Pickles and pasta sounds more like a tongue-twister than an actual meal, but there’s no doubt that this pasta salad gets our tastebuds tingling! The cool vinegar crunch meets al dente pasta coated in creamy goodness in an unexpectedly delicious combination of goodness. Dill pickle pasta salad is a little bit retro, and that’s part of the fun; a little twinge of nostalgia makes the salad taste even better. We’ve put a modern spin on our salad by using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Not only does it help to lighten up the dish, it also adds protein, but we really like using Greek yogurt because it is so rich and creamy.
One ingredient that really makes this dish a retro classic is cheddar cheese; when I think of family gatherings from my childhood, I think of dishes like this and macaroni salads. Shredded flakes of sharp cheddar go surprisingly well with the dill pickle; we’re not sure why, but once again the tastebuds do a little happy dance with this combination of flavors.
For a little bit of heat to contrast against the coolness of the pasta, we like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper. And to top it all off, fresh dill, either mixed in or sprinkled over top as garnish is the final touch on a side dish that we absolutely love. Serve with dinner and pack any leftovers for lunch the next day; in fact, this is a salad that gets better with a little extra time in the refrigerator to soak up some of that pickle juice for flavor. Other than how good it tastes, we love to make this salad just because it’s fun to say “dill pickle pasta” – it just sounds good!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 8 oz dry shell or orecchiette pasta
- 1 cup baby pickles, sliced into rounds
- ½ cup pickle juice
- ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
- ⅔ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup pickle juice
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, toss cold pasta with ½ cup pickle juice and set aside, 5 minutes. Drain pasta and return to bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, sour cream, cayenne, ¼ cup pickle juice, chopped dill, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add pasta, onion, sliced pickle, and cheese to bowl. Toss everything together until evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
- Optional: Sprinkle more dill over top for garnish.
Recipe adapted from: Spend With Pennies