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I’m a big fan of creamy salads because they are so easy to make ahead and store well. This shrimp salad recipe is my latest, and I was almost surprised how much I loved it. Like a chicken salad, tuna salad, salmon salad, or an easy egg salad, it’s a cold dish made with fresh ingredients and a creamy dressing. But this time, the star of this dish is succulent shrimp! It’s easy to prepare, bursting with flavor, and is the perfect light dish for a healthy lunch (or light dinner).
Shrimp Salad Recipe: Why You’ll Love It
- Juicy, tender shrimp
- Crunchy celery and red onions, aromatic fresh herbs
- Savory, tangy, and creamy dressing
- Simple ingredients
- Ready in just 10 minutes
- Healthy, naturally low carb, and gluten-free
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best shrimp salad ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Shrimp – You can make shrimp salad recipes using shrimp of any size, but I prefer medium shrimp (41-50 per pound) so that they are bite-sized. If you have leftover baked shrimp or air fryer shrimp, you can use that and skip the cooking steps below. Otherwise, use medium fresh shrimp or thawed frozen shrimp, and cook as shown below.
- Celery – Adds crunch. Slice it thinly for the best texture If you’re not a fan, try other crisp veggies such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or fennel.
- Red Onion – White onion, yellow onion, shallots, or green onions (also known as scallions) would work as well. I diced my onions, but thinly sliced is great, too.
- Mayonnaise – I like to use my own homemade avocado oil mayonnaise, but you can use any mayo you prefer. Greek yogurt would also work as a substitute.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh is always best, but bottled lemon juice works just fine. You could also use lime juice if that’s what you have.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds a tangy flavor and helps emulsify the dressing. You can substitute it with other types of mustard such as whole grain or spicy brown mustard.
- Fresh Herbs – I used 2 tablespoons of fresh dill and fresh chives, but if you want an extra herby flavor, use 3 tablespoons of each fresh herb instead. You can also add fresh parsley to your shrimp salad if you like.
- Old Bay Seasoning – This seafood seasoning blend contains celery salt, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, and ginger.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
VARIATION: Add hard-boiled eggs!
Chop a few hard boiled eggs into small pieces and mix them into the salad along with the other ingredients.
How To Make Shrimp Salad
This section shows how to make a shrimp salad, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Poach the shrimp. Bring large pot of water (with salt) to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink and opaque. Drain shrimp in colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until cold.
- Make the dressing. While the shrimp is cooling, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, dill, chives, old bay seasoning, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Combine. Drain the shrimp and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the sliced celery and diced red onions. Pour the dressing over the cold shrimp salad, and toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional fresh herbs and lemon wedges if you like.
Tips For Shrimp Salad Recipes
Making shrimp salad is super easy, but here are a few tips and notes I found in my testing:
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw if you can. This is not required, but it cooks more evenly if you do. If you don’t have time to let the shrimp thaw, just add a few extra minutes to the cook time.
- You can peel shrimp before or after cooking. If you used shrimp with the shells on, it doesn’t matter if you peel and devein them before or after poaching.
- Boiling the shrimp is an option, but poaching works better. Poaching shrimp is done with the heat off, whereas boiling leaves the heat on. Both ways work fine, but poaching makes them less prone to overcooking.
- Reduce the amount of lemon juice if making for later. The dressing gets more runny in the fridge after a day, so if making it for later, reduce lemon juice to 2-3 tablespoons instead.
- Let the flavors develop in the fridge. If you have time, it’s best to refrigerate the salad for 1 hour to let the flavors develop. However, this is not required and you can totally eat it right away if you like!
- Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Give it a stir before serving.
- Meal prep: Creamy shrimp salad recipes like this one are perfect for meal prep! This dish will store well for an easy lunch you can make ahead and grab right out of the fridge.
- Freeze: Avoid freezing this salad, as the mayo-based dressing will separate after thawing.
Ways To Serve Shrimp Salad
You can serve shrimp salad in so many ways — as lunch, dinner, or an appetizer! Here are some ways to plate it:
- Classic Sandwich – Make a quick sandwich on your favorite bread and add a lettuce leaf. I love it on almond flour bread and quick 90-second bread.
- Lettuce Wraps – Spoon it onto butter lettuce leaves (pictured above) or romaine lettuce.
- Green Salad – Serve shrimp salad over a bed of arugula, romaine, spinach, or other greens. Sliced tomatoes and avocado make nice additions for this option.
- Crackers – Use the salad as a dip with your favorite crackers. Try it with flax seed crackers, crisp almond flour crackers, or even cheese crisps.
- Veggies – For a cracker alternative, consider using cucumber slices, carrots, celery, or peppers. For a more substantial meal, you could add the salad with shrimp to cucumber subs or create a bell pepper sandwich.
More Seafood Salad Recipes
Like seafood, but need to change up the flavor? Try your favorites in these simple recipes:
Shrimp Salad Recipe (10 Minutes!)
You'll love this refreshing and easy shrimp salad recipe, made with creamy dressing, fresh herbs, and juicy shrimp. Ready in 10 minutes!
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes!
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Poach the shrimp: Bring a pot of salt water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Cook for 1-3 minutes for fresh shrimp (or up to 5 minutes for frozen shrimp), until the shrimp turns pink and opaque.
While the shrimp are cooking, prepare a large bowl of cold water with ice. When the shrimp is done, immediately drain it in a colander and then transfer the shrimp to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp is cold.
Meanwhile, make the shrimp salad dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, dill, chives, old bay seasoning, and black pepper.
Drain the shrimp and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the sliced celery and diced red onions.
Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, or if you have time, refrigerate for 1 hour (up to 3 days) to let the flavors develop. Stir right before serving.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition info does not include optional sea salt.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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