Can't wait for the Minnesota State Fair? Make your own pickle dog

It's a Minnesota State Fair favorite with good reason! The humble pickle dog is three layers of absolute deliciousness.  Nordic food expert Patrice Johnson stopped by the Buzz with her recipe and ideas to use all that leftover pickle juice as well.

Faux State Fair Pickle Dogs

  • 6 to 8 dill pickle spears
  • 6 to 8 slices deli-sliced pastrami
  • 12 ounce package whipped cream cheese (use plain, or try a savory herb flavor)
  • Optional (add a sprinkle of any of these seasonings to your cream cheese before wrapping the pickle): fresh dill springs, Everything Bagel seasoning, chopped pickled jalapenos. 


  1. Lay pickle spears and pastrami in single layers on paper towels to remove excess liquid.
  2. Place a slice of pastrami onto a cutting board. Layer a generous tablespoon cream cheese mixture across the center of the pastrami. Put a pickle spear in the center and roll the pastrami around the pickle. 
  3. Proceed with remaining pickles.
  4. To firm the cream cheese, refrigerate in an airtight container for a few hours before serving.
  5. To put a Nordic spin on your pickle dog and spread some additional cream cheese on a round of lefse, sprinkle with fresh dill, then wrap each pickle dog in the lefse. Slice into rounds. Serve chilled.

Got extra pickle juice? Replace some of the liquid in your favorite rye bread loaf with the pickle juice for a briny bread. Marinate chicken wings in the brine before frying or grilling. Add pickle juice to tomato soup, gazpacho, and Gibsons. Freeze pickle juice in popsicle trays for pickle pops, or make pickle juice ice cubes to chill your Bloody Marys. Boil potatoes in the brine before making your next potato salad. Brine boiled eggs, raw cucumbers, or blanched green beans. Add pickle juice to BBQ sauce, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce in place of plain vinegar.