Shrimp and Pasta Shell Salad


  • 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise, or more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1lemon, juiced
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 (12 ounce) package small pasta shells
  • 1 pound cooked, peeled, and deveined small shrimp – cut in half
  • ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch paprika, for garnish
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, or as desired
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Whisk 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl; add lemon juice and 1/3 cup chopped dill. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate.


  • Step 2

    Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and stir in pasta shells; cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool pasta slightly; drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Step 3

    Toss shrimp with pasta; add red bell pepper, celery, and dressing to pasta and shrimp. Mix thoroughly to coat and fill shells with dressing. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

  • Step 4

    Stir salad again before serving and season to taste with more salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper if desired. If salad seems a little dry, mix in a little more mayonnaise. Garnish with paprika and sprigs of dill.

  • Cook's Notes:

    Salt the pasta water until it tastes like seawater.

    Small shrimp are about 100 per pound.

    You can add chopped onion, capers, olives, and bacon and use as a base for grilled salmon.

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