4.61 from 56 votes

Seafood Pasta Salad (Shrimp)

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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.

summer pasta salad with shrimp.

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
summer side dish ingredients in a bowl.

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.
creamy dressing in a bowl.

How to cook Seafood Pasta Salad with Shrimp

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place all your cut veggies, cold pasta, and cooked shrimp pieces into a bowl and stir to mix.
adding all ingredients to mixing bowl.

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.

  1. Add mayo, lemon juice, cayenne, and seasoning into a mixing bowl and whisk together until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Combine homemade creamy dressing and Seafood Salad (which includes cooked pasta) together.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
combining seafood salad recipe with 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.
shrimp pasta salad.
  • 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. 

4.61 from 56 votes

Seafood Pasta Salad with Shrimp


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Seafood pasta salad with creamy homemade mayo and lemon dressing is the perfect bite every time. With delicious shrimp, cold peas, pasta shells and a healthy crunch of veggies, this pasta salad is elevated to a gourmet side dish option for potlucks, picnics, and holiday meals.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound cooked shrimp cut into pieces
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup frozen peas defrosted but cold
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 1 box package of small pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 cup mayo
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

Seafood Salad

  • Cook your pasta al dente, according to the package, rinse with cold water and drain well. Put in the fridge to chill.
  • Saute uncooked 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 them 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 cut veggies, cold pasta, cold peas and cooked shrimp pieces into a bowl and stir to combine

Mayo Dressing for Pasta Salad

  • Add mayo, lemon juice, cayenne, and rest of the seasoning into a bowl and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Combine creamy mayo dressing and seafood salad together.
  • Mix thoroughly, making sure to 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 Seafood Pasta Salad for 4 hours prior to serving (if possible) so flavors can marinate and the salad can chill.
  • Prior to serving, mix one last time so there is no settling of dressing.
  • Salad can be stored in airtight container for 2-3 days

Video

Notes

  • ADDITIONAL SEASONINGS : Looking for some color? Try old bay seasonings or even a splash of paprika on this salad.
  • A bit of fresh dill seasoning is a great addition to seafood pasta salad for color and flavor. See the article for more ideas and variations. 
Thank you for visiting!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 348mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.61 from 56 votes

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6 Comments

  1. “For the love of all things, do not use Kraft.”
    Truth! and hilarious.

    1. Kraft is a sin. LOL!

  2. Would it be awful to use canned baby shrimp like in shrimp cocktail???

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I have never tried canned shrimp but if you like them, I don’t see why it would be a huge issue. You may need to double up if they are tiny.

  3. In your description you say you prefer large pasta shells but the recipe says to use small pasta shells… which is correct for the best results??? Also can you make it the night before to make sure all the flavors meld???

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      Good morning! I put the large shells under “variations” – the pictures are the smaller shells. I will update the post to be more clear.

      Trisha

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