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 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!)
What Goes into this Recipe
Salad Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Lettuce: 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) for this salad. Bay shrimp are small, mild tasting shrimp that are harvested from estuaries along the Western coast of North America.
Substitutions: 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!)
★ Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are our choice for this salad, for their intense, sweet flavors.
Substitutions: Use regular tomatoes, cut in wedges or cubes.
★ 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.
Substitutions: Thinly sliced red, shallots, or sweet onion can be used.
★ Avocado: Avocado brings a rich creaminess to the salad, and complements the shrimp so well!
Substitutions: There is really no good substitution for avocado, but if you don't have one, just leave them out.
★ 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.
Dressing Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ 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.
Substitutions: 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: We use juice from our own bread-n-butter pickles! You can use the juice from any jarred sweet or bread and butter pickles.
Substitutions: You can sub in cider vinegar for the pickle juice if you need to.
★ 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.
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.
FAQs & Expert Tips
You can prep most of the components ahead of time:
The eggs can be hard-boiled up to 5 days ahead, and the dressing can be made as far as a week in advance. On the day you plan to serve it, slice the cucumber and green onions, chilling them if you aren't assembling the salad right away.
Prepping it this way, all you need to do at the last minute is cut up the eggs and slice the avocado. That way, you can have the salad fully assembled and ready to serve in less than 10 minutes!
More Shrimp Recipes
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Classic Bay Shrimp Louie
- 1 Whisk
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 1 serving bowl
Spicy Louie Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sweet pickle juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar optional
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes more or less, according to your tastes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 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.
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Adding in avocados and tomatoes to this shrimp recipe was a stellar idea! Feel good ingredients and so tasty!
Gina Abernathy says
My daughter loves shrimp and has already asked for this dish again next week.
This reminds me of my childhood. We made last week and it was absolutely delicious. It was so fresh and flavorful.
Love shrimp with salad and this spicy dressing is to die for! Will definitely make this one again.
Oh wow, this looks so delicious. My family is going to devour it!
This looks so fresh and delicious! Can't wait to try it soon!