Shrimp pasta salad is a popular favorite that rises high above other pasta salad recipes. That cool, creamy base mingles tangy flavors and textures that are unmatched in other pasta recipes.
Shrimp pasta salad is full of intense flavors that blend shrimp, pasta and crisp summer veggies into one of the most unique shrimp pasta recipes ever! It is perfect for friendly parties, potlucks or even midweek meals.
This light, refreshing pasta salad recipe tempts the taste buds and pleases the palate with a taste of fresh bay shrimp elevated by a zesty homemade dressing that is truly unforgettable.
Let me show you!
I love that shrimp pasta salad offers a cool, refreshing taste of the sea without being fishy. I can almost feel the ocean breeze with every bite! That cool, tangy dressing wakes up the sense and prepares them to enjoy the different textures and flavors all mingled together into one amazing dish. Here are some other great reasons to love this recipe:
- It is protein packed
- Lots of crisp summer veggies
- Works as a side dish or a meal
- Comes together quickly
This creamy shrimp pasta recipe uses ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard or refrigerator to create a universally delicious dish. Preparing it is easy without the need for any special kitchen gadgets and it takes less than 20 minutes to put it together.
Shrimp Pasta Salad Old Bay Ingredient Notes
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 has been the cornerstone of cooking seafood for three quarters of a century.
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 seafood decomposes, creating an unpleasant smell in the process. Whether you buy fresh or frozen, your seafood should not have a strong odor.
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.
Storing shrimp pasta salad is as easy as tossing it in the fridge in an airtight container with a secure lid. Light doesn’t bother this recipe like air and moisture which speed up decomposition.
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 like a yummy little social group. 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.
How Long Can You Keep This?
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.
Tweaking this shrimp pasta salad to your liking isn’t difficult but it should be subtle to maintain the integrity of the recipe. 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. Pasta salad recipes are pretty flexible when it comes to the ingredients but too many changes can compromise the taste of your dish.
Can I Make This With Pesto?
Making shrimp pasta salad with pesto is common but then it is no longer my famous shrimp pasta salad! If you just love the rich, irresistible flavor of pesto there are some other lovely recipes you might enjoy!
For instance, pesto shrimp pasta is fantastic, and the recipe is such that it compliments all the deep incredible flavors of the pesto without covering up the shrimp. Pesto pasta salad is another favorite at family dinners and potlucks.
Can I Try Shrimp Pasta Salad Italian Dressing Style?
Pasta Salad With Italian Dressing is a fantastic recipe and there is no shame in adding some shrimp to up the protein factor! However, shrimp pasta salad is traditionally made with a cream-based dressing and this recipe adds a tangy flavor twist.
Of course, I know that some may prefer the vibrant characteristics of Italian style dressing and I say go for it! Just keep in mind that it won’t taste like this recipe.
What Other Proteins I Can Try?
Adding protein to pasta salad is an easy way to up the nutrition ante and make it a meal instead of a side dish! This shrimp pasta salad is absolutely scrumptious with crab meat and even chunks of fresh cooked tuna steaks.
Of course, you can use my dedicated recipe for tuna pasta salad to ensure an incredibly delicious dish that will knock your socks off! It adds a little variety to the traditional tuna salad recipe, and we all know that variety is the spice of life!
Chicken Pasta Salad is another protein-packed recipe that makes a great lunch and a delicious way to feed a crowd. If you make it once, you are going to get requests!
Can I Turn This Into Scampi?
Unfortunately, I’d have to say that you can’t really ‘turn’ this recipe into scampi. Scampi is traditionally a hot dish full of garlic and butter – the total polar opposite of my shrimp pasta salad.
But, if you’ve got scampi on the brain then your taste buds won’t rest until you get some and making my baked shrimp scampi will turn your next meal into something fit for a king (or queen)! Creamy shrimp scampi is an exquisite variation of the traditional dish, but it is so rich and delicious you won’t need dessert – I promise.
Can I Use Alfredo Sauce Instead?
Using alfredo sauce doesn’t really work with shrimp pasta salad because it gets too thick in the fridge and the cheesy flavor doesn’t always marry well with the ketchup. Sometimes they just don’t play nice together!
However, Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo makes a fabulously satisfying meal that is full of deep rich flavors that practically dance down to your tummy. You could also make shrimp alfredo and serve small portions as an appetizer or make it a meal. Shrimp mingles well with the creamy cheesy goodness of alfredo sauce!
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 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 1-4 hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve
Shrimp pasta salad is one of my favorite pasta salad recipes. Its tangy flavors are intense, and they offer that extra something that people just can’t put their finger on. Pasta salad recipes are simple to make and incredibly satisfying, offering a myriad of delightful flavors. Here are some of my other favorite pasta salad recipes for you to try.
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Carbonara
- Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Shrimp pasta salad is a popular favorite among cold pasta recipes. It’s great for friendly gatherings and simple family meals at home. Its actually one of my favorite lunches. Make this as a protein-packed side dish or use it for the main course. The world is your oyster – enjoy it!