Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad/w Shrimp

Woo hoo!!!  The heat has arrived in Northern Illinois, bringing with it the craving for cold pasta salads!  

There’s nothing quite like a crisp cool salad to dig into at your backyard barbecue when the thermometer soars.  Pasta salads are not only quick and easy to make ~ they can be prepped in advance, allowing you more time to join the esprit de corps of your guests. 

Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad can be easily adapted to your taste with whatever flavors you favor.   Start with wagon wheel pasta and add colorful veggies of your liking, combining it all in a honey, poppy seed and Dijon mustard dressing for the finishing touch.

This versatile salad recipe was published in our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, recently.  I made a vegetarian version of it using shrimp; however, it is really delicious using cut-up chicken, as in rotisserie chicken ~ or you could try it with ham.   The recipe also includes one diced apple and one cup grape halves and toasted slivered almonds which I omitted, catering to individual tastes. 

If you like colorful chilly pasta salads in the heat of summer, I guarantee you’ll be wild about this one!  It’s a perfect pasta salad for your guests to relish!

Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad w/Shrimp


1 pound wagon wheel pasta
1 pound medium shrimp, (30-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 red yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and diced
1 cup snow pea pods, sliced into thirds
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Zest of ½ orange
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


To a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook until al dente.
Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain well and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, bell peppers, snow peas and scallions.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, mustard, orange zest, poppy seeds and salt and pepper.
When the pasta has cooled, add it to the bowl with the veggies and shrimp, then toss to combine.
Add the dressing and stir to coat.
Chill for 1-2 hours and serve.
Makes 12 servings

ENJOY!!!  It’s delicious!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes.  She’s having a Double Giveaway now!


  1. Love pasta salad, and yes it is very hot here as well. Still no rain though!! Diane

  2. Wow Pam!! That looks exceptional! That's a recipe I am going to steal!...well, maybe borrow, but I sure will tell everyone where I got it!

  3. Sounds amazing!! It's what I love about summer-all the different kinds of salads:)

  4. That looks like a delicious dressing, Pam. Love the addition of honey and orange zest. Wagon wheels are a good choice because they hold onto the dressing so well. This will be on my menu this week.

  5. We are huge fans of pasta salad - not to mention shrimp (maybe the best protein in the world).

  6. Love pasta salads and this looks like a winner! Yes, it is hot. Don't know if the storm is headed toward you but we already have a huge tree down across the street. Heard that Midway and O'hare are closed. Maybe it will cool down.


  7. This looks sooo amazing. Granted I would like chicken instead of shrimp, but what a versatile salad!

  8. Una ensalada deliciosa, que rica.


  9. I just love that pasta its so pretty to serve too! The recipe sounds fantastic!

  10. Hi Pam!! I love pasta salad, there are so much way to do it. I will try your recipe too, it looks so yammy!

  11. wagon wheel pasta yeah! Lovely recipe with the poppies!

  12. YUMMY!

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    My new blog posts are not updating in blogger/reader OR links on others' blogs
    Please come and visit!!

    Comfort Spiral


  13. Pam look really yummy! gloria

  14. I do love a cold pasta salad! Philadelphia has had a bit of a heatwave, I think we'll be eating a "cold" dinner tonight, too!

  15. This salad looks perfect for the hot weather! The Dijon Mustard sounds great.

  16. This is the perfect summertime meal!

  17. Yummy! I love any recipe with pasta in it. All of the colors in this salad make one beautiful treat!

    Check out my
    Double Giveaway

  18. Ahhhh who cares about a false-positive drug test, pass me some poppy seeds ;)

  19. Looks wonderful. Will have to try this.

  20. Love a good pasta salad, especially with shrimp, and yours looks fabulous! And the dressing sounds so delish, too. Another one for the "Pam" folder! :)

  21. This would be the perfect dinner here tonight. It's hot and this looks so cool and yummy!

  22. This sounds refreshing and delicious! Love the color, flavor and texture combination of your salad. :)

  23. wow...thanks pam for sharing this awesome recipe..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  24. Your pasta looks so good. Love all the ingredients! Thanks for sharing! Have a lovely day, Pam!

  25. I love the sound of this dressing!
    And I wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog about your daughter in law going back to work after the birth of her baby...it really helped me a lot hearing a different perspective on everything. Thank you so much!

  26. I love pasta salads!! Ok, I love anything with pasta in it...but during the summer, I'm with you.. cold pasta salads are the best!

  27. Looks like a keeper! Perfect for hot weather.

  28. Pam, I love your pasta salad bowl. Looks truly mouthwatering. Slurp...
    Happy weekend & have a wonderful & sunny day!
    Blesings, Kristy


Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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