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Calling all dill pickle lovers with this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad recipe! It’s tangy, garlicky, creamy, and the ultimate summertime dish. Gluten-free, Oil-free, Soy-free option.
This Creamy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is a crunchy, briny cold salad and the perfect way to crush a dill pickle craving. It works as both a great side dish or main dish at your next potluck.
Table of Contents
All About This Creamy, Tangy Pasta Salad
This simple recipe combines two of my favorite things: crunchy dill pickles and pasta salad. Any time I can find an excuse to enjoy more dill pickles in my life I’m all game and this pasta salad is the perfect ticket. It’s made with both chopped dill pickles and dill pickle juice to take the flavor to the next level. Trust me – if you’re a dill pickle fan you’re going to be pleased with this one.
It’s the perfect side dish for a summertime picnic, barbecue, or potluck with family and friends! Heck, I’d even meal prep it for a quick lunch during the week. The veggies will stay crunchy in the fridge, and the mayo will keep the tender pasta creamy all week long.
What You Need for Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Not only does this creamy pasta salad only take 20 minutes to put together, but it only requires 10 wholesome ingredients, too. Here’s the rundown on the 4 building blocks of a delicious dill pickle pasta salad:
- Pasta: I personally make this pasta salad using gluten-free rotini or elbow macaroni noodles, but any shortcut type of pasta will work well (wheat included!).
- Dressing: We’re swapping out the Italian dressing today for a creamy dressing made with my Homemade Vegan Mayo, dijon mustard, garlic, and a splash of pickle brine straight from the pickle jar for the ultimate dill flavor.
- Fresh herbs: A healthy dose of chopped fresh dill and chopped fresh parsley is required for the best dill pickle salad.
- Crunchy veggies: I like to keep it simple and use a mix of chopped dill pickle spears, shredded carrot, and Pickled Red Onions to allow the dill pickle flavor to really shine.
How to Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta then rinse well until cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until combined.
- Add in the cooled pasta, along with the pickles, carrot, pickled red onions, dill, and parsley. Mix to coat in the dressing. Season with additional salt to taste, as needed.
- Serve immediately or chill for 15+ minutes. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Pick the right pickles: As a dill pickle fiend, I firmly believe that some brands are better than others. I prefer to make my own homemade pickles, but when I’m short on time, Grillo’s Pickles are my first choice for store-bought good quality pickles. They’re the best I’ve had by far.
- Short cut pasta is best. When making any of my pasta salad recipes, I’d recommend using noodles like macaroni, rotini, bowtie pasta, or Cavatappi. They’ll hold the dressing better and look more fun 😉.
Pasta salad is always a go-to starter, side dish, and potluck favorite but this dill pickle version is one I regularly enjoy as a main course. If serving as a side, it pairs well with several Main Dishes like this Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Vegan BLT Sandwiches or simple proteins like this Smoky Marinated Tofu or Simple Crispy Tofu.
How to Store Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
This pasta salad will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container or in the serving bowl covered with plastic wrap. Freezing pasta salad is not recommended. Similar to creamy-based Pasta Dishes, pasta salads made with a creamy dressing don’t freeze particularly well due to the changes in texture and consistency that happen when freezing and thawing. As a general rule of thumb, the best pasta salads are made fresh.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: Opt for your favorite short cut gluten-free pasta instead of a wheat-based pasta.
- Oil-free option: Most vegan-friendly mayonnaises in store are oil-based. If you are oil-free, I highly recommend making my Easy Vegan Mayonnaise from scratch. It is 100% oil-free and can be made with tofu or whole cashews.
- Soy-free option: Many store-bought vegan mayonnaise brands contain soy in the form of soy protein or soybean oil. If you are allergic to soy, purchase a Soy-Free Vegan Mayonnaise or make my Homemade Vegan Mayo with cashews instead of tofu.
- Veggie variations: Swap the shredded carrot and pickled red onions for your favorite crunchy veggies. Try bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or boost the briny flavor even more with your favorite olives.
Rinsing the pasta has multiple purposes. First, it helps cool the pasta quickly, speeding up the prep time. Second, it helps remove the excess starch and helps prevent the pasta from sticking together once tossed with the remaining ingredients. Rinsing cooked pasta isn’t always the right choice, but it’s highly recommended whenever making pasta salad.
What you consider “regular” pickles really depends on region. Some use the terms dill pickles and regular pickles interchangeably whereas some consider regular pickles to mean sweet pickles. In short, dill pickles are soaked in a brine made with dill weed and other savory spices and herbs that help give them a unique flavor.
Essentially, yes. All dill pickles start as cucumbers and become pickles after being soaked in a brine solution. If you’re interested in learning how to make your own dill pickles from scratch, check out this Homemade Dill Pickles Recipe. You may like these Quick Pickled Red Onions and these Quick-Pickled Jalapeños, too!
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Creamy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces rotini, macaroni, or other short pasta shape*
- 2/3 cup Easy Vegan Mayo (or store-bought)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove grated or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon pickle brine liquid from pickle jar
- 2/3 cup dill pickle spears chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup Pickled Red Onions chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse well with cold water until it is cool; set aside.
- Make the Dressing: While the pasta is cooking, whisk the mayo, mustard, garlic, and pickle brine together in a large bowl.
- Combine: Add the cooled pasta to the bowl along with the pickles, carrot, pickled red onions, dill, and parsley. Mix well; add more salt to taste, if necessary.
- Serve & Store: Serve immediately or chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat-based pasta.