Summer Patio Party // Shrimp Pasta Salad

Summer to me means a symphony for the senses. Fresh tastes, nostalgic aromas, sticky temperatures, and vivid colors. This al fresco dinner party encompassed all of those things. Including one of my favorite simple summer “salads” — you know the kind that isn’t a really salad per-say but we call them salads because they’re cold, refreshing and easily accessible from a Tupperware¬†container aka picnic ready.

This shrimp pasta salad is an old standby of mine that I’ve made for years. It’s hearty enough to satisfy your hungriest¬†diner – yet is light enough to eat on the most oppressively hot daze. Loved sharing this Mediterranian inspired dish with my friends on this lovely patio — hope you enjoy it as much as they did. Don’t forget to make it your own — throw some toasted pine nuts on top — add some grilled corn. Go CRAZY!

Shrimp Pasta Salad


1 lb shrimp - shells removed + deveined
2 cucumbers - roughly chopped
1 red onion - roughly chopped
2-3 (heaping) tbsp of fresh pesto (or jarred)
1 cup feta cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
1 cup kalamata olives
2 tbsp EVOO or ghee (separated)
1 lb pasta (I used gluten free brown rice pasta shells)
salt + pepper


  1. cook pasta according to directions, al dente is preferred. set aside and let cool.
  2. while pasta is cooling to room temp, cut all veggies and prepare shrimp.
  3. in a medium size skillet over high heat add EVOO or ghee (whichever you prefer -- I like ghee especially if I'm using a cast iron skillet (which I would recommend) because of it's high smoke point and flavor profile)
  4. shrimp will cook quickly so stay close by, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. remove shrimp from skillet and let cool to room temperature.
  6. begin combining all ingredients when everything is about at room temp.
  7. add more EVOO as needed to loosen up the pasta - you want it to be coated but not oily or too saucy.
  8. season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh basil if available.

looking for some hashtag cheeseboard goals? head on over to and check out Sarah’s drool-worthy spread.

((photos by emily gude photography))

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