Classic Shrimp Salad is a perfect summer meal. Plump cooked shrimp, crisp celery, creamy dressing with the flavor of fresh dill make this easy shrimp salad recipe a skinny favorite!
There's nothing better in the hot summer months than a simple salad like this cold shrimp salad recipe. It's fresh with great texture and always hits the spot. We've changed up the ingredients to lower the calories while keeping the same flavors and textures as the original version.
Whether you serve this easy shrimp salad recipe on a bed of crisp lettuce, in a sandwich, wrap or as lettuce cups, it's a great quick lunch, lazy summer dinner or favorite of summer salads. It's great the next day too.
What makes this skinny?
- Shrimp is a very lean protein that is also low calorie.
- Using light mayonnaise and light sour cream still creates a creamy shrimp salad texture (without being over sauced) just with ⅓ fewer calories. We also use less of both in the recipe.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
- Cooked shrimp. The recipe starts with pre-cooked shrimp: deveined with the tails removed. You can purchase it this way, buy frozen and thaw it or cook it yourself before starting. Do not use uncooked fresh shrimp. Salad shrimp (the tiny shrimp size) up through medium shrimp (good for sandwiches) can be used. See Frozen Shrimp Tips below for more if using frozen shrimp.
- Light mayonnaise. Light mayonnaise gives the classic creamy texture and flavor without loading up on extra calories. This recipe can be made with full fat mayonnaise too if desired.
- Light sour cream. Just two tablespoons are added for a creamy tangy flavor.
- Celery. Diced crunchy celery gives the delicious shrimp salad a nice texture and refreshing flavor.
- Lemon juice. We recommend using fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
- Fresh dill. This pulls all the flavors together! We highly recommend using fresh dill for the aromatic flavor. If you can't find it 2 teaspoons of dried dill can be substituted for the fresh dill.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper. To season the shrimp to your preference.
How to Make it
STEP 1. Thaw shrimp (if using frozen)
See our tips and methods below.
STEP 2. Mix salad ingredients
In a large mixing bowl combine the light mayonnaise, light sour cream, diced celery, fresh chopped dill, lemon juice and shrimp.
Stir to fully combine and coat the shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste.
Frozen Shrimp tips
Unless you plan to pre-cook the shrimp yourself be sure to purchase cooked, tail-off shrimp.
There sometimes is a concern frozen shrimp will be mushy when thawed. I have not had that experience.
Package weight. If buying frozen shrimp the package weight is for frozen shrimp; the thawed shrimp weigh less. So purchase more than 1 ½ pounds of frozen shrimp to start the recipe with 1 ½ pounds.
Thawing frozen shrimp:
- Best method: place the frozen shrimp in a colander with a plate or pan underneath the night before making the shrimp salad. Allow it to thaw naturally overnight. Use a paper towel to dab off any excess moisture before starting the recipe.
- Quick method: you can place the shrimp in a colander and run it under cold water (never hot) for 5 minutes until the shrimp are thawed.
- A note on the quick method: if using salad shrimp this method tends to make them soggy. You can place them on layers of paper towels on bottom and top to absorb the water before starting the recipe.
- Red onion or green onions. Adding some diced red onion will add a zesty flavor and more crunch. For a milder onion flavor slice some scallions (green onions) to add.
- Shrimp options. Try our Air Fryer Shrimp or Mediterranean Shrimp for a different flavor. Or use some grilled shrimp.
- Try different herbs or seasoning. A classic to use is Old Bay Seasoning. It would be great with some Dijon mustard. Fresh herbs like Italian parsley, cilantro, basil or thyme would totally change up the salad. A smidge of cayenne pepper will heat things up. Lemon zest adds more fresh flavor.
- Add more vegetables. To extend the salad you could add more chopped fresh vegetables.
Ways to Serve it
On Salad Greens. A big scoop on a bed of chilled crispy romaine lettuce or soft butter lettuce is a great way to serve this tasty shrimp salad. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on.
In a Halved Avocado. Half of a small avocado becomes a perfect vessel for some of the tender shrimp salad. The combination of the creamy avocado (great healthy fats) with the classic shrimp salad is a delicious lunch or appetizer.
- halve an avocado
- remove the pit
- scoop a bit more of the avocado flesh out around the pit area (leave some of the avocado)
- fill with a mound of shrimp salad
If desired the scooped portion of the avocado can be diced and added back into the shrimp salad recipe too.
Shrimp Salad Sandwiches. These taste like vacation by the seashore! Similar to lobster rolls the salad can be served on a toasted bun or your favorite low calorie bread.
Lettuce wraps. A scoop of the shrimp salad is a refreshing lunch.
On pasta. Adding the shrimp salad to a chilled pasta salad becomes a filling and satisfying shrimp pasta salad.
How to Store
Store leftover shrimp salad in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Because the salad has dairy products in it do not allow it to sit out at room temperature for more than two hours or in the sun at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Though this would probably work it will make the salad very tangy. We've found that though non-fat Greek yogurt is creamy when mixed into a salad like this it doesn't blend in as well or last for leftovers. Having a bit of fat is the best way (in our opinion) to make this salad.
They will work but it will reduce the amount in each portion. Using smaller shrimp increases the number of shrimp in each portion. Small shrimp to medium shrimp work best in this recipe.
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