This recipe for Dill Pickle Pasta Salad gives classic macaroni salad a tangy dill pickle taste and crunch! Perfect to serve at a summer BBQ or as a side dish to any meal.
For this recipe, I’ve taken the unique flavor of dill pickles and tossed it into a pasta salad with a kick!
Cooked pasta is tossed with cheddar cheese cubes, lettuce, and dill pickles.
It’s then mixed with a quick and easy, dressing made with mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, and fresh dill for a creamy sauce that’s full of dill pickle flavor. Yum!
It's so easy, so tasty and everyone is sure to love this dill pickle pasta salad!
Dill pickle-flavored foods have become very popular as of late, and I can see why.
The refreshing crunch of a dill pickle that’s beautifully brined and salty along with a slight tartness can be one of the best joys of summer when served alongside BBQ foods when the weather is warmer.
I'm obsessed with pickles and have, erm, even been known to order a Subway with just cheese and a huge handful of pickles. They look at me like I'm bonkers, but it's soooo good.
So, jazz up your simple pasta salad with pickles. It's perfect for a picnic, party, cookout or as a side dish to any meal.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It’s a unique twist on classic pasta salad.
Great for summer events or BBQs.
You can make this dill pickle macaroni salad ahead of time.
The ingredients are simple to find and it’s easy to prepare.
Pickle Pasta Salad:
- Bow Tie Pasta - This pasta is the perfect shape to hold the other add-ins. Macaroni, rigatoni, fusilli and other pasta types work well too.
- Cheddar Cheese - Adds a salty bite and texture to the dish. You can swap it out for feta, pepperjack or other cheese.
- Lettuce & Red Cabbage - Adds a nice crunch and texture that pairs well with the pasta.
- Dill Pickles - Salty brined dill pickles are the star of this salad and add flavor and texture. Bread and butter pickles work too.
- Fresh Dill - Enhances the dill flavor in the pickles. If you don't have any, use dried.
Creamy Dill Dressing:
- Mayonnaise & Sour Cream - These make up the creamy base of the dressing.
- Dill Pickle Juice - Adds a briney pickled flavor to the dressing.
- Salt & Garlic Powder - Enhances the flavors in the dressing.
- Fresh Dill - Gives the dressing a fresh herb flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients.
Step By Step Tutorial
Wondering how to make dill pickle pasta salad? Look no further!
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Prepare the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Drain, and set aside. I made mine in an instant pot, but you can, of course, cook the pasta on the stove.
Make the dressing. Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir until everything is combined evenly.
Assemble the macaroni salad with dill pickles. Toss the cooked pasta with the dressing as well as the cheese, lettuce, dill, and pickles until evenly combined. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.
Instead of the dressing and lettuce, you can use a package of Dill Pickle Salad Mix to toss into the salad.
When boiling pasta, make sure it’s cooked al dente or slightly undercooked in order for it to hold its shape well as a cold salad.
For best flavor, let the salad chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving. Serve cold.
Since this dish contains mayo, do not let it sit out for more than one hour.
Great to serve on a hot day with a cold Cucumber Collins Cocktail.
Serve at a summer party along with Fruit Summer Rolls.
Pairs well with a side of Grilled Leeks as a side dish for the main course.
Use baby dill pickles and slice them into thin rounds for a unique texture and shape.
Feel free to add shredded carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, or red onion, or olives to the pasta salad to increase the veggies in the dish.
Add some spice by tossing in jalapenos or adding some crushed chili flake to the dressing.
Add a few tablespoons of sweet relish to add a bit of sweetness to the pasta salad.
I used bow tie pasta, but feel free to use your favorite pasta shapes such as rigatoni, penne, elbows, or pasta shells.
Add fresh cucumbers along with pickles for additional crunch and garden-fresh flavor.
To Make Gluten-Free: To make this pickle macaroni salad gluten-free, use a gluten-free pasta of your choice.
To Make It Vegan: To make this dish vegan, you’ll need a vegan mayo and sour cream. If you can’t find a vegan sour cream, you can add extra vegan mayo in its place. You will also need to omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese.
Storing: This dill pickle pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Toss before serving and add a bit more mayo if the salad seems dry.
Freezing: Freezing is not recommended for this salad.
Can I make this pasta salad without mayo?
You can by using just sour cream in its place though the texture will be slightly different.
Can I use bread and butter pickles instead?
If you prefer a sweeter pickle, bread and butter flavor is a good option.
What if I can’t find fresh dill?
You can use dried herbs if you can’t find fresh herbs.
More Salad Recipes
I hope you love this flavor-packed dill pickle pasta salad as much as we do! Be sure to check out these other tasty salad recipes too.
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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 4 cups (400g) bow tie pasta
- ½ cup (65g) cubed cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (75g) lettuce
- 4 tablespoons chopped red cabbage
- 8 small dill pickles sliced
- Fresh dill small handful
For the dill dressing:
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Prepare pasta as per package instructions, then rinse under cold water to cool.
- Meanwhile, stir all dill dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, then keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- Add the cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients to a bowl and mix well along with the dressing.
- Top with fresh dill.
- Keepin the fridge until ready to serve.
- Instead of the dressing and lettuce, you can use a package of Dill Pickle Salad Mix to toss into the salad.
- When boiling pasta, make sure it’s cooked al dente or slightly undercooked in order for it to hold its shape well as a cold salad.
- For best flavor, let the salad chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving. Serve cold.
- Since this dish contains mayo, do not let it sit out for more than one hour.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.