Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is literally my favorite pasta salad ever!  In this creamy pasta salad recipe, dill pickles play a starring role and add tons of flavor and crunch!  This recipe is even better when it’s made ahead of time making it the perfect potluck dish!

Overhead shot of Dill PIckle Pasta Salad with a title

I have a thing for dill pickles.  I always have.  My sister and I have exchanged pickle themed gifts for about 20 years now…  I’ve received everything from pickle erasers and a case of pickle pops (like freezies.. but pickle juice) and given her everything from a yodeling pickle to pickle soap and jewellery.  One thing we haven’t exchanged yet is a dill pickle recipe, so of course I have to dedicate this delicious pasta salad recipe to my sister Candace.

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad on a plate with two pickles on top


I like pasta salads, I make a ton of them.  They’re easy to make and usually better if made ahead of time.  They’re the hit of every potluck meal and perfect to pack the next day for lunch.  As much as I like pasta salads, this Dill Pickle Pasta salad is honestly one of the best pasta salads I’ve ever had!  Pickles (or even dill pickle relish) usually play a supporting role in recipes, especially pasta salad recipes and potato salads.

But not this time… nope, this time the prized dill pickle plays the starring role, front and center.

* cheer * yay * cheer *

Dill PIckle Pasta Salad ingredients in a clear glass bowl before mixing together

There is pickle flavor infused throughout this recipe (in 3 different places) yet it’s just the right amount of pickley (if pickley is even a word!?). Yup, time to get pickled people (in the dill pickle sense of course).

When buying pickles for this recipe, I love baby dills if you can find them because I love the crunch they give and I love how they look in little rounds.  I’m a bit freakish about my pickles so I actually pick up all of the pickle jars at the store and try to choose jar with the the smallest pickles.  I look like a person trying to choose the perfect produce, only in the pickle aisle.  If you only have bigger dill pickles (or homemade pickles), they’ll still be great in this recipe too, just chop them but not too small, you want them to keep that crunch.

If you have (or love) sweet pickles you can also throw a handful of those in here too.  I mean, sweet and salty, crunch creamy…  perfection right?!

Dill PIckle Pasta Salad in a small bowl with a bigger bowl of it in the background

Oh, and when you’re scooping out your pickle juice to add to the dressing in this recipe, try to grab all of those yummy little garlicky bits floating around and put them in the dressing too, they add extra flavor.  And one last tip about the white onion…  be sure to grab the onions with the white papery skin, the ones with the yellow skin are much stronger and will be a little bit overpowering in this dish.

This dill pickle pasta salad is pretty much guaranteed to be the hit of your next potluck and the best part is that it is awesome made the day before!  If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers (which I doubt would happen) they’ll keep several days in the fridge and make the perfect lunch!

Items You’ll Need For This Recipe

* Dill Pickles * Shell Pasta * Cayenne Pepper *

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad on a plate with two pickles on top
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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is literally my favorite pasta salad ever! In this creamy pasta salad recipe, dill pickles play a starring role and add tons of flavor and crunch! This recipe is even better when it’s made ahead of time making it the perfect potluck dish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • ½ pound dry shell pasta about 3 cups
  • ¾ cup pickles sliced
  • cup cheddar cheese diced
  • 3 tablespoons white onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • ½ cup pickle juice


  • cup mayonnaise
  • cup sour cream
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons pickle juice
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Boil pasta al dente according to package directions. Run under cold water to stop cooking.
  • Toss cold pasta with about ½ cup of pickle juice and set aside for about 5 minutes. Drain & discard pickle juice.
  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


4.99 from 828 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296 | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 636mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. This is absolutely amazing. So easy to make and delicious. I’ve made this quite a few times and everyone loves it. I always have to double or triple the recipe otherwise it goes too fast.5 stars

  2. This recipe is the best!!! At first I thought Dill Pickle Salad sounds awful but being a pickle lover I would try it. Well… I’m hooked!!! This salad is delicious and hearty. I like the crunch of the pickles, the creamy dressing with a little kick noting the addition of cayenne pepper.5 stars

  3. I am in love with this Pasta Salad. It was a big hit at my house. I had to substitute shredded cheddar cheese for the diced and I did not have fresh dill, so I used dill weed. I will go strictly by your recipe next time.
    I am so glad I found your site! Holly I am now your biggest fan!5 stars

  4. So easy to put together and flavorful! This is my first time making this-and it’s already a hit. It hasn’t fully chilled yet, and I keep catching my hubby “taste testing.”5 stars

  5. This is a wonderful recipe! I began making it two years ago and it has been requested monthly ever since! I love the fresh dill and cubed sharp cheddar cheese in it, perfect cool summer dish!5 stars

  6. This is hands-down my absolutely favourite pasta salad, and my go-to recipe for making when we have guests or am going to a pot-luck. Every single time I’ve made it for others, they’ve asked about it and given rave reviews. Would recommend!!5 stars

  7. We loved it, I did add more pickles and cheese. The store didn’t have the shells so I used macaroni and I made a gluten free version for my granddaughter. I used the gf penne.5 stars

  8. This is my absolute favorite pasta salad! Many years ago, I went to a horse auction at the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, TX and they served a similar salad. I tried replicating it many times and came pretty close, but this is the closest match I have found. I usually add diced ham to it and call it a meal :-)

  9. I have been making this pasta salad for years now and everyone loves it! People always request I bring it to family functions lol! It is soooooooo good!! I tried the recipe exactly as written the first time, but I now use green onion instead of white onion (personal preference). Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe 5 stars

  10. Absolutely delicious! All time favorite recipe and make it often. And share it often even friends turn up their nose first hearing about it and then they taste it… and they too are hooked!!! Try it because you won’t regret it!!!❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤5 stars

  11. We regularly snack on dill pickles and sharp cheddar (and pasta is always a treat), so I just had to try this recipe when I saw it. It was a hit with our pickle-loving friends. I shared your link with those who asked for the recipe. Now I’m considering adding some canned salmon to the leftovers for lunch today. Thank you!5 stars

  12. I’ve been making this for almost every family function for the last few years. A great pasta salad!! Also, I add six slices of bacon for a double batch.5 stars

  13. My pickle loving niece pointed me to your recipe and I have been making it ever since. It is on the list for Christmas Day this year.5 stars

  14. Needed to get creative with some garden pickles that were too heavy on the garlic for snacking – was so excited to find your recipe!
    Made as directed, except for personal preferences for the dressing: halved the mayo, halved the pickle juice, and subbed Greek yogurt for sour cream. No fresh garden dill in December, so used 1 Tblsp dried.
    Delicious pasta salad…thank you!!5 stars

  15. This is very easy to make and very tasty! I love dill, so this is perfect! It was a hit with everyone who tried it.5 stars