From Classic to Ceviche, 13 Shrimp Salad Recipes You’ll Love

A white bowl contains rotini pasta mixed with shrimp, bell peppers, fresh cilantro, and a creamy dressing, with a fork resting on the side.

Looking for delicious shrimp salad recipes to add to your meal rotation? Whether you're a seasoned seafood lover or just starting to explore shrimp dishes, these fast, easy, and delicious alpha-gal friendly recipes are sure to satisfy.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

Living with alpha-gal syndrome can feel like navigating a culinary minefield sometimes. And I don’t know about you, but I’m soooo sick of chicken! But shrimp? I swear, it never gets old! These recipes are a perfect blend of protein-packed shrimp, crunchy veggies, and dressings so good you might be tempted to drink them. (But please don’t, because that’s just weird.)

In this article, I’m dishing out everything you need to know about shrimp salads. We’ll cover shrimp sizes (because size does matter, at least when it comes to cooking), the difference between prawns and shrimp (spoiler: it’s not just a fancy name), and tips on picking the best shrimp for your salad. Trust me, by the end of this, you’ll be the shrimp salad guru in your friend group.

Collage of nine shrimp salad dishes with various ingredients displayed on a green background, captioned "Easy & Healthy Shrimp Salad Recipes" at the bottom.

    

In This Article

Shrimp Size Guide, From Colossal to Salad Shrimp

Shrimp size is typically measured based on the count per pound, ranging from extra colossal (less than 10 pieces of shrimp per pound) to salad shrimp (more than 70 pieces of shrimp per pound). In other words, the bigger the shrimp, the fewer in a pound.

A shrimp size chart showing different sizes and corresponding counts per pound, from Extra Colossal (8 to 10 per pound) to Salad Size (71+ per pound). Background features a soft blue watercolor pattern.

Don’t let the salad shrimp size fool you. Yes, they are the smallest variety, making it more likely that you’ll get a piece of shrimp in every bite of salad. However, this collection of delicious recipes doesn’t necessarily feature just salad-size shrimp. For example, jumbo shrimp is best for the shrimp Cobb salad recipe, and medium shrimp is recommended for the cucumber shrimp salad recipe. 

A plastic bag filled with frozen shrimp inside a freezer.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Which is Better for Shrimp Salad — Fresh or Frozen Shrimp?

When it comes to preparing shrimp salad, you can use either fresh or frozen shrimp — both of which are good sources of alpha-gal friendly protein. If you reside far from the coast, as I do here in Kansas City, frozen shrimp might be a more practical option. Frozen shrimp have a significantly longer shelf life compared to fresh shrimp which helps maintain their quality and reduces the risk of spoilage.

One of the challenges with fresh shrimp is knowing how long they’ve been hanging out at the seafood counter — and how long it took them to roadtrip from the coast to your grocery store. Frozen shrimp are typically flash-frozen shortly after being caught, preserving their freshness, texture, and flavor.

Regardless of whether you choose fresh or frozen shrimp, I recommend buying wild shrimp whenever possible. Wild shrimp are generally caught in their natural habitats, resulting in a more natural and cleaner taste compared to farm-raised shrimp. They also tend to have fewer chemicals and antibiotics than farm-raised shrimp, making them a healthier choice for your diet. Lastly, wild shrimp fishing practices often have less environmental impact than shrimp farming, making it a more sustainable option.

Chalkboard infographic comparing prawns and shrimp, highlighting differences in size, habitat, body structure, labeling, price, and species. Prawns are larger, found in freshwater, and have longer legs.

What’s the Difference Between Shrimp and Prawns

While shrimp and prawns look alike, they are distinct species. It’s like the difference between a llama and an alpaca. They look similar, but they’re not the same thing. (And no, I’m not going to explain the llama-alpaca difference here. One animal identification crisis at a time, people!)

One of the key differences between prawns and shrimp is their legs. Shrimp have a single pair of legs with claws, whereas prawns have three pairs, giving prawns relatively longer legs. Additionally, shrimp are typically found in saltwater environments, while prawns are usually found in freshwater.

When it comes to taste and cooking, shrimp and prawns are quite comparable and can be substituted for one another in recipes. Both offer a mild, sweet flavor and cook rapidly. So, whether you opt for shrimp or prawns, your salad is sure to be delicious!

Storing Leftover Shrimp Salad

These shrimp recipes are so delicious that they usually disappear faster than you can say, “Please pass me the bowl!” But if you have leftovers, keep it fresh and tasty by transferring it to an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing other fridge odors. Pop it in the refrigerator as soon as you’re done making or serving it, and be sure to keep it chilled.

Try to eat the rest of your salad within 3 to 4 days for the best flavor. Before digging back into your salad dish, give it a quick check for any bad smells, weird colors, or slimy texture. If you notice any, it’s best to toss it out. Also, avoid re-freezing your leftovers if the shrimp was frozen, rather than fresh, when you made the dish.

Recipes for Shrimp Salad

So, you ready to dive into a boatload of amazing shrimp salad recipes? Good! These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, boring salads. We’re talking about flavor explosions that’ll make your mouth water just reading about them. From fancy-pants gourmet to “I-just-got-home-and-I’m-starving” quick fixes, there is a shrimp salad for every mood and occasion.

NOTE: Because the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that most people with alpha-gal can tolerate “moderate, lean dairy,” some of the recipes below may include butter, cheese, or another dairy product. If you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy, please make a dairy-free substitution. From vegan butter to plant milk cheeses, Miyoko’s is one of my favorite brands. And, even if you can tolerate dairy, I recommend that alpha gals stick with vegetarian cheese.

1

Italian Cold Spaghetti Salad with Shrimp
The Pasta Project

Italian Cold Spaghetti Salad with Shrimp

This Italian shrimp salad features pre-cooked shrimp, arugula, and cherry tomatoes combined with cold spaghetti in a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. It’s so good you might break out into an impromptu opera performance. Ideal for a light lunch, picnic, or potluck, it offers a refreshing taste with minimal cooking, making it a perfect dish for warm weather.
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2

Greek Shrimp Salad
Living Chirpy

Greek Shrimp Salad

For a Greek-style salad, try this shrimp recipe. After broiling cherry tomatoes and frying raw shrimp with olive oil and basil, they are tossed with fresh baby spinach, diced cucumber, sliced black olives, and feta cheese. The salad is dressed with a tangy lemon juice and olive oil dressing that brings all of the sun-drenched flavors together to taste like a Mediterranean vacation in a bowl, minus the sunburn and questionable tan lines.
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3

Cucumber Shrimp Salad
The Short Order Cook

Cucumber Shrimp Salad

If you are searching for a cool and creamy shrimp salad, this one is for you. It uses defrosted precooked frozen shrimp and combines them with crisp cucumbers in a delightful dill dressing. It gets its creaminess from a blend of sour cream and mayonnaise that’s accented by a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a tangy touch. This refreshing salad requires no cooking and is ready in just 15 minutes, making it a perfect lunch or light supper option.
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4

Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad
Citrus Spot

Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad

Although the Aussie behind this amazing shrimp salad recipe has written it for cooked prawns, you can easily substitute shrimp. Served on a bed of lettuce, it combines juicy shrimp, tart grapefruit segments, and crunchy almonds. Thinly sliced green onions add a subtle sharpness and slivered almonds give this salad some crunch. Perfect as a side salad or a light weeknight dinner, your first bite will make you wonder why you waited so long to discover that shrimp and grapefruit were soulmates.
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5

Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Salad
Primavera Kitchen

Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Salad

If you have frozen shrimp, defrost them to make this refreshing shrimp salad. It pairs succulent skillet-cooked shrimp, with chopped avocado, cucumber, and red bell pepper. The salad is tossed with a light homemade dressing, that helps you get dinner on the table in a snap.
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6

Shrimp Ceviche Pasta Salad
The Foodolic

Shrimp Ceviche Pasta Salad

For this ceviche-style shrimp salad, you’ll need fresh lemon or fresh lime juice to create a shrimp marinade. Once the fresh shrimp has marinated for 18 to 24 hours, it’s mixed with fusilli pasta, sliced bell peppers, hot peppers, and a cup of fresh cilantro before being finished off with salt and black pepper to taste. Because you only need to cook the pasta, it’s a perfect summer meal!
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7

Shrimp Cabbage Salad
Healthy Taste Of Life

Shrimp Cabbage Salad

This creamy salad features fresh shredded cabbage, cooked shrimp, and rice with crunchy sweet bell pepper and green onion in a way that makes it clear that cabbage isn’t just for coleslaw. It is coated in a creamy dill dressing. With a combination of alpha-gal-friendly protein, fresh veggies, and a little bit of carbs, it’s an amazing dinner option on a hot summer night.
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8

Shrimp Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing
The Forked Spoon

Shrimp Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

For a cold shrimp salad packed with umami flavors, try this recipe. It features juicy shrimp, creamy avocado, sliced cucumber, and fresh greens. It’s all tossed in a creamy dressing made with white miso paste, fresh ginger, and lime juice. Miso happy with these flavors that I want to make this salad again and again! High in protein and low in carbs, it’s perfect for a quick and healthy meal that’s ready in 30 minutes or less.
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9

Shrimp Macaroni Salad
Caroha

Shrimp Macaroni Salad

This creamy shrimp macaroni pasta salad is made with small, salad-size shrimp, tender macaroni, red onion, celery, red bell pepper, and cucumber, all tossed in a zesty lemon dill dressing. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it a perfect choice for summer parties or family gatherings.
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10

Shrimp Salad with Red Currant Sauce
Where is My Spoon

Shrimp Salad with Red Currant Sauce

Although this shrimp salad recipe is written for tiger prawns, you can easily substitute pink shrimp. After marinating the seafood in olive oil and paprika, cook it in a pan and serve over a bed of arugula drizzled with homemade red currant sauce.
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11

Shrimp Cobb Salad
Little Sunny Kitchen

Shrimp Cobb Salad

If you liked Cobb salad before your alpha-gal diagnosis, you’ll love this recipe. It offers all of the classic Cobb flavors with a shrimpy alpha-gal safe twist. Fresh romaine lettuce is topped with Cajun-spiced shrimp, garden vegetables — like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and sweet corn — and then finished with hard-boiled eggs and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzled with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is perfect for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
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12

Shrimp Pasta Salad
Sustain My Cooking Habit

Shrimp Pasta Salad

This creamy shrimp pasta salad combines tender shrimp with cooked pasta, diced cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, and crunchy celery. Then it’s topped in a smooth and tangy dressing with a surprise ingredient, a touch of ketchup, to give it a touch of tomato-based flavor.
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13

Easy Shrimp Couscous Salad
Food, Wine, and Love

Easy Shrimp Couscous Salad

For alpha gals who embrace a Mediterranean diet, this shrimp salad is for you. And, it’s so easy to make, you’ll have time left over to practice pronouncing “couscous” correction. (It’s harder than you think!) This recipe pairs tender shrimp cooked in white wine with fluffy couscous, creating a delightful and light meal. The salad is enhanced with fresh greens such as spinach and arugula, red onion, and tomatoes, making it colorful and nutritious.
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What’s Your Favorite Shrimp Salad Recipe?

Do you love shrimp salad? What is your favorite shrimp salad recipe? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below.

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