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This shrimp pasta salad recipe is creamy and irresistible! Full of crunchy veggies and herbs, this retro favorite hits the spot in summer.

Shrimp Pasta Salad
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Want a comforting side for summer? Try this Shrimp Pasta Salad! This cold pasta salad is creamy and herby, with retro vibes of neighborhood picnics and family potlucks. It stars tender baby shrimp and pasta shells, tossed with a creamy dressing, fresh dill, peas and crunchy veggies. Something about the flavor will keep you coming back for more! This one’s similar to a salad my mom made growing up, and Alex and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Ingredients in this shrimp pasta salad recipe

Shrimp pasta salad is quick and easy: especially if you use salad shrimp! Salad shrimp are small shrimp that sold already cooked, making them ideal for mixing into a pasta salad. This recipe comes together quickly, after you cook the pasta and chop the vegetables. Here’s what you’ll need for this simple side dish:

  • Cooked salad shrimp (thawed)
  • Shell pasta
  • Frozen peas
  • Celery
  • Red pepper
  • Green onion
  • Dill
  • Mayonnaise
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay (purchased or homemade)
  • Salt
Shrimp Pasta Salad

What are salad shrimp?

Salad shrimp very small shrimp that taste mild and sweet, with a delicate but firm texture. This type of shrimp comes shelled, pre-cooked and frozen, making it easy to defrost and add to salads, pastas, sandwiches, soups, and more. Look for it in the frozen section in your local grocery store. Salad shrimp is 250 to 300 count, indicating how many shrimp there are per pound. (To compare, medium shrimp is 41 to 50 count, and large shrimp is 31 to 40 count).

Make sure to seek out this special variety for this recipe! Can’t find salad shrimp? Use shrimp that is as small as possible, then cook it according to How to Boil Shrimp, using a cook time of about 1 minute. Don’t forget: if you use any shrimp that’s not salad shrimp, you must cook it first!

Use any type of short cut pasta

This shrimp pasta salad is ideal with medium shell pasta, but you can use other pasta shapes too! Here are a few other short cut pastas that work well here:

Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

Make ahead and storage for shrimp pasta salad

This shrimp pasta salad is ideal for making ahead for a cookout or barbecue. In fact, it’s best when you chill it at least 1 hour before serving. However, you can serve it immediately if you just can’t wait! Here’s what to know about this salad recipe:

  • Shrimp pasta salad lasts for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. It’s ideal for making ahead or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • After refrigeration, you may need to refresh the flavors. Pasta salad can lose saltiness in the refrigerator. If you like, you can add a few pinches of salt and/or a swirl of mayo or sour cream to revive the flavors.

More pasta salad recipes

Love a great pasta salad? Here are some of our favorite pasta salad recipes for the season:

This shrimp pasta salad recipe is…

Pescatarian.

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Shrimp Pasta Salad

Shrimp Pasta Salad


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 ot 8 1x

Description

This shrimp pasta salad recipe is creamy and irresistible! Full of crunchy veggies and herbs, this retro favorite hits the spot in summer.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 ounces small cooked salad shrimp, thawed (find in the frozen section)*
  • 8 ounces medium shell pasta (about 3 cups dry pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoon dried dill)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or additional ¼ teaspoon kosher salt)

Instructions

  1. Thaw the cooked salad shrimp (run cold water over the shrimp for 5 minutes, then shake them dry*).
  2. Start a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. In the last 1 minute, add the peas. Drain the pasta and peas, then rinse with cold water until they are room temperature or cold. 
  3. Chop the celery, red pepper, and green onion. Chop the fresh dill.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and Old Bay. Add the drained pasta and peas, shrimp, and chopped vegetable and dill. If time, chill for at least 1 hour, but you can also serve immediately. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days: before eating, allow to come to room temperature. You may want to add a swirl of mayo or sour cream and a pinch of salt to refresh the texture and flavor. 

Notes

*Salad shrimp is very small shrimp that comes shelled, cooked and frozen. Look for it in the frozen section in your local grocery store. Can’t find it? Use shrimp that is as small as possible, then cook it according to How to Boil Shrimp, using a cook time of about 1 minute. Make sure to cook any type shrimp that is not salad shrimp!

  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!