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Dill Pickle Salad with Pasta

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close up overhead shot of dill pickle pasta salad in a clear bowl
Tangy dill pickles, tender pasta, cheese, and a flavorful dressing will make this dill pickle pasta salad a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
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Table of Contents
  1. DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD RECIPE
  3. Troubleshooting This Recipe
  4. HOW TO SERVE DILL PICKLE SALAD
  5. HOW TO STORE DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD
  6. DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD FAQ
  7. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE
  9. Even More Recipes You'll Love

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.

close up overhead shot of dill pickle pasta salad in a clear bowl with a large wooden spoon
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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.


MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES:
BLT Pasta Salad | Italian Pasta Salad


DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS

dill pickle pasta salad raw ingredients that are labeled

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)
  • 1½ 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.

PICKLE PASTA SALAD SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PICKLES: Dill pickles are the classic choice for this salad, but you can experiment with other flavors like sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles, or even spicy pickles if you like a kick.

Tip: you can buy dill pickles already sliced for quicker prep.

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. In addition, pepper jack, provolone, sharp cheddar cheese or swiss would all be great options.

VEGETABLES: Fresh veggies such as chopped cherry tomatoes, finely minced white onion, red onion or celery would all make excellent additions.

FRESH 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.

ADD MEAT: Chicken, tuna, ham, or bacon could be added to this recipe for a boost of protein.

HOW TO MAKE THIS DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD RECIPE

dill pickle pasta salad process shot of salad dressing ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

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.

dill pickle pasta salad process shot of ingredients in a bowl

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

dill pickle pasta salad process shot of ingredients combined in a bowl

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.

This recipe tastes even better the next day after all of the flavors have had time to mingle together.

Troubleshooting This Recipe

The pasta salad is too mushy

A possible culprit of this is overcooked pasta or not rinsing the pasta after cooking. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente (aka firm to the bite).

Rinsing the pasta with cold water after cooking will stop the cooking process and prevent it from getting mushy.

My salad tastes too tangy

If it’s too tangy, add a bit more pasta or a creamy element like mayonnaise to balance the acidity.

My salad is too bland

Increase the seasoning levels. This could mean adding more salt and pepper, more dill (fresh or dried), or extra pickle juice for an enhanced tangy flavor. Taste as you go to avoid over seasoning.

HOW TO SERVE DILL PICKLE SALAD

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.

HOW TO STORE DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD

There’s nothing quite like the crunch and zest of a fresh dill pickle pasta salad, especially when you’ve made it yourself.

Whether you’re prepping for a big family barbecue or just want to enjoy a delicious side dish throughout the week, knowing how to store your pasta salad can make all the difference.

The good news is, this salad stores beautifully, so you can enjoy those tangy, pickle-y flavors for days to come.

Make Ahead

This pickle pasta salad is perfect for making ahead of time. In fact, letting it sit allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Just assemble everything in a large bowl, except the fresh herbs, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Garnish with herbs right before serving.

In the Fridge

This delicious dill pickle pasta salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The key is to place it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors from the fridge and to keep the pasta from drying out.

The flavors will actually meld a bit more as it chills, making it even tastier the next day.

Just keep in mind that the pasta will absorb some of the dressing over time, so it might not be quite as al dente as when you first made it.

A quick tip to refresh it is to add a splash of pickle juice or a tiny bit of mayonnaise before serving to bring back that creamy consistency.

In the Freezer

Freezing dill pickle pasta salad is not recommended. Pasta salads dressed with mayonnaise or similar dressings tend to separate and become grainy when frozen and thawed.

For the best experience, enjoy your pasta salad fresh or store in the fridge as advised.

close up shot of dill pickle pasta salad

An instant favorite with dill pickle fans, 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.

It’s a versatile pasta salad that can cater to a wide range of taste preferences, making it a popular choice for picnics and potlucks as well as a side dish for everyday meals.

DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD FAQ

Can I add bacon to this salad?

You could add any meat you want to this salad. Try bacon, cooked chicken or ham would be great choices.

Should you rinse pasta when making pasta salad?

You should rinse pasta when using it for pasta salad. It stops the pasta from cooking and prevents it from sticking together.

Can you freeze dill pickle pasta salad?

Dill pickle pasta salad does not freeze well. The mayonnaise and sour cream tend to separate in the freezer. This recipe is best made fresh and stored in the fridge until served.

Can I add vegetables to pickle pasta salad?

Feel free to customize your dill pasta salad with additional vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or shredded carrots for extra color, texture, and flavor.

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close up overhead shot of dill pickle pasta salad in a clear bowl

Dill Pasta Salad

5 from 52 votes
Tangy dill pickles, tender pasta, cheese, and a flavorful dressing will make this dill pickle pasta salad a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces rotini pasta cooked, drained, and rinsed in cool water
  • 2 cups whole dill pickles diced and reserve juice (about 5 large pickles)
  • cups cheddar cheese cubed (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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 1mg
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This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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    Comments

  1. Rhonda says

    5 stars
    The best pasta salad I’ve found in a long time. If you love pickles this is your jam. The dressing is what makes it perfect! Love love it.

  2. Liz says

    5 stars
    Ooooo, this recipe is a keeper!

    We made the recipe as written, and it’s good, but we’re hard core pickle people, so we used a little more pickle juice and granulated garlic.

    Highly recommend ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. Rachael | Milk Glass Home says

    This looks SO GOOD! I’m a fanatic about dill pickles so I’m saving this for my next potluck!

  4. Charmaine Murphy says

    5 stars
    I would use Gouda cheese won’t make it spicey I will add cherry tomatoes fried onions and bacon with screw noodles will add grated boiled egg and fresh parsley and tangy mayonaise

  5. Brenda Lippe says

    5 stars
    I would definitely use real mayonnaise. I make a potato salad similar to this except I add celery salt and no fresh dill.

  6. Francesca says

    5 stars
    My family would love this recipe. I would use wagon wheel pasta…makes it a little bit more fun for the kids!

  7. Elizabeth M Heimlich says

    5 stars
    My husband and youngest grandaughter are pickle fanatics! I would definitely add ham to make this like a ham spread salad…

  8. Betsy says

    This salad is so great! My family loves it. I would add a little spice with red pepper flakes or splash of hot sauce.

  9. Betty Hintz says

    Would add no cheese as I am lactose intolerant. Prefer bread and butter pickles but will eat dill. Would not make it spicy. Would probably add peas and corn. Perfer macronis but would consider other pastas. Would use Light Reduced Carolie Ranch Dressing instead of mayo or whipped dressing. Would add ham, bacon, chicken or sausage or all of the above. Also would add hard boiled eggs. I would call it PASTA YAYA.

  10. Molly L says

    5 stars
    I’m so glad to see the use of mayo and dill pickles. It brings back childhood with a twist. I’m so happy it’s not a sandwich spread or sweet pickles like some salad recipes use (ugh). The tang of mayo and dill pickles is perfect. Bet it would be good with bacon also. Yum!

  11. Flora says

    5 stars
    Use fresh dill and parsley, double or even triple the amount of pickle juice, use two kinds of cheese. Can skip the onion powder. A little crumbled bacon is always welcome.

  12. Lori Pennington says

    5 stars
    If I were to make Dill Pickle salad I would use sweet Dill Pickles and lite mayonaise……..

  13. Becky Forbes says

    5 stars
    If you like dill pickles, this is the recipe for you! With 2 cups of dill pickles + fresh dill + dry dill = dill pickle loves delight! I added some chopped sweet onions to mine. Ohhhh so good!

  14. Jenny says

    5 stars
    At first I thought this was not the most appealing sounding recipe…just being honest.

    Then I tried it.

    Trust me. So, so good.

  15. Debra says

    Sounds pretty perfect just the way it is. I would for sure add bacon and maybe 1/2 dill pickles 1/2 sweet pickles. Also fresh dill only

  16. Susan DeBerardinis says

    I will use the Mayo, not a fan of salad dressing. I think adding diced ham would be good. I love ham and pickles together. Definitely gonna make this salad.

  17. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    One of the reasons I love summer is being able to eat a variety of different salads. (Not saying I could not have them in the winter but the salads just seem more fitting for summer.) I will definitely be trying this salad with tri – colour rotini pasta & add some havarti cheese as well.😋

  18. Meredith Leonard says

    5 stars
    Making this now. I’m adding sweet onion, finely shredded carrot for color (and a touch of sweetness) and am using Swiss cheese instead of cheddar. I really like the taste of Swiss cheese and dill together. Also like dill with Monterey Jack.

  19. Megan C. says

    5 stars
    Yum! Love pickles! Would definitely add meat so that it can be a meal, like maybe chunks of salami!

  20. Carrie F says

    5 stars
    Knowing my family, a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes would have to be thrown in for a little heat!

  21. Rose M McClarin says

    5 stars
    I would use 3/4 cup cheddar and 3/4 cup pepperjack cheese to add a little kick to the salad.

  22. Katie says

    5 stars
    My daughter loves everything dill pickle. Can’t wait to make this for her! I’ll use real mayo and bacon!!

  23. Teresa Stopher says

    5 stars
    Love chopped red onion in any mayonnaise based salad, so would try it in this delicious salad! The crunch of the dill pickles & onions would send my tastebuds into orbit!!!
    Another winner recipe!!!

  24. Julie says

    Sounds yummy! If I would add anything, I would add chopped onion and diced cucumber for even more flavor/texture.

  25. Donna says

    YUMMY!!!!!! YUMMY!!!!!!!!! YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!! i wouldn’t change a thing in your recipe (looks so good i could eat the picture!!!!!!!!!)

  26. Denise Schmitz says

    5 stars
    I would add seafood – like cold shrimp and crabmeat; veggies would be asparagus or red, yellow or orange peppers.

  27. Deidra says

    5 stars
    What type of cheese would you use? Sharp cheddar
    What’s your favorite flavor of pickles? Dill
    Would you make this pasta salad spicy? Red pepper
    Would you add veggies to this pasta salad? Sweet peas, celery, diced carrots, boiled eggs.
    What type of pasta would you use to make it? Rontini
    Do you prefer whipped dressing or mayonnaise? Whipped
    Would you add meat to this dill pickle pasta salad? Ham, Tuna

  28. Donna says

    5 stars
    Made this with shredded Colby Jack cheese. It was good but felt it needed something. Added some Montreal steak seasoning. Later tried it with salami and green olives. That was wonderful!

  29. Holly says

    5 stars
    Really great recipe. My family always requests this for family dinners and BBQs. I’ve started to double to dressing recipe and add half the night before when I make it, and the other half right before serving. It makes it extra creamy!

  30. Lisa says

    5 stars
    We absolutely LOVE dill pickles, and of course dried & fresh dill. Had to add a little celery salt as I do in all cold salads. This is the best ever pasta & pickle salad recipe.
    Thank you!

  31. Shelley says

    5 stars
    Great alternative pasta salad. I used marble cheddar because that was what I had on hand. I ended up adding more pickle juice to ramp up the flavor and thin out the dressing just a bit. I added a couple tablespoons at a time and taste tested it but then the pickle flavor really was most noticeable when the salad was all together.

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