Our shrimp pasta salad recipe could be just the upgrade you’ve been looking for to your regular side dish. With succulent shrimp and crunchy veggies, the salad brings bright flavors to your meal, and might even become your new favorite summer side dish.
Is This Shrimp Pasta Salad Healthy?
Yes, the combination of meat, vegetables, and carbohydrates in our shrimp pasta salad makes it not only delicious but also healthy.
First, each serving of our shrimp pasta salad provides approximately 250 calories — a decent amount for a side dish.
Second, we minimized the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content to make this recipe as healthy as we could while ensuring it still produces a delicious dish. This recipe ends up having 3g of saturated fat, 2.3g of sugar, and 263 mg of sodium. With this nutrition profile, the salad follows the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines and still bursts with flavor.
Lastly, our shrimp pasta salad recipe contains raw vegetables and herbs such as cucumber, celery, bell pepper, red onions, and coriander. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Specifically, each serving of this salad contains 28% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin C and 31% DRI for vitamin K.
Being light in calories but packed with nutrients, this salad makes an ideal appetizer, side dish, or nutritious snack if you’re keeping an eye on your weight.
Ingredients for Shrimp Pasta Salad
Making this shrimp pasta salad is quick and simple. With just a few main ingredients, the dish is sure to be a family favorite.
- Shrimp: Adding shrimp to a basic side like pasta salad gives it a complexity of flavor and texture, plus a healthy dose of protein. We like to use small or medium shrimp, which helps to match the size of the pasta and vegetables.
This recipe also gives you a chance to best use leftover stir-fried shrimp or grilled shrimp from BBQs. So, don’t limit yourself to any specific variant of shrimp to use, go with whatever is convenient for you.
- Pasta: Rotini pasta is our favorite for this salad. Thanks to its short, corkscrew shape, the dressing easily collects inside, ensuring every bite is full of flavor.
- Vegetables: While shrimp and pasta take the main stage, our salad is loaded with freshness from cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery. These raw veggies create a colorful salad bowl with amazing texture and nutrition. The addition of red onions, with a slight kick and a crunchy texture, gives it a heavenly brightness.
- Spice: The recipe calls for salt and pepper to taste. We also used paprika and garlic powder to complement the shrimp and highlight the Mediterranean flavor.
- Herbs: Coriander gives a summery zest to the pasta.
What Types of Pasta Can You Use?
With its corkscrew shape, rotini is our go-to pasta choice for this dish. You can swap out the rotini for other pastas as long as they have a similar shape or deep grooves for holding the sauce. From our experience, fusilli, farfalle, rotini, cavatappi, and penne are other great alternatives for this salad recipe.
How to Make Shrimp Pasta Salad
Salad recipes, in general, are often quick and easy to make, and our shrimp pasta salad recipe is no exception. Here’s how we made the dish:
Sauté the spices in a skillet.
Cook the shrimp and season them.
Combine the shrimp and vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Garnish with coriander and serve.
Reach for the recipe card below for the ingredient measurements you need for this recipe.Jump to Recipe
Storage and Reheating Leftovers
Containing cooked shrimp, this salad will last for 2 – 3 days in the refrigerator. Note that it’s best to keep the dish in an airtight container to preserve the flavor and quality of the food.
The best part about this salad is that it can be eaten right out of the fridge. Whether it’s a quick meal, a post-workout snack, or a midnight craving, this salad is always ready.
While the salad is best served immediately, you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw the salad in the refrigerator for a few hours.
What to Serve with Shrimp Pasta Salad
Having a versatile, bright, summery flavor this shrimp pasta salad can be served at parties and barbecues or even on no particular occasion. For a quick and filling meal, combine the salad with starchy main dishes like fried rice or baked potatoes.
Shrimp Pasta Salad
- 6 oz peeled and deveined shrimp equal to 12 oz raw shrimp
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 6 oz cooked rotini
- 4 oz cucumber cubed
- 2 oz red bell pepper cubed
- 2 oz celery chopped
- 0.5 oz red onion chopped
- 0.5 oz jalapeno chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 oz cashew
- 0.5 oz coriander chopped
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp garlic to the skillet. Sauté until fragrant.
- Add 6 oz peeled and deveined shrimp. Season the shrimp with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Continue to stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the shrimp is done. Take off the heat.
- In a large bowl, add 6 oz rotini, 4 oz cucumber, 2 oz red bell pepper, 2 oz celery, 0.5 oz red onion, 0.5 oz jalapeno, 1 oz cashew, 1 tbsp olive oil, and the stir-fried shrimp. Stir everything to combine.
- Sprinkle 0.5 oz coriander to garnish. Serve the dish.