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The Secret to Great Gluten Free Pasta Salad

jovial gluten free pasta salad

I had a dinner meeting recently with our pasta artisan and the family that supplies us with the rice for jovial gluten free pasta. Their family has been in the rice business for generations. The brother was labeled a rice geek, or expert – depending how you look at it – by his sister and she encouraged me to ask him anything, confident that he would know the answer.

My question: Why does gluten free pasta get hard in the refrigerator and is it possible to make a good gluten free pasta salad that will stay soft the next day?

His answer:  If you cook regular rice for the instructed length of time and put in the refrigerator, it will also be dry and hard the next day. The secret to cold rice that stays soft, and therefore your brown rice pasta, is to cook it until it is very soft, then refrigerate it. I recommend adding 2 minutes to the cooking time for the pasta.

I am happy to report that we gave his tip a try – and it worked! We cooked one cup of gluten free elbows for the cooking time on the box of 10 minutes and one cup for 12 minutes.  Then we refrigerated both batches overnight. The pasta that cooked longer was soft the next day, the perfect texture for pasta salad. Try this technique out for yourself with our new recipe for Classic Macaroni Salad.

jovial brown rice elbows in gluten free pasta salad

Classic Gluten Free Macaroni Salad



  1. In a large serving bowl, mix together mayonnaise, eggs, onion, celery, pepper, oil and parsley. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Cook pasta for 12 minutes. Before draining pasta, remove ¼ cup of cooking liquid and add it to the serving bowl with the other ingredients. Toss in drained pasta and mix to combine all ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate to chill before serving.


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