This Shrimp Pasta Salad has it all: creamy, tangy dressing over cooked pasta, shrimp, bell peppers and cucumbers.
There’s nothing like a creamy seafood pasta salad for BBQs or potluck side dish. Because it is served chilled, this pasta salad is a refreshing summer dish. There is no hard and fast rule on when you serve shrimp pasta salad, so you can easily make it ahead of time and enjoy it whenever you want!
This shrimp pasta salad is both creamy and crunchy with yellow and red bell peppers, fresh cucumber and chopped celery. I like to use small shrimp so you get more in every bite, but you can use whatever size you’d like.
step by step instructions
Follow these step by step instructions for easy shrimp pasta salad.
- In a large bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Chill while you cook the pasta and shrimp.
- In a separate bowl add in cooked shrimp, pasta and veggies.
- Add back in the chilled dressing.
- Mix and refrigerate before serving.
How to cook shrimp for shrimp pasta?
The easiest way to cook shrimp for this pasta salad is by adding the shrimp during the final minutes of cooking the pasta.
Let them sit in the hot pasta water for about 2 to 3 minutes or until they turn pink.
Drain and use once cool. Moreover, you can also sauté the shrimps in a little bit of olive oil.
- shrimp– lump crab meat or imitation crab
- mayonnaise– use sour cream for a cool, refreshing taste
- bell peppers– try sweet peppers or poblano peppers
- Herbs and spices– add fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, or cilantro to this salad. Moreover, you can add spices like Cajun seasoning or old bay seasoning, cayenne, cumin, etc., for more flavor.
How to make this dish extra creamy?
Always use premium quality mayonnaise for a creamier salad. Plus, you can always increase the amount of mayonnaise. Some people like to combine mayonnaise with sour cream for extra creaminess.
Because of the creamy dressing base, I won’t recommend you freeze this salad.
You can store the leftover salad in an air-tight container for a day but never freeze it. Always enjoy a fresh salad.
what to serve with shrimp pasta salad
This dish is best served at cookouts or as a cold side/appetizer.
Serve shrimp pasta salad with burgers, hot dogs or BBQ chicken. Also try with other seafood favorites, like salmon patties, tilapia, and crab cakes.
Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 3 cups pasta cooked
- 1 lb small shrimp cooked
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 3 celery stalks diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp ketchup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika ground
- ½ tsp cajun seasoning optional
- To make creamy salad dressing mix all the ingredients mentioned under dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl add cooked shrimps, cooked pasta, cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, and celery. Add salad dressing and carefully mix to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to preference.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Garnish with chopped parsley; Serve and enjoy!
- It is advisable to consume this dish fresh. However, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container for 1 day in the refrigerator.
- Freezing is not recommended.
- I’ve used rotini pasta here but you can swap it with fusilli, or, penne, or any other pasta with deep grooves for holding the sauce.
- I’ve used small bite-size shrimp in the recipe as it makes the salad easier to eat. But, you can also use larger shrimp that have been diced into bite-size pieces.
- You can add or omit different ingredients in the salad as per your liking. For example – you can add veggies such as red or green onions, corn, jalapeños, etc. You can even add a tsp of old bay seasoning or Cajun seasoning for an added flavor.
- You can use fresh or frozen shrimps (defrosted and dried). If using frozen shrimp just make sure to cook them or use the pre-cooked ones.
- To cook shrimp: Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp and let them cook for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink. Drain and set aside until cool.
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