This lightened up Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is for all the pickle lovers out there! With plenty of summer veggies, fresh dill, and a yogurt-based dressing, this salad brings a satisfying crunch!
A Double Dose of Dill!
This pasta salad is packed with both dill and dill pickles – a double dose! The pickles provide both flavor and lots of crunch throughout. It’s lightened up with lots of fresh summer veggies and a creamy dressing made with yogurt.
Imagine it lined up with cold potato salad and a fruit tray at every summer BBQ. It’s a super easy cold salad to make ahead and bring to picnics or potlucks all summer long. If you’re like me and need a pickle on your burger, this makes a great side dish for a cookout!
Where are all my pickle lovers?!
I am a lover of dill pickles! My dad is too. He actually spent years (26 to be exact) guessing how many pickles were in the Mt. Olive jar at the North Carolina State until on his 27th try – HE WON! Read my mom’s blog post about the exciting day my dad got a pickle prize pack in the mail : ) I remember when we were little buying a GIANT pickle at the fair. Despite hot much I’m a pickle person, I’m not sure if that would be my choice of snack these days. Ha!
Please do not serve me bread and butter pickles. Never been a fan! If you dislike pickles like I don’t care for onions, you’re going to want to skip this post. But if a crunchy spear on the side of your sandwich plate makes your lunch, then this pasta salad is for you!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Recipe
Dill is one of my very favorite herbs!
We are growing dill in our porch herb garden this year. I love to toss handfuls of it into salads – like this chicken grain bowl or blend it into a herby salad dressing like this one.
Back when it was tiny!
- Fusilli pasta – rotini works too! Choose a shape that the sauce will stick to.
- Baby dill pickles – you can also use spears or even a giant dill pickle.
- Bell pepper – I used orange for color variety, but red, yellow, or even green work too.
- Cherry tomatoes – a mix of red and yellow mix is pretty!
- Baby spinach – a big handful adds some greenery and great nutritional punch.
- Fresh dill – extra for sprinkling and garnish!
- Full-fat Greek yogurt – you can use lower fat if that’s all you have, but full fat is best for flavor.
- Duke’s Mayonnaise – I added just a quarter cup to kick up the richness a notch. Do not use Miracle Whip or anything fat-free here. If you hate mayonnaise you can leave it out, but know that your dressing will be thinner.
- Lemon juice – just a squeeze!
- Dill pickle juice – for all that pickle flavor!!
- Fresh dill – you can use dried dill for the dressing, but this recipe really needs at least a sprinkle of fresh dill to taste like summer.
Cook pasta to al dente
Usually 10-12 minutes of boil time. Make sure your water is very salty to season the pasta! Return the cooked pasta back to the pot after draining and allow to cool.
Chop pickles, bell pepper, tomatoes, spinach, and dill. Add to pasta pot.
Make the dressing
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
Pour dressing over pasta salad and mix everything together.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with lots of extra fresh dill!
Tips For How To Make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Choose whole wheat or chickpea pasta for extra nutrition
I used a classic durum pasta, but if you’re serving to a health nut crowd, feel free to use the most nutrition-packed pasta you can find!
Or make it a bit more classic ; )
If you’ll be bringing this dish to a crowd who isn’t so interested in saturated fat, you can adjust the ratio of yogurt and mayo to be heavier on the mayo. Sour cream would also work instead of yogurt.
You can also add in some diced or shredded sharp cheddar cheese for a classic pasta salad ingredient. Fresh summer corn cut off the cob would be great. And I think a crumbled cheese like goat cheese or feta would be nice too.
Add protein to make it an all-in-one dish
Diced grilled chicken would be fabulous added to this salad to make it more of a meal. Or for a vegetarian option, add beans, hard-boiled egg, or baked tofu.
Make the day of
Since the veggies will be freshly cut, I recommend making this dish the day you’ll eat it or the night before. If you have a longer stretch to wait, you can leave the ingredients separate and mix them together on the day of. Before serving, be sure to mix everything back together.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 16 ounce bag of Fusilli pasta
- 1 cup finely diced baby dill pickles
- 1.5 cups finely diced bell pepper about 1 small bell pepper
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes about 1.5 cups quartered
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
- 1-2 tbsp fresh dill for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing
- 1 cup full fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dill pickle juice
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a pot of very salty water on the stove. Cook pasta to al dente per package directions, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Allow to cool slightly.
- Chop pickles, bell pepper, tomatoes, spinach, and dill. Add to pasta pot.
- Make the dressing. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
- Pour dressing over pasta salad and mix everything together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with lots of extra fresh dill!
Louise RD says
Will def need to try this out, thanks! LOVE dill pickle spears…..totally dislike bread & butter ones!
We are a house divided: I like dill pickles. My husband likes bread and butter pickles.
Cheryl Morgan Maxey says
I make this all the time and substitute out the pasta and use cauliflower (cut up and softened in the microwave). It is one of my favorites! I love the pickles in there. I typically add a little cheddar cheese and extra fresh dill and sometimes walnuts for crunch.
Kath Younger says
Clever idea with cauli!!!
Pickle lovers unite! I love this idea, Kath. I made it tonight but for some reason it didn’t taste all that dill pickly. I’m not sure if it was my brand of dills or what. I do plan to try it again and use pickle juice in place of the lemon juice you call for–maybe that will help. (And more pickles, ha!)
Great idea about adding protein to make it more of a meal: I added chickpeas and it worked great.
Kath Younger says
If you’re a hard-core pickle lover, double the pickles and dill!
My plan exactly! 🙂
I make a dill pickle coleslaw that you’d probably love! Chopped pickles and pickle juice added to a standard coleslaw recipe. Super yummy!
Kath Younger says
Oooo I would love that!