Shrimp Macaroni Salad with Old Bay

A flavorful modern twist on a classic potluck dish. Creamy dressing with plenty of Old Bay flavor and just enough veggies for brightness and crunch.

Bring a copy of the recipe wherever you take this one; people will ask for it!

close up of finished macaroni salad with shrimp and veggies.

Shrimp and Old Bay Macaroni Salad

Seafood lovers will fight over this flavorful twist on macaroni salad. Add any cooked seafood you'd like.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Chilling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 8 ounces elbow pasta (half a box) slightly undercooked
  • ½ cup diced fresh cucumber
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup cooked mini shrimp (look for pre-cooked salad shrimp in the freezer aisle)


  • Make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, salt, black pepper, and Old Bay in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add the pasta, veggies, and shrimp. Place the cooked, cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing on top. Add the veggies and shrimp and stir well.
    bowl of pasta in dressing.
  • Chill. Let the macaroni chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold.


I cook the macaroni for 1 minute less than the box recommends.
If you can’t find extra small shrimp, just chop up regular-sized shrimp.
Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
ingredients in small bowls on counter

Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy side dish.

  • mayonnaise
  • sugar
  • black pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • elbow pasta, slightly undercooked
  • diced fresh cucumber
  • diced red bell pepper
  • diced red onion
  •  cooked mini shrimp

🥫 Storage instructions

This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time, but give it enough time to chill before serving. The salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

🔍 FAQs

Can I add more seafood?

Yes! You can add any cooked seafood you like. Crab, lobster, and scallops would all be great in this salad.

Is Old Bay Seasoning necessary for this recipe?

No, but it does give the salad a nice flavor. If you don’t have Old Bay on hand, you can use any other seasoning blend that you like.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Use cooked, cooled pasta. Slightly undercook it, as it will soften as it sits in the fridge.
  • Don’t forget to chill. This salad is best when it’s cold, so make sure to give it enough time to chill before serving.

📘 Related Recipes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe. I always boil my shrimp with lemon, LOTS of salt, & add a beer for flavor. The precooked shrimp is quite flavorless. It really makes a difference when you prepare your shrimp for any recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful, modernized take on a family favorite from the the 70s and beyond. Completely lost to time for me, yet your tweaks and clear improvements enticed enough to give it a try last night. Result: Both of our young adult sons (one foodie, the other def NOT), my agreeable husband, and my restaurant-crawlin’ self LOVED it, and we’re opinionated and not so easy to please these days. Thanks MUCH for one forgotten slice of childhood, my new-find fellow foodie. (Expert level, of course.) 💖

    1. 5 stars
      Adult ADD on full display, always… 🙄😑

      Please edit my review stars to show 5 out of 5. Not sure how I messed that one up so clearly, but “not sure” is a frustrating mainstay…

    1. 5 stars
      Random thoughts: 💯 Dig it! There really couldn’t be a better reply. That is, sadly, with an assumption of the writer’s ability to accept light-hearted banter in a society that’s fully lost its “humor” across all seven senses.

      P.S. Butt-hurt bone, however, is fully engaged and ready to roar 🦁 (aka “share”).