Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is a classic potluck dish! This pasta salad combines tender macaroni, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and stars crunchy dill pickles.
All ingredients are tossed in a creamy dressing with subtle tart undertones that your friends and family will quickly devour.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Dill pickle pasta salad is a classic side. Perfect for family get-togethers, summer barbecues, or holiday potlucks, this easy-to-whip-up side dish is perfect to serve alongside crispy chicken, thick juicy burgers, or sliders of any cuisine.
This simple 20-minute pasta salad recipe combines simple pantry stapes and tosses them in a creamy dressing that compliments the warm undertones of the crisp dill pickles. Plus, this salad tastes better the longer it sits making this a great make-ahead!
But one thing is for sure, this pasta salad will be a hit by all who enjoy, no matter if they love pickles or not!
Why this recipe is amazing
- Pickle lovers will love this unique dish.
- If you love dill then you will enjoy this recipe
- Budget friendly and easy to make.
- Better than potato salads:)
Noodles – Elbow macaroni is traditionally used but feel free to use whatever shape you prefer.
Pickles – I prefer to use baby dill pickles, but feel free to use regular sized pickles, making sure you dice them into smaller pieces.
Cheddar cheese – The sharp flavor cheddar cheese nicely cuts through the slightly sweet, slightly tangy notes of this salad but feel free to use any type of cheese that you like.
Mayonnaise – I love using Duke’s Real Mayonnaise because of its delicious flavor and super creamy texture but feel free to use your favorite brand. You can even use a vegan version if you’d prefer.
Sour cream – Original or light can be used or feel free to swap in plain Greek yogurt.
Dill weed – Fresh dill is always preferred because it has such a great flavor, but you can use dry dill if you can’t find fresh. Just be sure to use half the amount as it can be stronger.
Cayenne – For a touch of heat, feel free to add in a pinch of cayenne!
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How to Make Dill Pickle Salad
First: Cook pasta according to the package, but undercook by 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to cool quickly. Be sure to drain completely.
Second: Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl and add in sliced or chopped dill pickles and cheese. Toss to combine.
Third: In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, pickle juice, and dill to make the dressing. Pour over pasta, pickles, and cheese. Carefully stir to combine.
Fourth: Gently mix in crumbled bacon and season with salt and black pepper to taste if desired. Enjoy!
For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
Can I freeze it?
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad does not freeze well. However, it does last up to 5-days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
What goes with Dill Pickle Salad?
How do you keep pasta salad from getting soggy?
Slightly undercook the pasta as the slightly firmer texture will ensure that cooked pasta doesn’t get too mushy when dressed.
It is also important to rinse prior to dressing. Rinsing cooked pasta, it stops the cooking process to ensure the noodles won’t become overcooked or mushy.
The firmer texture will slightly soften as the pasta absorbs the liquid of the dressing creating a perfectly soft noodle that is needed for this tasty dish.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Pasta salads can be served right away or refrigerated for 1-2 hours before serving. As a general rule of thumb, the longer a pasta salad sits in the fridge, the more the dressing will thicken up, which creates a cold creamy side that is irresistible!
Can I make this gluten free or vegan?
To make gluten-free, feel free to use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
To make vegan use your favorite plant-based vegan pasta, mayo, cheese, and sour cream.
Should you rinse pasta after cooking for a cold pasta salad?
Yes, if making a cold pasta salad, cooked pasta should be rinsed. Rinsing helps quickly lower the temperature of the pasta, which is ideal since it’s going to be served chilled and alongside other cool or raw ingredients.
Rinsing also stops the cooking process, which will ensure that the pasta isn’t overcooked and mushy. This slightly firmer texture is also needed to ensure it doesn’t get too mushy/soggy when dressed.
And finally, by washing away the starchy film, when you toss the pasta with your other ingredients and dressing, the pasta won’t stick together or clump. Each piece of pasta will be singular, cooked to perfection, and intact.
Tips for No Leftovers
- While elbow macaroni is traditionally used, small shells or rotini spiral would work beautifully as well
- Salad can be enjoyed immediately; however, if you refrigerate for 1-2 hours, the dressing will thicken creating a cold, creamy dish!
- Dill pickles offer a distinct sour flavor that is traditional in this recipe but feel free to use your favorite! Garlic or spicy would add a completely different and delicious flavor profile.
- Real mayo, I prefer Duke’s brand, is better than Miracle Whip in this recipe.
- While fresh herbs add more vibrance, feel free to swap in dried if that’s all you can find or have on hand. A pinch of onion powder is great too.
- This dill pickle pasta salad tastes best after it has set up for at least 24 hours. The flavors really mix well together after that time making this the perfect make ahead!
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Undercook the pasta by 30 seconds so it’s still slightly firm as it needs this sturdy texture, so it doesn’t get too mushy when you add the dressing.
- Mix the salad dressing ingredients in a separate bowl before adding to the other ingredients to make sure it is fully mixed.
- If salad becomes too dry, feel free to add in more pickle juice.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!
Pickles and cheese make this creamy pasta salad recipe unique. This classic potluck salad is not only delicious, but also affordable and ready in 20-minutes!
- 8 ounces past noodles (cooked al dente)
- 2 cups sliced dill pickles
- 8 ounces Colby jack cheese (cubed)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup pickle juice
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
- 4 slices bacon (cooked, crumbled)
- Cook the noodles "al dente" according to the package directions.
- Drain and run under cold water and stop the cooking process and until noodles are cold. Drain thoroughly.
- Add the pickles and cheese to the noodles.
- In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, pickle juice and dill.
- Pour over the noodles and gently combine.
- Add the crumbled bacon and mix in.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1187mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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