Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

The last time I made this recipe, I made it for David’s grandpa – Ken. The truth of the matter is, he’s my grandpa too. I just love him. He loves many things; outdoors, hard work, hunting, but his most treasured possession is family. He spent countless hours being present with his grandsons and their families.

When we were new parents, Ken & Alice would “just happen to be in the neighborhood” and drop in for frequent afternoon visits. As a new mom, I often felt isolated and truly loved every minute of those surprise visits. If it wasn’t them visiting us, it was us heading 45 minutes north to visit them.

We always looked forward to our summer tradition of spending a week ((with the entire clan)) at the lake, hosted by Ken & Alice. Their greatest joy was sitting on the deck watching their sons, grandsons and all of the growing families – as we played, laughed, and – well, ate. 

Speaking of eating, teriyaki, cheese grits and tabouli (with pickle juice) was the shortlist of “Ken’s favorite meals”. And it’s especially thanks to his affinity for pickle juice that I started making this recipe. Ken passed into heaven in August of 2012. It doesn’t seem like 4 years should have had permission to pass without him, but time stubbornly proceeds. I really missed him too much to taste this pasta salad and then all of the sudden, I missed him so much that I could not seem to make it fast enough. 

And with that first bite, I could close my eyes and flash right to the last time I made it for Ken and remember the delight that washed over his face as I told him the star ingredient :: pickle juice. This recipe does that magic thing food can sometimes do – it feeds the heart. At least that is what it does for me.

Before we talk recipe details (and in honor of a very political year in our country), I can truthfully say this recipe is Great Grandpa Ken approved. 

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Start off by mixing the pasta salad dressing ::

  • mayo
  • dijon
  • ¾ beef bouillon 
  • white wine vinegar
  • pickle juice

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Boil one (1 pound) bag of your favorite dried pasta, according to package instructions.

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While your pasta is boiling, dice & chop the remaining ingredients. Here is a little tip for the onions ::

  • since the onions will be raw, after you chop them – place them under running water for 30 seconds. This little step will remove that harsh onion flavor that can overpower a recipe & linger on the breath in such an obtrusive way. ((Ain’t nobody got time for that!!))

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Add the chopped herbs, tomatoes & the star :: DILL PICKLES!

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Fold in the dressing, giving it all a good stir, and then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours until ready to serve. I have found that different types of pasta require different amounts of dressing – so be prepared to add another scoop of mayo & a few more splashes of pickle juice.

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The fresh dill & chives add that extra freshness and the crunch of those salty bits of dill pickle, mmm. I believe this is the perfect pasta salad! But even better than the taste is the memory of sharing it with one of my favorites. 

Dill Pickle Pasta
Serves 12
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Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
264 calories
33 g
12 g
12 g
6 g
2 g
143 g
649 g
4 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
143g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 12mg
4%
Sodium 649mg
27%
Total Carbohydrates 33g
11%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
3%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb cooked pasta (I used fusilli)
Dressing
  1. 2 T Dijon mustard
  2. 1 ¾ c light mayo (I prefer Hellman's)
  3. ¾ c dill pickle juice
  4. 1 ½ T white wine vinegar
  5. ¾ t beef bouillon
  6. 3 T HOT water
  7. a dash of Lawry's seasoning (optional)
  8. 3 T fresh dill, chopped
  9. 3 T fresh chives, chopped
  10. 2 T finely chopped sweet onion, rinsed*
  11. 6-7 dill pickle spears, cubed
  12. 1 ½ c cherry tomatoes, halved
  13. salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the beef bouillon in the hot water and then continue to combine all of the dressing ingredients, stirring thoroughly.
  2. In a large bowl, pour the dressing over the cooked pasta and add the remaining chopped ingredients. Taste and add salt & pepper according to your desired seasoning. Stir gently to combine, making sure the pasta is completely coated by the dressing**.
  3. Chill for 2 hours to overnight.
  4. Serves 12
Notes
  1. *rinsing the chopped onion under cold water for 30 seconds helps to cut down on that intense raw onion flavor.
  2. **if the pasta salad isn't saucy enough, add another scoop of mayo and a few tablespoons of pickle juice in order to reach your desired consistency.
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calories
264
fat
12g
protein
6g
carbs
33g
more
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/
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In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"