For this easy Shrimp Salad recipe, tiny bay shrimp are marinated in a lemony mustard vinaigrette for a delightfully fresh lunch, light side, or dinner entree. Just 10 minutes prep; serve alone, over lettuce, or with avocado.
What's the Story on this Shrimp Salad?
This easy shrimp salad recipe is about as retro as they come. It was adapted from a recipe my mom got off a can of Orleans brand cocktail shrimp back in the 1960's. The recipe was originally titled Shrimp New Orleans, a name more appropriately associated with fresh, plump shrimp bathed in butter and Cajun spices than with tiny canned ones in a shrimp salad.
Despite the misnomer, this recipe makes a unique and truly tasty shrimp salad. The key is the shrimp salad dressing: a simple lemon mustard vinaigrette. This tangy, old-fashioned dressing highlights the rich, mild flavor of the delicate pink shrimp without covering it up.
This shrimp salad is one of my all-time favorite foods, which is saying a lot, because I love shrimp salads of all kinds! In fact, it's so good that from the time I can remember until my mom could no longer cook, I asked her to fix it for me - along with corn and her amazing Southern fried potatoes and onions - every single year for my birthday. It's still one of my favorite meals, especially in the hot summer months.
Why You Will Love this Shrimp Salad
This easy shrimp salad recipe takes just six simple ingredients and mixes up in less than 10 minutes. It can be eaten immediately, but is best when you give it at least six hours (or better yet, a day) to marinate. It's fresh and satisfying, and makes a delicious lunch or light dinner. We usually serve it with avocado or over a bed of lettuce and tomatoes, but it's excellent all by itself, too.
Bonus: This healthy shrimp salad recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in carbs, making it a great choice for folks on a low carb diet.
What Goes into this Shrimp Salad Recipe
- Shrimp: We always use bay shrimp for this salad. Bay shrimp (also known as salad shrimp) are small, pink shrimp with a sweet, rich clean flavor and mildly firm texture.
- Green Onions: Use both the white bulbs and green tops.
- Yellow mustard: We usually use French's, but any yellow mustard will work.
- Lemon juice: You can use fresh or bottled lemon juice for this recipe. If you must use bottled juice, be sure that it is not close to its expiration date, or it will too astringent.
- Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for healthy, light and tasty flavor.
- Kosher salt
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make this Recipe
Rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain in a colander.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Stir in onion, celery, and shrimp.
Once the salad ingredients are well mixed, cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate to marinate; 6-24 hours.
Toss again to mix before serving. Serve as is, or on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes.
- Salad shrimp: Canned deveined shrimp work great in place of bay shrimp. (To save money, my mom used to devein four or five cans of shrimp by hand every year for my birthday dinner: it was a labor of love.)
- Green Onions: Chopped chives or scallions will also work.
- Olive oil: Grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or canola oil will also work.
• Spicy Marinated Shrimp Salad: Spice up your shrimp salad with the addition of a little Louisiana hot sauce to the dressing.
• Shrimp Salad Avocado Boats: This shrimp salad is excellent paired with avocado! Fill avocado halves with shrimp for a fun presentation, or add chopped avocado to the salad immediately before serving.
Cover tightly and refrigerate any leftovers. This shrimp salad is best eaten within 2 days of being made. Before serving, give the salad a quick toss to mix. Do not freeze.
What to Look for When Buying Salad Shrimp
When buying salad shrimp, it's important to smell them first. Fresh shrimp should smell mildly briny; sweet and salty, like the ocean. They 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 mushy or falling apart.
Note: Be aware that, unless you live right on the ocean or Gulf during shrimping season, nearly all the salad shrimp you buy at the grocery store (even the ones on ice in the seafood case) have been previously frozen.
Tiny pink bay shrimp are harvested off the Pacific and Gulf coasts; wild caught by trawlers from April through October. When purchased at the grocery store, these shrimp are always pre-cooked and ready to eat.
More Shrimp Recipes
What to Serve with this Shrimp Salad
This lemony mustard shrimp salad makes a satisfying meal all by itself; or pair it with with fried potatoes & onions, corn, soups, sandwiches, or fresh fruit for a heartier meal. It's also delicious as an add-on for big protein meals, like steak or pork, where it can be served like a tasty steak-house topper.
Marinated Shrimp Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 pound bay shrimp (i.e., salad shrimp) or two cans deveined shrimp
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- ¼ cup lemon juice fresh or bottled
- 4-6 whole green onions thinly sliced, with tops
- 3-4 stalks celery finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper or more, to taste
- Rinse shrimp in cold water and drain in colander.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add onion, celery, and shrimp.
- Cover and refrigerate to marinate, 6-24 hours.
- Toss again to mix before serving. Season to taste.Serve on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes.
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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- 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).
- 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.