This gluten free Dill Pickle Pasta Salad recipe is a great easy side dish for summer. It's made with a creamy mayo dressing and fresh dill!
This Dill Pasta Salad is my attempt to hop on the pickle bandwagon. It's prepared with a creamy dressing flavored with mayo and lots of fresh dill. This recipe is made to serve alongside burgers, ribs, or anything you'd find at a BBQ.
Over the past few years dill pickles have gained in popularity. Growing up they always seemed like an afterthought - Something that was thrown onto your plate alongside the sandwich or burger you ordered at a restaurant.
The heat of the sandwich or burger inevitably heated those sad little pickle slices and rendered them unappealing. More often than not they were left uneaten on the plate and tossed into the garbage.
I am happy to report that the days of those last-minute pickle slices are over. We as a culture seem to have embraced the dill pickle. This once overlooked condiment has now become the star of so many dishes from dips to soups to pizza.
It's time for the dill pickle to shine.
What Is The Best Pasta For Pasta Salad?
I don't know about you guys but I love summer BBQ side dishes like Crunchy Coleslaw, Potato Salad, and Macaroni Salad. If it's tossed in a creamy mayo dressing and served alongside a plate of ribs I'm there.
Maybe it's because I live in Minnesota where summers are so short that we basically covet and celebrate everything about them.
The best type of pasta to use for pasta salads are short varieties such as Rotini, Fusilli, Farfalle, and Penne. These short pasta varieties are easy to prepare and eat in addition to being effective at soaking up the dressing that is poured over them.
This recipe calls for gluten free pasta but you can simply substitute regular pasta if gluten is not an issue for you. It's important to use a quality brand of gluten free pasta that holds up once it's cooked.
Here's What You'll Need To Make It:
- 16 oz. Gluten Free Pasta such as Rotini, Farfalle, or Penne (use regular pasta if not GF)
- 1 cup Mayo
- 1.5 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Pickle Juice
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp. Onion Powder
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp. Pepper
- ¼ cup Fresh Dill + more for garnish
- 1 cup Kosher Dill Pickles (about 5-6 baby dill pickles)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
How To Make The Dressing
The dressing for this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad couldn't be easier to make. I love this dressing because it's creamy but light at the same time.
Even though it's prepared with mayo the addition of dill and fresh lemon juice makes the whole dish kind of refreshing.
- To make the dressing combine 1 cup mayo, 1.5 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. pickle juice, ½ tsp. garlic and onion powder, a pinch of salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Combine all of these ingredients with a fork or small whisk.
- Finely chop ¼ cup of fresh dill and add it to the dressing. Stir until the dill is completely incorporated.
A Few Things:
- You can use any kind of vinegar you have on hand. I love white wine vinegar because the flavor is mild but you can use distilled white vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider, or any vinegar you like.
- Dried dill may be substituted for fresh dill if fresh isn't an option. Substitute 1-2 Tbsp. Dried Dill for the fresh (depending on how strong you like the flavor). I DO recommend fresh dill if you can find it because it adds a certain amount of freshness to the dish.
- The dressing may be prepared a few hours ahead and stored in the fridge or right before serving.
Does Pasta Need To Be Rinsed?
The next step is to prepare the pasta.
- Simply prepare 1 16 oz. box of gluten free pasta (or regular pasta if not GF) according to package instructions.
- It's best to drain the pasta as soon as it's done so that it does not become overcooked. Overcooked pasta can make for mushy pasta salad.
- Pour the cooked pasta into a strainer and rinse it with cold water. This will stop the cooking process and make for better texture and flavor overall.
Pasta is not normally rinsed after cooking but it's recommended when making pasta salad. Be sure to shake any excess water from the pasta after rinsing.
Can Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Be Made The Day Before?
You cannot have Dill Pickle Pasta Salad without the star ingredient - Dill Pickles!
Once the pasta is cooked and rinsed and the dressing is prepared it's time to assemble the salad.
- Simply place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Toss the pasta until it is completely coated in the dressing. You can add as much or as little of the dressing as you like.
- Roughly chop 1 cup of baby kosher dill pickles (about 5-6 pickles) and add them to the salad. Toss until the pickles are combined.
- To liven up the flavors even more cut a lemon in half and squeeze it over the salad (careful to remove any seeds that may fall in there) and garnish with more minced dill.
The great thing about this pasta salad is that it can be made the day before serving. There are no veggies in there that are going to get soggy so feel free to prepare it a day early.
Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge if you are making it the day before.
What To Serve With Dill Pasta Salad
I love this recipe because it's truly a versatile dish. It goes with anything that tastes great with dill pickles.
It's perfect served alongside grilled burgers like these Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers, Juicy Lucy, BBQ ribs, Grilled Chuck Steak or grilled chicken or grilled chicken wings. You can keep it vegetarian and serve it with something like BBQ Sweet Potatoes as well.
Pasta salads are always nice with summer veggie dishes like grilled corn, zucchini, asparagus, or something like this Southwest Black Bean and Corn Salad.
The tangy and vibrant flavors pair well with Shredded BBQ Chicken or Pulled Pork.
How Long Does Pasta Salad Last In The Fridge?
If you've got leftovers this dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
It does contain mayo so I would not recommend freezing this recipe.
Summer is all about fresh recipes and this one is full of vibrant flavors. The combination of the lemon and dill make this dish pop and the chopped dill pickles provide a great crunch.
Love Dill Pickles? Don't Miss These Awesome Recipes!
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad (Gluten Free)
- Prepare 1 16 oz. package of gluten free short pasta such as rotini, farfalle, or penne (can use regular pasta if not GF) according to package instructions. Be careful not to overcook the pasta or it the pasta salad may become mushy.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
For The Dressing:
- Finely mince ¼ cup of fresh dill and add to the dressing. Stir until completely combined.
- Roughly chop 1 cup of baby kosher dill pickles (about 5-6 pickles) and chop 1 lemon in half.
- Place the drained and rinsed cooked pasta in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss until completely coated (using as much or little dressing as you like).
- Add the chopped pickles to the pasta and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top (being careful to avoid adding the seeds). Toss until completely combined.
- To Serve: Garnish with extra minced fresh dill.