An easy Mexican-inspired avocado shrimp cucumber salad similar to a cooked shrimp ceviche but loaded with vegetables and a sweetened lime dressing. You'll love this delicious shrimp salad recipe when you're looking for something healthy, light, and refreshing. It's a Whole Lotta Yum!
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The Best Shrimp Salad Recipe
If you're looking for a classic shrimp salad recipe that stands out from the common mayo covered recipe, you'll love our Mexican inspired shrimp salad that's vibrant, fresh, and full of flavor!
Think of this like a tropical shrimp ceviche with cooked shrimp plus the addition of ripe avocados, juicy mangos, crisp cucumbers, zesty tomatoes, and fragrant cilantro. The twist? The salad gets topped with a zingy fresh honey lime dressing that comes together in just a few minutes.
Mexican Shrimp Salad Ingredient Notes
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- raw fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined - we love to use a bag of frozen raw shrimp that comes peeled and deveined. Such a time saver! You can even cook the shrimp from frozen instead of defrosting it first.
- large avocado, cubed - we cube it right before adding it to the salad so it doesn't start to turn brown. Mixing it with the lime juice in the salad
- grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half - sliced tomatoes can also be used instead of baby tomatoes
- thin cucumber slices - we used the small Persian cucumbers but any variety of sliced cucumbers works great
- small red onion, minced - make sure to use red onion since it's being eaten raw and has a milder flavor.
- chopped cilantro - chop up the stem too, it has tons of flavor!
- large mango, cubed - adding mango adds a touch of tropical sweetness, you can also skip the mango which we often do, depending on what vibe you're going for. Peaches or nectarines are great too.
- small finely minced jalapeno -it's easy to add more or less depending on your heat tolerance.
- avocado oil - extra virgin olive oil also works fine
- fresh limes, squeezed - fresh lime juice only, do not substitute concentrate! You could also make a fresh lemon dressing.
- fine sea salt or kosher salt - our preferred cooking salts, if you use table salt cut back a bit
- ground black pepper - we like the freshly ground black pepper, if you're using finely ground pepper cut back a bit
- agave nectar or honey (optional) - or monk fruit, erythritol, or coconut sugar to taste. Sweetener isn't necessary but especially when we add the mango, we add a touch of agave or honey along with it.
- Taijin seasoning to garnish (optional) - A Mexican spice made of dried chilis, limes, and salt. A little bit goes a long way to adding a boost of flavor to any Mexican dish.
Recipe for Shrimp Salad Variations
Make shrimp ceviche with cooked shrimp- Leave out the cucumber and mango and what you have left is ceviche using cooked shrimp. Cut your shrimp into smaller pieces and the veggies too and serve it with tortilla chips.
Increase/decrease the heat - add more jalapeno if you like it spicy or use green bell pepper in place of the jalapeno if you want the recipe totally mild.
Swap the veggies - It's so easy in a recipe like our shrimp and avocado salad to just leave out what you don't like or add more of something like the avocado.
Change the fruit- We added mango but other types of fruit like berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and citrus would be fabulous too.
Shrimp Avocado Salad Diet Adaptions
As written, our healthy shrimp salad recipe is paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. It's easy to adapt to a low carb or keto friendly recipe too.
- Vegan- you could easily skip the shrimp and just make this as a vegan side salad
- Keto/Low carb- leave out the mango, cut back on red onion, use monk fruit or erythritol like Swerve to sweeten the lime dressing to taste (you'll want to use less than the 2 tablespoon of liquid sweetener the recipe calls for).
How to make this Recipe for Shrimp Salad
Assembling shrimp salad is quick and easy! Just briefly simmer the shrimp, chop and assemble the veggies, and toss it all with a simple honey lime shrimp salad dressing.
Step 1: Boil the shrimp in a large pot of water for about 2 minutes until the shrimp just turns pink.
You can add seasoning to the cold water before bringing it to a boil such as ½ lemon sliced, 1 tablespoon sea salt or garlic salt, and ½ teaspoon black peppercorns.
Step 2: Put ice cubes and cold water in a large bowl and immediately put the cooked shrimp in the water bath to stop them from cooking.
Step 3: While the water is coming to a boil for the shrimp, make the lime dressing by adding the freshly squeezed lime juice, avocado oil, optional sweetener, salt, and pepper into a small bowl or small jar. Stir or shake well.
This is also a convenient time to chop the vegetables.
Step 4: In a medium-sized bowl add the cooked fresh shrimp, sliced cucumber, minced red onion, sliced grape tomatoes, cubed mango, cubed avocado, and the chopped fresh cilantro. Combine the salad ingredients. Pour the dressing over the top of the Mexican shrimp salad and gently toss to combine.
Step 5: Let the salad sit for up to 30 minutes to combine the flavors before you serve it. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Best Shrimp Salad Recipe Tips
- Save time by purchasing frozen raw shrimp that's already peeled and deveined. You can cook the shrimp from frozen, just add another minute to the cooking time.
- Chop and slice the vegetables while the water is boiling instead of prepping before you start.
- Cut the vegetables and shrimp into smaller pieces to serve like salsa alongside tortilla chips.
Here's some easy ways to serve shrimp salad:
- Make lettuce wraps with butter lettuce leaves or romaine lettuce
- Put the salad in a tortilla wrap
- Serve with tortilla chips
- Make a healthy lunch and serve the shrimp with cauliflower rice
Meal Prep Recipe for Shrimp Salad
The recipe makes 4 servings for meal prep. Each 1 ⅓ cup serving is 377 calories for just the shrimp salad, we recommend serving it with cauliflower rice which adds an extra 25 calories.
Cooked shrimp will last for 2-3 days in the fridge, so this is a great recipe to make for 2 people and 2 lunches.
How to store Shrimp Avocado Salad
Store: The shrimp avocado salad can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Typically avocado starts to turn brown after being cut, but the lime juice in the salad helps to keep the salad fresher.
Freeze: We actually don't recommend freezing leftovers unless you're just freezing leftover cooked shrimp on it's own.
Best Shrimp Salad Recipe FAQs
We prefer to buy the frozen shrimp with the tail on that has already been peeled and deveined. We think that the slight increase is worth not having to prep the shrimp.
The best way to cook the shrimp is by simmering fresh or frozen shrimp in the water, you can also saute or air fry the shrimp too for a roasted flavor. We don't recommend pre-cooked shrimp since it won't have any seasoning or flavor.
The Mexican shrimp salad recipe will keep for 1-2 days. The avocado could start to turn light brown but it'll still taste the same. The dressing will sink to the bottom so be sure to toss it again before serving.
Since shrimp has a mild buttery taste, it’s a fantastic healthy protein source that absobs whatever seasoning you’re cooking with. You don't need to marinade it in advance, it’s easy to just to cook or saute the shrimp with butter or olive oil and add your favorite seasonings to taste such as cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, lemon pepper, Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or any store bought seasoning mix.
We do not recommend freezing shrimp salad since the fresh crisp vegetables will turn soggy after being in the freezer. You can cook the shrimp in advance, store it in the freezer for up to 1 month and add the chopped fresh fruit and vegetables the day you assemble the salad recipe.
Salad shrimp is pre cooked shrimp that gets boiled and then frozen to use in recipes. It’s meant to be defrosted and used in a variety of dishes such as shrimp salad, shrimp sandwiches, soups, and more. The shrimp size in salad shrimp can vary, so be sure to purchase one that works for the specific recipe you’re making. While buying salad shrimp in advance is a cooking short-cut, buying raw frozen shrimp and cooking it yourself will give you the best flavor!
More Shrimp Recipes
If you love our Mexican shrimp salad recipe be sure to check out our other shrimp recipes too. Most of these are frozen shrimp recipes, which saves so much time.