This Chopped Shrimp Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette includes all the fresh flavors of summer in one delicious bowl. Ready in just 20 minutes, this easy shrimp salad is tossed in a light and healthy cilantro lime vinaigrette for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Shrimp salad recipes are among some of my favorite recipes thanks to their versatility and quick cooking and include this Peach and Kohlrabi Summer Salad with Chipotle Shrimp, Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Dressing, and Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing.
I should probably start this post with a warning-
If you are one of those people who HATE cilantro, then you will probably hate this recipe. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended. And I’ll still be your friend.
So, as your friend, don’t make this chopped shrimp salad if cilantro makes you want to barf. If, however, you are like me- a person who literally sprinkles cilantro on everything- then you’re going to love it.
Chopped Salads, like this Easy Chopped Mediterranean Salad or this Asian Chopped Chicken Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette, are on constant rotation at my house throughout the year. If you’ve ever had a good chopped shrimp salad, it’s easy to understand why they’re so amazing. They’re fresh, flavorful, and (should be) super healthy to boot!
WHY I LOVE CHOPPED SALADS
- Chopped salads are super versatile.
- They can be healthy, moderately healthy, or a complete calorie pit. Each deserves their own respect.
- Each bite is delicious.
- In other words- you won’t get a mouthful of dry lettuce in one bite and soggy lettuce in the next.
- You can eat them with a fork…out of a bowl…on the couch.
- They’re surprisingly easy to prepare and taste like a million bucks.
Yeah, those $20 chopped salads from all those restaurant chains? rip-off.
INGREDIENTS IN THIS CHOPPED SHRIMP SALAD RECIPE
- Large, juicy shrimp
- Seasoning and spices- chili powder, ground cumin, chipotle powder, salt and pepper
- Romaine lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Green onion
- Casero cheese
- Tortilla chips
- Lime juice
That’s just the salad. The Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is separate (don’t worry, I’m getting there).
If you’re thinking, “whoa! that is a long list for just a salad!”, feel free to leave out any ingredients that may be difficult to find. That’s what makes salad recipes so fun! Take the parts that are easy and you love and leave the rest.
As for the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, that part is even easier.
- Olive Oil
- FRESH lime juice
- all the Cilantro
Ok, friends. You really can’t get out of putting cilantro or fresh lime juice in this vinaigrette. Actually, given how basic this vinaigrette is, I’m going to venture a guess and say that should you decide to leave out any one ingredient all-together, it will probably change the entire feel of the dressing. But, I’m going to leave that up to you. If you do come up with something all your own, let me know! I love hearing what my readers come up with!
WHAT IS CASERO CHEESE?
Casero cheese. Who’s heard of it?
If you’ve visited many food blogs or tried much Mexican food you may have seen the rise in popularity of Cotija cheese. Wanting to be in with the cool kids, I ran out and bought some Cotija cheese, too. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t impressed. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it was so hard. I expected it to be softer. crumblier. different.
The next time I was at the market I found Casero cheese. Noticeably much softer, I tried it. OH.MY.GOSH.YOU.GUYS.
This is my new favorite cheese for salads, eggs, tacos, etc. It’s like a mozzarella/burrata but not.
- Also known as Queso Fresco or Queso Ranchero, Queso Blanco or Farmers Cheese
- Often compared in taste to feta cheese or goat cheese (but I would have to dispute the goat cheese comparison)
- Light and fresh, somewhat salty
- Perfect on salads, soups, mixed within eggs, crumbled on corn, served with fruit, etc.
Most of all, though, you really want this cheese to crumble on top of this.
HOW TO COOK SHRIMP
Shrimp are finicky little suckers, aren’t they? You think you’ve got them all figured, “yeah, I totally know how to cook shrimp. They’re soooo easy”. And then you take a bite and realize you have absolutely no idea what you were talking about.
So how do you cook shrimp? Well, I have tried all the ways over the years and have come to find out that sautéd shrimp is the best. Oven second best. And outdoor grill third best. This applies to me, personally. If you are a grill genie than obviously, this will not apply to you.
- You need de-veined shrimp. Yep, get rid of that black little line down the back because that, my friends, is shrimp poop.
- Make sure your shrimp are the same size. It’s not rocket science, you guys. Small shrimp will cook faster than larger shrimp.
- All the shrimp should enter the pan at the same time.
- In a single layer.
- Once added to the pan, don’t touch them…for a minute.
- TWO at the absolute MOST.
- Allow the shrimp to continue to cook for an additional minute or two.
Ok, but when do I know they’re actually done?
Remember that little poop vein that you removed? yes? YES? Awesome, just checking…
Well, keeping an eye on where that vein was located at the opposite far end of the tail (if the tail were the legs, and the opposite end of the shrimp was the head, then look up toward the head)- when that part of the shrimp is no longer translucent (aka it’s no longer clear or grey), then you know it’s done.
IMMEDIATELY remove those delicious juicy shrimp from the skillet. No, don’t just remove the skillet from the heat. The skillet is still very hot and your shrimp will continue to cook. Remove the actual shimp…like NOW.
Shrimp take just 5 minutes to cook but require your complete attention. Don’t worry, you got this.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING THE BEST CHOPPED SHRIMP SALAD
- Prepare the salad and vinaigrette first, before you even start cooking the shrimp.
- To save time, prepare the greens – chopped romaine, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, red onion, green onion, and cilantro – the night before. Toss together in a large salad bowl and transfer to a large ziplock bag. Seal completely, getting out as much air as possible.
- The same can be said for the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Prepare the day before and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before use.
- If you don’t like shrimp, grilled steak, chicken, or even chickpeas would be a great addition.
- Make sure all vegetables are chopped into small, (relatively) even sized pieces.
- Toss the chopped shrimp salad with the cilantro lime vinaigrette just before serving.
If you try making this Chopped Shrimp Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For more shrimp recipes check out,
- Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- Spicy Mexican Stewed Shrimp (Shrimp Camarones)
- Shrimp Tostadas with Strawberry Salsa
- Easy 30 Minute Shrimp and Fish Stew
- Jambalaya Recipe (How to Make Jambalaya)
For more salad recipes check out,
- Thai Cashew Coconut Cauliflower Rice Chopped Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
- BBQ Chopped Blueberry and Chickpea Salad
- Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Turmeric Salad with Apples and Acorn Squash
- Avocado Citrus Chickpea Salad
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Chopped Shrimp Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro - finely chopped
- salt + pepper - to taste
FOR THE SHRIMP
FOR THE SALAD
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce - finely chopped
- 10 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 cup corn - from a can/ frozen and thawed/ from the cob
- 1/2 English cucumber - chopped
- 1/2 small red onion - diced
- 1/2 cup green onions - chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
- 1 large avocado - peeled, pitted, diced
- Casero Cheese - use feta as a substitute
- tortilla chips or wonton chips for topping
- fresh lime juice - for serving
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- In a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette until fully combined. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
FOR THE SALAD
- Transfer all ingredients for the salad (except for the avocado) into a large serving bowl. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.
FOR THE SHRIMP
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, salt, and pepper and squeeze with fresh lime juice. Cook for approximately 2 minutes before turning to cook an additional 2 minutes on the other side.
- Immediately remove shrimp from the skillet once they are pink and fully cooked.
- Just before serving, top salad with warm shrimp, avocado, and vinaigrette.