This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is a unique twist on traditional pasta salad that combines the tangy flavor and crunch of dill pickles with sharp cheddar and tender pasta.
Bursting with flavors and textures, this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad recipe is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a refreshing side dish on warm summer days. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this simple yet crowd-pleasing recipe.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
About The Recipe
Dill Pickle in a pasta salad may sound a little different, and it is… but in a very good way! The crunch of the pickles is the perfect compliment to the tender pasta and the tangy flavor pairs so well with the sharp cheddar.
The dressing is simple, made with mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, and mustard. When creating this recipe I didn’t want the pickle flavor to be overwhelming, and this combination is just right.
To the salad, I also added shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped dill pickles, and bowtie pasta. You can use any kind of small pasta, but I love using bowtie (farfalle) for pasta salads.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor the recipe to suit your preferences. Enjoy the process of experimenting and discovering your perfect version!
How To Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Simple doesn’t begin to describe how easy this pasta salad is to make. There are only a few steps and they are completely uncomplicated.
Cook the pasta – Follow the package directions. I like to rinse my pasta for salads to remove any excess starch that may result in the pasta sticking together. It also helps the pasta to cool quicker.
Make the dressing – Whisk together mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, and mustard. You can add a little garlic powder if you like, and some fresh (or dried) dill. I like to do this in a large bowl, so I can then add the other ingredients and mix everything together. That way I’m not scraping salad dressing out of one bowl and into another.
Stir it all together – Add the cooled pasta, chopped dill pickles, and onion and stir to coat with the dressing. Stir in the shredded cheddar a little at a time so it doesn’t clump together. Give it a taste, and add salt and pepper or more of any of the ingredients.
Garnish – This little extra step isn’t necessary but it does make a pretty presentation if you’re taking this salad to a potluck, BBQ, or other type of event. Sprinkle on a little shredded cheddar and fresh dill.
Yes, you can use your preferred type of pasta for this recipe. Traditional choices like elbow macaroni, rotini, or bowtie pasta work well, but feel free to experiment with different shapes and sizes according to your preference.
The pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that the texture may slightly change over time as the pasta absorbs more of the dressing. Give it a good stir before serving leftovers. If needed, you can add a little mayo to remoisten the pasta.
This recipe provides a solid base, but you can add other ingredients to customize it to your liking.
Some popular additions include diced bell peppers, shredded carrots, chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, or cooked and chopped bacon for a savory twist.
The versatility of this salad allows it to complement a wide range of dishes. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite pairings based on your personal preferences and the occasion.
Here are some suggestions for what to serve alongside it:
- Grilled Meats: The tangy and creamy flavors of the pasta salad make it a great accompaniment to grilled meats like grilled chicken kabobs, grilled steak, or grilled sausage and peppers.
- BBQ Ribs: Combining smoky and savory Country Style Ribs with the tangy and crunchy pasta salad creates a delicious contrast.
- Burgers and Hot Dogs: Try my delicious Air Fryer Hamburgers, juicy Grilled Hamburgers, or Baked Chili Cheese Dogs.
- Sandwiches: Pair the pasta salad with deli sandwiches, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, or a classic Club Sandwich.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can make this salad up to a day in advance, keeping in mind that the longer it sits the pasta will absorb some of the dressing. Stir it really well just before serving and add a little more mayo or sour cream if needed to remoisten.
Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Cook the pasta al dente. It’s best to cook the pasta just until it’s al dente, meaning it still has a slight firmness to it. Overcooking the pasta can produce a mushy texture once combined with the dressing and other ingredients.
- Rinse the pasta with cold water. After cooking the pasta, rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. This helps prevent the pasta from becoming sticky and clumping together.
- Use quality dill pickles. Choose good quality dill pickles that have a nice crunch and flavor. You can use store-bought pickles or make your own. Look for pickles with a strong dill flavor for the best results.
- Let it chill. Allowing the pasta salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving is essential. This gives the flavors time to meld together and allows the dressing to coat the pasta thoroughly.
- Adjust the dressing to your taste. The dressing plays a crucial role in flavoring the pasta salad. Feel free to adjust the amount of pickle juice or dried dill, add garlic powder, or any other seasoning according to your preference. Taste as you go and make adjustments as needed.
- Add ingredients just before serving. If you’re adding any additional ingredients such as fresh herbs or bacon, it’s best to add them just before serving. This helps maintain their texture and prevents them from getting soggy.
More Pasta Salads
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
- Lemon Orzo Salad
- Tuna Macaroni Salad
Cheddar & Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces boxed pasta cooked to packages instructions and chilled
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
- Fresh dill or chives for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, dill pickle juice and fresh dill. Stir in pasta to coat, then fold in chopped dill pickles and white onion.
- Fold in cheddar cheese a little at a time so it doesn't clump together.
- Garnish with cheddar and fresh dill.
- This will last a few days in the fridge so you can even make it a day ahead of time. Save the garnish for just before serving.
- Choose good quality dill pickles that have a nice crunch and flavor.
- Allowing the pasta salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving is essential. This gives the flavors time to meld together and allows the dressing to coat the pasta thoroughly.