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blue plate showing Shrimp Salad with Lime Herb Dressing; a serving spoon on the side

Spicy Cold Shrimp Salad

Easy to prepare, this scrumptious make ahead Shrimp Salad is fresh, flavorful – and a bit spicy, too. Jalapeno peppers, sweet peppers, fresh herbs (chives, parsley, cilantro) and lime add zing and make this recipe unique!

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free



(See gluten-free adaptations in the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe.)

Lime Herb Dressing

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon mixture of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley and fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce
  • Dash cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Shrimp Salad

  • 1 pound cooked medium (size 41 to 50/pound) shrimp, shelled and placed on paper towel to dry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped Jalapeno, seeded and deveined (around 1 2-inch pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (1 large, cored and seeded)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Panko-Thyme Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


Lime Herb Dressing

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, herbs, hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate.

Shrimp Salad

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the shrimp, peppers and shallots. Gently toss with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Panko-Thyme Garnish

  1. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, stir in breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring constantly, just until beginning to brown – watch carefully, as they can quickly burn!
  2. Remove from heat and spoon toasted panko crumbs onto doubled paper towel to drain and cool.
  3. Once cool, place crumbs in a small bowl and stir in thyme, paprika and salt.

Serving (see variations in notes below)

  1. Line a large serving bowl with lettuce.
  2. Mound shrimp on top, leaving a border of lettuce around the edge.
  3. Sprinkle panko garnish over top.
  4. Serve immediately.


Serving variations:

  1. On a platter, over torn Bibb or baby lettuce.
  2. Place a scoop of salad on top of peeled and pitted ripe avocado halves.
  3. As sandwiches – stuff shrimp salad into pita bread halves or croissants.
  4. As crostini – finely chop the shrimp, and spoon the finished salad on top of toasted slices of ciabatta bread that have been brushed with olive oil.

Tip to keep salad from getting watery: Make sure shrimp and chopped red pepper are very dry before tossing the salad.

Gluten free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Make ahead: Salad can be prepared and tossed up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Dressing can be prepared, covered and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead. Toss salad with dressing and plate just before serving.

  • Author: (by Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Category: main dish salads, seafood, dairy free
  • Method: mixing

Keywords: shrimp, make ahead, shrimp salad