Bay Shrimp Louie is a classic West Coast salad, made of fresh bay shrimp, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs on a bed of crisp lettuce. Topped with a spicy signature dressing, Shrimp Louie is a light, refreshing main dish salad especially well-suited for hot weather.
Why You Will Love this Salad
Mr B and I are both big shrimp lovers! Many of our favorite recipes include this tasty little crustaceans; everything from Kahuku Garlic Shrimp to Creamy Seafood Enchiladas. This easy Shrimp Louie recipe rises to the top of our list on hot summer days, when the idea of turning on the oven is out of the question.
Shrimp Louie is a refreshing, satisfying meal in itself; packed fresh vegetables and light, bright flavors. The savory, slightly spicy Louie dressing really sets this salad apart, too. While you can use Thousand Island or Classic Russian dressing on it, the creamy, spicy, tangy flavor of the signature Louie dressing highlights the shrimp and other ingredients perfectly. (It’s also great for dipping veggies and fries!)
Shrimp Louie Ingredients
- Lettuces: We like a mixture of romaine and iceberg lettuce, but any mixture of crisp lettuces will work.
- Shrimp: We recommend using bay shrimp (i.e., baby shrimp, salad shrimp) for this salad. Bay shrimp are small, mild tasting shrimp that are harvested from estuaries along the Western coast of North America.
- Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are our choice for this salad, for their intense, sweet flavors.
- Cucumbers: Thinly sliced English cucumbers are our first choice. They are slightly sweeter and have smaller seeds than regular cucumbers, and they do not need to be peeled.
- Green onions: Thinly slice the green onions for the salad.
- Avocado: Avocado brings a rich creaminess to the salad, and complements the shrimp so well!
- Hard-boiled eggs: Hard-boil the eggs ahead of time and chill them in the fridge. You can make the eggs up to 5 days ahead of time.
- Mayonnaise: We recommend using full-fat mayo for the dressing.
- Ketchup: Any ketchup will work, but we always use Portland Ketchup for its rich depth of flavor.
- Sweet pickle juice: We use juice from our own bread-n-butter pickles! You can use the juice from any jarred sweet or bread and butter pickles.
- Creamy horseradish: The addition of a little bit of horseradish gives the dressing a nice kick, and is one of the primary keys to Louie dressing's classic flavor.
- Sugar: Louie dressing is traditionally more savory and less sweet than Thousand Island dressing; however, we prefer to add a little sugar to the dressing. This is a personal choice according to your tastes; if you want to leave it out, the dressing will still be delicious.
- Lemons & juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Red pepper flakes
How to Make a Classic Shrimp Louie
Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, sweet pickle juice, Worcestershire, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use.
The dressing will thicken over time, and can be made up to a week ahead of time.
Run the shrimp under cold water in a colander and drain them thoroughly.
Lay out bed of lettuce, and arrange the shrimp, tomato halves, sliced avocado and cucumber, hard-boiled egg wedges, and green onions on top.
Drizzle the prepared Louie Dressing over the top and serve immediately, with lemon wedges and extra dressing on the side.
- Shrimp: Frozen cooked shrimp of any size will work, but the smaller shrimp are a classic mainstay. You can also use lump crab or imitation crab in place of the shrimp. (If you add crab, it's a Crab Louie!)
- Cherry tomatoes: Use regular tomatoes, cut in wedges or cubes.
- Green onions: Thinly sliced red, shallots, or sweet onion can be used.
- Ketchup: You can sub in chili sauce for the ketchup. If you use chili sauce instead, we recommend using Heinz brand for the best results. In this case, omit the dried red pepper flakes.
- Sweet pickle juice: You can sub in cider vinegar for the pickle juice if you need to.
Crab Louie: The most popular variation to a Shrimp Louie is the Crab Louie Salad. For this, we recommend using the king of crabs... Dungeness.
Dungeness crab is found found all along the West Coast, from Alaska to California, It was was the favorite of both Julia Child and James Beard, and its sweet, succulent flavor is perfect for Crab Louie.
Grilled Shrimp Louie: Use grilled shrimp (like the kind we use in our Thai Shrimp Salad) for a unique and delicious Louie salad.
How to Shop for Fresh Shrimp
When buying fresh bay or salad shrimp, it's important to smell it first. Fresh shrimp should smell mildly briny; sweet and salty, like the ocean. It should not smell fishy, or have even a hint of an ammonia odor. (Ammonia is a sure sign of spoilage.) Fresh shrimp should be firm and intact: avoid shrimp with that seem to be falling apart.
More Seafood Recipes
If you love a good shrimp salad, our Classic Shrimp Louie is another delicious option!
Shrimp Louie makes a satisfying meal all by itself. It also pairs well with potatoes, pasta, soups, sandwiches, and fresh fruit. For example:
- Cheesy Vegetable Orzo
- Grilled Caprese Sandwich
- Elotes Mexicanos (Mexican Street Corn)
- Caribbean Mango Avocado Salad
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Classic French Onion Soup
- Easy Rice Pilaf with Asparagus & Cashews
- Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes with Honey-Lemon Butter
Classic Bay Shrimp Louie
- 1 Whisk
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 1 serving bowl
Spicy Louie Dressing
- 2 heads hearts of romaine lettuce coarsely chopped
- ½ head iceberg lettuce coarsely chopped
- 1 pound bay shrimp
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 large avocado or 2 small; sliced or chopped
- 1 large English cucumber thinly sliced
- 4 large eggs hardboiled and cut into wedges
- 2 whole green onions thinly sliced
- Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, sweet pickle juice, Worcestershire, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use. The dressing will thicken over time, and can be made up to a week ahead of time.
- Run the shrimp under cold water in a colander and drain them thoroughly.Lay out bed of lettuce, and arrange the shrimp, tomato halves, sliced avocado and cucumber, hard-boiled egg wedges, and green onions on top.
- Drizzle the prepared Louie Dressing over the top and serve immediately, with lemon wedges and extra dressing on the side.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
- Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, or — if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter — microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable.
- Keep cold chilled seafood refrigerated until time to serve.
- Serve cold seafood on ice if it is going to stay out longer than 2 hours.
- Never leave seafood or other perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours or for more than 1 hour when temperatures are above 90°F. Bacteria that can cause illness grow quickly at warm temperatures (between 40°F and 140°F).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat or seafood.
- Always wash hands after touching raw meat or seafood.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Refrigerate seafood in suitable, covered containers.
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