Shrimp and Pasta Shell Salad


When I want to make a macaroni salad just a little bit extra-special, nothing does the trick like some small, sweet shrimp. This is one of my favorite summer salads, and it's oh-so-easy.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 35 mins
8 servings



  • 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise, or more if needed

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • cup chopped fresh dill


  • 1 (12 ounce) package small pasta shells

  • 1 pound cooked, peeled, and deveined small shrimp - cut in half

  • ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper

  • ¾ cup diced celery

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pinch paprika, for garnish

  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, or as desired


  1. Whisk 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl; add lemon juice and 1/3 cup chopped dill. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate.

  2. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and stir in pasta shells; cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool pasta slightly; drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Toss shrimp with pasta; add red bell pepper, celery, and dressing to pasta and shrimp. Mix thoroughly to coat and fill shells with dressing. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

  4. Stir salad again before serving and season to taste with more salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper if desired. If salad seems a little dry, mix in a little more mayonnaise. Garnish with paprika and sprigs of dill.

Cook's Notes:

Salt the pasta water until it tastes like seawater.

Small shrimp are about 100 per pound.

You can add chopped onion, capers, olives, and bacon and use as a base for grilled salmon.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

451 Calories
29g Fat
34g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 451
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 664mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 17mg 86%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 239mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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