This shrimp pasta salad recipe has a creamy and zesty lemon dill dressing and is loaded with plump shrimp. The perfect summer dish for seafood lovers!
How to make shrimp pasta salad (summary):
Cook the pasta, and meanwhile, boil a separate pot of water for the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes until they're cooked through, and drain them then dunk them into a bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes to stop them from cooking further. Pat them dry and cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Stir the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, and prep the remaining pasta salad ingredients (celery and onion). Toss everything together in a large salad bowl. Season with salt & pepper as needed. This pasta salad is best well chilled, so refrigerate for a bit before serving. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- I used raw 31-40/pound size shrimp, but feel free to use larger or smaller. I did cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier to eat overall, but that's totally up to you.
- Most of the time, I recommend cooking shrimp yourself vs. buying the already cooked kind (especially if they're frozen). They will generally taste better that way. If you do have access to good quality cooked shrimp, you can definitely use those as a shortcut, however.
- You may change up the pasta shape, but if you're going for pasta that's a lot smaller (like macaroni), you may want to cut it down from the 3 cups or you may have too much.
- For food safety reasons, be very careful about leaving this pasta salad sitting out for too long. If it has been sitting outside/on the counter/etc. for a while, I recommend eating it right away or discarding the rest. Otherwise, it'll last for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- I used my handy Microplane zester/grater to zest the lemon.
- Recipe variations:
- You could sprinkle some Old Bay seasoning on top instead of (or in addition to) the smoked paprika.
- If you're going to eat the salad right away, try adding in some chopped avocado and/or cucumber for extra freshness.
- A dash or two of hot sauce would work well in the dressing.
More delicious pasta salad recipes to try:
Questions about this chilled shrimp pasta salad? Write me a comment below!
Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
- 1 pound shrimp (31-40/pound size) thawed & peeled
- 2 sticks celery chopped small
- 2 tablespoons red onion chopped small
- Smoked paprika optional, to taste
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions, then once it's done, drain it and rinse with cool water. Let it drain thoroughly before adding it to a large salad bowl.
- Meanwhile, prep the shrimp (run under cool water to thaw if they're frozen, peel them, remove the tails, and devein if needed). Boil a pot of water to cook them, and fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Once the water is boiling, add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and add them to the ice bath to stop them from cooking further. Let them cool in there for a few minutes prior to draining them and patting them dry with paper towel. If desired, cut them into smaller pieces before adding them to the salad bowl.
- Prep the remaining ingredients (celery and onion), then add them to the salad bowl.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and combine until smooth.
- Add the dressing to the pasta salad and then toss to combine. Season with salt & pepper as needed. Shrimp can be quite salty, but it's quite a lot of pasta in here, so it's important to season it well for good flavor.
- If desired, sprinkle a bit of smoked paprika over top.
- I recommend chilling this salad before serving (cover the bowl tightly). It's best very cold.
- Serves 4 as an entree and more as a side (6-8).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.