You’ll love this quick and easy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad filled with crunchy pickles, cheddar cheese, extra dill, and a creamy dressing. Pickle Pasta Salad will be your new favorite, all summer long!
Pasta Salad recipes are some of the easiest ones to make. They are tasty, filling, inexpensive to make, and can feed a small crowd.
This delicious, tangy pasta salad with dill pickles, fresh dill, onions, and cheese is dressed with a creamy dill dressing.
The flavors in dill pickle dressing are surprising and unique, yet strangely familiar at the same time.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Vegetarian– This is a great alternative to macaroni salad with tuna or crab. You don’t need any meat to make a pickle pasta salad that’s full of flavor.
- Exciting, Unique Pasta Salad – While this pasta salad concept isn’t exactly new, it’s new enough that many people haven’t experienced it yet! Choose Pickle Pasta Salad if you want to bring something different to the party.
- Versatile Recipe – You can add your own flair to this salad by using different types of pasta or adding veggies or other ingredients. Make this recipe your own specialty!
Ingredients In Pickle Pasta Salad
10 simple ingredients come together easily to make this unique pasta salad.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pasta: Any small, short pasta can be used. Here I’m using rotini, but you can try shells, elbow macaroni, penne, farfalle
- Sliced Dill Pickles: You need the pickles and at least two tablespoons of the pickle juice from the jar, so be sure not to drain it away. Slice the pickles into rounds, or if your pickles are very large, cut them in half longways and then slice into half-moons.
- Onion: Diced onion adds crunch and flavor to this salad. A simple yellow onion or a sweet onion can be used.
- Cheese: Cheddar cheese or Colby Jack can be used in this salad. Cut the cheese into small cubes.
- Mayo and Greek Yogurt: Adding plain yogurt to the traditional mayonnaise base of pasta salad gives it a lighter, brighter flavor, extra creaminess, and a bit of a tang. You can use sour cream instead of yogurt if you prefer.
- Dill: Fresh dill adds beautiful flecks of green to the pasta and mimics the flavor of the pickles. You can use dry dill weed if that’s what you have, just use a bit less of it.
- Salt and Pepper: Pickles are already pretty salty, so we don’t need to add much, but simple seasonings ensure that the salad tastes great.
How To Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Make the Dressing: Whisk together mayo, yogurt, pickle juice, salt, pepper, and dill.
- Cook Pasta : Follow the package directions to cook your pasta in salted water until it’s cooked. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Mix Everything Together: Fill a large bowl with cooked pasta, sliced pickles, onion, and cheddar cheese. Pour the dressing over and stir to combine.
- Serve: You can serve the dill pasta salad right away, or chill it for an hour first. It’s better chilled, as the flavors will have time to meld and develop.
Be careful not to overcook pasta when making pasta salad! Use a timer so that you don’t lose track of it.
- Add other ingredients: Pasta salad recipes are very forgiving. You can toss in any other ingredients that you think would taste good. Try hard-boiled eggs, sliced olives, capers, bell peppers, or chopped deli meats. I think ham would be tasty here!
- Use full-fat dairy: low fat or fat-free mayo, yogurt, or sour cream won’t give your salad the creaminess it deserves! Avoid using miracle whip or salad dressing in place of the mayo too. That product has too much sweetness to it.
- Let the pasta cool: If the pasta is still warm when you add the rest of the ingredients you may find that your cheese melts. Avoid that by rinsing the pasta well with cold water so that it cools down completely.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Remember that you should not leave mayo-based salads out for any length of time, especially outdoors in hot weather. Keep the salad chilled as much as possible.
What To Serve With Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Creamy pasta salads are a must-have when it comes to summertime barbecues and parties! Try more of my easy and delicious summer recipes:
This salad (and all pasta salads) will not freeze well. The mayo and sour cream will end up separating and the veggies will get mushy as well. Enjoy the salad within a few days of making it.
You could make a pasta salad with sweet pickles, but I’m not sure how it would taste. To make this recipe, buy dill pickles.
You may need to add more dressing to the salad if you find it dry. You will also find that the pasta absorbs the dressing as it sits in the fridge. If you don’t plan on eating the salad the same day you made it, only dress it with half of the dill dressing. Add the other half right before serving.
Yes, it’s important to rinse the pasta before making a salad with it. You rinse it with cold water to stop it from continuing to cook. This way it keeps its shape and won’t get mushy.
Any short pasta can be used to make pasta salad. Changing up the shapes that you use is an easy way to add variety to your recipe. Rotini, elbow macaroni, or small shells are all great options.
Enjoy this pasta salad with pickles at all of your summer parties this year! Save this recipe and be sure to Pin it for more people to enjoy too!
- 3 cups (12oz/340g) uncooked pasta any small shape
- 1 cup sliced dill pickles reserve the pickle juice
- ½ small yellow or white onion diced
- 1 cup diced cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup mayonnaise real mayo, full-fat, see note 1
- ½ cup greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried dill, See note 3
- Cook pasta until al dente in salted water according to the package instructions. Usually 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- As the pasta is being cooked, make the dressing: In a bowl, combine mayo with yogurt, pickle juice, onions, salt, pepper, and fresh dill.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta with sliced pickles, onion, and cheddar cheese. Dress the salad with the dressing.
- Serve right away or cover and chill in the fridge for an hour (it’s nicer chilled) then serve.
- Be sure to use full-fat mayo and yogurt or sour cream to make the dressing. I’d also avoid Miracle Whip or other similar salad dressings.
- Add other ingredients to the salad if you’d like! Chopped hard boiled eggs, other pickled veggies like banana peppers or capers, or fresh veggies like bell peppers or shredded carrots could be delicious.
- Fresh herbs are best, but if you don’t have fresh dill, use 2 teaspoons of dried dill instead. You’ll need less of the dried herb to get the same amount of flavor.
- To Store: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Be sure not to allow this salad to sit out at room temperature or on a hot day for very long. It’s best to keep it refrigerated at all times.
- To Make Ahead: Assemble the salad up to 2 days ahead of time, but only dress it with half of the creamy dressing. Save the other half in a separate container. Just before serving, stir in the rest of the dressing so that it will taste like you just made it!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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