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Shrimp Pasta Salad

4.67 from 3 votes

posted: 06/13/18

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Shrimp Pasta Salad is the perfect easy weeknight dinner or fast side to bring to a barbecue or picnic! It comes together with easy to find ingredients and the most delicious sauce!

A bowl of shrimp pasta salad that shows small cut pieces of red pepper, peas, small cut pieces of celery, and shrimp

Ever since I first published my mom’s Crab Pasta Salad, I have been inundated with two questions:

  1. Imitation Crab is horrible. I would never use that. Can I use shrimp?? (<—– It does typically come loaded with the judgement.)
  2. I can’t find Spike seasoning ANYWHERE! What can I use in it’s place??

Well my good friends, I am here to tell you that I have answered these two questions with this cold Shrimp Pasta Salad!

overhead view of shrimp pasta salad ingredients in a bowl (elbow pasta, chives, peas, red peppers, and shrimp)

What is in the Best Shrimp Pasta Salad

  • So, I stand by using imitation crab in the other pasta salad (It’s delicious, yo!). But for those of you who just can’t, pass on the lump crab meat. It won’t hold up great in a pasta salad. Instead make this! It’s made with little baby shrimp that are just perfect for a pasta salad
  • The other pasta salad got a lot of complainers when it came to the olives. So if olives aren’t your jam, make this! It takes out the olives and subs in green peas. They are a great substitute. They add color and flavor and hold up great in this salad.
  • The rest of the veggies are rounded out with red peppers, celery, and green onions. But if any of those things don’t jive in your house, feel free to swap them out for more of the veggies that work for your crew. We are all about flexibility here at Simple Joy. ????
  • Finally, we have a great dressing made with Old Bay Seasoning which replaces the ever hard to find Spike.
large serving bowl filled with cold shrimp pasta salad recipe

Look, I’m not going to say that this delicious pasta salad was made for all the people who took major issue with my favorite family recipe . . . . but I’m also not going to say that isn’t what happened.

On a different note, when I decided to be a food blogger, I seriously had no idea how heated people could get about food. I should have realized though! Food is the source of so much emotion. It’s one of the reasons I love that Crab Pasta Salad recipe so much! Just the taste of it brings me back to my mom’s kitchen and that is priceless. That said, I could do without some of the arguing on my Facebook page when I name a recipe something that doesn’t work for people. We are currently embroiled in a Philly Cheesesteak Slider debate that I don’t even want to go into.


scooping the best cold shrimp pasta salad out of a serving bowl

This pasta salad with shrimp definitely gets the job done. I think your family will love the flavors going on and you will love how easy it is!

How to Make This Cold Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, once at a roaring boil, toss in some elbow macaroni and some salt and cook according to package instructions. When finished, drain immediately, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. While the noodles are boiling, chop up your veggies.
  3. Mix together your dressing. NOTE: Do not use Greek yogurt as it will really dry out the pasta.
  4. Finally, mix everything together. Serve immediately, cold; or let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before serving.
A side photo of a bowl of Shrimp Pasta Salad

Other Great Recipes to Bring to a Picnic

If you are looking for other great sides and appetizers to bring with you to a picnic, may I suggest:

fork in a bowl of the best shrimp pasta salad recipe
bowl of the best shrimp pasta salad
4.67 from 3 votes

Shrimp Pasta Salad

Serves: 10 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This Shrimp Pasta Salad is the perfect easy weeknight dinner or fast side to bring to a barbecue or picnic!  It comes together with easy to find ingredients and the most delicious sauce! 


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 lb small shrimp peeled, deveined, and thawed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 red belle pepper diced
  • 3 or 4 green onions sliced thin, about two inches into the green
  • 3 stalks celery diced

For Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups plain non fat yogurt (see note)
  • 1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Italian vinaigrette salad dressing


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a very large bowl, mix the pasta, shrimp, peas, red peppers, green onions, and celery.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, Old Bay, yellow mustard, soy sauce, and salad dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies and stir to combine. Serve right away, or refrigerate and serve within 48 hours.


Note on the yogurt: Do not replace with Greek yogurt. While delicious, it is too thick to work in this recipe.
Calories: 130kcal (7%) Carbohydrates: 13g (4%) Protein: 17g (34%) Fat: 3g (5%) Cholesterol: 73mg (24%) Sodium: 589mg (26%) Potassium: 93mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 400IU (8%) Vitamin C: 5mg (6%) Calcium: 140mg (14%) Iron: 1.4mg (8%)
Author: Lisa Longley


bowl of the best shrimp pasta salad

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Shrimp Pasta Salad

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. averie @ averie cooks says

    I can tell this would be a crowd favorite at any type of gathering! And I have honestly never heard of Spike seasoning. But now I want to find it :)

  2. Holly says

    4 stars
    this was good but the dressing a little dry probably because I used greek yogurt. I added a tablespoon of olive oil and it was good. Also I used canned shrimp.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup, as noted in the recipe, Greek yogurt really doesn’t work in this recipe.

      • Lori says

        HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! I KNEW there would be at least one who would use it in spite of your admonition not to and why… and then comment on it. I know it’s almost a year later, but it still made me laugh! You said it TWICE LOL! Too funny!

        The salad looks delicious! I think I’ll live on the edge and use peas AND olives! Woot! Thank you for sharing the recipe! And the laugh.

        • Lisa Longley says

          I have a couple screen shots from social media comments that you would make your stomach hurt with laughter. Thanks for the smile, Lori! I hope you love this!

  3. Jess says

    5 stars
    Great recipe!! Is there a way I could find out the nutrition info like calories?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I just added them!

  4. Judy says

    How many points is in Shrimp salad

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m not sure about the points system, but it was just updated with the nutritional information.

  5. Linda Clippard says

    I want to use black diced olives and water chestnuts and pimento, diced onions
    Will this be okay with shrimp too? Using mayo and have dill that is in a container

    • Lisa Longley says

      That all sounds delicious! I love pasta salads because they are so easy to change and mix up!

  6. Suzanne says

    In the Shrimp Pasta Salad are the shrimp cooked?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I buy precooked salad sized shrimp that is frozen and just thaw and toss it in!

  7. Brenda Andrews says

    What is Old Bay?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It’s a seasoning mix used in the United States a lot, especially with seafood.

  8. Ann marie says

    Hey Lisa can you use sour cream instead of yogurt ? Thanks for your great recipes

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t made this dressing with sour cream, but yogurt and sour cream behave very similarly in recipes. I can’t think of a reason why that wouldn’t work here.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners