Serve this delicious shrimp salad in a brioche roll for lunch, fill lettuce cups as a fancy appetiser or load in a big bowl for a lazy summer dinner. This 10-minute cold shrimp salad recipe will deliver everything from flavour to style and ease.
Why You’ll Love Our Easy Shrimp Salad Recipe
Whether it be a delicious lunch, last minute gatherings or lazy summer dinners in the backyard, this easy shrimp salad recipe does the job.
And not just any job; it does a damn good one.
The combination of cold juicy shrimp with finely chopped celery, red onions and lush mayonnaise dressing mixed through really satisfies the taste buds.
It’s creamy and tangy with tender sweetness together.
And depending on how you serve shrimp salad, it can be a casual BBQ side dish or dressed up to be a fancy dinner party appetiser.
Plus, it is so easy to make this shrimp salad recipe with mayo. You seriously can’t go wrong.
Is It Better To Use Fresh Shrimp Or Pre-Cooked Shrimp?
Both fresh or pre-cooked shrimp can be good choices for shrimp salad. For my recipe here, I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp.
Pre-cooked shrimp is more convenient to use as it means less prep work and is quick to serve. I often have a bag of frozen pre-cooked shrimp in my freezer for last-minute meals, and this is definitely one of them.
Frozen shrimp is often cooked and frozen soon after being caught to preserve its quality and flavour.
Regarding texture, my son has told me he prefers fresh shrimp because it has a firmer and bouncier texture compared to frozen shrimp. The tender sweetness of fresh shrimp also adds to the flavour of the salad as well.
Ways To Serve Shrimp Salad
This classic shrimp salad is fantastic for parties—so many ways to serve it.
Load shrimp salad in lettuce cups and serve as finger food or an appetiser. You can also easily serve this delicious creamy cold shrimp salad in a big bowl with crackers as part of a larger potluck meal.
For me, a shrimp salad is a delicious lunch idea.
It is very hard for people to say no to a good shrimp salad sandwich. Or fill up in mini brioche buns for a fancy shrimp slider.
For some reason, I love shrimp salad the most over warm sourdough toast. Not sure why, but the cold shrimp salad against the warmth of buttery toast just creates magic. The crunchy celery and red onion bits help amplify the flavour.
This is a super easy lunch that looks and tastes oh so fancy!
Flavour/Texture: The natural sweetness of shrimp is magically paired with crunchy celery, red onions, and a creamy, herby mayonnaise dressing, making this simple salad so deliciously refreshing.
Ease: It’s literally a few chops and mixing motions, and you are done. This is an extremely easy salad.
Time: If you use pre-cooked shrimp like I did, this recipe will take less than 10 minutes.
These are the main ingredients you need for shrimp salad recipe:
Shrimp: You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for the salad. I generally have a pack of frozen shrimp in the freezer. I use them in many different recipes like salads, noodle soups, scramble eggs etc., so I went with pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe.
Celery: Finely chopped celery adds crunch to the salad.
Red Onion: Red onion helps lift the creamy combination with extra colour and aromatics.
Dill: I love the citrusy and anise-like flavour of dill, and it goes so well with seafood.
Mayonnaise: Good quality mayonnaise is much needed in this recipe.
Dijon Mustard/Lemon juice/Garlic: All these ingredients help balance the dressing with extra tang and flavour.
Variations and Substitutions
Size of shrimp: I used a smaller shrimp variety (approximately 26/30 in size) for this recipe as I wanted to serve it over toast. You can go with a larger shrimp if you make it as a salad without lettuce cups or toast. Alternatively, you can chop up larger shrimp to smaller bite sizes.
Dill variation: If you don’t have dill on hand for the shrimp salad, you can use other herbs like chives, scallions, parsley or even a mixture of the herbs. Finely chop to add to salad.
Salad dressing variation: My shrimp salad dressing recipe follows a simple classic combination. You can also spice it up with a little Tabasco hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Optional seasoning: Another popular addition to shrimp salad is Old Bay Seasoning, a unique blend of herbs and spices synonymous with seafood recipes. We don’t get it often in Australia, so I sometimes sprinkle some cayenne pepper at the end for the extra oomph of spice.
Step by step instructions for how to make shrimp salad:
How to Make The Salad
If using fresh shrimp, cook in boiling water until the shrimp is pink and opaque. This will only take a few minutes.
Otherwise, defrost your frozen prawns and then pat dry.
Remove celery leaves and wash stalks well. Finely chop celery stalks.
Peel and dice red onion.
In a mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, lemon juice and ¾ of the chopped dill.
Mix well until combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
Place shrimp, chopped celery and red onion in the salad bowl and add creamy mayonnaise dressing.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss together until shrimp is well coated with salad dressing.
Scatter the remaining chopped dill on top.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Avoid excess liquid: Whether you are using fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp, be sure the shrimp is relatively dry or drained well from the cooking water. Having excess liquid will make the dressing too watery.
Chill before serving: I prefer a cold shrimp salad, so you can put the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Good quality mayonnaise: The salad dressing really depends on the mayonnaise, so the better the quality, the better the taste.
Season properly: A generous pinch of salt and pepper goes a long way for this recipe. Taste and season to your liking.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with shrimp salad? Try these delicious main dish recipes:
Fish and shrimp seem to be such an easy combination for a great dinner. This easy pan seared lemon salmon should tick off those mid-week dinner plans.
Alternatively you can try these marinated grilled tofu steaks with cilantro chimichurri or super delicious grilled zucchini and corn tacos. The shrimp would make and excellent addition to these dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Shrimp salad is one you can prepare in advance and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
I would prepare and eat this salad fresh, but any leftovers can keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
No. Simple as that. The mayonnaise dressing will not defrost well.
For seafood lovers, this shrimp salad is just perfect. It’s so quick to whip up and tingles all the tastebuds with luscious flavours. I love to serve it for lunch, dinner, parties, and anytime I can’t really be bothered cooking!
You can’t go wrong. This is a versatile recipe to have in your repertoire.
More Easy Salad Recipes
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Easy Shrimp Salad Recipe
- 500 g shrimp
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- If using fresh shrimp, cook in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until pink and opaque. Otherwise, defrost your frozen prawns and then pat dry.
- Finely chop celery stalks.
- Peel and dice red onion.
- In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, lemon juice and ¾ of the chopped dill.
- Mix well until combined.
- Place shrimp, chopped celery and red onion in the salad bowl and add creamy mayonnaise dressing.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss together until shrimp is well coated with salad dressing.
- Scatter the remaining chopped dill on top.
- Serve chilled.
- You can use smaller-sized shrimp if serving on toast or in lettuce cups like I have, or chop up larger shrimp into small bite sizes.
- You can use other herbs like chives, scallions, parsley or even a mixture of the herbs.
- Spice up the dressing with a little Tabasco hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
- For optional seasoning, try Old Bay seasoning or sprinkle some cayenne pepper at the end for an extra oomph of spice.
- Avoid excess liquid when mixing in the salad dressing; otherwise, it will become too watery.
- Put the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.