The flavours of dill pickle and ranch together are a perfect match. Tossed with pasta and extra pickles, you’ve got a dish every pickle lover will want again and again!
Here’s the dill pickle debate again. I think there are only two classes of dill pickle people in the world. We have those that love them and then there are those that hate them. There is no middle ground.
In our home, dill pickles are treated with the utmost respect. I love them, but both John.e and McKenna LOVE them! If we were asked to name a new Greek God, his name would be something stupid like Pickleonia.
I’m not an extremely creative person when it comes to words, so I’ll leave the name-calling to John, since he’s so good at it! I’ll stick to my four C’s – cats, cooking, crocheting, and now cross stitch too!
Okay – enough! Back to the Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta. The first time I tried the dill and ranch flavour combination was when I made my Dill Pickle Ranch Chex Mix. That was 4 years ago. Looking at that post now, I realize that I desperately need to update the photos!
They’re like bacon and eggs. Or ham and cheese. Chocolate and peanut butter. Toast and jam. Salt and pepper. Tom and Jerry. Ice cream and sprinkles. You get my point! They just work together so well and create an explosion of flavour.
What type of dill pickle is best?
Well, Dear Reader, the best type of dill pickle for this Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta recipe is quite simply the dill pickle that you personally buy each time you buy pickles. I find some dills too salty, but if that’s the type you like, buy those.
Some dills are too dilly, but if that floats your boat, get those kind! For us, there’s only one brand of dills that we buy and have never bought any other brand for the past 7 years. They’re the Bick’s Polskie Ogorki. They have just the right amount of dill-salt-garlic ratio and they’re always crunchy.
Dressing a pasta salad:
Here are two things you should remember about making a pasta dish. If you plan to eat the pasta while it’s hot, a regular amount of sauce or dressing will do. If find that a 2:1 ratio works best.
For example, if I cook a 450 gram box of spaghetti noodles for the three of us, it measures out to just slightly over 2 cups of noodles each. I will top those 2 cups of noodles with 1 cup of sauce. It’s the perfect ratio every time.
If, however, you plan to serve the past salad cold, you need to keep one thing in mind. Once you mix the pasta with the sauce or the dressing, initially, it will look creamy. In fact, it might look like it has too much sauce.
But, you’d be wrong to think so. Once the pasta cools and everything marries together, some of the sauce becomes absorbed into the pasta and other ingredients, causing your pasta to look and taste a little dry.
To avoid this, always err on the side of too much sauce and everything in the world will be okay again. I also find that using sour cream rather than mayo in pasta salads help to keep the salad moist. The mayo dries up too much.
How to make the best dill pickle ranch dressing:
Number one – use sour cream and not mayonnaise. Number two – use buttermilk! Can ranch even be called ranch without buttermilk? I don’t think so! I have a Buttermilk Ranch Dressing that I use in my pasta, but just in case you haven’t seen it, I’ve written out the complete recipe below.
You can increase the seasonings if you prefer a stronger taste, or you can leave them out if you don’t like them. For best results, it’s preferred that you prepare the dressing exactly as written.
You may adjust the dry ingredients a little without affecting the moistness of the finished pasta dish. Just keep in mind that these adjustments will affect the flavour.
If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can make your own. Add half a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of whole milk. Stir to combine. It will not be as thick as store-bought, cultured buttermilk, but it will work in a bind.
If you don’t have any fresh dill you can substitute with dried dill. (Be sure to use dried dill weed, not dried dill seed!) This recipe calls for 1/4 cup of fresh chopped dill. To substitute, use 3-4 level teaspoons of dried dill weed.
Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta is meant for the serious dill pickle lover. It makes a great side to anything that pairs well with dill. Let’s see – pan fried salmon would be perfect with this dish, because salmon and dill are a perfect match!
Sometimes, I pan-sear chicken thighs in butter until browned. Then, I transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking the chicken all the through. Once done, I sprinkle over chopped fresh dill and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. This salad would be great with that chicken!
And, lastly, pasta dishes like this love a crowd! Prepare the dish and bring it to your next potluck, or place it on the picnic table at your next backyard bbq. Sit back, enjoy your company, and brace yourself for lots of compliments! Here’s the recipe!
Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta
- 1 cup 14% sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (plus more for garnish; optional)
- 5 large dill pickles, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 450 grams pasta, cooked according to package instructions and drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
- In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, dried chives, dried dill, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and fresh dill.
- Place the cooked pasta and the sliced dills in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and the pickles. Toss to combine.
- Transfer to food-safe container with a lid. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Serve chilled with chopped fresh parsley and fresh dill for garnish.