Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad is a refreshing side or lunch perfect for the spring and summer. Made with fresh shrimp, tender pasta, dijon mustard, and lemon zest.
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad has the same creamy dressing as traditional Macaroni Salad, but with the added flavor of shrimp. Its tangy flavor makes it a refreshing Side Dish to go with your favorite cookout dinners.
CREAMY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD
This easy pasta salad is bursting with flavor. Along with the shrimp, lemon juice, fresh dill, peppers, onion, and mustard are all added to the pasta mixture for a fresh, tart taste. Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad is a nice change from more traditional pasta salads because the shrimp brings such a wonderful new flavor and slight crunch.
Be sure to try this Pasta Salad recipe the next time you have a BBQ or potluck. Serve it up as a side with Pulled Pork or Grilled Chicken. Shrimp Pasta Salad is always a favorite and it’s nice and filling, so it will make sure everyone has plenty to eat. If there are any leftovers, you can always store them in the fridge and enjoy them for lunch in the days that follow.
Salads like this are also easy to put your own spin on. Feel free to add in some more flavor with some extra lemon juice, or sprinkle on some old bay seasoning to go with the shrimp. You’ll find some more ideas to change up the flavor later in the post.
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TIPS FOR MAKING EASY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD
- Shrimp: Start by prepping your shrimp. If your shrimp isn’t peeled and deveined yet, you’ll want to do that first. Rinse the shrimp then take the head off the shrimp if it’s not removed yet. Peel the outer shell off then cut a shallow line along the back of the shrimp and use your knife to remove the vein. Once the shrimp has been deveined chop them into small, bite-sized chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the chopped shrimp to it. Continue boiling until pink then drain and set the cooked shrimp to the side. You can put the shrimp in cold water to cool it off faster. At the same time that you’re boiling water for the shrimp, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Dressing: Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and whisk the creamy dressing ingredients together. Take 1 cup of the dressing and set it to the side in a small bowl.
- Salad: Add in the cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, green bell pepper, celery, and red onion to the salad bowl. Fold the ingredients until well coated with a creamy dressing.
- Refrigerate: Put the salad in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Mix in the extra cup of dressing right before serving for a super Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad.
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VARIATIONS ON CREAMY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD
- Seafood: Instead of using shrimp, try mixing in crab, tuna, or salmon. You can also use canned shrimp instead of fresh shrimp.
- Pasta: Instead of elbow macaroni pasta, you can use different kinds of short pasta. Use the same ounces of farfalle pasta, penne, rotini, Gemelli, bow tie pasta, shell pasta, or orecchiette pasta. You can essentially use any pasta shape in this easy salad. You can also use wheat, lentil pasta, or whole-grain pasta for some more nutrients.
- Greek yogurt: To make a lighter Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad try using greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise in the ingredients.
- Add-ins: There are so many ways to change up the flavor and texture with a variety of mix-ins. Try adding frozen peas, green onion, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, chopped celery, green pepper, kalamata olives, or sweet pickles. You can also add some hard-boiled eggs, sweet relish, or creamy avocado. If you want to make a creamy cheesy salad dressing, mix in some Alfredo sauce, feta cheese, or shredded parmesan cheese.
- Dressing: To change up the lemon dressing try adding in some more fresh lemon juice for a bright lemony taste. You can even put some lemon wedges on the side as a garnish. For more different flavors in the dressing, whisk in Worcestershire sauce or Italian dressing. You can also add fresh herbs and seasonings like bay seasoning, kosher salt, fresh parsley, and chives.
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HOW TO STORE CREAMY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD
- Serve: To keep your Shrimp Pasta Salad fresh, don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Cover the large bowl or put the Shrimp Pasta Salad into another airtight container to store it in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Unfortunately the creamy dressing in this salad recipe won’t stay good in the freezer. It’s better just to make the recipe fresh.
- 1 pound shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon , juiced and zested
- 1/3 cup fresh dill , chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 16 ounces elbow pasta , cooked and drained
- 1 green bell pepper , minced
- 4 stalks celery , trimmed and minced
- 1/2 cup red onion , minced
- Cut shrimp into small chunks, then add to a pot of boiling water and boil for 30 seconds until pink and drain.
- In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper.
- Reserve 1 cup of the dressing in a covered container.
- Add pasta, shrimp, green bell pepper, celery, and red onion and fold until well coated.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours (at least) then stir in the remaining dressing right before serving (this makes it extra creamy).