Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I have no idea why some people think that a salad can’t be a meal, much less dinner. I love real meal salads, sometimes involving lettuce, and sometimes, like this one, not a leaf in sight. Think about this: every forkful involves a variety of colors and tastes and textures, there is density to the situation, and you get to kind of keep hunting for that great bite, which evolves and ebbs and flows and…I know, I’m a little bit of a sad salad nerd, but I really am ok with that.

This shrimp salad is the epitome of why I love main course salads. Shrimp and avocado and corn and tomatoes and a little bit of heat from a jalapeno….a kiss of sweetness for the honey. Oh, and if you are a bacon person, this would be a HELL of a salad to add bacon to. I think that bacon has probably converted more people to becoming salad eaters than anything else on the planet. Other then maybe blue cheese dressing…. or croutons…

Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

And then we are in good conscience not really in salad territory any more.  I mean we are. If something vegetal is involved. But let’s be real. 

Meanwhile if you don’t add bacon, this is a freaking healthy main course salad. Protein from the beautiful shrimp. That good kind of fat from the avocados. Fresh everything else all over the place.  Use multicolored cherry or grape tomatoes if those are available to you.

Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I actually think next time I will add some slivered hearts of romaine (the lettuce of gods…well at least the house lettuce of our family) or maybe baby spinach to this and fluff it up a bunch.  Or head in another direction and add some cooked and cooled pasta.

If you start with precooked shrimp, this beautiful and satisfying salad can be on the table in 15 minutes!

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Buying Shrimp

Precooked shrimp works is fine in recipes like this. BUT. While it may be tempting to buy cooked shrimp for this recipe, think a moment about it. Some pre-cooked shrimp is great; other precooked shrimp is soggy and salty, and I would almost always rather cook my shrimp myself than take a chance on mediocre precooked shrimp.

Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

If the cooked shrimp is pre-packaged at supermarket, skip it. But if you are buying it from a quality place, from an actual fish counter, ask to taste one. If it’s brisk and clean and unsalty and firm, then you are in luck. They will likely be a bit more expensive than raw shrimp, but now you have a real choice.

And while I am a HUGE fan of raw frozen shrimp (And P.S., almost all of the shrimp we get is frozen at some point, even if you buy it from a fish monger), frozen cooked shrimp just isn’t my jam. 

Make Ahead

You can very much make the shrimp one day ahead. And you can also make the dressing ahead. You can assemble the salad a few hours ahead, with the exception of the avocado which should be added at the end.

Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Other Main Course Salad Recipes:

Summer Shrimp and Avocado Salad

If you start with precooked shrimp, this beautiful and satisfying salad can be on the table in 15 minutes! (Add about 7 minutes if you're cooking the shrimp yourself!)
Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 22 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions white and green parts
  • Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish, optional

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with several cups of ice, and then fill it almost to the top with cold water. Set aside.
  • Add the shrimp to the pot of boiling water, stir, and allow the water to come back to a simmer. Cook the shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes, just until cooked through (opaque throughout). Immediately drain the shrimp and submerge them in the ice water bath for 10 minutes. Drain. Peel the shrimp and cut them in half cross-wise. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use in the salad.
  • In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, and salt and pepper.
  • Add the shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, corn, jalapenos and scallions and toss to coat with the dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the cilantro, if using.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 473mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 323IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg

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