Seafood pasta salad is a perfect as a side dish or main all summer long. Full of sweet crab meat and shrimp, loads of veggies and a creamy bold dressing, this noodle salad will be a hit anytime you make it!
We are seafood lovers in this house.
But having seafood on its own is expensive, especially when you consider how much you’d need to feed appetites like my boys have.
So to stretch it, I like to add seafood to inexpensive ingredients like pasta.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done here, added seafood to pasta and veggies to create a big batch pasta salad you can serve to a huge crowd.
Even a huge crowd of growing hungry boys!
And to keep it budget friendly, I have a few tips and tricks so you can enjoy this dish without breaking the bank!
To make this you’ll need:
- Pasta– Rotini or other similarly sized noodles like penne work well in this. Cook it according to the instructions on the package, drain it and toss it under cold water.
- Veggies– You’ll need diced and seeded bell peppers, sliced green onions and halved grape tomatoes.
- Crab meat– A container of lump crab meat, drained. If you are looking to cut costs, omit this and substitute it with an equal amount of imitation crab meat.
- Imitation crab meat– Chop it and flake it apart so there are no big pieces. If you don’t like imitation crab meat, you can omit it.
- Frozen shrimp– No need to buy the jumbo sized shrimp for this. This dish actually works best with the small salad sized shrimp. Thaw them and drain them.
- Ranch dressing mix– I highly recommend using only Hidden Valley Ranch brand seasoning as I’ve made this with other brands and not gotten the desired result.
- Italian dressing– Look for a zesty Italian variety.
- Mayonnaise– Use real mayo not mayonnaise style dressing or light mayo for the best flavor.
How to Make
This dish is so impressive but unbelievable easy to make!
To do it, add all of the ingredients to an extra large mixing bowl.
Then stir really well until everything’s evenly combined.
Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! You can absolutely make this ahead of time.
If you’d like to do that, whisk the dressing ingredients (mayo, Ranch seasoning and Italian dressing) separately.
Stir two thirds of the dressing into the salad, but reserve the last third and stir it in just prior to serving so the salad is still nice and creamy.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 2 days.
You may want to mix up some extra dressing to toss in the salad prior to reserving.
Tips and Tricks
- This is a big batch recipe meant to feed a crowd. You can absolutely half it for a smaller gathering.
- You don’t have to use the imitation crab. Totally up to you, just depends on how much ‘crab’ you want in each bite.
- If you’re on a budget, you can use all imitation crab.
Other Pasta Salad Recipes
This seafood pasta salad will wow anytime you entertain! Make it for your next gathering to impress all your guests.
Looking for other pasta salad recipes? Try these:
- Spinach Dip Pasta Salad
- Pasta Salad with Pepperoni
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad
- Cajun Macaroni Salad
- Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
If you’ve tried these SEAFOOD PASTA SALAD or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Seafood Pasta Salad
- 2 lbs rotini pasta cooked, drained, and tossed under running cold water until cooled
- 2 peppers (red, yellow, or orange) seeded & diced
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 16 oz container lump crab meat drained
- 1/2 cup imitation crab meat chopped & flaked apart, by hand if needed so no big chunks (optional)
- 2 packets ranch dressing mix
- 1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
- 2 1/3 cups mayo
- 1 12 oz bag frozen salad shrimp thawed & drained
- Add all of the ingredients to an extra large mixing bowl.
- Stir, stir, stir, until everything's evenly combined.
- Cover and chill for 2 hours.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!