This ultra-creamy seafood pasta salad, loaded with bites of sautéed shrimp, freshly made shell pasta, and delicious veggies like peas and celery, is THE perfect Seafood Pasta Salad.
I do not want to brag and say it’s the best….but it’s the best. Easy peasy homemade lemon mayo dressing completes the salad with just enough tang and heat.
Why you will love making Seafood Salad!
If you haven’t noticed, this week, I have been on a seafood side dish recipe binge. It’s so easy to get used to the potato salad recipes and the macaroni pasta salad recipes that seafood, a great summer protein, can be completely forgotten.
This particular shrimp salad is creamy and, as far as a seafood salad recipe goes, is pretty light and a great summer side dish. Of course, anything with pasta in it will make you FULL, but the creamy mayo taste and the shrimp keep you feeling like it’s a light version of a summer pasta salad.
Perfect for serving a large ground, this crowd-pleasing side dish is absolutely the perfect side dish recipe for parties and get-togethers.
Shrimp Salad Ingredients
- cooked and deveined shrimp, cut in half
- diced celery and green onion
- frozen peas – defrosted but cold
- box of small pasta shells
Mayo Dressing Ingredients
- Hellmann’s Mayo
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- Bottled or Fresh Lemon juice
- Pinch of Cayenne – Do not worry about the cayenne giving you too much spice. It really doesn’t, and you shouldn’t leave it out. Just a pinch will do, but it makes all the difference in this pasta salad.
How to cook Seafood Pasta Salad with Shrimp
- Cook your pasta al dente, according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water, drain of excess water, and put pasta in the fridge to chill.
- Saute raw shrimp in a little light olive oil and butter till done. This typically takes around 6 minutes or so. Do not overcook your shrimp. Once done, place in the fridge to cool down.
- Once shrimp and pasta are both cooled, remove shrimp tail carefully to reserve as much meat as possible and cut shrimp into 2-3 pieces. You do not want the bites too small for seafood pasta salad.
- Place all your cut veggies, cold pasta, and cooked shrimp pieces into a bowl and stir to mix.
Creamy Salad Dressing
The dressing for this seafood pasta is super simple but also super tasty. It combines mayo, lemon, salt and pepper, and a little cayenne.
- Add mayo, lemon juice, cayenne, and seasoning into a mixing bowl and whisk together until all ingredients are well combined.
- Combine homemade creamy dressing and Seafood Salad (which includes cooked pasta) together.
- Pour mayo dressing onto shrimp seafood salad and mix thoroughly, making sure you cover all the pasta and shrimp. If you want to add additional dressing for a thicker base, you can make another batch and add more.
- Refrigerate shrimp pasta salad for 4 hours before serving (if possible) so flavors can marinate and the salad can chill in the creamy sauce. Before serving, mix one last time, so there is no settling of dressing.
Expert Pasta Salad Tips
- This creamy seafood salad can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
- If you purchase the deveined shrimp, it cuts out the time. While you always want to make sure your shrimp is cooked (as with all seafood) properly, it really doesn’t take that long. I think mine took about 6-7 minutes with some light olive oil, a little butter, and some salt.
- When I am making pasta that has added proteins like seafood, shrimp, or even chicken, once I make the protein, I sit it in the fridge to cool down. Otherwise, when you add dressings and mayo, they can get watery, and no one likes that.
- Want more heat? Add red pepper flakes.
- Want more crunch and color? Add diced bell pepper (we recommend red) or
- If serving as a potluck side dish, adding a sprig of fresh parsley to the bowl looks nice.
Seafood Salad Variations
Looking to vary your pasta from shrimp to something else? Personally, nothing tastes better to me in a pasta salad than shrimp.
But if you prefer to try another seafood idea, other options would include:
- Imitation Crab Meat
- Real Crab Meat
- Cut up lobster
Related Seafood Recipes
- An old-fashioned classic, everyone loves a creamy tuna pasta recipe!
- One of the best salmon recipes in the air fryer you will EVER eat.
- The ultimate cheesy asparagus casserole with shrimp – what a side dish.
- Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t like seafood that much.” Bring this Shrimp Pesta Pasta salad recipe then – it’s creamy, bold, and will when over the naysayers.
- This Cream Cheese and Shrimp dip only takes 10 minutes to add to the appetizer table.
- If you want to keep it light and bright, try my Mediterranean Shrimp Salad Recipe!
- Thick and creamy tuna dip that is great to serve with pretzels or potato chips.