Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad

Your favorite Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich turned into sensational Shrimp Pasta Salad with Creamy Remoulade Dressing!  

This Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad is quick and easy to prepare and is guaranteed to be the hit of every potluck, barbecue and cookout (and 4th of July)!  It simply doesn’t get more addicting than this creamy, hearty, spicy, juicy shrimp pasta salad!  You can prep the entire salad in advance then simply add the lettuce when it’s time to serve!

Top view of easy Shrimp Pasta salad with tortellini, lettuce, tomatoes and shrimp

I am beyond giddy to bring you this Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad just in time for the 4th because this Po’ Boy Shimp Tortellini Salad isn’t just any pasta salad, it is THE pasta salad everyone is going to be talking about, begging you for and craving for daysssss!  I literally ate it all by myself over two days (because my husband is allergic to shrimp) and was so sad to see the last bite go.

Shrimp Pasta Salad

After I posted my Cubano Sandwich inspired Cubano Pasta Salad with Mojo Dressing, I knew exactly what to make next – Po’ Boy inspired Shrimp Pasta Salad!  This Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad is everything you love about the quintessential New Orleans sandwich but with pillowy, cheesy tortellini, because tortellini makes everything better.  It is loaded with Cajun shrimp, juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, and tangy pickles with the most fabulous tangy remoulade dressing.

If you aren’t familiar with remoulade, it is a mayonnaise based spread that is tangy and mildly sweet and sour making it the perfect companion for earthy, spicy seafood.  Toss everything together and you have creamy, crispy, crunchy, savory and tangy in each and every bite!

up close of best Shrimp Pasta Salad tossed with creamy Remoulade mayo dressing

LOOKING FOR MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES?

How to Make Shrimp Pasta Salad:

  • Whisk together the homemade Cajun seasonings.
  • Add some Cajun seasoning and Remoulade Dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Chill in the refrigerator.
Showing how to make dressing with mayo for Shrimp Pasta salad by adding mayo, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice to glass bowl
  • Toss your shrimp with olive oil and Cajun Seasoning.
Showing how to make Shrimp Pasta salad by mixing raw shrimp with Cajun seasoning, olive oil and lemon juice
  • Cook your tortellini according to package directions. You could swap out the tortellini for your favorite pasta, along with one cup chopped cheese, but honestly, it doesn’t get better than tortellini!
  • While your tortellini is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients and cook your shrimp.
Showing how to make Shrimp Pasta Salad by cooking Cajun shrimp in a black pan
  • Drain tortellini and rinse with cool water then toss with a splash of olive oil.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a large, bowl, toss and serve!
side view of Shrimp Pasta salad with tortellini, lettuce, tomatoes and shrimp
  • DEVOUR!

Easy, right?!!  Short on time, explosive on flavor!

Helpful Tips to make Shrimp Pasta Salad

  • Don’t overcook tortellini. It is important to not overcook your tortellini otherwise it will fall apart when tossed.
  • Rinse tortellini with cold water. To stop your pasta from cooking after it’s removed from the heat, rinse and drain it in cold water then drizzle it with a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
  • Use bottom of Romaine. Discard the very top flimsy part of the Romaine because it doesn’t have as much crunch then use the lettuce closest to the bottom stem for maximum crunch.
  • Use defrosted shrimp. You are going to want to use defrosted, raw shrimp that is peeled and devineed.  I like to buy my shrimp by the frozen bagful at Costco because they come shelled and deveined so all that’s left to do is thaw.  For more details on how to defrost shrimp, see my Shrimp Fajitas.
  • Don’t overcrowd your shrimp. Cook shrimp in two batches so they are not overcrowded otherwise they will steam instead of sear.  Allow your oil to return to medium-high heat in between batches.
Showing how to make Shrimp Pasta Salad by cooking Cajun shrimp in a black pan
  • Hands off. In order to develop a deep colorful sear on your shrimp, don’t touch it for 2 minutes, flip, and then don’t touch it again until it’s cooked through.
  • Cool tortellini. Unlike vinaigrette dressings, you will want to make sure the pasta is completely cool before mixing in the creamy dressing to ensure the dressing doesn’t separate.
  • How spicy? This Po Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad has a kick to it but should not be overly spicy so everyone can enjoy it.  If you want to make it spicier, add hot sauce to the Dressing to taste.
  • Main or Side.  This Shrimp Pasta Salad isn’t just for potlucks, it makes an awesome dinner any night of the week!
up close of Cajun Shrimp in Shrimp Pasta Salad
Dressing with mayo for Shrimp Pasts Salad being drizzled over shrimp

How to Make Shrimp Pasta Salad Ahead of Time

  • You can make the dressing for the Shrimp Pasta Salad up to 24 hours in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If you choose to make it this far in advance, you might want to add a little more lemon before tossing as the lemon will mellow over time – just taste first and then make the call.

When making the salad ahead, toss all the ingredients together except the Romaine lettuce, with ½ of the dressing.  Reserve the remaining dressing to pour over the salad before you serve it.

top view of best Shrimp Pasta Salad tossed with creamy Remoulade mayo dressing

LOOKING FOR MORE SHRIMP RECIPES?

You might also like these Potluck Recipes:

up close of scoop of easy Shrimp Pasta Salad being scooped with wood tongs

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

 

Top view of easy Shrimp Pasta salad with tortellini, lettuce, tomatoes and shrimp

Po Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad

Your favorite Shrimp Po Bo Sandwich turned into sensational Shrimp Pasta Salad with Creamy Remoulade Dressing! This Shrimp Pasta Salad is quick and easy to prepare and is guaranteed to be the hit of every potluck, barbecue and cookout!
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Total Time: 15 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins

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Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 20 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 pound medium shrimp shelled, deveined tails on
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2/3 cup chopped Dill pickles
  • 2 cups packed roughly chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 thinly sliced small red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cajun Spice Mix

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, cayenne pepper

Remoulade Dressing

Instructions

  • Whisk together all of the Cajun Seasoning Mix in a small bowl. Remove ½ teaspoon to a medium bowl. Add all of the Remoulade Dressing ingredients to this ½ teaspoon and whisk together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Add shrimp to a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and all remaining Cajun Seasoning. Let sit at room temperature while you prep your other ingredients and cook your pasta.
  • Cook tortellini in generously salted water according to package directions, taking care not to overcook. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water then toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the shrimp in an even layer and cook 2 minutes, then flip shrimp over and cook another 2 minutes or until cooked through. Once cool enough to handle, remove tails from shrimp.

To Serve immediately:

  • Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Add desired amount of Remoulade Dressing and toss until evenly coated. Season with additional salt, pepper and/or hot sauce to taste.

To Make Ahead

  • Add all of the salad ingredients EXCEPT romaine to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing once the pasta has cooled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate the lettuce separately.
  • When ready to serve, add the lettuce, and desired amount of reserved dressing and toss until evenly combined. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or hot sauce to taste.

Notes

*Discard the very top flimsy part of the Romaine because it doesn’t have as much crunch then use the lettuce closest to the bottom stem for maximum crunch.
**You can make the dressing up to 24 hours in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If you choose to make it this far in advance, you might want to add a little more lemon before tossing as the lemon will mellow over time – just taste first and then make the call.
How spicy?  This Po Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad has a kick to it but should not be overly spicy so everyone can enjoy it.  If you want to make it spicier, add hot sauce to the Dressing to taste.

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©Carlsbad Cravings Original

A version of this Pasta Salad recipe first appeared on The Slow Roasted Italian where I am a contributor.

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14 Comments

  1. Mike from Chili Pepper Madness says

    Just. THIS. I love all these flavors. Shrimp po’ boys are my absolute favorite. In a pasta salad! YES!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Mike! If you love Shrimp Po’ Boys, you are going to LOVE this salad!!!

  2. Sahar says

    Hi Jen
    You did it again.. I’m licking the bowl!
    I want to thank you after you post each & every single recipe.. But then that would be like stalking 🙂 🙂
    So just know that every time I try your recipe I send a prayer your way.. Stay blessed!

    • Jen says

      Yessss! Thank you so much Sahar! I am so happy you loved this recipe and honored you have been enjoying so many of my recipes! Thanks for all the prayers :)!

  3. Lin says

    I second Sahar’s comment about your fantatsic recipes! Since finding your website, I have been printing most all of the recipes and making my own “collection” of them. I do hope you’ll consider writing a cookbook! Now about Po’ Boys…living in PA Dutch Country, I had heard of them but never knew exactly what they were, and still don’t know what sets them apart. But I can’t imagine they are any better than this Shrimp Salad! I love that there is just the right amount of other herbs so that I can enjoy the flavor without all of the heat. I know, that’s probably the signature of a Po’ Boy, but remember, in this part of the country, I’m used to “7 Sweets and 7 Sours”!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lin, sorry for the delay as I responded in my last comment I was on a cruise and without internet and finally catching up on comments! I love coming home to comments like yours though, thank you so much for your kind words! That is awesome and humbling you are making a “collection” of all my recipes! Even if you’ve never had Po’ Boys before, I think you will adore this shrimp pasta salad! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  4. Gaynell R says

    Ok I want to start by saying I love your blog then say I’m a Southeast Louisiana girl and I can tell you this recipe has my attention. I will be making this recipe very soon. One thing we know here is good too and I want to say you have some very impressive recipes. I lost count of all the recipes I have pinned of yours. I second the commenter above about you publishing a cookbook. I am a book love and a cookbook lover so no matter that I can get a recipe online I still love buying cookbooks.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Gaynell! I’m excited for you to try this Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad – I hope you love it as much as us! I love cookbooks as well- if anything changes I’ll be sure to let my readers know!

  5. Teri Craven says

    I don’t normally comment on recipes that I find through pinterest, but I wanted to reach out and say that this recipe is stellar! Seriously, my family gobbled it up! Definitely going into my regular rotation for the warmer months!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment Teri, I’m thrilled this shrimp pasta salad was such a winner!

  6. Jennifer Fulk says

    This looks great! Could the shrimp be grilled on skewers instead of cooking in the skillet?

  7. Jennifer Fulk says

    Delicious! This was so amazing. We grilled the shrimp but otherwise followed everything exactly. We all loved it. The leftovers were delicious too. Served it with toasted sourdough bread.

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased it was a hit – love the pairing with toasted sourdough!

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