a creamy dressing, diced ham, sweet peas, cheese, and onions. A simple salad recipe that is perfect to make ahead for a potluck, picnic, or a relaxing summer meal at home.

Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad
Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad

Make this the day before for a better tasting salad.

Often, I will make a fruit or green leafy salad along with a pasta or potato salad. This can be done the day before and is perfect for feeding a crowd. When your guests arrive, you can spend time with them, not in the kitchen.

They all seem to really enjoy the summer salads too, which is a lovely bonus.

Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad
Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad

Perfect Pasta Salad for a party

If you are going to a summer party and have been asked to bring a dish-to-pass, this pasta salad is one that travels very well.

I like to keep it in an airtight container in a cooler with ice around it. If possible, place the serving bowl in over ice to keep it fresh for a picnic on a hot summer day.

Keto Pasta Recipe

Keto Friendly Pasta Options for this Side Dish

This recipe can be made gluten free by using a pasta that is made from rice, corn, or lentils. There are a few types available now so give a few a try.

Here are a few gluten free pasta options that I like the most.

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Barilla gluten free pasta

Le Veneziane Gluten Free Pasta Noodles

Banza Chickpea Pasta

Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Elbows Pasta

What is Legume Pasta?

It is a gluten-free pasta that is made from legumes like chickpea, lentil, black bean, and edamame. This seems to be one of the latest trends in “health” food.

Legume Pasta
Legume Pasta

What Does Legume Pasta Taste Like?

It has a rather mild and slightly nutty flavor. This pasta does taste a bit different than regular pasta; however, in some recipes, such as this one, it adds to the hearty flavor profile.

Does Legume Pasta Get Mushy?

It can get mushy if over-cooked. Therefore, when cooking the gluten free pasta, I tend to check it before the cooking time is up. I take it off the heat when it is al dente.

Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad
Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad

How to Cook Gluten-Free Pasta

To avoid any issues with the legume pasta, make sure to add the pasta to water that is at a rolling boil.

Stir the pasta regularly to prevent the pieces from sticking together.

I start testing the pasta a few minutes earlier than the recommended time to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Cook until just al dente. Al Dente is when the pasta is just a bit firm when bitten.

Classic Pasta Recipe

This really is a classic pasta recipe that uses legume pasta rather than regular pasta. The mayonnaise dressing fits in perfectly with this dish.

The slightly nutty legume flavor mixed with the freshness of the sweet peas, the saltiness of the ham, the crunchy bites from the diced onion, and the soft feel of the cheese is a symphony of tastes and textures in your mouth.

Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Ham
Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Ham

What You Will Need For This Healthy Side Dish Salad

  • Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked and drained
  • Chopped ham
  • Peas
  • Cheese
  • Diced onion
  • Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • Sugar
  • Lemon
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad Variations

Like all great recipes, this one can be added and subtracted from.

Use frozen mixed vegetables rather than just sweet peas

Swap out the Miracle Whip for mayonnaise

Add diced bell peppers

Any type of onion works for this recipe, yellow, white, red, sweet Vidalia

Swap out the ham for thin sliced deli chicken, turkey, or salami. All are great choices. Easy one will add a new and distinct flavor.

Pasta Side Salad Recipe
Pasta Side Salad Recipe

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe Success Tips

Make salad ahead- I like to make the salad the day before or at least 1-2 hours ahead of time. This gives all the ingredients time to meld together and amps up the flavor profile of this simple dish.

Pasta shells- Though you can use any pasta for this salad recipe. Today, I used the legume gluten-free pasta. They add an appeal to the salad and perform so well with the remaining ingredients.

Cut uniform sizes- Be sure to cut the ham and cheese in uniform sizes and the onion should be diced fine. This will help assure that you get a taste of all the ingredients in each bite.

Be careful not to overcook the pasta– Overcooked pasta will become mushy and unpleasant in the salad. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to keep it from sticking together.

Homemade salad dressing- The dressing can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated. You can tweak the dressing with more milk for a thinner consistency if desired.  

Can Gluten-Free Salad Be Made in Advance?

Yes, it can. This can be made up to two days in advance. However, when you get to day three or four, I find that the legume pasta tends to start to break down and get a bit grainy tasting.

Therefore, it is best to eat this pasta salad within 1-2 days of making it.

Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad
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Creamy Legume Pasta Ham Salad

This easy delicious creamy legume pasta ham salad is gluten free, and it is the perfect dish for barbecues, picnics, and lunches.
For pasta lovers, going gluten-free may seem far more daunting than a simple diet modification. Whether you are following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, a sensitivity to gluten or personal preference, you can still have your favorite dishes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easter recipe, easy salad, healthy recipe, Holiday recipe, holiday side dish, pasta recipe, summer recipe
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 460kcal

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium Onion Diced
  • 13 ounces Sweet Peas
  • 16 ounces Smoked Ham Thin sliced and diced
  • 2 Cups Dried Gluten Free Pasta Cooked
  • 4 ounces Mild Cheddar cheese Shredded
  • 4 ounces Mild Brick cheese Diced

Creamy Salad Dressing

  • 1 1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBL. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Rinse well with cold water until pasta is cold.
  • Place cooked and cooled pasta in a large mixing or serving bowl.
  • Thaw the frozen vegetables or dice up the fresh vegetables of your choosing. Add to the cooled pasta along with the ham and cheese.
    Adding Cooked and Cooled Legume Pasta to Salad
  • In another bowl, whisk together all salad dressing ingredients and pour over pasta and other ingredients.
    Mixing the Salad Dressing
  • Gently fold in dressing until all ingredients are evenly coated. This can be covered and stored in the refrigerator up to two days.
    Pasta Side Salad Recipe

Your Own Private Notes

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Notes

Can Gluten-Free Salad Be Made in Advance?

Yes, it can. This can be made up to two days in advance. However, when you get to day three or four, I find that the legume pasta tends to start to break down and get a bit grainy tasting. Therefore, it is best to eat this pasta salad within 1-2 days of making it.

Can You Freeze Legume Pasta?

I would not freeze this fresh pasta salad. Like other pasta and rice dishes, the pasta can break down in the freezer. Additionally, the salad dressing consistency will change when frozen. Therefore, due to the consistency changes in the ingredients of this salad, I do not recommend freezing this.

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 842mg | Potassium: 529mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 4mg

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