Seafood macaroni salad is a cookout essential. Plump shrimp, tender crab meat, and crisp veggies coated with creamy mayo and a blast of Old Bay. This recipe is sure to become your family’s new favorite summer salad.
Can we take a pause for a second? I honestly can’t believe that summer is here already. I’m absolutely floored at the fact that school has been out for two weeks now. Which means there are only eight weeks left before it starts again! I’m making the most out of what’s left of this summer by sharing some of my best recipes with you all. I’m starting off cookout season with my favorite Seafood Macaroni Salad recipe.
Original Macaroni Salad
Growing up, macaroni salad was most often made with canned tuna. But on the rarest of occasion, someone would make seafood salad. Seafood salad became more frequent as we grew more financially stable. It’s pretty much the only macaroni salad my family makes nowadays.
The New Version
The recipe has evolved more than the quality of seafood. I’ve also incorporated flavors that I learned throughout my culinary explorations. Like the addition of capers and pimento. Pimento has a sweetness that I find to pair well with seafood. I use it in my Maryland Crab Cakes. I also like it in my potato salad (recipe coming soon).
Capers have a briny taste that I think adds savory or tartness for lack of a better work. It’s similar to vinegar. While I wouldn’t use vinegar in this particular recipe, I like the quality the capers add. Fresh parsley is another new addition that brings freshness to the salad. The other components are traditional.
Making Seafood Macaroni Salad
We use shrimp and imitation crab meat in this recipe. Some people use real crab meat. Others just use shrimp. Whatever your preference, use that. If you decide to use another seafood entirely, please swing back through and let me know how it turns out. I’ve been thinking about possible options.
The recipe starts with cooked elbow macaroni. Follow the package direction for fully cooked, not al dente. The noodles should be soft but not mushy. Then you layer your seafood and veggies on top of the pasta. Top it with the mayo mixed with capers, pimento, and parsley. Season it with the Old Bay and lemon pepper to finish. That easy. Serve this at any gathering that features burgers and/or sandwiches.
- 12 oz cooked jumbo shrimp chopped
- 4 oz imitation crab meat flaked
- 1 c elbow noodles dry
- 2/3 c mayo
- 1/4 c green peppers finely diced
- 1/4 c yellow onion finely dice
- 1/4 c celery finely diced
- 1 tbsp pimento
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1 tsp old bay
- 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
- Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions and drain fully. Layer the cooked noodles on the bottom of a mixing bowl followed by the shrimp, crab meat, peppers, onion, and celery.
- Mix the mayo, capers, pimento, and parsley in a separate bowl. Pour mixture over the noddle bowl and combine. Sprinkle the top with Old Bay and lemon pepper and mix again.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.