1 8-oz. package gluten-free shell pasta (I like Ancient Harvest® quinoa pasta)
1 bunch broccoli, flowerets only
3 carrots, sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 can pitted black olives, sliced
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed small (about 1/4")
gluten-free turkey pepperoni (I like Hormel®)
(Other possible ingredients: bell pepper, chopped; cauliflower flowerets, steamed. Or, boil a chicken and then cook the pasta in the remaining broth; add chopped chicken to pasta salad.)
Cook pasta in water or broth. Drain, running cool water over pasta; drain again. Set aside in a very large bowl, needed for proper mixing. Steam broccoli; drain and cool. Steam carrots; drain and cool. Add cool ingredients to the pasta, tossing with dressing and Parmesan cheese. Do NOT salt and pepper. Chill before serving. Best when flavors have time to blend for several hours or over night. Yield: 5-6 large servings or 10-12 side salads.
When making this for my family, we put the cheeses in a separate bowl (as my sister is allergic), as we did the olives (some don’t like olives), the pepperoni (for my vegetarian son), and the peppers (as I can’t eat them).
To make this into a vegetarian meal, omit all meat and meat broth; for a vegan salad, also omit both types of cheese and be sure to check all ingredients in the salad dressing.
I enjoyed this salad for dinner, with nothing to accompany it. I also gave away servings to friends—both those who have to eat gluten-free and those who don’t. Everyone was happy.