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Shrimp Pasta Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

Servings: 6 to 8

This easy-to-make pasta salad is a lovely shade of pale green. From the first bite, you’ll taste how the trio of parsley, chives, and tarragon is more than the sum of its parts. I find that good-quality frozen cooked shrimp, when properly thawed, are reliably tender and have a nice balance of fresh flavor and sea saltiness. They work well in this kind of salad not only for their flavor, but also because they save the time of cleaning, cooking, and cooling the shrimp.


  • 1 lb. frozen cooked small shrimp (51 to 60 per lb.), thawed and peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni, preferably macaroni rigate
  • 2 cups tightly packed coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (about 4 oz.), plus 1/4 cup leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced chives, plus 1 Tbs. for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon leaves, plus 1 Tbs. for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2  cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs. white-wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 300
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 130
  • Fat (g): 14
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 870
  • Carbohydrates (g): 24
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 18


If the shrimp tail shells are still intact, gently wiggle them off and discard.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold running water for 15 seconds. Leave the pasta in the colander, shaking occasionally, while you make the dressing.

In a blender, combine the parsley leaves and stems, chives, tarragon, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and purée, scraping down the blender jar once or twice until smooth.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the shrimp and enough dressing to coat, and stir to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved herbs (if using), and serve.


The salad can be made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • spookysmom | 09/20/2021

    Sorry, FC, we did NOT like this at all! Made it exactly as written using herbs from my garden. The parsley was just too strong (unpleasantly so). I would tell everyone to proceed with caution -- some people might like this a lot -- it was easy and looked good. Just not a good flavor for our family.

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