This shrimp pasta salad is a great summery twist on a classic—a cool, creamy dressing, crisp veggies, and plenty of shrimp! Pasta salad, please! Especially in warmer weather, I love a pasta salad.
The Best Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe
If you love pasta salads as much as I do, try my taco pasta salad, tuna pasta salad, Greek pasta salad, or take it in a whole new direction with dill pickle pasta salad. I promise you’ll love them all! ♥
Don’t Skimp on the Shrimp! This shrimp pasta salad is a light supper that leaves you satisfied. The pasta and protein are balanced with fresh summer vegetables, and a decadent dressing with a little zip brings everything together. It’s the perfect combination of textures and flavors.
I love this salad because it comes together so quickly and is a great make-ahead dish. It’s equally great to serve to a crowd, (aka potluck perfect!), to keep in the fridge for a busy week as a side dish, or make it a main with some greens or a piece of toasty bread. Perfect for a day at the beach—or for when you are just wishing that you were seaside.
Who knew that a simple shrimp pasta salad could do so much?
What Ingredients Are In Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Old Bay Seasoning – Making awesome shrimp pasta salad means using Old Bay Seasoning in the dressing. Old Bay Seasoning is a unique blend of 18 different herbs and spices that have been the cornerstone of cooking seafood for three-quarters of a century.
- Lemon Zest
- Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper
- Farfalle Pasta – Preparing this is always better when the pasta is spot on. Cooking your farfalle pasta al dente will do the trick! This means it should be just a little firm in the middle. Follow the package directions to cook.
- Red Onion
- Green Onions
- Frozen Peas
- Fresh Dill
- Cooked Shrimp – Using fresh shrimp is another secret to making an incredible shrimp pasta salad. Really fresh seafood doesn’t have a smell, contrary to the belief of many. Nitrogen-containing chemicals called amines are released as the seafood decomposes, creating an unpleasant smell in the process. Whether you buy fresh or frozen, your seafood should not have a strong odor.
Storing and Freezing
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? According to the USDA, shrimp pasta salad is safe to eat up to 4 days after preparation when it is stored properly. Proper storage includes a shallow airtight container with a secure lid in a refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Can You Freeze This? Unfortunately, you can’t freeze your fully assembled shrimp pasta salad because of the zesty cream base and the fresh veggies. Mayo tends to separate when you freeze it and fresh veggies are just never quite the same! If it makes things easier, you can freeze the cooked shrimp and pasta in convenient pre-portioned packages that are ready to go when you are.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This tangy shrimp pasta salad tastes best when it has had a few hours to sit in the fridge so all the flavors can mingle together. Meal prep can be a breeze, too.
- Assembling the dressing can be done a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Chopping the veggies only takes a minute but this can also be done early. I like to store mine in a mason jar right next to the dressing in the refrigerator.
- If you have cooked and frozen the pre-portioned pasta and shrimp, set aside time to slow thaw them in the fridge before assembling it.
- Pasta Shape. You can use any shape of pasta. Elbow macaroni or penne works well also.
- Substituting lime juice for lemon juice or cilantro for dill are some small changes that won’t completely change the recipe.
- Leaving out the onion is common as some people just don’t like onions.
- Switch the Shrimp. This salad is great with crab meat instead of shrimp. Or use both!
More Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Caesar Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Salad
If you make this delicious pasta salad, I’d love it if you snapped a photo and tagged me on Instagram, @gonna_want_seconds, or please share this recipe on Pinterest, Facebook, or Yummly! I really appreciate your support, my friends, 🙋🏼♀️! BTW….are you receiving our free newsletter with a free weekly meal plan?
Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 5 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- zest of two lemons
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta, uncooked
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and well drained
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 2 pounds large cooked shrimp, tails removed
- Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl until smoothly combined.
- Cook the pasta (8 ounces) according to package instructions just to al dente. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
- Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve.
This salad was a big hit at a girl’s lunch! I added half shrimp and half fresh crab and followed the recipe as written. It was so delicious, and everyone had seconds. We served it with crusty garlic bread, which was a perfect addition. Interestingly I gave some to my son, who text me later saying how much he loved it and then asked me if he was supposed to heat it. I told him it was a cold salad, but he had heated it and loved it. He said he saved half for his wife and was tempted to eat it 🙂 Thank you for a great recipe. It’s definitely a keeper!
Wow, that’s awesome, Kelly! Sooo great to hear it’s a huge hit with everyone!?
Was looking for a Cold Pasta and Shrimp Salad to bring to my Sons BBQ on Fathers Day.Found yours and going to give it a whirl! My question is ,can I prepare the evening before and refrigerate till a 1:00 pm the next day? Or should I prepare along with my coffee in the morning?
Hi Merlin. Yes, go ahead and prep it the night before. If it seems drier than you’d like at time of serving, just stir in a little milk.
Very excited about this recipe! Can’t wait to try.
Hi, Karly!! Thank you, I hope you like this pasta salad 🙂 <3
Made it. Awesomely easy, awesomely delicious
My grocery store didn’t have Old Bay, so I used a Creole seasoning. Also used BBQ sauce instead of ketchup, and bowtie like the photo. Big hit. Worked great.
Hi Mike. Wow, great adaptation! Your changes sound delish! I’m so very happy this was a big hit for you. Absolutely makes my day!! 🙂
Yummy! I will definitely try this!
I hope you like this! Enjoy 🙂
George R Hooper Jr says
Why does the recipe call for elbow macaroni while the photos clearly show bowtie pasta?
Hi, George, thanks for noticing. It’s already revised. Enjoy!
Oh, Gosh George!! You are so right. I got a little creative and changed it up when I photographed. It really works well with either. Sorry for the confusion. I’m going to change the pasta called for in the recipe, but feel free to use either. The elbows will likely have a bit of a thicker coating of dressing due to the shape and how it clings a bit differently to that shape. Thanks for your help George 🙂