Classic Shrimp Salad

Creamy shrimp salad pairs celery, dill and lemon with this tasty shellfish! A spin on tuna salad, it’s the best way to use up leftover shrimp.

Shrimp salad

Here’s a recipe that truly surprised us. Classic shrimp salad! No, it’s not shrimp on top of greens with a dressing. It’s like tuna salad, except it’s…shrimp salad. It looks like it’s straight from the 1950’s, but we’ve got a new and improved take on this classic that shoots it to rockstar status! The dressing is creamy, tangy and savory, but not too rich. Using Greek yogurt to cut the mayo makes it fresh, herby and utterly delicious. It’s the best way to use up leftover shrimp: pile it on toast or a sandwich! Or serve it up fresh for a fancy luncheon or brunch.

Ingredients for the best shrimp salad

This shrimp salad we brought into the modern era using a few tweaks. Now, it’s not clear when shrimp salad was actually invented. Tuna salad goes back as far as 1907, and shrimp salad is a spinoff on that theme. We’ve found a few references to shrimp salad in 1950’s cookbooks, so it appears to have been popular in the 50’s. Instead of the massive quantity of mayo that’s classic in both, we lightened it up with a few tweaks. Here are the ingredients you need for shrimp salad:

  • Cooked shrimp: You can cook it up day of; it’s also great for using leftover shrimp. See below!
  • Greek yogurt + mayo combination: The key to the creamiest, best shrimp salad! The sauce tastes savory and creamy, but using mostly Greek yogurt with a touch of mayo helps to keep it less calorie-laden and rich.
  • Celery, red onion & fresh dill: These fresh ingredients provide the crunch and flavor counterpoint. The fresh dill is especially important for just the right herby flavor.
  • White wine vinegar & Dijon mustard: Both are essential to making this taste like deli-style shrimp salad.
Shrimp salad

It’s the best use for leftover shrimp!

The reason Alex and I made this recipe was some leftover shrimp in the fridge. We’d just made a shrimp boil and had a few leftovers. Generally we’re wary about leftover seafood, but we decided to do some research. How long does cooked shrimp last? 3 days. Yes, cooked shrimp can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge! So we were looking for ways to use it up.

The best use for leftover shrimp? This shrimp salad! Covering it in this creamy sauce makes it into something altogether new: and delicious. Throw it on a sandwich and you’ve got lunch!

Shrimp

Or, use freshly boiled shrimp!

This shrimp salad is also perfect for a luncheon or fancy brunch. It has that elegant retro vibe and it’s perfection served on a croissant or with crackers. If you’re cooking the shrimp the day of, you can use any cooking method. But traditionally the shellfish for shrimp salad is boiled. Here’s How to Boil Shrimp. (Of course, you can sauté the shrimp if you like: we won’t judge!)

How to serve shrimp salad: as a sandwich, and more!

Cook the shrimp, mix it with the sauce and veggies, and voila: you’ve got a deliciously classic shrimp salad! How to serve it? Here are a few serving suggestions. If you’re planning to use it for crackers or on a sandwich, you may want to chop the shrimp into smaller pieces before making the salad. Or, you can leave the shrimp whole as you see in the photos above.

  • Over greens. Place the shrimp salad over butter lettuce and it makes a stunning main dish salad.
  • On a sandwich. Just like a tuna salad sandwich, but with shrimp!
  • On toast. Throw it onto toast and it’s a quick and easy dinner recipe.
  • With crackers. Use it as a dip for crackers or crostini.
  • On a croissant. This is great for a brunch or luncheon.
  • In an avocado. A great way to make a gluten-free meal.

Let us know how you try it in the comments below!

How to make shrimp salad

More classic salads

Fun fact: the type of salad made with mayo is actually called a “bound salad” (that is, it’s bound together with a thick mayo-based sauce). This type of salad is incredibly tasty and makes some of the most classic American sandwiches. Here are all the classics:

This shrimp salad recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy-free.

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Shrimp salad

Shrimp Salad (New & Improved!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Creamy shrimp salad pairs celery, dill and lemon with this tasty shellfish! A spin on tuna salad, it’s the best way to use up leftover shrimp.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound* cooked shrimp (about 20 medium shrimp or more small)
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Use leftover cooked shrimp or boil the shrimp
  2. Thinly slice the celery. Chop the onion. Chop the dill. 
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the vegetables, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Notes

*Double this to serve 4 for serving at a luncheon or brunch. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Shrimp salad

More easy shrimp recipes

Love shrimp? Us too. Here are a few more easy and healthy shrimp recipes to try:

  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta An easy dinner idea with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan.
  • Easy Coconut Shrimp Baked to perfection: no one can resist that juicy coconut-scented bite!
  • Shrimp Cocktail The zesty famous cocktail sauce will have everyone begging for the recipe.
  • Easy Pesto Shrimp Savory basil pesto is a natural pairing with juicy shrimp.
  • Blackened Shrimp Full of Cajun flavor! It’s fast to cook on the grill or stove for an easy, healthy dinner.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp A healthy, easy dinner recipe that takes just 10 minutes! Serve with rice, in tacos, or as a Mexican-style salad topping.
  • Shrimp and Broccoli This ultra flavorful recipe comes together in minutes for a fast and easy dinner! Serve with rice or over noodles.
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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