Shrimp Fajita Pasta Salad

Shrimp Fajita Pasta Salad: A Flavorful Fusion of Tex-Mex Delights

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Embark on a culinary adventure with our Shrimp Fajita Pasta Salad, a delightful fusion of vibrant flavors inspired by Tex-Mex cuisine! This refreshing salad combines tender shrimp, colorful bell peppers, zesty seasonings, and al dente pasta, all tossed in a tangy dressing for a dish that’s as delicious as it is satisfying. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or simply craving a taste of Southwestern flair, this pasta salad is sure to be a hit. Join us as we explore the ingredients, instructions, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions of this mouthwatering recipe.


For the Pasta Salad:

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red bell pepper (small), diced
  • 1 green bell pepper (small), diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper (small), diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1/3 cup purple onion, diced

For the Shrimp:

  • 1.5 lb. cooked shrimp (small-medium)
  • 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Shrimp:
    • In a large bowl, combine the cooked shrimp with fajita seasoning, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss until the shrimp are evenly coated. Set aside to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
  3. Make the Dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fajita seasoning, cumin, salt, minced garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and black pepper to create the dressing. Set aside.
  4. Saute the Peppers and Onions:
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced bell peppers and purple onion. Saute until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sauteed peppers and onions, canned corn, and prepared dressing. Toss until everything is well coated in the dressing.
  6. Assemble the Salad:
    • Gently fold in the marinated shrimp until evenly distributed throughout the pasta salad.
  7. Chill and Serve:
    • Cover the pasta salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
    • Once chilled, serve the Shrimp Fajita Pasta Salad garnished with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions, if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Some Heat: For an extra kick of spice, add diced jalapeños or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the pasta salad.
  • Cheese Lover’s Twist: Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the pasta salad for a creamy and indulgent addition.
  • Protein Swap: Feel free to substitute the shrimp with grilled chicken, steak strips, or tofu for a different protein option.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: Replace the bowtie pasta with cooked cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative. Ensure that the fajita seasoning used is free from added sugars and artificial fillers.
  • Low-Carb Version: Follow the keto substitutions mentioned above and adjust the quantities of ingredients to fit your low-carb macros. Opt for fresh corn kernels instead of canned corn to reduce the carb content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use frozen shrimp instead of cooked shrimp? A: Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, but be sure to thaw and cook them according to package instructions before marinating.

Q: Can I make this pasta salad ahead of time? A: Absolutely! This pasta salad can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just give it a good stir before serving, and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Q: Can I customize the vegetables in this salad? A: Of course! Feel free to swap out the bell peppers and onions with your favorite vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, or avocado for added variety and nutrition.

Q: Is this pasta salad suitable for outdoor picnics and potlucks? A: Yes, this pasta salad is perfect for outdoor gatherings! Just be sure to keep it chilled in a cooler until ready to serve to ensure food safety.

Elevate your summer gatherings with our Shrimp Fajita Pasta Salad, a vibrant and flavorful dish that’s sure to impress! With its colorful array of vegetables, succulent shrimp, and zesty dressing, this salad offers a delicious taste of Tex-Mex cuisine in every bite. Whether you’re enjoying it as a light lunch, side dish, or main course, this pasta salad is a versatile and satisfying addition to any meal. So, gather your ingredients, toss up a bowl of this delightful pasta salad, and get ready to savor the vibrant flavors of summer with every forkful!

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