This easy shrimp pasta salad is packed with so much flavor. Learn how to make the best shrimp macaroni salad that will rock your parties and potlucks.
If you're into shrimp recipes, you need to try today's shrimp pasta 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.
Easy shrimp pasta salad 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 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 pasta salad is that it’s so simple and quick to make 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
To make shrimp pasta salad you need the following ingredients:
- Shrimp: raw, peeled and deveined. Learn how to clean shrimp by reading our shrimp cakes recipe.
- Pasta: I usually use elbow macaroni
- Dill: either fresh or dried work
- Dill pickles: diced
- Sour cream
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.
Learn how to buy better shrimp by Serious Eats.
How to make shrimp pasta salad
Cook the pasta and let it cool completely. While the pasta is cooling, cook the shrimp. I like to get raw small shrimp and cook them before making the salad. To cook the shrimp, season the lightly with salt and pepper and saute 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.
Can I freeze pasta salad with shrimp?
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 after cooling in the fridge for some time.
However, 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.
Other ingredients to add to this creamy pasta salad
You can add different ingredients to this pasta salad according to your preference and liking. Vegetables such as celery or bell peppers would go very well with this shrimp salad. I also love adding some red onion if available. A drizzle of lemon or lime juice will give this salad the right kick and will make it absolutely tasty.
If you would like to have the salad lighter, you can use low fat mayonnaise and sour cream. The flavor will be just as good. Try adding some old bay seasoning if you like your shrimp salad to be a bit spicy.
Moreover, if you don't have macaroni, you can use any other small shaped pasta such as shells. Make sure they're cooked well before adding them to the salad.
Notes and tips to make creamy shrimp pasta salad recipe
- 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.
- I prefer to cook the shrimp right before making the pasta salad but you can definitely get frozen cooked shrimp and use them instead. Make sure you thaw and dry them completely before using.
- 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 if needed.
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 3 cup macaroni or small pasta uncooked
- 1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp 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 tsp 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.
- Use 1 tbsp dried dill instead of fresh dill.
- You can use precooked shrimp in this salad. Thaw and dry completely before adding to the salad.