Ah…shrimp! It’s one of my favorite crustaceans (to eat). My very first paid job was working in a deli that was famous for its amazing shrimp salad. Although I also worked the register, much of my time there was spent in the deli peeling it raw so we could boil it in Old Bay seasoning for the masses to enjoy. No, we didn’t steam it – perhaps that’s what set ours apart from the rest….
The only problem with making shrimp salad at home, though, is if you have a family, it’s kind of expensive. Even on sale, the 36-40 count raw (per pound) is usually around $7, and it shrinks when you cook it. But wait! There’s still a deliciously less-expensive way to enjoy shrimp salad, and that’s to make MACARONI and shrimp salad. Making it this way REALLY stretches the shrimp, enough that the whole family can enjoy it for days.
The recipe I’m about to give you is actually a conglomeration of two other recipes – my mother’s and my BFF’s. For example, my mother doesn’t put green pepper or egg in hers and my BFF doesn’t put sweet onion in hers. I combined the two with the ingredients that I and my family like the best and came up with a real crowd-pleaser!
The only ingredient that’s a fixed amount is the macaroni; the rest of the ingredients are to suit your own personal taste. The measures given below are the way we like it best:
Note: You’ll need a very large bowl for mixing and storage!
16 oz. box of Barilla macaroni*
2 pounds of peeled shrimp that’s been boiled or steamed with Old Bay seasoning
½ medium, sweet onion minced**
½ green pepper, finely chopped
2-3 roma or plum tomatoes, cleaned of all seeds and chopped***
2-3 cups of Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1 teaspoon (or more or less, to taste) of Old Bay
6 hard-boiled egg whites
1. Cook the macaroni. When done, strain the hot water and immediately place noodles in ice water to cool and arrest the cooking process. Strain and refrigerate in the strainer (to get even more liquid out).
2. Mince the sweet onion and mix with the mayonnaise and Old Bay; cover and refrigerate.
3. Chop the green pepper and tomatoes and refrigerate.
4. When the macaroni has had a chance to strain for a good while, empty into a large bowl. Chop the egg whites and the shrimp into large pieces and mix both with the cold macaroni.
5. Fold the chopped green pepper and tomato into the macaroni mixture.
6. Add the mayonnaise mixture last and taste it. If it’s too dry, you can always add more mayo. If it’s too bland, add more Old Bay in small increments until it’s seasoned the way you like it. You can always have some Old Bay in a shaker handy for anyone who wants to add more to their own portion.
7. Refrigerate and enjoy!
* Barilla noodles have ridges in them, so they grab and hold the other ingredients better than smooth noodles do.
** You can use regular onion, but make sure you add less or the flavor will take over the whole salad.
*** I wouldn’t recommend using any other kind of tomato; I made this salad once with regular tomatoes, and they were very mealy and gradually disintegrated – it still tasted good, but the whole salad turned pink. For some reason, the plum tomatoes just hold up better.
For a printer-friendly PDF version of this recipe, CLICK HERE.