Shrimp Salad Recipes

Do you love the lightness of shrimp salad during the summer? Me too! It tastes fresh and healthy but is still packed with protein. This is my "master" recipe for shrimp salad, a concept recipe, begging for your own adaptations and substitutions, with three different sauces. So easy, so versatile!

First published in 2008, updated & republished in 2012

Shrimp Salad Recipes

"... just finished the most amazing shrimp salad." ~ Heidi

Stuck in a shrimp rut, that's where I've been for a few weeks. It started when small cooked shrimp were on sale at the grocery, begging to be turned into shrimp salad for supper that night. The salad was good enough, but lacked a certain oomph. But by the next day, whoah, it was ever-so-good: it just needed a few hours for the flavors to meld!

So I set off to create a shrimp salad tasting just as good on-the-spot as some-time-later. So sorry, no luck in that department.

But there's an upside, something perhaps even more useful, a concept recipe for shrimp salad, a formula that easily adapts to what's in season, what's on sale, what just sounds good.

It was a very good rut, shrimp salad.

ALANNA's TIPS The Asian-style sauce calls for two ingredients best found in Asian markets for which there are no real substitutes. The first is fish sauce, which is a salty fishy liquid the consistency of soy sauce but not at all like it in flavor. The second is chili paste, also called sambal oelek, a fiery hot paste the consistency of ketchup. If you do happen to find these ingredients, they're used in small amounts but do keep for a long time so are worth the investment. To help both drain and further dry the shrimp before tossing them into the salad, I leave them in a colander with a plate beneath and put these into the refrigerator, uncovered since it will be just a few minutes. This helps prevent the shrimp salad from getting a little watery. My friend Kirsten suggests pickling the shrimp for an hour or so in a brine, then draining and using in the salad. It's a very Scandinavian thing, I must-must try it soon!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Good for supper, better still the next day
Hands-on time: 15 - 20 minutes
Time-to-table: preferably 4 - 24 hours
Serves 4
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled, tailed, deveined
  • 1/3 of an English cucumber, diced small
  • 1 rib celery, diced small
  • Something wet and fruity - mango, peach, cantaloupe, in bite-size pieces
  • Something sharp for underneath - 2 green onions, chopped or red onion, diced small
  • Something fresh - dill, basil, mint
    SAUCE IDEA #1 - light & lemony
  • Zest & juice of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Drop or two Tabasco
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    SAUCE IDEA #2 - traditional mayonnaise (my favorite)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish (or to taste)
    SAUCE IDEA #3 - Asian-style
  • Zest & juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

FOR UNCOOKED SHRIMP Drop into boiling water for 3 minutes, then into a bowl of ice water for a minute. Drain and pat dry.

FOR COOKED FROZEN SHRIMP Rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry. (Small shrimp finish thawing while prepping the other ingredients; larger shrimp may take longer.) Set aside.

SALAD Combine

Combine the remaining ingredients. Turn in the shrimp. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate for about four hours or even overnight. Serve on lettuce greens.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE with Sauce #1/#2/#3: 187/194/171Cal; 5/4/2g Tot Fat; 1/1/1g Sat Fat; 11g/14/12g Carb; 1/2/1g Fiber; 189/337/567mg Sodium; 172/174/172mg Cholesterol; 24/24/25g Protein WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4/4/3, PointsPlus 5/5/4.

More Shrimp Recipes for Hot Summers

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy Shrimp Bites Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp Cold Shrimp with Creamy Dill Sauce & Capers

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/31/2008

    Had never thought about their being just "one" shrimp salad. This makes it all seem so simple. And just three points? Perfect.

  2. Alanna: On the amount of white wine vinegar (in the mayo-based sauce) - is that measurement TEAspoons or TABLEspoons?

    Great idea - sounds yummy!

  3. Cara ~ I was struck by how simple and variable too. So glad that the shrimp appeals to you!

    Sally ~ Thanks, friend, for the catch. It's a tablespoon and I've corrected the post, too.

  4. Alanna,
    Well done! If I'd read that an hour ago (before my gorcery run) I would have come home with shrimp. I particularly like the addition of fruit.

  5. Anonymous8/20/2008

    Allen and I just finished the most amazing shrimp salad. I made your favorite one, using these HUGE frozen, raw shrimp from Whole Foods. The herb was tarragon (really good with vinegar and shrimp). Served on a potato bun, and Allen admitted if I had asked him if he wanted to join me for shrimp salad for lunch, he would've said "No." But I never even asked him... and he ate the whole sandwich, then went to the pantry for crackers so he could keep eating it.

    Yum, yum, yum.

  6. Those all sound good, but I'm especially drawn to the first and third variations (not a huge mayo fan). I usually buy 16/20 or 21/25 shrimp when a local store has them on sale. Instead of boiling them, I roast them. Roasting really intensifies the flavor. I got the idea from Ina Garten. She uses roasted shrimp in a number of recipes -- all very good.

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove shells -- you can leave tails on or off as desired. Drizzle shrimp with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I roast the 16/20s for 7-9 minutes, the 21/25s for 6-8 minutes. The smaller the shrimp, the less time they need to roast.

    This is now my preferred way to cook shrimp for salads and shrimp cocktail.

  7. Sally - GREAT idea, thanks so much for sending that one along! I just made this two days ago but now want to make two more batches, one roasting the shrimp and another pickling it a little!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna