This cold seafood salad recipe is full of flavor and is oh-so pretty. I combine imitation crab and shrimp with pasta, crunchy bell peppers, and green onions, then dress with a special sauce that will get your taste buds dancing. It’s a great tasting easy pasta salad recipe to serve at your next social gathering or cookout.
Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the
recipe card at the bottom of the post.
You can find important tips/tricks in the
Summer proves itself to be the best season ever because that’s when all the barbecues occur. Family and friends get together, fire up the grill, and tell the guest to bring the side dishes and desserts. The most popular side dishes at the barbecues I attend is the pasta salad. There are so many pasta salads in existence but my favorite of all favorites has to be a cold seafood salad with pasta.
I make my seafood pasta salad with imitation crab, but you can use fresh crab if you prefer. This is the best seafood salad recipe I’ve come up with and is exactly how I like to eat it.
If you enjoy cold salads, then try some of these great-tasting salad recipes. My Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe, Thai Cucumber Salad, Vietnamese Chicken Salad, and my Carrot Raisin Salad.
Here’s what you will need to make this cold seafood salad recipe:
- Pasta – I’ve used medium-sized seashell pasta, but you can use any size or shape of pasta in this easy seafood salad recipe.
- Vegetables – I’ve used a combination of chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper and green onions.
- Crab – forms the base of this salad, I use imitation crab meat but you can use fresh crab meat if you prefer.
- Shrimp – I use medium-sized cooked shrimp but you can add any size of shrimp.
- Dressing – I combine mayonnaise with French dressing to form the base of the sauce to coat this salad.
- Seasoning – I use a combination of Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to season the dressing.
How to make the best seafood salad recipe
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
Add mayonnaise, French dressing, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to a big bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
Finally add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, including the cooked and cooled pasta shells. Stir until combined and all ingredients are coated in the sauce.
Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator to chill for 2-4 hours. Enjoy
These tips will help you make the best cold seafood salad recipe you’ve ever tried.
- Now this seafood salad must be served cold, hence why it is a cold seafood salad recipe. Then again, who am I to be a stickler for the rules, serve warm if you like.
- However, this salad is best when left to sit in the refrigerator to chill and allow the flavors to mend together.
- When cutting the vegetables, chop them into bite-sized cubes which make it easier to eat.
- Crab and shrimp form the base of this salad, but you can use any combination of seafood that you like to eat.
- I’ve used sliced green onions, but red onions would be a great swap.
- Add in extra vegetables like chopped tomatoes, celery, or cucumber.
- Stir through some fresh herbs like dill, basil, or parsley.
- I’ve used regular mayonnaise, but you can use low-fat mayo if you prefer.
- A touch of lemon zest and/or juice is a great addition to this salad.
How to serve seafood salad
This salad is great for summer cookouts and gatherings, perfect to serve alongside some grilled meat or seafood.
It also makes a great lunch on the go, I often bring this salad to work when I make it the night before.
How to store Seafood Pasta Salad
Make ahead: This is a great make-ahead dish. Prepare the salad earlier in the day, or the day before, then cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
To refrigerate: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Seafood salad combines a combination of seafood. Then add some crunchy salad vegetables, and seasoning (I use Old Bay seasoning along with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper) and coat in a salad dressing. I like a mayonnaise-based dressing but you can make a vinaigrette-style dressing if you prefer.
Imitation crab, made from processed seafood paste, provides a mild, sweet flavor and a firm, chewy texture, often used as a substitute in various dishes. Real crab, sourced from different crab species, offers an authentic and flavorful experience with its delicate, rich taste and soft, flaky texture, making it a popular choice for seafood lovers. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and culinary needs.
If you have tried this Cold Seafood Salad recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Cold Seafood Salad Recipe
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside to cool.
- Add the mayonnaise, French dressing, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to big bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Now add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, including the cooked pasta, and stir until combined and all ingredients are coated in sauce.
- Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Enjoy
This post was originally published on June 27, 2016. It has been updated with new photos as well as additional information.