Seafood Pasta Salad

10 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Seafood Pasta Salad is as creamy and delicious as a classic pasta salad, with flavorful crabmeat and colorful peas topping elbow macaroni.

If you’ve tried our Easy Macaroni Salad and our Crab Salad, this easy Side Dish is like a combination of the two. It’s easy to make and full of tangy, savory, and sweet tastes.

Seafood Pasta Salad in bowl

This delicious dish takes pasta salad and gives it an extra seafood kick. Delicious Seafood Pasta Salad is the perfect dish to make for the next summer holiday or cookout. Serve it as a refreshing side along with classic comfort food like Pork Chops, BBQ Chicken, or Sloppy Joes. It’s also an easy recipe to whip up for a potluck, family get-together, or baby shower.

While it makes a great side dish, the cooked pasta and crab meat are also filling enough to make a whole meal. You can always make a large bowl of Seafood Pasta Salad for a cookout, then enjoy any leftovers for lunch the next day.

Seafood Pasta Salad is wonderfully easy to toss together. Start by cooking the pasta, then all there’s left to do is mix the salad together and pop it in the fridge. You can make it ahead and store it in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.

You’ll love the tangy and savory flavors in this salad. There’s also some sweetness added with a few tablespoons of sugar whisked into the dressing. It’s easy to experiment with the flavor further by whisking in some lemon juice or a tablespoon of sweet relish. 

Health Benefits of Delicious Seafood

The imitation crab in this recipe gives the wonderful taste of fresh crab but is lower in fat and cholesterol. The crab is also full of important nutrition like B vitamins and minerals like phosphorous.

If you want to make this into a low carb salad, you can omit the pasta and add in some other seafood like jumbo size shrimp or tuna to make the dish more filling.

More Pasta Salad Recipes

How to Make Easy Seafood Pasta Salad

  • Prep: Put a pot of water on the stovetop and cook the elbow macaroni until al dente. You can chop the celery while cooking the pasta.
  • Dressing: Start by whisking together the mayonnaise, sour cream, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to make the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Take 1 cup of the dressing out of the bowl and set it to the side in a covered small bowl.
  • Salad: Add in the pasta, crabmeat, peas, and celery. Toss the ingredients together until they’re well coated in the creamy dressing.
  • Chill: Cover the Seafood Pasta Salad then store it in the fridge. Make sure to let it chill for at least 2 hours. Pour the remaining cup of dressing over the top and stir it in before serving. This will make the dish extra creamy and rich.
Seafood Pasta Salad ingredients in bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of seafood work well in pasta salad?

Along with the crabmeat, you could add different kinds of seafood to this Seafood Pasta Salad. Try using canned tuna, lobster meat, crawfish tails, or shrimp. If you freshly cooked shrimp you can use that, or you can use canned shrimp. Try making this salad the day after cooking up Shrimp Scampi for dinner and use the leftover cooked shrimp in the recipe. You could also use lump crab meat or crab legs instead of imitation crabmeat.

What shapes of pasta should I use for pasta salad?

Instead of macaroni, try using rotini, penne, farfalle, radiatore noodles, or small shells. Most kinds of short pasta will work so they’re still bite-sized. You can also try using whole grain pasta or lentil pasta for a healthier salad.

How can I make a healthier pasta salad?

If you want to lighten up your salad try using Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise. It will still make a wonderful creamy sauce, but Greek yogurt is much healthier.

What seasonings should I use in Seafood Pasta Salad?

There are so many different seasonings you can add along with the salt and pepper. Try sprinkling in some Old Bay Seasoning, fresh parsley, celery salt, chives salt, onion powder, garlic powder, or cajun seasoning.

What flavorings can I add to Seafood Pasta Salad?

There are also plenty of flavor additions you can make to the salad dressing. Try whisking in some lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, blackberry vinaigrette, pickle relish, or an extra few pinches of white sugar. Or mix in some Italian vinaigrette and parmesan cheese for an Italian Salad.

What else can be added to Seafood Pasta Salad?

For some more filling add-ins, try mixing in some hard-boiled creamy eggs for a more protein. You could also add different vegetables to go with the frozen peas like chopped bell pepper, green beans, Vidalia onion, broccoli florets, or grape tomatoes.

More Seafood Recipes

How to Store Seafood Pasta Salad

  • Serve: Don’t leave this creamy Seafood Pasta Salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: If you cover the salad bowl or put the salad in another airtight container and put it back in the fridge, it will stay good for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately the mayo and sour cream in the dressing ingredients won’t freeze well. So freezing this salad won’t do well.
Seafood Pasta Salad in mixing bowl

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Seafood Pasta Salad

Seafood Pasta Salad is as creamy and delicious as a classic pasta salad, with flavorful crabmeat and colorful peas topping elbow macaroni.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces elbow pasta , cooked and drained
  • 1 pound imitation crab meat chunks
  • 1 cup green peas , frozen
  • 4 stalks celery , trimmed and minced


  • In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the dressing in a covered container.
  • Add pasta, crabmeat, peas, and celery 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).



Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Seafood Pasta Salad
Seafood Macaroni Salad collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi:
    Loved your pasta salads I have tried so far. If I am watching sugar intake, could I omit sugar? Thanks, Jennifer

    1. This is a delicious & simple salad to make. The only changes I made was using ACV as that’s all I had instead of white vinegar. I also added a 1/4 cup of finely minced onion. The salad is delicious with or without onion!

  2. Nicks the vinager,lemon and use 2-3 Tbls balsamic vinager or until it taste right about 2-3 packets of stevia and a little lemon juice.

    1. I did, though I like the crunch of using frozen. If you want them softer, you can rinse them prior to adding to the salad. I hope you enjoy it!