Feeling all the summer seafood vibes on a budget with this easy one pot Old Bay Shrimp Pasta Salad.
There are two things I live for in this world: seafood & cheese….okay…and wine, bread, Mexican…Alright, so I live for food. But, my Savannah roots make seafood a priority. My happy place is sitting at a table with all the glories of a Low Country boil spread out before me. Nothing better.
However, crab legs, jumbo shrimp & raw oysters aren’t exactly budget friendly. But, this Easy One-Pot Old Bay Shrimp Pasta Salad IS.
If you need a little weeknight break from the same ol’ same ol’, then this one-pot wonder will transport you to the Low Country ASAP.
PASTA SALAD MAIN DISH
Pasta salad usually isn’t the star of the show. It’s usually a side dish & forgettable.
Not this guy.
Actually, if I’m making a pasta salad–it’s gonna be the main attraction. (For another example, check out my NO COOK BLT PASTA SALAD).
You can throw this dish together on a weeknight in the time it takes you to cook a pot of pasta. Can’t beat that!
BUDGET FRIENDLY SEAFOOD
We live in a time where life costs about $500 more per month than last year. That ain’t chump change!
So, we cut costs to make ends meet. Yet, I always look for ways to scratch the itch of my more indulgent side while still staying on budget.
This Old Bay Shrimp Pasta Salad is definitely one of those ways.
I’m not going all-in on jumbo shrimp…though, I’d love to. With all my heart.
What I am doing is buying the tiny “shrimp salad shrimp” in the frozen food section. (Try and find a sustainable wild caught brand if you can.)
These little guys are usually already cooked, pealed, & deveined.
OLD BAY SEASONING VS ZATARAIN’S
If you’re here then you know what Old Bay is & how much it means to seafood lovers.
But….if you don’t then lemme enlighten you, friend.
First, it’s not spicy. It’s used in a lot of boils, fry mixes & other seasoning methods when cooking seafood. It adds that pop of flavor that hugs the seafood without overpowering it & has you coming back for more.
That said–I have also used Zatarain’s (or Tony Chachere’s) spicy creole seasoning as a substitute for Old Bay when I’m feeling extra zesty & wanting a more New Orleans style salad over a Low Country vibe.
Try it one way this month & next month make it again with a little kick!
- 1 package (16 oz) frozen Salad-Shrimp (pre-cooked, pealed, deveined)
- 2/3 package (16 oz) Pasta (shells, corkscrew, etc.)
- 2 TBL Old Bay Seasoning
- 3/4 c. Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
- 2 scallions (green onion), diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 pint cherry / grape tomatoes, diced
- Bring large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Wash & small dice celery, red bell pepper, green onions while you wait on your large pot of water to come to a boil. Add veggies to a large mixing bowl.
- Once water is boiling, add 1 TBL old bay & pasta. Boil until al dente (about 8 minutes usually).
- Before draining the pasta, toss in the shrimp straight from the frozen bag. Cook about 2 minutes (or until shrimp have thawed but not overcooked).
- Drain pasta & shrimp. Let cool for about 5 minutes, so pasta is warm but not hot.
- While pasta is cooling slightly, mix remaining tablespoon of Old Bay with the Ranch dressing & juiced of half a lemon in a small bowl.
- Add pasta and shrimp to veggies.
- Coat pasta, veggies & shrimp with the dressing. Toss well.
- Top with salt and pepper as needed & an extra healthy squeeze of lemon juice.
- Serve immediately or stick in the fridge till cold.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g
EASY WEEKNIGHT SHRIMP PASTA SALAD
Times are tight, but you can still stay on budget AND get a little of the good stuff if you get creative.
This Easy One Pot Shrimp Pasta Salad checks all the budget boxes & then some with this simple substitute and lots of pasta.
Plus, added bonus: it’s quick!
Your weeknight dinner just got a shot in the arm with this cool, crisp, creamy & oh-so Southern Coastal bit of inspo.
Let me know in the comments if you’re gonna go Old Bay or kicked up with some creole spice!