Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

A salad celebration for dill pickle lovers, a pasta salad studded with a whole half pound of dill pickles and spiked with an entire cup of dill pickle juice. Add some sharp cheddar and the combo is a real winner, not only for potlucks and parties but also as a refrigerator salad to nibble on over several days.

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com. A real hit with pickle fans, served warm or chilled.

The TikTok Phenomenon, Made from Scratch. Real Food, Fresh & Inventive. Mere Minutes to the Table. Hearty & Filling. A Summer Classic. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Potluck & Party Friendly. Vegetarian.

Raise a Spear If You're That Friend, Too.

I 'bout choked on a pickle when a bit of internet wisdom buzzed in.

Every friend group has a "pickle friend": that's the friend you always give your pickle to.

Yep that's me, your friendly neighborly pickle fanatic fiend friend.

Also the "cherry on top" friend. And the "are you going to eat that lettuce and tomato?" friend.

You too? Me three.

So when Tiktok nearly broke the internet with first the original and then copycat recipes for Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, I was all in.

And I'm not alone.

Just ten Tiktok videos have garnered more than 56 million (yes, million as in 56,000,000 with six zeros ...) and hundreds of thousands of likes. A couple videos have more than a thousand comments!

That's a lot of dill pickle friends fans.

If that describes you or someone you love, read on. This pasta salad is definitely worth a closer look!

About This Recipe

  • OVERALL Dill pickle lovers, you're in for some pickle heaven! This salad is all about the lovely sourness and crunch of dill pickles. All that pickle goodness is just a tiny bit addictive, I gotta say.
  • DISTINCTIVE FLAVORS The distinctive ingredients are the pasta (duh), chopped dill pickles (double duh), dried dill and grated sharp cheddar. But in the background is the all-essential dill pickle juice, it's used to soak into and flavor the just-cooked pasta, also to thin down the mayo-sour cream dressing.
  • INGREDIENT LIST Pasta Salad = 1 pound small pasta + dill pickle juice + 2 cups chopped dill pickles + finely chopped onion + grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • INGREDIENT LIST Dressing (it's fabulous) = mayo + sour cream + dill pickle juice + dried dill weed
  • TIMING It takes about 30 minutes of hands-on time to mix this pasta salad. There's some chopping involved but not too much, just a little onion and the dill pickles.
  • TIMING AFFECTS TEXTURE & TASTE Just after mixing and still slightly warm, the pasta salad appears and tastes extra-creamy but you might wonder what the pickle-mania is all about.
    But then! Over 24 hours, the pickle flavors really emerge but the creaminess is absorbed into the pasta. Aha! Now you get it!
  • BIG BATCH This is a large batch! The recipe makes almost 11 cups. If that's too much, it's super-easy to cut the recipe in half. Or just call your "pickle friend"?!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad dressing ingredients ♥ KitchenParade.com. A real hit with pickle fans, served warm or chilled.

What's In Dill Pickle Pasta Salad? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. Usually I'm a big fan of substitutes, in this case, I recommend sticking with the recipe, it just works.

  • Pasta Noodles Choose a small dried pasta, rings are fun, small shells work great, so does elbow macaroni. Cook the pasta in well-salted water and for timing, use the package instructions. Then drain but don't allow to cool.
  • Dill Pickles! Look for large jars of dill pickles or kosher dills. No sweet pickles here, please! And no pickle relish! Just plain dill pickles, the little guys are easy to cut into cute little button-like bites but big dill pickles can be chopped up too.
  • Dill Pickle Juice! Just use the juice from the pickle jar. That said, I read that you might just find containers of dill pickle juice near the pickles.
  • A Little Onion Not much, just 1/4 cup for a huge amount of pasta salad. But it makes all the difference, again, adding to that lovely sourness. Be sure to chop it really fine, you could also grate it.
  • Sharp Cheddar Me, I choose a block of cheddar to grate myself, that gives the salad good texture. But a package of grated cheddar (not the fine stuff) would be okay too, I think.
  • Dill Weed Dried dill really shines in the dressing for this salad, especially if you wait for 24 hours to enjoy. Now listen, I love fresh dill but my choice here, always, will be dried. It's just got that funky sourness that this salad is all about.
  • Mayo & Sour Cream These are the base of the dressing, use either full-fat of one or both or alternatively, low-fat of one or both. To my taste, the non-fat products of both are just b-a-d and often rely on sugar instead of fat for flavor.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad mixed dressing ♥ KitchenParade.com. A real hit with pickle fans, served warm or chilled.

How to Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in just three easy steps. You can definitely do this!

  • Cook and drain the pasta. While it's still hot, stir in some dill pickle juice, that both cools the pasta down and gives the noodles a nice pickle-y edge.

  • Continue cooling down the pasta by stirring in the chopped dill pickles and onion, then the mayo-sour cream dressing.

  • Finally, after the pasta is almost cool, stir in the grated cheddar cheese. If the pasta is too warm, the cheese will melt!

Here's What's NOT In This Recipe

Sometimes, what's left out of a recipe is just as important as what's put in. That's definitely the case here.

  • NO SUGAR! There is zero added sugar in this pasta salad.
Petite pickles for Dill Pickle Pasta Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com. A real hit with pickle fans, served warm or chilled.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Big dill pickles? Small big pickles? Both work but ... Early in the pandemic and my first awkward attempts at online grocery shopping, I accidentally ordered a giant jar of dill pickles. Frankly, that big jar will definitely get used once it's empty. But for this salad, I like to use smaller dill pickles, I think the texture is better, a higher proportion of skin to inner softness. A big jar (46 fluid ounces) would be enough for three or maybe four batches of Dill Pickle Pasta Salad.

  • Could you skip the cheese? Maybe. Even a big-flavor cheese like sharp cheddar is more about texture than flavor. And of course, it's also a big source of calories. I'd start by cutting the cheese in half, then decide.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most iluminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Pay Attention to Temperature Hot pasta will absorb pickle juice just like that, that's a good thing. After that, cool the pasta down by stirring-stirring-stirring and timing the addition of the remaining ingredients. Be especially careful to be sure the pasta has cooled down considerably (thanks to the pickles and onion, also the dressing) before adding the cheese. We don't want a melted mess!

Know Your Preferences You might want to try both ways of serving Dill Pickle Pasta Salad. The first way is to eat it straight away, as soon as it's mixed. The pasta will be so creamy and delicious, it's almost like a dill pickle mac n cheese. But after 24 hours, the dressing is absorbed into the pasta, the dill flavor really emerges and the texture is more like a traditional pasta salad. We like it both ways, there's no picking a favorite!

Extra Reasons to Hoard Dill Pickle Juice

~ Polish Dill Pickle Soup ~
~ Best-Ever Macaroni Salad ~
~ Chicken Salad for Sandwiches ~

Dill Pickle Flavor for Everything!

Trader Joe's Dill Pickle Seasoning, another product recommendation ♥ KitchenParade.com.

Trader Joe's has a new seasoning in 2022, wow, it's great!

Could it be a substitute for dried dill in Dill Pickle Pasta Salad? Maybe!

But in the mean time, I'm loving it as a substitute for Everything Bagel seasoning in my summer favorite, Everything Bagel Breakfast Salad – also on cottage cheese, fried eggs, sautéed zucchini and roasted new potatoes. Hmm how about a dill pickle margarita?!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this TikTok-famous recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com. A real hit with pickle fans, served warm or chilled.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time-to-table: 30 minutes or 24 hours
Makes a bunch, almost 11 cups (easily halved)

To keep things moving, start cooking the pasta first, then continue with mixing the Dressing and prepping the pickles and onion.
  • 1 cup (225g) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup (80g) dill pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound (454g) small pasta like rings, small shells, elbow macaroni, etc.
  • Salt for the cooking water, be generous
  • 2/3 cup (160g) dill pickle juice

  • 2 cups (225g) dill pickles, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup (35g) finely diced onion
  • Dressing
  • 8 ounces (225g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated

DRESSING In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and sour cream until they're fully mixed and no mayo lumps remain. Stir in 1/3 cup dill pickle juice, dill, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until the pasta is cooked.

PASTA SALAD Cook the pasta in well-salted water according to the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

While the pasta is still hot, stir in 2/3 cup pickle juice, really stirring for a minute or two to distribute the pickle flavor throughout while also cooling the pasta down a bit.

Stir in the dill pickles and onion, and again, stir well, this lets the pickles and onion soften a bit from the heat of the pasta.

Stir in about half the Dressing, stirring really well, letting the pasta cool down, then the remaining Dressing.

Finally, stir in the grated cheddar.


  • Serve right away, barely warm or at room temperature, the pasta will be thick and creamy, almost more "pasta" than "pasta salad". Delicious!
  • Refrigerate and serve after 24 hours, the dill pickle and dill weed flavors will really jump out, but the sauce and its flavors will be absorbed into the pasta, giving it a more traditional pasta-salad consistency.
  • There's no picking a favorite!

LEFTOVERS will keep for several days, it's easy to have on hand for quick lunches.

ALANNA's TIPS Be sure to soak the hot pasta with 2/3 cup of pickle juice while the pasta is still hot, it'll soak up all that flavor! Once all the juice has been absorbed, it's important to start cooling the pasta down, stirring all the while as ingredients are added, first just the pickles and onion, then some of the Dressing, then the rest of the Dressing and finally, when the mixture is no longer warm enough to melt the cheese, the grated cheese.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2022/06/dill-pickle-pasta-salad.html .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 203 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 20mg Cholesterol; 219mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 1g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 5 & myWW green 5 & blue 5 & purple & 3 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/4 cup (3g protein).

NUTRITION NOTES The nutrition data above drastically understates the sodium: that's because dill pickle juice is not in my nutrition software but is known for zero calories but high sodium. If you like, save about 40 calories per serving with low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat sour cream. WW points assume (1) low-fat mayo and low-fat for the green, blue and purple and (2) whole-wheat pasta for purple.
Adapted from PastaSaladGirl on TikTok.

Summer Potluck Pasta Salad Favorites

~ pasta salad recipes ~
Best-Ever Macaroni Salad, the summer classic, just better ♥ KitchenParade.com. Great crunch, thanks to six different vegetables in a light and bright savory dressing. Budget Friendly. Potluck and Party Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Garden Pasta Salad with Mint Vinaigrette ♥ KitchenParade.com, light on the pasta, generous with the summer's best fresh veggies and all tossed in a g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s mint vinaigrette.

BLT Pasta Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, a salad version of the summer classic BLT sandwich.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ pasta recipes ~
~ mayonnaise ~
~ sour cream recipes ~
~ cheddar cheese recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.