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My Favorite Gluten Free Salad Recipes

Summer is a great time to enjoy a variety of salads. But unless you’re talking about a lettuce-based salad, it can be difficult to find great a gluten free salad. I know when I first went gluten free, I was missing some of my old favorites. Over the years I’ve learned to adapt some of those recipes to be enjoyed on a gluten free diet. Here are some of my favorite gluten free salad recipes.

Gluten Free Macaroni Salad

This was one of my very favorite things growing up. It was something my mom always made and it just reminds me of her. It’s simple, but oh so flavorful and just reminds me of summer. Since it includes pasta, I had to find a good gluten free option to adapt this to be a gluten free salad. Here’s how I make it now:

1 box elbow macaroni (Gluten free. I like Ronzoni brand)

1 can tuna

2 celery stalks

Mayo (make sure the brand you use is gluten free. I like Helman’s Olive Oil Mayo)

Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain. While the pasta is in the colander, run cold or ice water over it to cool it down. Chop 2 celery stalks into small pieces and add that to the cooled pasta. Open the can of tuna, drain it and add it to the pasta. Next, stir in your mayo until the mixture is nice and creamy (I don’t have a measurement for this – just add a little at a time until it looks and taste right to you). Add salt & pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator. You might need to add more mayo after a few hours or days if the pasta starts to dry out.

7-Layer Taco Salad

My mom was famous for this dish! If there was a gathering, she was asked to bring her 7-layer taco salad. There are a few ingredients you have to look out for here, but overall it’s not tricky to make this as a gluten free salad.

What you need:

16 oz can refried beans (make sure these are gluten free)

1 oz taco seasoning (this is one you really have to watch out for to be gluten free. I like the one from Savory Spice Shop)

8 oz cream cheese, softened (make sure this is gluten free)

16 oz sour cream

16 oz jar of your favorite salsa

1 large tomato

16 oz can sliced black olives

1 bunch green onions/scallions

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (I like Tillamook brand for gluten free)

1 small head of iceberg lettuce

Gluten rree corn tortilla chips


Mix the taco seasoning into your refried beans in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly in the bottom of your serving dish. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together in another bowl and spread that over the top of the bean mixture. Spoon the salsa over the top of that to make your next layer. Chop your tomato, green onions and shred the lettuce. Mix these together and sprinkle over the salsa. Top this with the shredded cheese. Garnish with the black olives. Serve with gluten free corn tortilla chips.  

Cucumber Salad

I’ve got 2 versions of this recipe, one from my mom and one from my mother-in-law, and they are both naturally gluten free salads!

Option 1: Cucumber & Tomato Salad

2-3 Cucumbers

2-3 Tomatoes

Red wine vinegar dressing (Wish Bone makes one that’s gluten free)

Peel and slice your cucumbers. Dice your tomatoes. Throw all in a bowl and pour red wine vinegar dressing over the top and stir. This needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold.

Option 2: Marinated Cucumbers
This a great gluten free salad you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for a week or more (if it lasts that long!).

To make this gluten free salad, you’ll need:

3 Cucumbers

1 Onion (I like to use a red onion)

1 Cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (If you can’t find seasoned rice vinegar, you can make it by mixing 1 cup of rice vinegar with 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt.)

3 cups water

Peel and slice the cucumbers. Slice the onion. Put both in a large bowl that has a cover. Pour water and seasoned rice vinegar in the bowl. Next, cover and refrigerate for at least a day before eating. This gluten free salad is best served with some garlic salt sprinkled on top of the cucumber and onion slices (Lowry’s garlic salt is gluten free).

I hope these recipes help you enjoy the summer with some great gluten free salad options! If you try any of these, please let me know how they turn out. I’d love to hear what you think of them. And check out some of my other favorite gluten free recipes here.

*I am not receiving any compensation for the products/brands mentioned in this post. These are just some of my favorite gluten free resources/products that I’ve shared.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Trista Gangestad

Originally from Florida, Trista Gangestad and her family moved to CO ten years ago and live on a small hobby farm with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. She and her husband have 2 daughters, the oldest of which was born with Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder. Trista has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and worked in Communications and Event Planning for more than 10 years before becoming a mom. During the pandemic, Trista discovered a need for clean burning candles that don’t emit soot or chemicals into our homes. She formed Clever Cow Candle Co. in 2021 and makes hand poured, 100% soy wax candles with clever, inspiring and sometimes sarcastic designs on the containers. Check out her candles at When this busy mom has time for herself, she enjoys sewing, crafting, shopping, drinking “candy coffee,” and watching guilty pleasure TV shows.

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