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Shrimp Pasta Salad

Shrimp Pasta Salad

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Make this easy shrimp and pasta salad for your next picnic or potluck! It's made with tiny pink shrimp, pasta, a handful of veggies, and a simple lemon vinaigrette. Ready in 20 minutes.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Here’s a simple and easy shrimp pasta salad! Fresh basil, red bell peppers, red onions, and a lemon and olive oil dressing with just a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes play so well in this shrimp pasta. You can assemble the whole salad in the time it takes to heat the pasta water and cook the pasta.

Which Shrimp to Buy

Any small, cooked, peeled shrimp will do. When available, the best shrimp for this salad are the little “pink shrimp” from Maine (so called because they are pink even when they’re raw). Frozen cooked shrimp works well for this recipe because all you have to do is put it in cold water for a few minutes to defrost, and the salad is served chilled.

A Great Potluck Dish!

We’ve made this salad several times, most recently for a potluck where it was a big hit. If bringing to an outdoor gathering, do keep it chilled.

Tips for Making this Shrimp Pasta Salad

  • You can make this pasta salad a few hours ahead of serving. Keep it chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • This shrimp pasta salad is best eaten the day it’s made.
  • The pasta will absorb the dressing the longer it sits. If your salad seems a bit dry when you’re ready to serve, just toss in another tablespoon or two of olive oil and lemon juice.
  • You can used canned shrimp if that’s what you have, but be sure to rinse the shrimp and drain them very well to avoid a watery salad.
  • This recipe is easily doubled. Just double all of the ingredients, including the salad dressing.

More Great Pasta Salads for You to Try!

  • Greek Pasta Salad
  • Shrimp, Bacon, and Avocado Pasta Salad
  • Pasta and Bean Picnic Salad
  • Pasta Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep the ingredients while you heat the pasta water and cook the pasta.

You can easily double the pasta amount if you want to stretch the salad further.

The salad is best the same day it is made, otherwise the basil is a bit wilt-y, and the pasta a bit sticky.


  • 1/2 pound bow-tie (farfalle) or orecchiette pasta, or other short pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds small frozen, already cooked and peeled shrimp (if available, pink shrimp aka Maine shrimp)
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves (loosely packed)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • Black pepper to taste


1 Thaw the shrimp: Defrost frozen shrimp by placing them in a bowl of cold water. Keep chilled until needed.

2 Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta in well salted water (1 tablespoon salt for every 2 quarts water) until al dente, a bit firmer than you would normally eat. (The pasta will absorb some of the salad dressing and soften further after cooking.)

Rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and put into a large bowl.

3 Assemble the salad: Rinse the shrimp and drain well. Add them to the bowl with the pasta and mix. Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix until well combined.

4 Chill and serve: Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving. Serve chilled.

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Recipe Summary

  • 10 ounces dried campanelle pasta, spaghetti, or bow-ties (about 3 cups)
  • 1 ½ pounds cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1 2.25 ounce can sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
  • 4 roma tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 recipe Citrus Vinaigrette (see recipe below) or 1-1/4 cups bottled Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions drain. Rinse with cold water drain again.

In a large bowl combine pasta, shrimp, celery, onion, sweet pepper, and olives. Stir in tomato wedges. Pour Citrus Vinaigrette over pasta mixture and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Stir before serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts (Shrimp Pasta Salad)

What You Will Have to Make Shrimp Pasta Salad

All you want are a couple of recent components to place this wonderful pasta salad collectively!

  • Rotini Noodles: I like utilizing rotini noodles as a result of they’re enjoyable to eat and the sauce will get trapped within the corkscrews, permitting for every chunk to be flavorful!
  • Celery: Diced into very small items.
  • Purple Bell Pepper: Provides sweetness and crunchy texture to your salad.
  • Purple Onion: With a slight kick, this can give your salad a tremendous brightness and add to the feel.
  • Cooked Salad Shrimp: Precooked shrimp makes this recipe even simpler to place collectively. I like utilizing small shrimp to match the scale of the noodles and veggies. If you would like extra meat, you possibly can go for massive or jumbo shrimp as a substitute. Like with different kinds of seafood, in case your shrimp smells like ammonia or has a slimy, sticky coating on the surface, it shouldn’t be used.
  • Mayonaisse: Will add a creaminess to your dressing.
  • Juice and Zest of Half a Lemon: Recent is finest!
  • Chopped Dill: Provides excellent summery zest to your pasta.
  • Salt and Pepper: To style.

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat farfalle
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread shrimp and asparagus in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet sprinkle with pepper and salt. Roast until the shrimp are opaque and the asparagus is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain rinse with cold water.

Combine the shrimp-asparagus mixture, pasta, shallots, Parmesan and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire in a small bowl add to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges.

What You Will Need to Make Shrimp Pasta Salad

All you need are a few fresh ingredients to put this amazing shrimp pasta salad together! It is tasty, fresh and everyone will love it. Use the recipe card below for all the ingredient measurements you need!

  • Rotini Noodles: I like using rotini noodles because they are fun to eat and the sauce gets trapped in the corkscrews, allowing for each bite to be flavorful!
  • Celery: Diced into very small pieces.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds sweetness and crunchy texture to your salad.
  • Red Onion: With a slight kick, this will give your salad an amazing brightness and add to the texture.
  • Cooked Salad Shrimp: Precooked shrimp makes this recipe even easier to put together. I like using small shrimp to match the size of the noodles and veggies. If you want more meat, you can opt for large or jumbo shrimp instead. Like with other kinds of seafood, if your shrimp smells like ammonia or has a slimy, sticky coating on the outside, it should not be used.
  • Mayonaisse: Will add a creaminess to your dressing.
  • Juice and Zest of Half a Lemon: Fresh is best!
  • Chopped Dill: Adds perfect summery zest to your pasta.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.

Using Fresh Dill

Fresh dill brings this shrimp pasta salad to life! If you’ve never used the fresh herb, it’s really easy to work with and enhances any dish. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Find it at your local market in the produce section OR grow your own.
  • In the market, it comes in long stems with feathery leaves of the dill weed coming off the stem.
  • I’ve found the easiest way to cut small amounts for recipes like this is to use kitchen shears or a pair of clean scissors.
  • Clip the feathery leaves into approximately 1/8 inch pieces until you have the amount you need.
  • Don’t use the thick stems, just the feathery leaves.
  • If you can, allow the salad to refrigerate overnight the flavor and fragrance of the dill grows stronger as it sits and really enhances whatever dish you’re using it in.

Cold Shrimp Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are always there for you. It is so easy to whip some up for the masses right before a potluck, with no hassle storage and transportation. But it is time to give your salad an upgrade and bring in light, summery flavors like fresh dill, lemon, and shrimp! These simple ingredient swaps are sure to make your pasta salad a crowd-pleaser. This quick and easy Shrimp Pasta Salad still comes together in minutes, but will impress your friends and family with its refined, zesty flavor!

I always love finding new pasta salad recipes because they really are the most versatile side dish. The best part is that you can add your own personal touches to your salad, whether it is a certain type of pasta, herb or vegetable! For more inspo, take a look at my Tuscan, Meditteranean, and Mexican pasta salads for more delicious variety!

Shrimp Louis Pasta Salad

Yield: Makes about 8 servings


3 cups spiral shaped pasta, uncooked
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup seafood cocktail sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 lb medium cooked shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato, making sure to de-seed it
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper (or green, if you prefer the flavor)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Cook pasta according to package directions drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ranch dressing, seafood cocktail sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper.

3. Stir in cooled pasta and remaining ingredients. Let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors develop.

Recipe Summary

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound large shell pasta
  • 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on (if desired)
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Add shrimp, and cook just until opaque throughout, about 30 seconds. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again.

Transfer pasta mixture to a bowl toss with cucumber and dill. In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, and Dijon season with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to pasta mixture, and toss to combine.

Classic Bay Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

This pasta dish? We love DeLallo’s whole wheat pasta, and keep many of their ingredients in our pantry. We also love my Classic Shrimp Salad with Thousand Island Dressing– yum!

You can buy bay shrimp (or maybe you call it baby shrimp) and freeze it.

Add in fresh veggies. Oh, and psst–the secret is in the dressing and pasta.

Serve with a side of pickled beets?

A richly textured and multi-colored salad, this recipe includes a perfect blend of shrimp, pasta and crisp veggies. So good!