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.
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 shrimp in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing.
The secret to the dressing is a scoop of dill pickle relish!
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Use one 7-oz can of tiny shrimp in place of the frozen shrimp. Drain and rinse the shrimp before using.
You can substitute an equal amount of light mayonnaise for full-fat mayonnaise.
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.
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)
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!
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Macaroni Salad with Shrimp
- 8 oz dried macaroni
- 2½ 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
- 1½ 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.
Michael lewis says
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
Michael lewis says
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