Shrimp Salad

 Easy Shrimp Salad with fresh dill, lemon, red onion and mayonnaise served on a bed of crisp lettuce. Fast and refreshing, this recipe is one of our favorite ways to eat dinner on hot summer days. So delicious that your taste buds will thank you. 

Shrimp Salad Recipe on a white plate sitting next to a fork.

This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small portion in sales if a purchase is made. Rest assured though, it is never at any additional cost to you.

Shrimp Salad with lettuce, dill, red onion and mayonnaise.

Easy Shrimp Salad Recipe

During the hot summer months light, easy and refreshing meals like Smoked Salmon Sandwiches, Cilantro Lime Cabbage Salad and this Shrimp Salad are absolutely necessary. There really isn’t anything better than this salad with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio (or sauvignon blanc) and a crusty Sourdough Baguette when temperatures soar.  Unless we are also munching on Burrata Caprese or Lemon Dill Humus

Needless to say, this is the perfect meal for your summertime menu rotation. However, it also works beautifully whenever entertaining from spring through early fall. 

Shrimp 101

Best Shrimp For Shrimp Salad

When choosing shrimp there are multiple factors that can make buying these crustaceans rather challenging. It almost feels like you need a degree in marine biology to make the purchase. However, these are the most important elements to look for when purchasing shrimp.

Sustainability– This means that the there has been minimal impact on the marine environment in the raising or catching of shrimp. Additionally, there is no forced labor and no use of antibiotics. Because of this, the most sustainable shrimp available is American Wild Caught or Sustainably Farmed Raised in the United States.

Types of Shrimp– There are hundreds of different types of shrimp from Tiger Shrimp to Rock Shrimp. There are definitely times when choosing a specific variety of shrimp will impact the quality of the dish you are serving. For Shrimp Salad the size and sustainability of the shrimp are much more important. 

Size of Shrimp– This recipe calls for 2 pounds of shrimp. However, since shrimp sizes can range from tiny to colossal it is wise to pay attention to the count per pound. As an example, the shrimp seen in the photo below say 21-25 (sometimes packages may say 21/25). This simply means that there are 21-25 shrimp per pound. If serving just a few adults the 21/25 (jumbo), 26/30 (extra large) or 31/40 (large) works perfectly and feels like a special treat. When serving many adults the 51/60 (small), 61/70 (tiny) and 71/90 (salad size)  is a much better fit. 

Two bags of Wild Caught Shrimp for Shrimp Salad laying on a countertop.

How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp

There are three main options to defrosting shrimp. 

Overnight Method– Place the bag of frozen shrimp into the refrigerator and let defrost overnight. With this method it is best to have a large plate or bowl under then bag to prevent condensation from seeping onto to your refrigerator shelves. 

45 Minute Method– Keeping the shrimp inside the bag, place shrimp into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Place a plate on top of the bag to ensure that the shrimp stay submerged in the water.

15 Minute Method– Transfer frozen shrimp from the bag into a large bowl and cover with cold water. 

Peeling and Deveining 

The easiest way to remove the peel is by using your thumbs to crack open the shell on the underside, where the legs are, of the shrimp by pulling in opposite directions. Simply peel the shell form the shrimp. Once peeled, use a small pairing knife to cut a shallow strip along the back side of the shrimp and remove the vein (aka the digestive track). Run the shrimp under a small stream of cold water to help remove any debris left from the shell and/or vein. 

Pro Tip: Using a small paring knife with a curved tip is the easiest way to make a shallow incision in removing the vein. (see link above for my recommendation)

Cooking Shrimp

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil (approximately 5 quarts) over high heat.
  2. Add salt and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into boiling water along with the whole lemon.
  3. Add peeled, raw shrimp to the water. Stir and cook uncovered until shrimp just begin to turn pink, about 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Remove from boiling water using a skimmer and place shrimp into an ice bath. 
  5. Let shrimp sit in the ice bath approximately 5 minutes and then strain with a colander.
  6. Place colander with shrimp into a larger bowl to catch any excess water. Place in refrigerator until shrimp are needed. 

Pro Tip: Placing a colander containing the shrimp into a stainless steel bowl is the easiest way to remove excess moisture. However, excess moisture can also be removed by patting the shrimp dry with a paper towel.

Shrimp Salad Ingredients

  • 2 lbs shrimp
  • Mayonaise 
  • 2 lemons (both juice and lemon zest)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Dill (or 3-4 tsp dried dill)
  • Chopped chives (or green onions)
  • Minced celery
  • Garlic Powder
  • Minced Red Onion
  • Salt (My favorite all time salt!!!)
  • Black Pepper

How To Make

Creamy Shrimp Salad is very easy to make with cooked shrimp. Here are the additional steps:

  1. Add shrimp to a large bowl. 
  2. Either in a separate small bowl, or in the shrimp bowl, add mayo, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, chives, celery, red onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Gently mix well with shrimp.
  4. Serve with one of the options directly below as a light dinner or lunch. Store leftovers in an airtight container. 

Serving Options

  • Serve as a cold salad as seen in the photos. 
  • Place shrimp into butter leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce as lettuce wraps.
  • Make a double batch of the creamy dressing and boil 12 oz of macaroni noodles for a fun macaroni salad. 
  • Toast up a slice of sourdough bread and serve as an open face shrimp salad sandwich.
  • Use small shrimp for this recipe and add to the inside of a creamy avocado. 
  • Replace the shrimp with lobster and add to toasted hot dog buns as delicious lobster rolls. 
  • Serve along side lots of veggies as a healthy and easy lunch. 

Flavor and Ingredient Options

Served on a bed of lettuce, this simple salad really is a classic recipe. However, there are different ways to enjoy this meal that still bring out the best flavors of summer. Here are a few ideas for inspiration. 

  • For more of a Mexican flavor replace the lemon juice with fresh lime juice, the celery with chopped red pepper or orange bell pepper and the dill with cilantro. Additionally, add some sweet corn, black beans, hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper. 
  • To achieve a more zesty and tangy shrimp salad add 1 tbsp minced capers along with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. 
  • Italian flavors can be achieved by replacing the garlic powder with 3-4 small cloves of fresh garlic (crushed or minced). Also, replace the dill with fresh 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, Italian parsley and/or basil.
  • For a fun and comforting twist on this cold shrimp salad add 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, 1 pint cherry tomatoes and 3-4 oz of blue cheese crumbles. No need to replace any ingredients with the option as it creates a great combination of flavors. 

Tips For Making the Best Shrimp Salad

  • Large shrimp work well as a Classic Shrimp Salad or as an open faced sandwich. 
  • Salad shrimp (or tiny shrimp) work best when stuffing an avocado or when needing to feed more than a few people. 
  • Another option for removing excess moisture from the shrimp is to use a salad spinner. 


Can fresh shrimp be used for this recipe?

Absolutely! However, it is best to use the shrimp the same day as purchase since most grocery stores usually just defrost frozen shrimp and sell it as fresh. 

How long does shrimp salad last in the refrigerator?

Since it is highly perishable, it should be used by the second day. 

Can you freeze shrimp salad?

No, unfortunately freezing this salad would create a runny and rather inedible salad when defrosted. 

Is butter lettuce and Boston lettuce the same thing?

Boston and Bibb lettuce are a butter leaf lettuce variety and this shrimp salad tastes amazing on any of the varieties. 

Is there another cooking method for the shrimp?

Yes. Rather than using quarts of water, bake the peeled shrimp on a cookie sheet at 400℉ with a bit of olive oil and salt for approximately 6-8 minutes. 

Does fresh lemon juice need to be used?

Yes. To achieve the best quality and most flavorful salad fresh lemons are needed for both the juice and the zest. 

Can it be made the day ahead of serving? 

Yes, however this salad does taste best when freshly made. 

Does a separate bowl need to be used for the creamy dressing?

It is not a bad idea if you are concerned about the dressing not becoming fully mixed. However, it is not necessary. 

What is a healthy mayonnaise or mayonnaise alternative? 

I personally adore Chosen Foods Avocado Mayonnaise. However, Greek yogurt (either full fat, low fat or nonfat) may be used in place of the mayonnaise in equal amounts. Additionally, Greek yogurt will add a more zesty flavor compared to traditional mayonnaise. 

More Delicious Salad Recipes

Avocado Egg Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad

Blueberry Basil Chopped Veggie Salad

Chicken Caesar salad with Homemade Croutons

Avocado Chicken Salad 

Additional Summertime Shrimp Recipes

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Avocado Salad

Mango Shrimp Kabobs

Italian Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Mango Shrimp Salsa

California Shrimp Ceviche 

If you enjoyed this Shrimp Salad please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!

Shrimp Salad Recipe on a white plate sitting next to a fork.

Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad is an easy recipe that makes a great lunch or light dinner during the summer months. This recipe is absolutely so gourmet tasting that sharing this meal makes for good times when it is unbearably hot. Serve on a bed of crisp lettuce along side some chilled white wine for a gourgeous salad masterpiece.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shrimp Salad, Shrimp Salad with Lettuce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Heather


For the Shrimp

  • 2 pounds shrimp *peeled and deveined
  • 1 large lemon (total of 2 lemons for the whole recipe)

For the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper *optional
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill *about 1/2 bunch
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives *about 1 bunch
  • 1 cup minced celery *about 2 stalks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion *about 1/4 of an onion

For the Salad

  • 2 heads butter leaf lettuce *washed, separate leaves


Cooking Shrimp

  • Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into water. Add squeezed lemon and 1 tablespoon salt to water.
  • Add shrimp to water, stir and cook uncovered until shrimp just begin to turn pink, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Drain the shrimp and add to an ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes and then drain again. Keep in refrigerator while preparing herbs and veggies.


  • Into a large bowl place shrimp, mayonaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dill, chives and celery. Toss gently until dressing is well mixed and incorporated with shrimp.
  • Place lettuce leaves on individual plates and top with shrimp salad. Garnish with more dill or chives if desired.


*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.
  • Large shrimp (21-25 count) were used for this recipe.
  • This recipe serves 4-6 adults depending on portion sizes.
  • Nutritional information is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 
  • See above in recipe post for recipe variations. 


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 393mg | Sodium: 1574mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 262mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

Similar Posts


  1. We loved this shrimp salad! So refreshing and easy to make as well. Made as per recipe but added a little extra Dried dill. Superb!!

    1. This makes me so happy to hear! I adore dill also so honestly, I sneak a little extra in too.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe and coming back to comment.

  2. Can frozen pre cooked shrimp already deveined be used. How would this effect be as it would not need to be cooked in water with lemon juice. As it already cooked.

    Please reply as whether this would be okay

    [email protected]

    1. Hi Donna. You should be fine to use precooked shrimp as long as the dressing ingredients remain the same. Quality of shrimp varies so it is hard to know for certain how the shrimp’s taste and texture will be. However, the dressing is so flavorful that you should be fine.

  3. I’m going to do the Mexican shrimp for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, it sounds delish and your descriptions on the shrimp taught me a bunch. Glad I found this site and can’t wait to make and serve it up tomorrow for the 6 of us.👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  4. Made this as well
    1) i cut the shrimp up
    2)added cannelini beans
    3) used pickled red onion

    All other ingredients you listed i used

    Its a great recipe; thank you

    1. Love these ideas. Any way I can get the health benefits of beans into family, I am all about. Thank you for the great idea!

  5. I’ve added this to my recipe queue, and look forward to making it next week, once I’ve gone through the veggies and other ingredients already purchased and waiting for me. How well do the leftovers of this keep??

    1. Hi Carol! I am excited to hear what you think. Ok, since the shrimp are highly perishable, it would be best to eat the salad fully by the second day.

  6. 5 stars
    This was such a delicious recipe with great crunch and flavor. Everyone really enjoyed it. Next time I am making a double batch so I can enjoy leftovers.

    1. I am so happy to hear this! It really is a great salad during the hot months. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the salad and coming back and rating it.

  7. 5 stars
    It was a very tasty salad. I was hoping to take leftovers for lunch the next day but no such luck. My family devoured it.

    1. I am so happy to hear your family enjoyed the salad. Thank you for taking the time to make the salad and for coming back to rate and comment on it.

  8. Hello! Would it be okay to swap the lemon juice for vinegar? My husband and I love shrimp salad be we do not like lemon juice or flavor at all. If it would be a good swap, what type of vinegar would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marie. This is a great question and in short, it is absolutely fine to replace the lemon juice with vinegar. I would recommend sticking with a neutral one like distilled whit vinegar since it does not have a strong flavor.
      Please let me know how it turns out.

  9. Thanks for the response about using vinegar. If I choose to do the oven baked method for the shrimp, would I still plunge them into cold water after or let them cool in the pan and refrigerate afterwards?

  10. This salad was wonderful! We especially loved the dressing. I used extra large shrimp, but will make this again using smaller ones. I wish I could give this more stars!

  11. 4 stars
    Delicious and very easy. I use Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp recipe and in addition to salt and pepper I add some Old Bay seasoning for a bit more zest. Can make the shrimp the day ahead. Made for my book club and the ladies practically licked their plates and asked for recipe! I served on butter lettuce with sliced tomatoes. Also, used Trader Joe’s frozen mini baquettes A perfect lunch or dinner!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! Adding Old Bay seasoning is a great idea. I’m thrilled to hear it was a hit with your book club.

  12. If adding this to a brunch menu as a side dish with several other dishes could this easily serve 12 or so?

    1. Hi Jennifer. To be on the safe side, aim for 1/4-1/3 pound of shrimp per person, which would be doubling the recipe. However, if not everyone is a shrimp lover, then you should be good to go with a single batch.
      I hope you enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating