This easy shrimp pasta salad is packed with so much flavor. It's ready in 30 minutes and is perfect for parties, gatherings and potlucks.
If you're into shrimp recipes, you need to try today's shrimp macaroni salad recipe. And make sure to try our baked shrimp chermoula sauce, shrimp avocado salad and shrimp cakes with avocado dipping sauce. They're all perfect for any day of the week and are packed with amazing flavors.
About this recipe
Pasta salads including Tortellini Pasta Salad and caprese pasta salad, are perfect side dishes as well as a full meal when you don’t want to use the stove or oven to make a meal on a warm day. They're simple, easy and you can always easily customize them to your liking by adding ingredients that you love.
I love this creamy pasta salad recipe as a side dish to bring to gatherings and potlucks because it keeps well and is a good alternative to the usual macaroni salad that everyone has tried.
What I love the most about this recipe is that it’s so simple and quick to make (only 30 minutes!) and everyone loves it! The dill gives such a nice flavor to it and the lemon add just the right amount of tanginess.
Shrimp macaroni salad ingredients
- Shrimp: You want the shrimp to be raw, cleaned and deveined. Make sure to check out my tutorial on how to clean shrimp. It's best to use frozen shrimp unless you live in a coastal city where you have access to freshly caught shrimp.
- Pasta: I suggest using macaroni or shells for this recipe since the size is close to the shrimp.
- Herbs: You need parsley, dill and green onions or scallions. If fresh dill isn't available, use dried dill.
- Mayonnaise and sour cream: I used a combination of these two to have a lighter pasta salad. The combination of mayonnaise and sour cream will keep the flavor of the pasta salad fresh and prevent the mayonnaise from overpowering the flavor of the shrimp and other ingredients.
- Cook the pasta according to the packaging and let it cool completely.
- Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper and sear in a pan over medium heat for about five to seven minutes until they’re pink and curled.
- Once the shrimp and pasta are cool, mix them in a bowl with parsley, dill, green onions and dill pickles.
- Add in sour cream and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and cover with a plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
You can add different ingredients to this pasta salad according to your preference and liking:
- Vegetables such as celery, red onion or bell peppers would go very well with this shrimp salad.
- A drizzle of lemon or lime juice will give this salad the right kick and will make it absolutely tasty. And if you want the salad to have a kick, add some old bay seasoning.
- Looking for a lighter option? Use low fat mayonnaise and sour cream. The flavor will be just as good.
Frequently asked questions
You can absolutely make this creamy pasta salad a day before you're planning to serve it. Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
My preference is to cook the shrimp at home so I can add seasonings. However, if you're in a pinch, pre-cooked shrimp would work.
This shrimp pasta salad cannot be frozen as the texture and the flavor will change and it won’t taste good at all. Shrimp pasta salad is best served the same day.
Notes and tips
- You can use any type of macaroni or pasta to make cold shrimp pasta salad. I used elbow pasta because they look very good with the shrimp.
- This shrimp pasta salad with mayo is best served completely cold as shrimp and mayonnaise don’t do well with heat. If you’re planning to serve it outside such as picnic or barbecue, bring it to the table right before serving.
- If you don’t care for sour cream, you can just use mayonnaise. Taste the pasta salad in the end and add more lemon or salt if needed.
More salad recipes
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Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 3 cup macaroni or small pasta uncooked
- 1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup scallions chopped
- ⅓ cup parsley chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh dill chopped
- ½ cup dill pickles diced
- ½ cup mayonnaise more if needed
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Cook macaroni according to the packaging and set aside to cool completely.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Cook shrimp in the pan until pink and fully cooked. Set aside.
- Once the pasta and shrimp are both cold, place them in a large bowl. Add in scallions, parsley, dill and dill pickles to the bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
- Add in mayonnaise and sour cream to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir and mix well until all are combined and then cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
- Chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Serve cold.
- If you don't have fresh dill, use 1 tablespoon dried dill.
- It's best to cook the shrimp at home for this recipe so you can add all the seasoning you need. However, pre-cooked shrimp would work if you're in a pinch.
- You can make this shrimp past salad up to one day in advance.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- For other variations of this salad use red onion, bell peppers or celery.