With fresh dill and a zesty lemon vinaigrette, this shrimp pasta salad is creamy and delicious. The ideal cool summer meal for a Barbeque or gathering! Try my Ruby Tuesday pasta salad next time.
If you’ve been following my site for a long, you may recall that I already have a shrimp pasta salad recipe, but that one is a whole different wonderful beast.
Another dish includes a zingy Italian vinaigrette, but this is a summertime favorite of mine. It’s creamy but not heavy, flavorful with dill and lemon, and begs to be served with juicy grilled burgers or lobster rolls.
Tips for making shrimp pasta salad
2 Tablespoon kosher salt. 2 pound pasta (as used in this recipe), plus at least 1Make sure to salt the water you’re cooking the pasta in. For 1
Cook the pasta until it is just beyond al dente. You don’t want it to be mushy from overcooking, nor do you want it to be rough from not cooking it long enough.
If you rinse it with cold water, it will stop cooking further, so taste it before you remove it from the fire.
In terms of the cold water rinse, the spaghetti does not need to be chilled before dressing. In fact, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you did! You want to put together the salad with all of the ingredients as soon as possible so that it can absorb all of the flavors.
Use slightly sweetened bell peppers. And the more vibrant the better! This recipe just asks for one bell pepper, but you can easily add additional in a variety of colors.
- You may use a variety of shrimp. You may use little salad shrimp or bigger diced shrimp. They’ll both be delectable!
- What if you don’t have any mayonnaise? Greek yogurt may be substituted.
- What if you don’t have any white vinegar? Instead, omit the rice vinegar.
- You don’t want to use a sweetener? I usually add a little granulated sugar or honey, but you may leave it out if you like.
- If you don’t like any of the ingredients, just leave them out. But don’t leave out the shrimp, or it won’t be shrimp salad.
- It must be chilled before serving. At least 30 minutes, but preferably many hours. All of the components need chilling time to let the flavors to fully emerge.
Which pasta shape is best for shrimp pasta salad?
I’ve usually used elbow macaroni, but you could substitute any short noodle form. Other varieties that function well include:
Your pals are nooks and crannies! Just be sure to use dried spaghetti rather than fresh since it holds up better in pasta salads.
How to store pasta salad
Refrigerate your freshly made shrimp pasta salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Ready to regularly steal nibbles straight from the refrigerator!
What to serve with shrimp pasta salad
The options are limitless! Serve it with burgers, lobster rolls, watermelon and blackberry mint salad, and strawberry avocado spinach salad topped with handmade croutons during a BBQ.
You may also serve this with various pasta salads, such as my copycat Ruby Tuesday pasta salad or vinaigrette shrimp pasta salad.
Try a salty dog, frozen gin and tonic, watermelon agua fresca, mango ginger sangria, pineapple coolers, or raspberry ros sangria.
How about something sweet? Grilled peaches, lemon cheesecake bars, strawberry smores icebox cake, strawberry rhubarb bars, or key lime pie round off the dinner. Instead, homemade ice cream in handmade waffle cones!
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad
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- 2 peeled and sliced hard-boiled eggs
- 16 oz. uncooked macaroni noodles (half a 1 lb box)
- 16 oz. cooked shrimp, thawed and diced (about 12 large shrimp, can also use small shrimp)
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper, 1 tiny pepper, whichever color you like
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon minced onion
- 1 teaspoon sweet relish
- 1 cup mayo or Greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar or honey
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- cayenne pepper pinch
- Boil eggs, then place them in an ice water bath to cool. To hard boil eggs, follow the instructions on the recipe card at the bottom of this page. Peel and roughly dice when it has cooled.
2 hard-cooked eggs
- Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain immediately in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Let to drain completely in a colander, shaking a few times to remove excess water.
macaroni noodles, 16 oz.
- Thaw frozen shrimp in a colander in cold water for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the tails and dice them.
16 ounces cooked large shrimp
- Stir together pasta, eggs, shrimp, celery, bell pepper, dill, onion, and sweet relish in a large mixing dish.
1 celery cup, 1 bell pepper cup, 2 tablespoons fresh dill, 1 onion tablespoon, 1 tablespoon sweet relish
- 4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 teaspoon of salt 1
Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sweetener, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl.
1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or honey, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or honey
- Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and toss to blend.
- Cover and refrigerate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!