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Best Seafood Pasta Salad Recipe (with Imitation Crab)

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Seafood Pasta Salad is an easy and delicious summer side dish mad with elbow pasta, imitation crab meat, celery, and the perfect combinations of dressing and spices. 

seafood pasta salad in white bowl

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Summer is the perfect time of year to dig into all of my favorite chilled easy pasta salad recipes. They are such an easy side dish for all of our summer bbqs and I love that this is a great make-ahead dish and require minimal stove time to free me up from the kitchen. The best part is, it tastes even better the next day so if you have leftovers you’re in for a treat!

Why I love this recipe

This crab pasta salad is super affordable by using imitation crab meat made from Alaska pollock but you could easily substitute real lump crab meat (fresh crab or canned) if you have some on hand. It is the perfect side dish the entire family will love if you have seafood lovers in the house!

Ingredients

seafood pasta salad ingredients in bowls
  • elbow pasta
  • celery
  • imitation crab meat
  • mayonnaise
  • granulated sugar
  • white vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • spices: salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, and Old Bay seasoning

Step by step

  1. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain pasta and run cold water over the pasta to cool it and fully drain in a colander.
  2. Add pasta, chopped celery, and chopped crab meat into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients to form the dressing. Stir to mix then pour over the pasta mixture and stir to coat. 
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Variations

This is a great recipe to customize to your personal preference so many different ways. Here are some easy variations to try:

  • use real crab meat instead of imitation crabmeat
  • add shrimp: small cocktail shrimp or chopped large shrimp work well in this seafood pasta salad recipe
  • add diced bell peppers, chopped green onions, or diced red onion
  • top with fresh dill
  • use a different pasta: shell pasta, rotini pasta, or bowtie pasta all work well
  • switch up the mayonnaise for sour cream for a slightly creamier taste

Serving suggestions

Make this a main course by serving it up with some crusty bread or serve it on the side of summer favorites like baked barbecue chicken or glazed sausages.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.

If you try this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!

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seafood pasta salad in white bowl

Best Seafood Pasta Salad Recipe (with Imitation Crab)


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5 from 1 review

Description

Seafood Pasta Salad is an easy and delicious summer side dish mad with elbow pasta, imitation crab meat, celery, and the perfect combinations of dressing and spices.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounce box elbow pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 16 ounces imitation crabmeat, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (Miracle Whip is fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain pasta and run cold water over the pasta to cool it and fully drain in a colander.
  2. Add pasta, chopped celery, and chopped crab meat into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients to form the dressing. Stir to mix then pour over the pasta mixture and stir to coat.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: side
  • Method: none
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 370
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 592.8 mg
  • Fat: 21.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 12.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 48.2 mg

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3 Comments

    1. I made this with a few additions: diced Roma tomato, diced green pepper, chopped green onion, pinch of dill, and a pinch of celery seed. It turned out great and was a hit at the pot luck dinner. The dressing is the key to the great taste and take this a notch above your average pasta salad.

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