This vegan dill pickle pasta salad offers a tangy twist on a classic macaroni salad. Pasta, pickles, vegan cheddar cheese + scallions are tossed in a tangy, creamy dill-pickle-laced dressing. This easy side dish comes together in 30 minutes and is the perfect side for a classic summer BBQ.
Chilled pasta salads are where it's at this summer.
Between the unrelenting steamy midwestern heat and a jam-packed calendar, my kitchen is currently only capable of churning out dishes that are served cool and made quickly.
Have you tried my Italian pasta salad or Southwest pasta salad yet? Both are super crowd-pleasing, but this one has those two beat in terms of ease.
Cook the pasta. Chop a few things. Measure. Whisk. And you've got yourself a pickle-y pasta salad that'll enhance the good summer party vibes whether the crowd is vegan or not.
Even Sloane likes this pasta salad. Which is actually saying quite a lot because the girl doesn't like pasta.
Judging by the confused grimace she makes, it appears to be a textural mismatch with her palette. It's one of the only foods she's met that she doesn't care for. Perhaps her dad's Italian genes skipped a generation. 🤷🏻♀️
Although pasta's been a consistent no-go in the year Sloane's been consuming solids, pickles have always been an enthusiastic YES. The little lady loves anything tangy, garlicky, and vinegary.
Since this salad pairs one of her strong dislikes with one of her loves, I figured it was worth offering to her.
To my surprise and delight, she went wild for it. Saying and signing, "more, more, more" once the small bowlful I'd offered her had been emptied.
She's now enjoyed this salad on four occasions, and I'm wondering if it may have gotten her over the pasta-averse hump. Only time (and other pasta dishes) will tell...
This dill pickle pasta salad has all the classic elements—pickles, macaroni pasta, "cheese", creamy dressing—in one easy, vegan-friendly package.
It comes together in 30 minutes and requires just 7 ingredients. It's the perfect in-a-pinch item to throw together for a summer party or gathering, and your friends and family will never know it's vegan!
To make it, you'll start by boiling eight ounces of elbow pasta.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the other salad components and the dressing.
Dice up a whole heap of dill pickles. I use cornichons (sour baby gherkins) for this salad because they offer a super tangy bite, but regular dill pickles work great too.
Shred or dice vegan block-style cheddar cheese. I don't recommend using the pre-shredded bag cheese for this because the texture can be a bit odd and off-putting. Instead, use a block style cheese and grate it or dice it into rectangular cubes.
Thinly slice a few scallions.
To make the dressing, whisk together vegan mayonnaise, dill pickle juice, a bit of fresh dill, yellow mustard, black pepper, and cayenne (for an optional kick).
This dressing is very much on the thinner side—that's how it's supposed to be, so don't worry. As the pasta salad sits and chills in the fridge, it will absorb any excess dressing.
Add all the ingredients to a large serving bowl and toss to coat.
I like to serve this salad with a garnish of chopped dill and thinly sliced pickles, but that's totally optional. Just adds a touch of fancy eye-appeal.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #blissfulbasil on Instagram.
Vegan Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces uncooked elbow pasta (use gluten-free pasta if needed)
- 1 cup diced dill pickles or cornichons (i.e., mini dill gherkin pickles)
- 1 cup shredded vegan block style cheddar cheese (optional but recommended)
- ⅓ cup finely diced white onion or scallions
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise**
- ¼ to ⅓ cup dill pickle juice, to taste (I use ⅓ cup for a tangier dressing)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pinch cayenne (optional)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Strain, rinse thoroughly with cold water to cool, shake off excess water, and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pickles, cheese (if using), and onion. Add to the serving bowl with the pasta.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, dill, mustard, pepper, and cayenne (if using).
- Pour the dressing over the salad as desired and toss to coat. It will seem a bit thin and watery, but the pasta will soak it up once it's refrigerated.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. This pasta salad is even better after it's been refrigerated for a day, so feel free to make it in advance!
- Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Very excited to try this! I love pasta salads and I wouldn't have thought to make a pickle version.
Hope you enjoy it, Sarah!
Thanks for the recipe, Ashley. We loved this salad! My pickle-obsessed daughter was in heaven! Even my other kids who don't love pickles really enjoyed it. Best, Jamie
Jamie, this feedback makes my heart happy! Thank you for taking time out of your day to share. Wonderful to know your kids—pickle-obsessed and otherwise—all enjoyed it.
Sarah | Well and Full says
I love the idea of this salad!! I was never a huge pickle fan growing up, but now I can't get enough of that tanginess!
Thanks, Sarah! I hope you love it as much as I do.
Loved; I actually made it the very night you posted it. Took me back to the macaroni salads of my childhood picnics. Yummy!
Wonderful to know you enjoyed it, Connie! Isn't it amazing the way flavors can pull us back to distant memories? Love that. Thanks for taking the time to share! :)
I just happened to stumble upon your website recently and this was the first recipe I tried and WOWSERS! It was delicious.. Even my picky boyfriend was wowed over it.. He even ate all the leftovers, so now I have to make more. Can't wait to try your other recipes :)
So happy to hear you and your boyfriend enjoyed the recipe, Felisha! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts—means so much to me and is helpful for others hoping to make the recipe, too. :)
Celeste Jackson says
Well, I love pasta & I love pickles so I had to make this....and Loved it! Super easy & fast and delicious. Can't go wrong with this one.
Jennifer Mikkelson says
Loved it!! Great recipe. My 5 year old needs lunches packed and this is the perfect lunch for a kid that does not like sandwiches!
Jennifer, how funny is it that we both have kids who dislike the foods that most kids love?? No pasta for mine, no sandwiches for yours! :) So glad you're enjoying this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your thoughts and rating.
Amazing pictures! Dish looks delicious. Cannot wait to make this at home. Thank you for sharing.
Well thanks, Billy! Hope you enjoy it. Happy cooking! :)
Looks so good. Thank you for this! Definitely making this the next time I head to the grocery store.
Hope you enjoy it, Billy! :)
Jenn K says
Really liked it and will make it again! Thank you1 PS I used dried dill
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Jenn! Also, wonderful to know it worked well with dried dill. I've been wondering about that.
Yum! So good. I added a little agave and salt at the end to bring extra flavor and it reminds me so much of a Hawaiian mac salad. I also found it helpful to throw the pasta back in the pot after straining with the cheese and sauce components to actually melt the cheese and bring the sauce together.