Southern Shrimp Pasta Salad

Inspired by a beloved Southern appetizer, this pasta salad is just the ticket for a porch party or weekend brunch.

Southern Living Southern Shrimp Pasta Salad in serving bowl with a serving beside

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Clair Spollen; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

There's just something about pickled shrimp that makes me giddy. It’s a beautiful dish with plump, pink shrimp nestled among vibrant vegetables and herbs—all tossed together in a light vinaigrette studded with whole pickling spices.

This old-school Southern classic, known to many as “Sea Island shrimp,” still feels like a modern luxury to me. Every time I eat it, I vow to make it more often—which is how this delicious new recipe came to be.

It’s a fresh twist that has all the flavors and textures of pickled shrimp plus crunchy sugar snap peas and lots of tender herbs. And thanks to the pasta, it’s filling enough to serve as a meal.

I like to make it ahead (it gets better the longer it sits) and then enjoy it with a glass of sweet tea in my outdoor kitchen, which is where you’ll find me all season long.


  • Ice

  • 3 Tbsp. , plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt , divided

  • 12 oz. uncooked orecchiette pasta

  • 3 Tbsp. , plus 3/4 tsp. lower-sodium Old Bay seasoning , divided

  • 1 lb. medium-size raw shrimp , peeled and deveined

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 Tbsp. coarse-grained Dijon mustard

  • 1 Tbsp. honey

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (from 2 garlic cloves)

  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 2 cups f resh sugar snap peas , sliced

  • 2 medium shallots , thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (from 2 stalks)

  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh dill

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Bring 12 cups water and 3 tablespoons of the salt to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add orecchiette pasta, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer pasta from boiling water to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; let cool completely, about 10 minutes. Do not remove boiling water from heat.

  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the Old Bay seasoning to boiling water, and boil 2 minutes. Add shrimp. Let cook until just pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes; drain. Immediately transfer shrimp to ice water; let shrimp cool completely, about 7 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and honey in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until smooth and combined. Whisk in minced garlic, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning until combined.

  4. Place pasta, shrimp, sugar snap peas, shallots, celery, dill, and parsley in a large bowl; add vinaigrette, and toss until well coated. Serve, or cover and store in refrigerator up to 24 hours.

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