One bite of this dill pickle pasta salad and you’ll never make another pasta salad again.
Okay, you might. After all, variety is the spice of life, but you won’t want to.
Although they’ve been around thousands of years, pickles have definitely seen an uptick in popularity over the past decade or so.
You can find pickle-flavored chips, dill pickle pizza (a personal fave), pickle soup, gourmet pickles in restaurants, and even pickle soda.
So, of course, there’s a recipe featuring pickles in a pasta salad!
This insanely tangy and delicious pasta salad is a pickle lover’s dream. You can bring it to a barbeque, parade it at a potluck, or simply serve it to your family. Whenever you make it, it will be a hit!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
This delicious salad is the perfect summer side dish.
You start with the rotini (spiral) pasta. It’s cooked to perfection with a delicious, chewy texture.
Rotini is the ideal pasta for this recipe because it has so many nooks and crannies.
They’re just waiting to catch all of the dressing you’re going to pour over it.
Speaking of dressing, this one is creamy, tangy, and absolutely DILL-icious.
Dill pickles are truly the star of this show. Chopped up finely and featured throughout the dish, you get a salty, sweet, and sour crunch in every bite.
Top it with more pickles, because why not?!
So if you’re the person who asks for a giant jar of pickles for Christmas, then you definitely need to try out this yummy recipe.
- Pasta– Choose a pasta that has a lot of texture. Types of pasta like rotini, penne, macaroni, shells, or bow tie are great options. This is because all of the ridges catch and hold all of the delicious dressing.
- Mayonnaise– Rich and creamy, mayonnaise is the base of the dressing. I recommend using full-fat for the best flavor.
- Dill pickles– Make sure they’re dill. Sweet pickles would yield a very different salad, but feel free to experiment!
- Mustard– Mustard is slightly bitter, which rounds out the other flavors for overall umami.
- Red wine vinegar– Sharp and tangy, red wine vinegar adds acid to cut the fat of the mayonnaise.
- Sugar– A touch of sweetness balances all of the bright acidity from the other ingredients.
- Seasonings– Spice is life. Salt, pepper, celery salt, and garlic work together to complement the briny pickle flavor.
Tips for Making the Perfect Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta al dente. In Italian, this means “to the tooth,” and refers to the perfect bite of noodle in which the pasta is tender, but still has a bit of chew in the middle. Follow the instructions on the package for the best results. Cook times will vary depending on the pasta you choose and whether it is fresh or dried.
- Chop the pickles into small pieces. You’ll get a bit of pickle in every bite!
- Refrigerate an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry. This results in a deliciously robust flavor and has the added benefit of allowing the dressing to get really creamy. You can leave it longer, but the sauce will thicken as it sits.
- Variations– There are so many yummy ways to switch up this summery salad!
- Try adding fresh herbs. Dill (duh!) and parsley are my personal recommendations for their color and taste. They complement the pickle flavor really nicely. Simply add as much as you wish to elevate the dish. You can use dried as well if you don’t have fresh.
- Substitute the mayonnaise to make a lighter sauce. Greek yogurt or sour cream would be a great alternative. Just know that it will likely taste a little different.
- Use pickle juice. Make it even more flavorful by adding pickle juice straight from the jar. This will thin out the dressing. If it gets too thin, no worries, just add more mayonnaise until you reach your desired thickness
- CHEESE… because who doesn’t love cheese? Try diced cheddar or mozzarella pearls.
- Add more veggies. Cucumber, celery, olive, red pepper, onion, or tomato would work really well. Choose one or choose them all! You just might need to double your sauce.
- Boost your protein with some meat. This salad would be delicious with chunks of rotisserie chicken mixed throughout. Or add some diced ham for a new take on a pickle roll-up!
- This dill pickle salad will keep well in the fridge. Keep it in a well-sealed container for 3-4 days. The dressing will thicken, so you may need to thin it out if it’s too dry.
- Do not freeze dill pickle salad. The consistency of the mayonnaise will change as it thaws, leaving a weirdly watery salad.
- You CAN make the sauce ahead of time. Whether you have to bring something to a potluck or you’re hosting a party, save yourself some time by preparing everything the day before. Simply refrigerate the dressing and noodles separately, then combine just before you serve.
More Delicious Side Dishes to Try
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