This creamy dill pickle pasta salad is perfect as a side dish for a backyard BBQ, picnic or summer dinner. It's really easy to make, and tastes amazing.
If you love pickles, then this is definitely the salad recipe for you. Pickles, cheese and elbow macaroni are coated in mayonnaise and sour cream to make a simple, but delicious salad.
Although this might not be the healthiest of summer salads, it's rich in calories, and really filling. It's also simple to make ahead of time, and makes for a great accompaniment for grilled meat and lighter dishes.
There are also plenty of options to make the salad much lighter. See the Variations section below for some excellent ideas.
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make
- Tastes amazing
- Easy to customize
- Great side dish for BBQ
- Can be made vegan, dairy free and gluten free
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Cheddar cheese: Cubed cheese is amazing in this dish. You can substitute with any cheese that you like.
Macaroni: Elbow pasta is the perfect size for this easy salad, but you can also use rotini, fusilli or penne instead.
Pickles: Also known as ghurkins, pickled cucumbers is the main ingredient in this salad.
Dill pickle juice: Adds extra pickle flavor. Can be omitted.
Sour cream: Adds a tangy flavor. Substitute with mayonnaise or Greek yogurt if you prefer.
Mayonnaise: Makes the pasta salad extra creamy. Substitute with Greek yogurt if you prefer.
Seasoning: Add some flavor to your salad. Salt, pepper and garlic powder taste great in this dish.
Dill: Fresh dill gives the salad a great flavor. You can also use dried dill.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Boil the macaroni in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain off excess water, and leave the pasta to cool.
Two: Combine cold pasta with diced or sliced pickles, sour cream, cubed cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pickle juice, seasoning, and chopped fresh dill.
Three: Leave the salad refrigerated until it's ready to serve. The dish tastes even better the next day!
- Make sure that the macaroni is cold before you combine it with the mayonnaise and sour cream.
- Feel free to change or omit any ingredients as you like.
- To save time, you can also cook the pasta the night before, and assemble the salad the next day.
🥗 More SALAD RECIPES from Hint of Healthy
This dish is best served cold as a side dish for lunch or dinner. Dill pickle pasta salad pairs perfectly with a variety of entrees. Here are some of my favorites:
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
- Halloumi Burgers
- Avocado Chicken Wraps
- Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- Baked Italian Sausage
- Spicy Beef Burger
Add protein: Added shredded chicken, chickpeas, black beans or diced ham will make this salad even more filling. This is a great option if you want to serve the dish as a main course instead.
Other ingredients: Try adding raisins, grated carrot, diced bell peppers, or corn to the salad. These ingredients will give the salad a great flavor, and a different texture.
Gluten free: Make sure to use certified gluten free pasta. You can find this in the gluten free section in most large supermarkets.
Low fat: Reduce the fat content by replacing the mayonnaise and sour cream with Greek yogurt. This is a much healthier version of the dish, but tastes just as good!
Without mayo: Replace the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.
With ranch: Replace the sour cream with ranch dressing.
You can easily make this dish in advance. The pasta salad tastes even better the next day! Store it in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve dill pickle pasta salad cold.
I do not recommend warming up this dish, as the mayonnaise and sour cream are likely to split. It is also not suitable for freezing.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! This salad tastes even better the next day, and you can definitely prepare it the night before.
You can carefully try to pour out the warm pasta water into the sink, using a spoon to keep the pasta in the pot. Then, rinse the pasta with cold water until it's chilled.
Yes. Pickle juice is often used in dill pickle pasta salad to intensify the pickle flavor.
You might also like these recipes
- Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Asparagus Pasta Salad
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad with Pesto
- Southern Style Chicken Salad
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 6 ounces macaroni
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅔ cup cubed cheddar
- 1 cup pickles
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- Boil the macaroni in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain off excess water, and leave the pasta to cool down.
- Combine chilled pasta with diced pickles, cubed cheddar, chopped dill and the remaining ingredients. Add seasoning and pickle juice to taste.
- Serve immediately, or keep the salad refrigerated.
- Make the salad much lighter and healthier by substituting the mayonnaise and sour cream with Greek yogurt.
- Store leftover dill pickle macaroni salad in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. This recipe is easy to make ahead.
- Feel free to add other ingredients to the salad. Raisins, grated carrot, diced bell peppers or corn can be excellent additions.
This was my father's favorite macaroni salad. I try to make it every father's day in his men. My teenage son and his buddies gobble it up this year.
Hi Sue! Thank you for your lovely comment, I'm glad they enjoyed it!
I've fixed this pasta salad the past several years, it's a requested dish at every family dinner, my recipe also calls for cyanne pepper....I use thicker shredded cheese instead of cubes....etc