This Shrimp Pasta Salad is creamy, hearty, spicy, and juicy — and it tastes just like your favorite shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich! Tender shrimp and tortellini plus crunchy veggies are tossed in a creamy remoulade dressing.
Shrimp Pasta Salad
I am beyond giddy to bring you this recipe for Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad!
It’s everything you love about the quintessential New Orleans Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich, but with pillowy, cheesy tortellini — because cheese-stuffed pasta makes everything better.
Loaded with Cajun shrimp, juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, and tangy pickles, plus the most fabulous remoulade dressing, this shrimp pasta salad recipe is one that family and friends will ask for again and again!
If you aren’t familiar with remoulade, it is a mayonnaise-based spread that is tangy, mildly sweet, and sour — making it the perfect companion for earthy, spicy seafood.
Toss everything together and you have a delectable combination of flavors in each and every bite!
Tips for Making Shrimp and Tortellini
- Cook pasta to al dente. Your tortellini should still be a tad firm so it doesn’t fall apart when tossed with the other ingredients.
It will also soften a bit more after it soaks up some of the dressing.
To stop your pasta from cooking further, rinse and drain it in cold water. Then, drizzle it with a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
- Sear the shrimp. Cook in two batches so as to not crowd the pan — otherwise, it will just steam.
Once you add shrimp to the pan, don’t touch it for 2 minutes. Then, flip it and leave it alone again. This helps it develop a deep, colorful sear.
- Make it extra spicy. While this shrimp pasta salad does have a kick to it, you can amp things up by adding hot sauce to the dressing.
Make Ahead Instructions
Prepare the shrimp pasta salad recipe as directed, but leave out the Romaine lettuce and add only half of the dressing.
Reserve the remaining dressing to pour over the shrimp tortellini salad before you serve it. Then, add the lettuce and toss to combine.
You can also make the dressing for this shrimp salad recipe with pasta up to 24 hours in advance.
Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator and shake well before using.
Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe FAQ
It’s a New Orleans creation featuring Cajun shrimp, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on a toasted baguette that’s been slathered with remoulade dressing.
Sound familiar? We essentially replaced the bread and made this shrimp salad recipe with pasta!
Honestly, a bit of both! The shrimp and tortellini are both warm, but the overall salad is served at room temperature when freshly prepared.
That said, you can easily enjoy chilled leftovers right out of the fridge! They will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipes
Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad + Video
- 20 ounces cheese tortellini
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shelled, deveined shrimp, tails on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2/3 cup chopped Dill pickles
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups packed roughly chopped romaine lettuce
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pickle juice, from Dill pickles above
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Hot sauce to taste, optional
- Whisk together all of the Remoulade Dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add shrimp to a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Let sit at room temperature while you prep your other ingredients and cook your pasta.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to directions on the package (do not add salt to the water). Rinse with cool water and drain, then add to a large bowl. Toss with a little of the Dressing to keep it from sticking together. Set aside.
- 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. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Once cool enough to handle, remove tails from shrimp.
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated. Add salt, pepper and/or hot sauce to taste.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published May 2018, updated and republished July 2023
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