Last Updated on May 16, 2023
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad is a delicious summer dish that combines the flavors of shrimp, bell peppers, mango, red onion, and cilantro. The salad is then tossed in a zesty lime dressing with garlic and Dijon mustard for an extra kick of flavor.
Its bright colors make it perfect for serving at barbecues or potluck parties, and it’s light yet satisfying taste will have everyone asking for seconds. Enjoy it as a meal or side dish – this pasta salad is sure to give you the perfect tropical escape!
In this article, we’ll give you the full recipe as well as step-by-step instructions and tips to make it even better. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!
What is Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad?
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad is a cold pasta salad dish inspired by the music of the iconic musician and songwriter, Jimmy Buffett. It consists of cooked macaroni pasta, shrimp, bell peppers, mango, red onion, and cilantro. The ingredients are then tossed in a zesty lime dressing with garlic and Dijon mustard for an extra kick of flavor.
The dish is a perfect representation of the tropical lifestyle Buffett sings about in his songs and has become a popular summer dish served at barbecues, potlucks, and parties. Its light yet satisfying taste will have everyone asking for seconds!
What does it taste like?
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad has a light yet satisfying taste and packs a zesty, flavorful punch. The lime juice in the dressing adds a tart, zesty flavor while the garlic enhances all of the other ingredients.
The shrimp and bell peppers give the dish a nice crunch, while the mangoes add sweetness. Finally, the red onion and cilantro add a fresh, aromatic flavor.
The flavors all come together to create an incredibly delicious and refreshing dish that is perfect for summertime!
How did I first get introduced to the Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad?
I first got introduced to Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad several years ago when a friend of mine brought it over to a summer barbecue. I was immediately taken by the bright colors and the light yet satisfying taste. Since then, it has become one of my favorite summer dishes!
It’s easy to make and can easily be adapted for vegetarians or people with different dietary needs. Plus, it’s always a hit at potluck parties and barbecues!
How to make Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad?
Making Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad is an easy and straightforward process. Here are the ingredients & a step-by-step guide on how to make it:
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Pasta: Base ingredient for the pasta salad. Use any type of shortcut pasta, such as macaroni, shells, or elbows.
Shrimp: Adds unique texture and flavor to the dish. Can be substituted with crab meat or diced cooked chicken if desired.
Red Onion: Provides a slight crunch and adds a mild onion flavor.
Cilantro: Adds a bright, herbaceous flavor and aroma to the salad.
Bell Peppers: Adds colorful crunchy texture and sweetness to the dish. Can be substituted with other vegetables such as celery or jicama.
Mango: Makes the salad extra fruity, sweet, and refreshing. Can be substituted with diced pineapple or peaches.
Lime Juice: Provides a tart, zesty flavor and adds freshness to the dish.
Garlic: Enhances the flavor of the dressing and ties all of the ingredients together.
Dijon Mustard: Adds tangy flavor and helps thicken up the dressing.
Olive Oil: Adds a rich, nutty flavor to the dressing and helps it coat all of the ingredients evenly.
Salt and Pepper: Enhances other flavors in the dish. Adjust to taste.
Honey: Balances out the tartness from the lime juice and adds a little sweetness to the dish. Can be substituted with agave nectar or maple syrup.
Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse under cold water until cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, red onion, cilantro, bell peppers, and mango.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.
Add honey to taste and mix until combined.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
– Use cooked and peeled shrimp for the best flavor and texture.
– For a vegetarian option, omit the shrimp and add more vegetables or chickpeas.
– Feel free to use other types of pasta, such as rotini or fusilli.
– If you don’t have fresh mango, you can substitute with canned or frozen mango chunks.
– If you don’t have Dijon mustard, you can substitute it with yellow mustard.
– You can also add diced avocado for extra creaminess and flavor.
– For added crunch, try adding some toasted nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
– Feel free to adjust the amount of dressing to your preference.
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad Recipe
- Large Bowl
- Medium pot
- wooden spoon
- Knife and cutting board
- Strainer or colander
- 8 ounces of pasta
- 1 pound of cooked and peeled shrimp
- 1/2 cup of diced red onion
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup of diced bell peppers
- 1 cup of diced mango
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse under cold water until cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, red onion, cilantro, bell peppers, and mango.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.
- Add honey to taste and mix until combined.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Use cooked and peeled shrimp for the best flavor and texture.
- For a vegetarian option, omit the shrimp and add more vegetables or chickpeas.
- Feel free to use other types of pasta, such as rotini or fusilli.
- If you don’t have fresh mango, you can substitute with canned or frozen mango chunks.
- If you don’t have Dijon mustard, you can substitute it with yellow mustard.
- You can also add diced avocado for extra creaminess and flavor.
- For added crunch, try adding some toasted nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of dressing to your preference.
Nutrition Information (per serving)
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Fiber: 4 g
What to serve with Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad?
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad is a great dish to serve as a side or main dish. It pairs perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables, fish tacos, and roasted potatoes. For a light and refreshing summer meal, serve it alongside grilled shrimp kabobs or marinated flank steak.
You can even use the salad as a topping for burgers or sandwiches. The pasta salad also pairs well with other summer favorites such as grilled corn on the cob, roasted zucchini & squash, and quinoa salads.
If you’re looking for something a little heartier, try serving it with roasted chicken or pork loin. No matter what you serve it with, Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad will surely be a hit!
How to store leftover Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad?
Leftover Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When storing, be sure to keep the pasta salad away from other foods that have strong odors, as the flavors of the salad may absorb them.
To store, transfer the cooled pasta salad into a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or foil. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Before serving, give the pasta salad a quick stir to re-combine any liquids that may have separated.
If you plan on storing the pasta salad for longer than 3 days, it’s best to transfer it into smaller airtight containers. This prevents the pasta salad from taking up too much space in your refrigerator and keeps it fresher for longer.
To reheat, simply place the desired amount of salad on a plate and microwave it for a minute or until heated through. You can also transfer pasta salad to a skillet over medium-high heat and cook it until heated through, stirring frequently.
Can pregnant women eat this?
Yes, pregnant women can enjoy this dish as long as the shrimp is cooked thoroughly. The pasta salad is filled with nutritious ingredients such as shrimp, bell peppers, mangoes, and cilantro which are all safe to eat while pregnant.
However, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before eating any type of food during pregnancy.
What can I substitute for shrimp?
If you don’t have shrimp on hand or would like to make this recipe vegetarian, there are several other ingredients you can use as substitutes. To add some protein and texture, try adding cooked and cubed chicken breast or tofu. Other options include canned tuna or chickpeas for a vegan option.
You can also add diced avocado or boiled eggs for extra creaminess. For an even easier substitution, you can use canned or frozen mango chunks which will add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. Whichever option you choose, be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free pasta. Be sure to check the label of any product you purchase for certifications or ingredients to ensure that it does not contain wheat or wheat derivatives.
Additionally, be sure to double-check all condiments and dressings used in the recipe as some may contain wheat or gluten ingredients.
What other vegetables can I add?
You can add other vegetables such as bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, celery, and spinach. Other options include chopped broccoli or cauliflower to add more texture and flavor.
You can also experiment with different types of cheeses such as feta or cheddar for a creamier salad. Be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly once you have added any additional ingredients.
Jimmy Buffett Pasta Salad is a flavorful, colorful, and easy-to-make summer dish. This recipe comes together in just minutes with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or as the main course for your next cookout, this pasta salad will be sure to please everyone! Just be sure to store it properly and consult your healthcare provider if you’re pregnant before eating.
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Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.