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


  • 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 724 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 is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. The shells I use are about ¾ inch long before cooking, I would consider them a little bit shorter than penne or rotini. I hope that helps.

  1. I couldn’t afford fresh dill at $3, so I left it out and added the juice of half a lemon. Clearly, the fresh dill added an invaluable flavor. Perhaps I can grow some dill this summer.4 stars

  2. This is insanely delicious. I’m not a pasta salad person, but I am a pickle freak. I sprinkle pickle salt on my pickle pops! I made this a few weeks ago and have been daydreaming about it ever since. it is that good. I made a half batch today and used elbow noodles, shredded cheese, dried dill, and red onion because that’s what I had on hand. Still amazingly delicious! Thank you, Holly, I’ve never made a single recipe of yours that I didn’t love.5 stars

  3. I have been craving this salad, so it is going to a Christmas potluck Saturday! This salad is a winner with everyone who tries it! I love it!5 stars

  4. Forgot to add, used onion powder for the salad that went to the church potluck. A member is allergic to raw onion but powdered is not a problem. It was tasty that way, too.5 stars

  5. In the past 2 weeks, I’ve made double batches of this salad twice. Once for a church potluck and once for Thanksgiving. I had to put “Stay Out” labels on the bowls. Otherwise, the contents would have been nibbled away before I could serve them.

    My family prefers it without cheese and I usually make it with dried dill weed since fresh dill isn’t always available.

    I had to comment and rate again because we love it so much that it deserves another 5 stars. Thanks again for the deliciousness.5 stars

  6. Holly, I read this recipe and KNEW exactly how it would taste…and I was right! I made it exactly as you wrote it, even went to the store for the fresh dill weeed. Thank you so much for posting. This lifelong pickle-lover has a new potluck dish for BBQs! (I paid attention to your comment about how you love baby dills, and the smaller the better. I agree. But when I made this, I just used whichever baby dill I extracted, cut up only the small end to get those tiny rounds, and tossed the rest of it back into the brine. You’re so right about having the two shapes of dills: rounds, and diced.)5 stars

  7. Absolutely delicious!!!!! Such a nice change from traditional macaroni salad. Thank you for the awesome recipe!!! I’m so glad I found your site !!!!5 stars

  8. This is my all time favorite pasta salad! I add a pound of chopped asparagus into the mix. During the last two minutes of cooking the pasta, throw in the chopped asparagus. After two minutes I fish out the asparagus with a slotted spoon an put into an ice bath while the pasta is soaking in the pickle juice.

  9. this is a lot like what i call mac n cheese salad. I use ordinary elbow macaroni, sharp Cheddar, green onions for color, and chopped gherkins. I dress it with a plain salad dressing like Miracle Whip Lite. I sometimes add thawed frozen green peas and use sweet yellow Vidalia onion instead of the green onion. I plan to give this a try, since the sour cream and dill sound delicious.5 stars

  10. Top notch recipe. Have made twice now for pot lucks with rave reviews. I personally added a bit more onion and dressing mixture the 2nd time but the recipe is truly delish.5 stars

  11. Delicious, I will be using this base to make all my creamy salads. I did add some red and yellow peppers for extra flavor and color.5 stars

  12. I made this with some changes. I used chopped red onion cycles, added 1tb sweet Pickle relish, 2 chopped hard boiled egg, 2tb sliced black olives, 1tb creamy Horseradish sauce, 1tsp Dijon, dashes of balsamic dressing. Seasonings and dried parsley. so delicious.5 stars