Pasta Salad

Pickle Pasta Salad Will Be This Summer’s Potluck Hit

Let's face it: Pickle juice makes everything better.

May 17, 2022

On the cusp of potluck season, with another year of mostly outdoor gatherings on the horizon, a recent viral TikTok video seems like a strong candidate for this summer’s trendiest dish: pickle pasta salad. The only thing cooler than this easy pantry recipe might just be that in the five days since the video on how to make it posted, it earned about two and a half million views, and even got a comment from Lizzo, whose music plays over the directions.

It's not necessarily a groundbreaking dish—after all, midwestern moms have been stirring pickles into creamy pasta and serving it for picnics and football games for ages. But the timing just hit the crowd hard: Everybody is clearly ready to start thinking about dishes that signify the sunshine season is here, and the simplicity of the recipe helps make it that much more enticing.

To make the pickle pasta salad, as per the video and Lizzo’s blessing, you cook a box of noodles, then strain and rinse the cooked pasta with cold water. Stir in pickle juice, chopped dill pickles, diced onion, and cubed cheese. Whip up a quick dressing of mayonnaise, sour cream, more pickle juice, fresh dill, and salt and pepper. Toss everything together to combine, gather your friends, and get excited for the beginning of outdoor entertaining season. Because, in the words of the video’s soundtrack and most famous commenter, it’s About Damn Time.

Have you tried putting pickles in your pasta salad? We want to hear your thoughts!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Clare Colley
    Clare Colley
  • Meganjoys
  • MBE
  • Penny
  • DeBee
Naomi Tomky

Written by: Naomi Tomky

The world's most enthusiastic eater of everything


Clare C. July 1, 2022
For those asking, I checked the comments and it's a 16-ounce box of pasta. (Good luck finding one! They're all 13.25 ounces or 14.5 ounces or some other random amount under 16 ounces.).
I still don't know what constitutes a "block" of cheese. Eight ounces? Sixteen ounces? (My favorite block of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar is 32 ounces). Any thoughts?
Meganjoys May 27, 2022
I watched the video a few times to get this:

1) Cook one box of noodles, strain & rinse with cold water
2) Add 1/3 cup pickle juice
3) Add 2 cups of chopped dill pickles
4) Add one small dice onion
5) Add one block of cubed cheese
6) Make a sauce of 1 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup pickle juice, 1 T. Dill weed, salt & pepper
7) Pour over noodles, mix, chill & enjoy
MBE May 27, 2022
Thanks!! I didn't have the patience to do that yesterday. Did they happen to say how many ounces the box of pasta contained? Lots of variation these days :-)
MBE May 27, 2022
Ok just watched it-and now I know why I'm not a Tik Toker!! Looks like no more than 12 oz of dried pasta.
Meganjoys May 27, 2022
It did not say, but I would imagine it’s a standard 16 oz box of macaroni shells or similar
MBE May 26, 2022
So where is the recipe???
Penny May 26, 2022
Ah, yeah, I'm one of those midwestern women. "But the timing just hit the crowd hard:" sounds like Mom and Grandma left out a key detail in teaching you girls how to make pasta/macaroni salad. LOL That's why theirs always taste better. Bonus tip: Also the pickle! Dill or sweet for your family tradition?
DeBee May 18, 2022
Of course. Black southerners have been adding pickles to their pasta salad like their potato salad and has passed on for generation. Some use sour cream, I don't.
Kathy W. May 24, 2022
My mom chopped up little sweet pickles in hers like my grandma. (Pacific NW). I use dill pickles or sweet relish. Now that I’m remembering them I’m going to buy some little sweet pickles for next time.