Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe

I used to eat lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant that offered a sumptuous midday buffet filled with all sorts of tasty gluten free offerings. My favorite part of the meal was the end when I had little bits and pieces of all sorts of flavors on my plate and I would scrape them up into one delightful forkful of flavor.

That last exotic forkful was the inspiration for this pasta salad; lots of ingredients used in Middle Eastern dishes all mingled together into a refreshing salad perfect for a hot summer’s day.

This Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad recipe is a great addition to a barbecue, as a side dish or vegan main dish if you leave out the feta; it is light yet filling at the same time.

Unlike many pasta salads that have a mayonnaise base, the dressing is a simple garlicky lemon tahini dressing that you can whip up in the blender in seconds. Crispy cucumber slices, garbanzo beans, Kalamata olives, red onions, grape tomatoes, mint leaves and, if you like, feta cheese, are tossed in with cooked pasta to round it all out (I used gluten free white rice elbows from Pastariso). I also added some roasted pistachios for crunch and texture.

This salad is easy to make, feeds a crowd and is a bit more sophisticated and exotic than your average pasta salad.

BTW if you love the acacia wood salad bowl in my photo below, hop over to my giveaway page and enter to win one of your own!

Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe

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Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad
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Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 1 pound Pastariso White Rice Pasta Elbows
  • ¾ cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped (from ½ a medium onion)
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted and chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled – optional, leave out for dairy free or vegan


  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain.
  • Place the pistachios in a dry skillet and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, 3- 4 minutes. Let cool and coarsely chop.
  • Place the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a blender and process until smooth.
  • Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon and cut into ¼ inch slices. Place the cucumber slices in a large mixing bowl, add the garbanzo beans, onion, olives, tomatoes, pasta and dressing. Toss to combine. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the mint leaves, pistachios and feta and gently toss to combine. Refrigerate until serving.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 357 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 365mg15%
Potassium 350mg10%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 655IU13%
Vitamin C 11.4mg14%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Dairy Free Garbanzo Beans Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Kinnikinnick Middle Eastern Olives Pasta Pasta Salad Pistachios Recipe Tahini
  1. Brenda
    July 15, 2012

    That is my kind of salad – I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 16, 2012

      Thanks Brenda, enjoy!

  2. July 15, 2012

    This salad sounds delicious! Love pasta salads. Tahini is a great ingredient in many dishes too!

  3. kristin
    July 15, 2012

    sounds delish! the recipe doesn’t mention the garbanzo beans, though.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 16, 2012

      oops – thanks. I fixed it.

  4. Jeni
    July 16, 2012

    This looks and sounds amazing – can’t wait to try it. Love that it is mayo free, I worry about mayo based salads for picnics and bbqs. Thanks!!!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 16, 2012

      I feel the same way – thank you and enjoy!

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  6. Pingback: Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe |

  7. July 26, 2012

    wow! Gluten Free Middle Eastern Pasta Salad Recipe this is my favorite pasta salad sounds healthy, I am very lucky to have this awesome site with complete recipe. Amazing! Thanks for sharing this with us. I keep on reading…

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 26, 2012

      Thank you so much Nancy!

  8. great vegetarian recipes
    October 19, 2012

    This is simply delightful. The potpourri of flavors leave a wonderful taste in your mouth. Great to learn it was so easy to prepare too.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      October 19, 2012

      Thank you so much!

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  11. Sarah
    July 11, 2016

    This sounds amazing but the recipe doesn’t include the garbanzo beans.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      August 16, 2016

      Hi Sarah,
      Oops, thanks for noticing that! It should be included now. :)

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