Paula’s Shrimp Pasta Salad

This is my version of Shrimp Louie Salad, based on Crab Louie which originated in the early 1900s on the West Coast of the US, with my summer salad favorites added in, i.e. peas, carrot, celery. The original Louie dressing is a simple combo of mayo and chili sauce, but since I was using the shrimp, I thought cocktail sauce would be a great option and spicy enough with the horseradish. It turned out we added some additional horseradish and I added the Ranch Dressing in lieu of adding other spices, like garlic, parsley, etc.  The blended flavors were great overall. In this house we love Sriracha, so that would be an additional option if you like the dressing a little spicier.


Tonight Mike and I are going to the theater to see The Adams Family at the Barn Playhouse in Jeffersonville. One of my long time friends (I refuse to say “old” friends) from high school will be conducting the pit orchestra and her husband will be playing. We are very excited for this rekindled friendship. That said, dinner needs to be quick and easy, and as often is the case, I didn’t plan ahead. It is 85 outside so I didn’t want anything hot, so the frozen brisket, lasagna and posole were not options for tonight, though they would have been quick, they are just too heavy and hot. But Mike wanted pasta. So I wracked my brain and came up with a pasta salad, which is a combo of many summer salads.

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  • 1 Box of pasta – medium shells, farfelle, penne, elbows – cooked al dente, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 1 to 2# cooked shrimp – I only had large in the house, so I removed the tails and cut each into 3 pieces. You could buy the “salad shrimp” which are bite size
  • 1 Sweet pepper – today I used orange, though a red sweet pepper would add color
  • 1 Large shallot, diced (or 1/2 C diced red onion would work as well
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 Large stalk celery, cleaned and diced
  • 1 1/2 C Peas – you can par cook them or blanch them if you’re using fresh
  • 2 Hard boiled eggs, sliced or diced, added on top or mixed in, your choice
  • OPTIONAL: 1 C cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (I would have used them if I had them in the house2017-04-29 03.10.41

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  • 1 C Light mayo
  • 1/2 C Cocktail sauce (we use Kelchners)
  • 1/2 C Prepared Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 Tbsp.)
  • OPTIONAL: 2 to 3 Tsp. of additional horseradish
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. black pepper2017-04-29 03.16.04

For the salt and pepper, start with the 1/2 Tsp of each. Right before serving, taste one piece of the pasta and add more if desired, or let people add their own. Pasta takes a lot of salt, but the prepared Ranch Dressing will add a fair amount to the flavor of the dish.

Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce or fresh baby spinach for a lovely summer dinner or serve as a side at the Memorial Day BBQ. Enjoy!


5 thoughts on “Paula’s Shrimp Pasta Salad

  1. Hi, This sounds really good. I probably won’t make it until we get back to Acton, though, since we are now trying to clean out the fridge and or having someone usual dinners.

    One comment on your recipe. I would’ve made a comment on the page but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Never use these so-called “salad shrimp”. They are indeed very cute, but they hardly taste like shrimp and are generally way over salted.

    Best, Gail

    Sent from my iPad



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