Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Chill: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 28 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
709 Calories
49g Fat
46g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 709
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 1212mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 38mg 190%
Calcium 319mg 25%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 369mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Why make the same old pasta salad for your next gathering? Take your side dish game up a notch by adding fresh seafood. The creamy ranch dressing pairs perfectly with crab, making this cold dish a real treat. Set it out at a potluck, grill-out, or picnic.

This pasta salad may be made with crabmeat, shrimp, lobster, or a combination of shellfish. Canned shrimp and/or imitation crabmeat work well, too. It's a great way to use up leftover cooked seafood from the night before.


  • 4 cups cooked pasta

  • 2 cups imitation crab meat (or a combination of crabmeat and small shrimp)

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups ranch (or peppercorn ranch dressing)

  • 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)

  • 1/2 cup green pepper (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup red pepper (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)

  • 1/2 cup carrot (finely shredded), optional

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Summer Seafood Pasta Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Cook the pasta until done but not overcooked. Cool under cold running water and drain well.

    cooked pasta in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. In ​a large bowl, combine the drained pasta, seafood, shredded cheese, ranch dressing, peas, green and red bell pepper, onion, and carrot, if using. Toss gently but blend thoroughly.

    pasta along with seafood, shredded cheese, ranch dressing, peas, green and red bell pepper, onion, and carrot in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Refrigerate the salad for 3 to 4 hours. If the texture is dry, add more dressing. Top with the tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

    Summer Seafood Pasta Salad, topped with cheese and tomatoes

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • Spiral (like rotini or fusilli) or bow-tie pasta works best for this pasta salad, since the shapes will hold the dressing well. Penne or rigatoni are also good choices.
  • Cook the pasta to al dente to avoid it becoming soggy while it chills in the fridge.
  • This is a creamy pasta salad, a richer, more decadent alternative to the oil-based dressings. Use your favorite ranch or peppercorn dressing and adjust the amount to suit your tastes.
  • You can also substitute small frozen shrimp. Be sure the shrimp are thawed and well-drained on paper towels or the salad will be watery.

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