Shrimp Salad is a summertime classic! Serve it on a toasted bun or simply spooned over lettuce and tomatoes.
Brunch, lunch or dinner – a classic Shrimp Salad fits in with just about any menu!
Our delicious shrimp salad recipe strays from most others in that we sauté our shrimp, rather than boiling it. Doing so allows the shrimp to pick up additional flavors as it cooks – plus you can avoid overcooking which makes the shrimp tough and rubbery.
Chop the cooked shrimp, then toss it in a creamy, flavorful dressing that complements the shrimp to perfection. Chill so the flavors meld, then serve your Shrimp Salad in a toasted brioche bun or spooned over a bed of lettuce.
Why You’ll Love This Shrimp Salad
- It’s quick to prepare. The shrimp only takes 5 minutes to cook – and the rest of the prep is chopping and mixing.
- Tender chunks of shrimp in every bite. We like to cut our shrimp into large chunks so there’s no denying that delicious flavor in each mouthful.
- Make it ahead. This salad chills for several hours before serving – so it’s ideal as a make-ahead meal.
Sautéing the shell-on shrimp in oil, garlic and lemon method vs boiling is our preferred cooking method. This will help avoid overcooked, water-logged shrimp and a ruined salad.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Shell-on, uncooked shrimp – Buy large shrimp, size 16-20 per pound. We always cook with shell-on shrimp because the shells add flavor.
- Fresh garlic and lemon – You’ll sauté the shrimp in fresh garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest, as well as extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings.
- Dressing – A simple dressing is made with mayonnaise, champagne vinegar, finely-chopped celery and onions, plus parsley, celery salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.
How do I make Shrimp Salad?
- Cook the shrimp. In a skillet, sauté the shrimp with the shell still-on in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Peel the shrimp as soon as it’s cool enough to handle, then chop into large chunks (about four pieces per shrimp) and place in a mixing bowl.
- Make the dressing by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together, then toss over the still-warm chopped shrimp. Stir to combine, then cover the bowl.
- Refrigerate the salad until chilled through. This will also allow all of the flavors to meld together.
- Serve on toasted brioche buns with red leaf lettuce and sliced garden tomatoes. Or skip the bun
Frequently asked Questions
- How far in advance can I make this salad? We recommend preparing this salad no more than a day ahead of time for the freshest results.
- How do I store shrimp salad? Store refrigerated and covered for up to two days.
- Can I make this salad with smaller shrimp? Yes, but note that the cooking time will be less.
- What goes with shrimp salad? As mentioned above, we like to serve our shrimp salad on a roll, or over a simple bed of lettuce – perhaps with some crusty bread on the side. You can also spoon the shrimp salad into a halved avocado or a scooped-out tomato for a lower-carb meal.
- Can I add cooked pasta to this shrimp salad? I’d suggest a smaller pasta such as orzo or ditalini so the chopped shrimp is still the star ingredient.
You may enjoy these other salad recipes:
- Savoy Cabbage Coleslaw
- Ham Salad
- Chef’s Salad
- Shredded Romaine and Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dressing
- Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped fine
1 ½ pounds shell on large shrimp (16–20 per pound)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar*
2 tablespoons sweet onion, diced fine
2 tablespoons celery, diced fine
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Other ingredients (for serving)
4 brioche buns
Butter, to toast the buns
Red leaf lettuce, or other salad greens
Sliced garden tomatoes
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add garlic and cook for one minute then add all of the shell-on shrimp.
Saute for approximately 3 minutes, turning as you go, until they just start to turn pink.
Add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook just until cooked through, about 1-2 minutes more. Break one open if not sure. Do not overcook.
Move the shrimp to a plate or your cutting board, leaving the pan contents behind. They did their job and will no longer be needed.
Peel off all shells including the tail shell and cut each piece into four pieces then place the cut up warm shrimp into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise with the vinegar until smooth then stir in the remaining dressing ingredients.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for about two hours to chill and meld flavors.
When ready to serve, slice buns and toast in melted butter on a grill pan and serve with red leaf lettuce and sliced garden tomatoes with chips on the side.
*If you don’t have champagne vinegar, use white wine vinegar or white vinegar but add a pinch of sugar since the champagne vinegar is a little sweet.
Keywords: shrimp salad, creamy shrimp salad