Dill Pickle Pasta Salad — Calling all pickle fans, you’re going to love this creamy pasta salad with crunchy dill pickles in every bite! Along with cubes of cheese and crumbled bacon, this pasta salad will be the star of your next picnic, potluck, barbecue, or summer holiday! FAST, EASY, and IRRESISTIBLE!
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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Recipe
I am a big pickle fan, but my daughter has me beat! She loves her pickles and always has. We can’t go to a county fair or Disney or anywhere someone may be selling pickles without stopping to get one.
This dill pickle pasta salad recipe is music to her ears as well as anyone who loves pickles as much as we do!
It’s a mixture of tender pasta, coasted in a creamy dressing, along with crispy and crunchy dill pickles in every bite! Plus there are cubes of Colby Jack cheese and crumbled bacon bits for even more savory flavor.
I just love the different textures in this fast and easy pasta salad recipe that will be a hit with your family and friends.
Truly sometimes that simple recipes are always the ones that people seem to go for and this is one of those recipes!
It’s especially great in the summertime for casual picnics and potlucks, backyard barbecues, or serve if for holidays such as Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day.
Ingredients in Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
For this versatile macaroni salad with pickles, you’ll need only a handful of very basic and common fridge and pantry ingredients including:
- Small elbow macaroni
- Baby dill pickles
- Colby Jack cheese
- Sour cream
- Pickle juice
- Fresh dill
- Garlic powder
- Cooked bacon crumbles
How to Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
It doesn’t get any easier to turn out an amazing pasta salad recipe that everyone goes crazy for than this fast and easy macaroni pickle salad recipe.
Follow these very straightforward steps to make dill macaroni salad:
Step 1: Boil the pasta, drain it, and rinse under cold water.
Step 2: Add the dill pickles and cheese to the cooked pasta.
Step 3: Separately, mix together the sour cream, mayo, pickle juice, dill, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Step 4: Add the dressing mixture to the pasta and stir to combine.
Step 5: Stir in the crumbled bacon, refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve!
Macaroni Pickle Pasta Salad FAQs
Dill pickles are the star of the show in this dill pickle pasta salad recipe so make sure to choose a favorite and trusted brand! I like to use baby dill pickles rather than bigger dill pickles, but it’s up to you.
You can also use homemade dill pickles or even mix-and-match the types of pickles you use. For example, you can try 1 1/2 cups dill pickles combined with 1/2 cup of spicy pickles if you like heat. Or if you like sweet flavors mixed with your savory, add some sweet pickles.
I am not a fan of bread and butter pickles here which are the type of pickles you’d find served on top of a hamburger. They just don’t have enough flavor for me and they’re too thin.
I prefer a chunkier cut of baby dill pickles so the texture and crunch of those little pickles is really notable!
When you’re making dill pickle pasta salad, it’s best to use fresh dill. I know that 4 tablespoons sounds like a lot of dill however it’s very fine and airy so when measuring it, I take into account that you’re not going to be packing it into your measuring spoon.
Which is why I call for 4 tablespoons of fresh dill, but if that sounds like too much to you, feel free to scale back the amount and see if there’s enough fill flavor for you.
Tip: Some people refer to it as ‘dill weed’ rather than just ‘dill’. It’s the same thing.
However, I find that people who like dill pickles really like dill flavor and it isn’t too much or overpowering.
Very important tip: If you’re using dried dill, scale back to 1/2 to 1 tablespoon dried dill and then add more, only if necessary.
This is because dried will pack nicely into your measuring spoon and the flavor may seem more concentrated. You can always add more but you can never un-do!
I use small elbow macaroni that I boil just short of al dente but you can try other small-shaped pasta in your dill pickle pasta salad including: small shells, rotini, fusilli, penne, rotelle (small wheels), farfalle (bowtie).
I know there are people who “hate mayonnaise” and to a lesser degree, sour cream as well. However in this family-favorite dill pickle pasta salad recipe, you do need to use both mayonnaise and sour cream for the dressing that coats the entire macaroni pickle salad.
I recommend using full fat mayo and full fat sour cream for the best creamiest texture and flavor.
Tip: Some people just think they detest mayo but in reality if you like creamy dressings — for example you like the taste and texture of ranch dressing — or would love to dive into a bowl creamy Bacon Potato Salad, then you do like mayo-based dressings after all and you will probably love this dill pickle pasta recipe!
After you make dill pickle pasta salad, refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before serving.
The flavors will marry, the pasta will soak up the dressing, and it such a scrumptious pasta salad recipe when served chilled.
Leftover dill pickle pasta salad will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days but my family goes to town on it and it never lasts that long for us!
Tips for the Best Dill Pickle Macaroni Salad
When you’re boiling the pasta for your pickle pasta salad make sure not to overcook it in the least. In fact, if you undercook it by about 30 seconds, that’s even better.
That’s because the pasta will continue to soften after it soaks up the dressing and pickle juice.
If you’re a fan of even more dill pickle flavor, go ahead and add more pickle juice. This is especially true if you find your pasta noodles have already soaked up the dressing mixture.
As I alluded to above, I like to make sure to keep my baby dill pickles chopped on the coarser or chunkier side so they really stand out in this dill pickle pasta salad recipe. If you slice them too thin, they will blend into the background with everything else and that’s not the intention with this recipe!
I used cubed Colby Jack cheese but other types of cheese such as cheddar, white cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or Pepper Jack cheese are also great swaps.
Technically speaking, the bacon is optional so in case you are trying to keep this recipe as a vegetarian dill pickle pasta salad, you can by simply omitting the crumbled bacon.
For anyone who likes things kicked up a notch, feel free to shake in a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Finally, if you’re in need of some fast, easy, and delish pasta salad recipes, check out my pasta salad roundup of The Best Pasta Salad Recipes!
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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- ½ pound small elbow macaroni, cooked al dente (or similar small-shaped pasta)
- 2 cups baby dill pickles, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces cubed Colby Jack cheese, or cheddar, white cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, etc.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup pickle juice, plus more if desired
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill, loosely packed and measured (or use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon dried dill)*
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly gourd black pepper, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain it, and rinse under cold water to cool it quickly. Tip - Cook it 30 seconds less than al dente because the pasta will continue to soften as it absorbs the dressing mixture and you don't want it to become overly soft. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the baby dill pickles**, cheese, and stir to combine; set aside.
- To a separate medium bowl, add the mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, dill, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing mixture over the pasta and stir to combine.
- Add the bacon and stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Tip - If the pasta salad has absorbed most of the dressing or you want to boost the pickle flavor, add extra pickle juice and stir it in. Extra pasta salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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