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This dill pickle pasta salad features tangy and crunchy dill pickles. The creamy homemade dressing blends incredibly well with the tender pasta and cheese to complement these unexpected stars of the show.
There are so many choices for cold salads and we have lots of great recipes to help you out. Try out a few of our best pasta salads for your next potluck or weeknight dinner: Taco Pasta Salad, Elbow Macaroni Pasta Salad, Italian Pasta Salad, BLT Pasta Salad, Egg Pasta Salad or, for a non-pasta salad, try our German Potato Salad, Cucumber Salad or Grape Salad.
DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 16 ounces rotini pasta, cooked to al dente, drained, and rinsed in cool water
- 2 cups diced whole dill pickles (about 5 large pickles, reserve juice)
- 1 ½ cups cubed cheddar or Colby jack cheese
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
Pro Tip: Try to use real mayonnaise rather than whipped dressing to give you the best flavor for the salad dressing.
Pro Tip: You can buy dill pickles already sliced for quicker prep.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
Pasta: Any type of pasta that would hold onto the creamy dressing in all their nooks and crannies, including shells, fusilli and bowtie pasta would work best for this recipe.
Cheese: Shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese can be used instead of cubed cheese if you prefer. You can also use a different type of cheese if you prefer. Pepper jack, provolone, sharp cheddar cheese or swiss would all be great options. They could be used in a shredded form or cut into cubes.
Add meat: Chicken, tuna, ham, or bacon could be added to this recipe for a boost of protein.
Vegetables: Fresh veggies such as chopped cherry tomatoes, finely minced white onion, red onion or celery would all make excellent additions.
Pickle Juice: The pickle juice adds a tangy bite to the creamy salad dressing, but you could also use apple cider vinegar.
Dill: Fresh dill is a nice addition for color and brightness. The flavor is more subtle than dried dill. Dill is the main ingredient that develops a stronger flavor over time, both the fresh and dried additions.
Parsley: You can substitute fresh parsley for the dried parsley (double the amount) with the dressing ingredients or add fresh minced parsley into the salad.
HOW TO MAKE THIS DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD RECIPE
STEP ONE: In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, dried dill, onion powder, black pepper, dried parsley, and pickle juice to make the dressing.
STEP TWO: In a large bowl add the cold pasta, dill pickles, cheese, and fresh dill, and dressing.
PRO TIP: Make sure your pasta is fully cooled before adding the other ingredients, or your cheese will start to melt. Rinse it with cold water to ensure it is cooled enough and doesn’t stick together
STEP THREE: Stir everything together until well combined.
STEP FOUR: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend.
PRO TIP: This recipe tastes even better the next day after all of the flavors have had time to mingle together.
HOW TO SERVE
This dill pickle lovers’ pasta salad is delicious as a side dish with grilled meat such as grilled chicken, grilled tilapia or grilled salmon. It also works well with other meat entrees, such as our parmesan pork chops and oven-baked chicken. Or serve it on the side of a sandwich such as our grilled ham and cheese, tomato sandwich, tuna melt or egg salad sandwich.
IN THE FRIDGE: This delicious dill pickle pasta salad will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
IN THE FREEZER: We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
MAKE-AHEAD: The dressing can be made a day in advance and chilled to enhance the dill flavor. If the dressing is made a day ahead or several hours beforehand, the salad can be served right away after tossing with dressing.
Dill pickle pasta salad is such a tasty alternative to other pasta salads. The surprising crunch of juicy pickles and the extra pickle juice in the dressing make sure that the pickley flavor spreads throughout the salad for a perfect side dish that will be an instant favorite with dill pickle fans.
You could add any meat you want to this salad. Try bacon, cooked chicken or ham would be great choices.
You can make the dressing the day ahead and assemble the salad the day you are serving it. Add the dressing right before you are ready to serve it.
You should rinse pasta when using it for pasta salad. It stops the pasta from cooking and prevents it from sticking together.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 16 oz rotini pasta cooked, drained, and rinsed in cool water
- 2 cup whole dill pickles diced and reserve juice (about 5 large pickles)
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese cubed (or Colby-jack cheese)
- 1 to 2 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp dill pickle juice
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, dried dill, onion powder, black pepper, dried parsley, and pickle juice to make the dressing.
- In a large salad bowl add the cooled pasta, dill pickles, cheese, fresh dill, and dressing.Tip: Make sure your pasta is fully cooled before adding the other ingredients, or your cheese will start to melt.
- Stir ingredients together until well combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend.