This delicious and healthy dill pickle pasta salad is a light and fresh take on the original. Made dairy free, gluten free, and packed with healthy omega-rich fats and veggies, it’s crunchy and colourful and loaded with nutrients!
A Healthy Take on Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Oy, what weird times we are living in. While the start of April has felt like nothing less than the twilight zone, I am pretty happy we’ve made it here. This month we finally get to move into our newly renovated house (woo hoo!) and it’s the early start of Spring (yes, Spring starts that late here in the Canadian prairies!) so I’m praying this snow goes away for good and the warm weather comes. Spring always brings lighter dishes into my kitchen as I naturally start veering away from the winter comfort food. It’s also the season of baby showers, brunches, and barbecues (given we will all be free to gather together again sooner than later…). That’s why this healthier dill pickle pasta salad is perfect for April. It’s a lightened up, crunchy, colourful and healthier take on the traditional dill pickle pasta salad, and it won my Dad over when I made it for the blog (that says a lot, as I’ve mentioned before, he’s a pickier eater than my toddler, ha!).
Ingredients in Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Traditionally, a dill pickle pasta salad is usually made with regular pasta, chopped pickles, cheddar cheese, onion, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Yep, it’s as rich and creamy as it sounds, loaded with dairy, tastes pretty amazing, but is far from the lightest, healthiest, and freshest pasta salad out there.
To make my own healthier version I’ve switched and swapped a few ingredients and added in a nice dose of crunchy veggies to add in more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-rich fats. I also decided to keep my version gluten free and dairy free for those who are trying to or need to avoid either. To make this healthy dill pickle pasta salad here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten-free pasta
- Fresh dill
- Dill pickles (I recommend using a brand that doesn’t contain the tatrazine additive)
- Dairy free cheddar cheese(I used Daiya brand)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
Creamy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Dressing
For the dressing I opted to swap out the sour cream and use another super creamy but much healthier alternative in combination with mayonnaise and dill. This superfood ingredient adds omega-3 fats, vitamins, and fibre. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s avocado! I also used honey to add some natural sweetness to the dressing and a touch of lemon for freshness. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious, healthier creamy dill pickle salad dressing:
- Mayonnaise (I used an olive oil based mayo)
- Lemon juice
- Dill pickle juice
- Fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
Tips for Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
When it comes to making a delicious, healthier pasta salad like this there’s a few things to keep in mind!
- Making Ahead: Often, pasta salads are made a day or two ahead of an event like a baby shower or BBQ. I always like this idea because the flavours intensify over time but the salad can also get a little dry as the pasta and other ingredients soak up the dressing. If you plan to make this salad ahead of time I recommend making an additional 1/2 batch of the dressing and mixing it in an hour or so before serving, that way the salad will keep a nice, creamy consistency.
- Storage: This salad is best stored in the fridge once made and if there are any leftovers after serving, it will last for up to 5 days.
- Veggie Add-Ins: If you want to get creative feel free to add in any other veggies of choice (think green peas, shredded carrots, and celery). The sky’s the limit!
Have you already begun making and enjoying Spring-inspired recipes? I’d love to know what you are making in your kitch! Tell me about it in the comments section and be sure to pin the photo below to save this recipe for later and of course, share the love!
Have a wonderful day!
Christal // NITK