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!
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!
LOOKING FOR MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES?
- Best Italian Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad with Lemon Chive Dressing
- Bacon Pea Pasta Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing
- Greek Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Feto Pesto
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Cowboy Pasta Salad with Creamy Southwest Barbecue Sauce
- Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette
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.
- Toss your shrimp with olive oil and Cajun Seasoning.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- 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!
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.
LOOKING FOR MORE SHRIMP RECIPES?
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Asparagus
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas with Pineapple
You might also like these Potluck Recipes:
- Strawberry Avocado Pasta Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Best Ever Baked Beans
- Grilled Pineapple
- Strawberry Avocado Broccoli Salad
- Mesquite Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Creamy Grape Salad
WANT TO TRY THIS SHRIMP PASTA SALAD RECIPE?
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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Tools Used in This Recipe
Po Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad
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- 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
- 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.
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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.