The Summer Dill-Pickle Pasta Salad You Want on Your Next Cookout!

This Summer Dill-Pickle Pasta Salad is the best summer pasta salad you will have this year! It is perfect for a cookout side, and it is one of my favorite meal prep sides. It is also a great idea if you are looking for a bbq side for a crowd.

I absolutely love summer and barbecuing with friends. Recently, I hosted a big crowd and was wondering for days, what sides to make that are delicious and inexpensive.

This summer pasta salad is the perfect fit because it is big batch friendly (hello meal prep!) and alteration friendly in case someone has food restrictions.

bbq sides for crowd

What do you need?

The beauty of this dill-pickle pasta salad recipe is that you most likely already have most of the ingredients in your fridge! So even if you are keto or even dairy-free keep reading. I got you!

For the dressing

  • Mayo – feel free to use vegan mayo if needed.
  • Milk – coconut milk will work perfectly without altering the flavor too much.
  • Caper Brine – the juice of the caper jar. I know it sounds weird but it will give the dressing extra saltiness and flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Capers
  • Green Onion
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Celery

For the pasta

  • Short Cut Pasta – I like mini shells or penne, but any shortcut will work.
  • Lemon – use the zest and the lemon juice to give the pasta extra summer flavor.

Best way to cook the pasta

If you want your pasta to be fully and evenly cooked start by adding cold water to your pot. This ensures the water is heated evenly and there are no cold pockets left. Add salt in the water at the very beginning and be generous with it.

Always follow the instructions on the package. Every pasta is different and you want to make sure yours tastes the best.

Let’s make this macaroni dill salad

It is so simple and easy to make this delicious cookout side. First, combine the milk, mayo, and caper brine to make the dressing base. Then add the rest of the dressing ingredients and mix well. If you are wondering how to follow my short video.

Once the pasta is done cooking and you are ready to combine everything together and be done with cooking, simply add the lemon zest and juice to the pasta and toss. Add the dressing mix and toss to combine. Done!


Every time you are making bbq sides for a crowd be prepared to store and give away leftovers. If you are using this for meal prep keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can enjoy this easy summer pasta salad cold or at room temperature. I don’t suggest reheating.

This summer dill pickle pasta salad recipe is easy to make, can be used for grilled chicken side, it is a good side dish for ribs, and is the best pickle pasta salad recipe you will find.

Follow the recipe below and enjoy with friends!

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Summer Lamb Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce

Summer Dill-Pickle Pasta Salad

This super simple and flavorful Dill-Pickle pasta salad will be your new favorite bbq side dish! It is quick, inexpensive and can be made in big batches. See notes for vegan options.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 10 servings
Calories 90 kcal


  • 1 Pack Short Cut Pasta like fusili or penne
  • 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Caper Brine or pickle juice
  • 3/4 Cups Pickles chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Green onion chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Dill chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Capers chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Celery chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Lemons zested and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
  • 1 Big Pinch Salt to taste


  • Fill a large pot with cold water and salt with a big pinch of salt. Bring to boil and cook the pasta according to the package.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a large mixing bowl combine mayo, milk, caper brine and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the pickles, green onion, dill, parsley, capers, garlic, celery, and dijon mustard. Mix everything well.
  • When the pasta is done add the lemon zest and juice and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss until the pasta is covered.


For vegan options use plant-based pasta like bean pasta or lentil pasta. Substitute the milk for coconut or soy milk. Use vegan mayo. 
Storage – Store in the fridge for up to 7 days in an air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months. No need to reheat before enjoying. 
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