Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad

Frugal healthy recipe: Shrimp and veggie pasta salad
This pasta salad always satisfies hungry kids when they think there’s nothing to eat!

Why is that whenever my kids open the refrigerator during the summer and it’s packed with healthy, wholesome vittles, they say, “There’s nothing to eat around here!” Meanwhile, the fridge is bursting with food and the counters are overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables. What’s a meal-planning-frugal-foodie-home-cookin’-mom to do? Make pasta salad!! Pasta salad is my response to this statement. Pasta salad is basically a meal in a bowl and when I whip this out of the refrigerator in response to the above statement, everyone is happy.

Summer is my salad time of year. I want to cook (or get one of those complaining kids who says there’s nothing to eat to cook!) early in the day and then check it off my to do list. It’s also nice to get the cooking done before it gets too warm in my little kitchen! I especially like meals that are quick, easy, healthy, and filling.

Frugal healthy recipe: Shrimp and veggie pasta salad
I like this salad served with arugula and a well loved cloth napkin!

This salad is good year round and not just in the summer. I like to keep pasta salads around during the school year, too. That way, when my hungry kids walk through the door after school, they’ve got a healthy snack that’s ready for them to eat. It’s also nice for lunch. My husband and I like to eat salads like this while our kids are at school. Again, quick, easy, healthy, and filling.

I usually go with a double batch for our family of 4. If we have it for dinner one night, we’ve got leftovers for lunch or snacks. Well, and breakfast. My kids love to eat leftovers for breakfast, too!

Go Gingham Stylishly Frugal Living healthy recipes
Not to much dressing and not too little – just the right amount.

Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Salads like this are really a meal - and hearty enough to have for dinner! This is a family favorite for dinner but really it's good anytime.
Ingredients
Salad
  • 12 ounce – 16 ounce (1 pound) whole wheat pasta
  • 1 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
Dressing
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise, light
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and cool.
  2. Place pasta in large bowl.
  3. Chop vegetables and add to bowl.
  4. In small bowl, mix together dressing ingredients and whisk until completely mixed together.
  5. Pour dressing over pasta, shrimp, and veggies. Mix and enjoy.
  6. Store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. When serving as a leftover, you may to add more dressing – just mix it in the bowl if necessary.
Notes
By using frozen peas and frozen shrimp in this recipe, I use these ingredients to cool the pasta, once I've cooked and drained it. In the summer, substitute what you have fresh in your garden.

Notes

  • I buy my whole wheat pasta at Winco Foods, from their bulk bins section. It’s the best price around (even if you have a coupon for the national brand) and I can measure exactly how much I need. Find a “no-frills, bag your own food” grocery store in your area if you don’t have one of these.
  • Many manufacturers are making whole wheat or whole grain pasta but it comes in 12 ounce or 13 ounce packages instead of 16 ounce or 1 pound packages. I’ve been tricked by this – buying 13 ounces when I thought it was 16 ounces! – so use what you have and if making a pound, toss in more veggies and make a little more dressing if you need to.
  • I use frozen peas and frozen shrimp in this recipe. Once I cook the pasta and drain it, I add the frozen peas and frozen shrimp to cool the pasta down. Food that works for you? Yes, please!
  • In the summer, substitute what you have fresh in your garden – peas, green beans or tomatoes – all of these would be great in here, too!
  • I use frozen, baby shrimp for this recipe. Buy it in a 5-pound package and then re-package it into smaller, 1-pound containers at home and pop them into your freezer. It’s so easy to keep shrimp on hand when it’s frozen, peeled, and measured out in advance. It’s tasty and easily adds protein to this and lots of other dishes.

What’s your answer to the statement, “There’s nothing to eat around here!”

Go Gingham related links:

Shrimp and quinoa salad – a summer favorite
Simple summer salad with tomatoes and cucumbers – oh, and onions and fresh dill
After school snacks that don’t have any extra packaging –prepared at home!!
Betsy’s best brownies – our chicken who is no longer with us – these are great for after school snacking, too!

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

13 Comments


  1. Good idea! I was looking for something to make for our bbq this weekend. This salad looks lovely and summery.


    1. Heidi, I may make it, too, this weekend. It’s our block party and it’s a bbq/pot-luck style event. Happy summer!


  2. MMM this look super good. My husband just asked me yesterday if I would make that cold pea salad for him…a.k.a. Tuna Noodle Salad, silly guy.


    1. Thanks, Sheila! Love a cold pea salad in the summer – and a guy who asks for it!


  3. That looks yummy, Sara!

    The best price that I’ve found on whole wheat pasta in our area (North of Seattle) is Trader Joes, about $1.39/ 1 pound bag. I occasionally find FM brand on sale at Fred Meyer for a bit less. I’ll have to check out WinCo sometime when I’m in that area (it’s a bit of a drive from my house).


    1. Lili, thanks! I think TJ’s has pretty good prices on their w/w pasta and it’s in a 1 pound bag! Winco’s price is closer to $1.05 or so a pound. Sounds like we have similar shopping stops, too.


      1. Thanks for the price info on Winco! Winco is sort of on my way to my daughters’ orthodontist. They have an appointment later this month, so I’ll make the effort to stop in. Thanks again.


  4. I do believe I’ll make that for dinner! I have been cooking meals from forgotton items in my freezer and I have some shrimp hiding out in there. I was looking back through your older recipes and wondered if you have a recipe for your tzatziki sauce?


    1. Hi Ruthie! I do have a recipe for it but need to write it down. That’s my problem with all of these recipes and how I cook – I generally just make stuff up as I go or remake a recipe so that it’s healthier and tastier than when it started. I’ll work on it now that there’s plenty of cucumbers around – although not in my garden this year 🙁 We’ve a horrible cucumber year.


    1. You are so welcome, friend! Thanks for stopping by 😉


  5. This sounds so easy and cool and refreshing! I have one question though: there two 1/4 cup red wine vinegar listed. Once for the salad and once for the dressing. Is this a mistake? If not, when do you use the first one in the salad? I assume the one listed for the dressing just goes in the dressing.


    1. Iris, thank you! That was an absolute mistake : / Now, it is correct. I think in trying to break up the ingredients from salad to dressing, I had it in there twice. I hope it makes sense now – there is only 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar. Thank you. What would I do without my sweet readers to help me out??? 🙂

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