Macaroni Salad with Shrimp

This is truly the best ever Macaroni Salad with Shrimp! It’s tossed with a simple yet flavorful mayonnaise dressing, and topped with hard boiled eggs.

macaroni salad with shrimp in a white bowl, topped with hard boiled egg slices.

If you like shrimp, you will love this salad!

Macaroni Salad with Shrimp is a classic recipe, taken from my grandma’s recipe book. (Another favorite from Grandma: German Potato Salad with Eggs.)

The salad is a delightful combination of tender pasta, celery, hard boiled eggs, green pepper, and small shrimp in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing.

The secret to the dressing is a scoop of dill pickle relish!

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green and white bowl filled with pasta salad with shrimp.

Recipe tips

  • Use small shrimp for this recipe. I used 71/90 count shrimp, which I found in the frozen section at Target. You can also use canned shrimp. If you have extra shrimp, you can try Shrimp Scampi (without wine) recipe OR Shrimp Dip with Cream Cheese for any leftovers!
  • Don’t want shrimp? You can substitute 2 cans of tuna or even lump crab.
  • You can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance of serving.


ingredients for pasta salad on a white table.
  • The base of the recipe is 8 oz of elbow macaroni. You can use any small pasta that you like though!
  • Green pepper, onion, and celery add crunch.
  • Hard boiled eggs make it special. Make your own or buy them already peeled from the grocery store.
  • Dried dill and dill pickle relish jazz up the mayonnaise dressing.

How to make macaroni salad with shrimp

Start by boiling the macaroni according to package directions.

Defrost the shrimp under cool running water if you’re using frozen shrimp.

While the macaroni is cooking, chop the celery, green pepper, and onion.

chopped onion, celery, and green pepper on a brown cutting board next to a knife.

Stir together the mayonnaise, sugar, dill pickle relish, and dried dill. You can use sweet pickle relish in place of the dill pickle relish, if you’d like.

mayonnaise dressing in a white bowl with a spatula.

Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. No need to rinse it. Add the chopped veggies, along with the mayonnaise dressing. Toss to combine.

Gently stir in the hard boiled eggs. I purchased peeled, hard boiled eggs from my grocery store for this recipe. But make your own if you’d like!

macaroni salad with shrimp in a white bowl with a spatula.

Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to combine.

Top with extra hard boiled egg slices, and sprinkle with a little dill before serving.

How long does shrimp macaroni salad last?

Macaroni Salad with Shrimp will keep for 3–4 days in the refrigerator. Give it a stir before serving.

I don’t recommend freezing macaroni salad. The mayonnaise dressing can separate and make the salad watery.

Make it ahead

This recipe can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Give it a stir before serving.

shrimp macaroni salad topped with hard boiled egg slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned shrimp instead of frozen shrimp?

Yes! Use one 7-oz can of tiny shrimp in place of the frozen shrimp. Drain and rinse the shrimp before using.

Can I use light mayonnaise?

You can substitute an equal amount of light mayonnaise for full-fat mayonnaise.

How long does macaroni salad keep at room temperature?

You can keep macaroni salad out for about 3 hours at room temperature. If you’re outside and the weather is warm, the salad will keep for even less time.

Can shrimp macaroni salad be frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing the salad. The mayonnaise can separate and it’ll cause the salad to be watery. Pasta also changes texture when frozen and defrosted.


Here are a few ideas for substitutions (a few are straight from Grandma herself!):

  • Use canned shrimp or canned tuna in place of the frozen shrimp
  • Use 1 tablespoon of fresh dill in place of the dried dill
  • Substitute half a bottle of salad olives for the green pepper
  • Use lump crab in place of the shrimp
  • Substitute sweet pickle relish for the dill pickle relish
  • Use your favorite small pasta in place of the macaroni (like shells or rotini)
green and white bowl filled with macaroni salad with shrimp.

More hearty salad recipes

Grandma’s German Potato Salad is another recipe from Grandma’s recipe book (and it’s also topped with hard boiled eggs!). This recipe for the Best Red Potato Salad also uses red potatoes, but it has a mayonnaise dressing.

Tuna Pasta Salad is a great salad for summer—it uses buttermilk and just a little mayo.

And I LOVE this Hot Chicken Salad. It’s topped with potato chips and cheese, and baked to bubbly, golden perfection!

And if you enjoy seafood, don’t miss my Old Fashioned Salmon Patties Recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

macaroni salad with shrimp topped with hard boiled eggs in a white bowl.

Macaroni Salad with Shrimp

Published by Kate
The secret to this classic macaroni salad is a scoop of dill pickle relish in the dressing!
4.80 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 240 kcal


  • 8 oz dried macaroni
  • teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped (reserve a few slices for garnish)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • cups small frozen shrimp, defrosted (about 4–5 oz)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup dill pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill


  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Cook the macaroni according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, place the green pepper, eggs, onion, celery, and shrimp in a large bowl. Reserve a few slices of hard boiled egg for the top.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, pickle relish, dill, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  • When the macaroni has finished cooking, drain it well. Transfer to the large bowl with the green pepper and shrimp. Pour the mayonnaise dressing over the top, and toss gently to combine.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 1–2 hours. Serve chilled.


You can use canned shrimp or any small fresh shrimp in place of the frozen shrimp. You can also use lump crab or tuna if you’d like. 
You can replace the dill pickle relish with sweet pickle relish. You can also replace the dried dill with a tablespoons or two of fresh dill
You can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance. Give it a stir before serving. 
Store any leftover macaroni salad in the refrigerator. It’ll last for 3–4 days. 
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe—the mayo will separate and make the salad watery after defrosting. 


Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 11gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 807mgPotassium: 207mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 217IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
Keyword macaroni salad
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  1. Oh and I forgot to tell you I use 2 pounds of shrimp and if I want to splurge I use 4 pounds to 1 pound of pasta and definitely no eggs I repeat no eggs and the tomatoes 1 and a half pounds or to your liking get the sweetest tomatoes yanks enjoy I usually do not share my recipes but I could not resist. Thanks mike ps I am German and polish the recipes I have have been past down for generations

  2. Why do you tell people to use canned shrimp that is gross I live on long Island near the water so if you are going to make shrimp macaroni salad I use 13 15 and I cut in thirds also I use apple cider vinegar and because it’s summer I use fresh tomatoes and a teaspoon of sugar .forget relish yuck stir Mac salad until it gets pink from the tomatoes now that’s how I make it you will see its a home run with people lined up at your door when you make it

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