Shrimp Salad

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Old Bay kicks up the flavor of this classic shrimp salad. Pile it onto a croissant, scoop it over lettuce, or serve it with crackers.

Spoon in a bowl of shrimp salad.

Made with perfectly-cooked, chilled shrimp, crunchy celery and scallions, and a flavor-packed creamy dressing, this shrimp salad makes the perfect lunch or light supper. You can pile it onto a croissant or toast, scoop it over lettuce, or dice the shrimp up and serve it as a dip with crackers.

The secret ingredient is Old Bay seasoning, a spice blend that contains celery salt, pepper, paprika, and mustard, to name just a few. Sold near the seafood department in most supermarkets, Old Bay is great on seafood, especially in crab cakes and peel n’ eat shrimp, but we shake it on everything here in Maryland, from fried chicken to popcorn. It really kicks up the flavor of this shrimp salad a few notches.

“My husband and I made this for New Year’s Day and are delighted to tell you it’s the best shrimp salad we have ever tasted!”


What You’ll Need To Make Shrimp Salad

ingredients for shrimp salad

Buying Shrimp

For all of my shrimp recipes, I recommend buying frozen shrimp, as most shrimp are flash-frozen shortly after being caught. Unless you live on the coast, the “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case is typically thawed frozen shrimp. For the freshest shrimp, it’s best to buy frozen shrimp and defrost it yourself. The best way to defrost it is overnight in the fridge, but if you’re in a time crunch, you can run the shrimp under cool water.

I also recommend buying shrimp labeled “shell-on and deveined.” The shrimp will have more flavor and better texture when cooked in the shell – and it’s much easier to buy shrimp already deveined. If for some reason you need to devein the shrimp yourself, use kitchen shears to cut through the shell along the back of the shrimp, from the head to the tail, then use a paring knife to remove the vein.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil.

Pot of boiling water.

Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and cooked through, about 1-1/2 minutes (the water needn’t return to a boil).

shrimp cooking in pot

Drain the shrimp in a colander and then immediately plunge them into the ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process. Let sit until chilled, about 15 minutes.

shrimp in ice bath

Peel the shrimp and set aside.

peeling shrimp for shrimp salad

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Old Bay, wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.

shrimp salad dressing ingredients in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked dressing ingredients

Add the cooked shrimp, celery and white and light green scallions.

adding the cooked shrimp, celery and light scallions

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning.

tossed shrimp salad

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle the salad with the dark green scallions and a dash of Old Bay. The salad will keep for two days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Spoon in a bowl of shrimp salad.

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Shrimp Salad

Old Bay kicks up the flavor of this classic shrimp salad. Pile it onto a croissant, scoop it over lettuce, or serve it with crackers.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 2 pounds large raw shrimp (31-35 per pound), shell-on and deveined (see note), thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellman's or Duke's
  • 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup finely sliced scallions, light and dark green parts separated


  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set next to the sink.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright pink and cooked through, about 1½ minutes (the water needn't return to a boil).
  3. Drain the shrimp in a colander and then immediately plunge them into the ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process. Let sit until chilled, about 15 minutes. Peel the shrimp and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Old Bay, wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the shrimp, celery, and light green scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, transfer the salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the dark green scallions and a dash of Old Bay. The salad will keep for 2 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 244
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Sodium: 979mg
  • Cholesterol: 198mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • I (and you) am officially famous for my shrimp salad sliders! I used 13/15 size shrimp and put on toasted Artesano brand dinner rolls. I make per the recipe with extra celery! EVERYBODY loves them! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Lydia on July 6, 2024
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  • This was fabulous, spices spot on! Didn’t have white wine vinegar so used rice vinegar and it was so good. Also added 1/2 of a grated carrot for a little color. I had made my mom’s shrimp salad recipe where she added a whole grated carrot and eggs, but this recipe was just so flavorful. I wasn’t afraid to try it because your recipes haven’t disappointed. Thank you!

    • — Jenna McMullen on June 29, 2024
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  • Delicious! Didn’t feel like cooking because it’s 5,000 degrees in Baltimore and was in the mood for a restaurant quality shrimp salad wrap. I used a 2lb bag of cooked shrimp from Wegmans. Plan to make and take to 4th of July cookout next week. Will be added to the summer dinner rotation. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • — Karen Rodriguez on June 26, 2024
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  • Loved it made it a couple of times already 😁

    • — Karen on February 24, 2024
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  • Wasn’t a fan of shrimp salad until I tried this — amazing on toasted hawaiian rolls!

    • — Kim on January 9, 2024
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  • I have the palate of a 10 yr old so please bear with me. I love chicken salad and have tried a few times to make a similar shrimp salad various ways and have yet to find the right one. I had skilled grilled shrimp with shell on I had stir fried the previous night with Worcestershire sauce salt pepper butter lemon juice slap ya momma seasoning cumin chili powder. I did not have white rice vinegar but had red. Used the RV, Dukes mayo, a touch of spicy mustard, old bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, slap ya momma seasoning and chopped pickles. I really enjoyed it. I think the white rice vinegar was what I was missing. I think for any seafood needing this type of sauce I would use the exact recipe for friends and family who can eat and enjoy food like an adult. Thanks for sharing I had to make some amendments with what I had and like but this is obviously a great recipe I can’t wait to use it for others! XOXO

    • — Drea on January 5, 2024
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  • My husband and I made this for New Year’s Day and are delighted to tell you it’s the best shrimp salad we have ever tasted! Deveining the shrimp took a bit of time but it was well worth it to use fresh, local shrimp here in Charleston. This is a new family favorite!

    Carolyn & Sanders

    • — Carolyn on January 1, 2024
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  • I didn’t have celery but I used celery salt. Also, didn’t have worcestershire sauce on hand. It was delicious. I added dried parsley and basil.

    • — Mel on December 24, 2023
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  • This is a great dressing for any seafood! Just the right amount of zing….using Old Bay is a super idea…

    • — Mary Rumy on November 26, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn, do you think I could use this recipe as a basis for crab salad? I acquired some nice fresh crab and was looking for a recipe and of course I always check your site first. Thanks!

    • — Ellen Mac on October 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Ellen, I think it would work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
      • Reply
      • I did try it with crab. It was so wonderful. I had one lb. lump crab so I halved the dressing. The dressing enhanced the crab but didn’t overpower or mask its delicious taste. Just perfect. I am going to make this whenever I am fortunate to have crab, and definitely with shrimp as originally written. Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes.

        • — Ellen Mac on October 31, 2023
        • Reply
        • So glad it came out well with the crab — thanks for taking the time to report back! 🙂

          • — Jenn on November 1, 2023
          • Reply
  • Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe! Made it, loved it, and now want to try all your recipes! Thank you again! : )

    • — Tessa on October 21, 2023
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  • This is a great recipe and easy for me. Sometimes I’ll add a heaping spoonful on top of a 1/4 avocado.

    • — Mark P. on September 4, 2023
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  • The frozen large shrimp I found were really small, so I bought the extra large/jumbo which is the same count that you mention. They don’t look like jumbo size but definitely larger than your picture. Would I need to change the amount of the ingredients?

    • — Renee on August 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Renee, As long as you’re using 2 lbs. of shrimp, there’s no need to change the ingredients. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • I am having a party and want to try this with crackers I think. I am a big presentation guy. How exactly would you serve this, and what brand of crackers?

    • — Andrew on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrew, I think this would be nice on some kind of buttery crackers (something like these). Just make sure to dice the shrimp for easier serving/eating. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 1, 2023
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  • Have you even tried this with yogurt instead of mayo?

    • — Michael John Mislinay on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • No, I can’t say I have.

      • — Jenn on July 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • This recipe is as easy as can be, and absolutely delicious! I just made it and I’m going to make it again next week for a family gathering. I added some parsley and chives just for a little more color but I will make it multiple times going forward.

    • — Chris on June 22, 2023
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  • Delicious and easy.

    • — Jane on May 30, 2023
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  • I used Jumbo Shrimp for the salad and reduced the recipe because only cooking for two people. I made it as a side dish with a tortilla wrap on the side and it was so good I regretted not making more. The praises were non-stop and I truly enjoyed this combination of spices to make it memorable. I didn’t have white wine vinegar but had rice vinegar which I used as a substitute. Will make it again next month with the expectation of praise for the chef.

    • — Pamela Diaz on May 11, 2023
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  • Another very tasty recipe!
    Jenn – I’ve made quite a few of your recipes now and each one has been so good that I make again and again! I’ve given your cookbooks for hostess gifts and telling friends that you’re one of those chefs that can be counted on for recipes that are consistently delicious! Thank you!

    • — beth on April 23, 2023
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    • 💗

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • I would recommend cooking the shrimp in beer or adding old bay to the water, infuses the shrimp with more flavor!

    • — Mary Michelsen on April 10, 2023
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  • So good! and easy to put together!

    • — Jill Browning on March 12, 2023
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  • Very yummy. I made some changes based on my in house ingredients. Omg. Soooo good.
    I used precooked crawfish tails instead of shrimp. Added maybe 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard & Worcestershire to Mayo mix. Used balsamic vinegar instead of white. Added a bit of slap ya mama along with recommended old bay, and a bit of garlic powder. I also used the celery greens because my celery had them. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Best ‘shrimp’ salad I’ve made! Yum yum

    • — Christy on March 1, 2023
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  • Nice flavors. I’ve made this several times – it’s now on rotation in our household. As mentioned by someone else, I cut up the shrimp to make it more manageable in sandwiches for my husband. I have my portion on top of a mixed green salad. Always delicious!

    • — SF Ana on February 11, 2023
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    • I folliwed this recipe yesterday with high hopes (having just purchased Old Bay for the first time). The only change I made was to use cold, precooked shrimp from Costco also purchased same day. The overwhelming saltiness made it impossible to enjoy; I wouldn’t serve it to family or guests. Next time, I’ll use other spices. I threw the heart attack waiting to happen away…such a waste of good shrimp…

      • — M Carroll on February 16, 2023
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  • As everyone else said…this is a great recipe! I used red wine vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice….it was a wonderful dressing for my shrimp salad for dinner!

    • — Laurie on February 7, 2023
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  • We are eating this salad as part of our Christmas meal right now. It is phenomenal! The secret is old bay spice and cooling shrimp in its shells! Thank you for posting it!

    • — Anonymous on December 25, 2022
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  • This looks wonderful – I’m planning on making this as an appetizer for Christmas, but in a deconstructed form. Tossing chopped romaine with the celery as the base. Topped with the shrimp (I’m using small bay shrimp). Lightly adding the dressing (possibly with a vessel on the side if folks want more dressing). And the scallions on top.

    • — Claudia on December 19, 2022
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  • Hi Jenn,
    For some reason, I guess I confused this recipe with another that was more like at a dip. But, since I know Jenn’s recipes, are always right on the money, I made this shrimp salad.
    I needed some thing as a filling in croissants, so I did chop up the shrimp to make it more manageable for my husband as my shrimp were larger than recipe called for.
    As usual, it went over, extremely well, flavor was well balanced.
    Thank you again, Jenn for your forever recipes.

    • — Carol on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • What seasoning could be substituted for the Old Bay seasoning…. For those who might not be fans of that particular flavor?

    • — Marianne on August 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Marianne, I’d suggest paprika, salt, and pepper. If you like any of these (which are also in Old Bay), feel free to add a pinch: cayenne pepper, dry mustard, ground mace, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, and ginger. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • Another delicious recipe from you! So easy. We planned to serve them as sandwiches on brioche rolls so I tore the shrimp in half after peeling them. So good. I didn’t adjust seasonings at all but we had only 12 oz of shrimp so the sauce ratio was increased. We liked that!

    • — Renee on August 13, 2022
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  • Another winning recipe. Absolutely delicious!!! And, it couldn’t have been easier to prepare. Thank you Jenn

    • — Katheen Pacacha on August 13, 2022
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  • Thanks Jen….this is a great recipe and the salad is awesome served on crackers or in an avacado for a breadless option. I made one small change to add a little sweetness. I added 1 tsp of cocktail sauce and that balanced the flavors nicely. In any case loved the spicing and it made a terrific stuffed avocado!

    • — Laura Kelly on August 5, 2022
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  • Thanks Jen, a fabulous recipe. The only change made, I roasted shrimp in my air fryer 4 minutes total.

    • — Margie B. on August 2, 2022
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  • Delicious! Quick & easy to make. Better after sitting a little longer so the flavors had time to marry.

    • — mm on July 30, 2022
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  • Love the creaminess of the sauce. I am from Maryland’s Eastern Shore so I put a little Eastern Shore in the recipe. We roast our shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh lemon. We only boil if it is in a pot with crabs, crawfish, potatoes and corn on the cob. I also added a little more old bay as we love the flavor. Instead of using celery, I opted to use celery seed. I felt like it would flavor the sauce a little more since I was short on time. I also added a little fresh lemon juice to the sauce to brighten the flavor. ABSOLUTLEY FABULOUS! Love this dish and will continue to use it from now on when I make shrimp salad. Thank you very much! A big big hit!

    • — Angel on July 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this for girls dinner tonight. Looks beautiful.
    Question – do you have a suggestion for something I could make using all these shrimp shells and tails? Seems a shame to waste all that goodness.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Carol, you could use them to make a seafood stock. Here’s a very quick, easy version (please keep in mind I haven’t tried it).

  • A really good recipe that is perfect for those unbearable hot summer days, especially if you live .in the South. Couple of suggestions. Instead of boiling the shrimp in water, get peeled, deveined (25-30 count). Remove tails, put in a bowl and mix with about a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. Then steam the shrimp for 10 minutes. When done, put in a colander but DO NOT RINSE. They will cool off while you chop veggies and prepare dressing. Dressing ingredients remain the same except reduce Old Bay seasoning by 1/2tsp. If the seasoning of the dressing does not have enough Old Bay for you after adding shrimp you can always add more. I cut the shrimp in half, just a personal preference. Also used chives instead of scallions (better for my wife) in the same amount as scallions.
    Thanks very much for this recipe!

  • I don’t eat shrimp but my hubby does. Guess what? He ate all two pounds himself today!!!

  • Can I substitute the wine vinegar with a non-alcoholic vinegar?

    • Sure – enjoy!

  • It turned out great ! It is so easy to make, I took it to a party and it was a hit.I made it twice in one week.

  • This is delicious and reminds me of the shrimp salad my grandmother used to make for holidays. She’d serve this with lettuce (different kinds). So delicious. I like to let it set for about 2-3 hours before serving. I’ve eaten it as is, over spinach, with chopped romaine, and with crackers on the side. Simple and satisfying.

  • Made this today (cut in half for fewer servings) and it was fabulous!

  • Simple and delish! Old bay is the difference maker.

  • Wow! We are big fans of shrimp salad in the summer and our favorite place to buy it closed. I “cheated” and used pre-cooked shrimp which I bought by accident and why I tried the recipe. What a lucky mistake! This flavor is so fabulous that I didn’t even know it was pre-cooked shrimp. Thank you! Here’s to summer 2022!

  • Really fast, easy and delicious. Also Weight Watchers friendly.

  • That was great and definitely creamy. Added one additional ingredient, mustard. Just a tad though.

  • I made this. I was looking for a recipe for shrimp salad. I had some shrimp that was overcooked and I froze it.
    I put the shrimp in the food processor thinking that is the only way you can eat overcooked shrimp,chopped up. I followed the recipe and put it on romaine lettuce leaves and it was very good, will make again but hopefully not with overcooked shrimp even though you couldn’t tell the shrimp was overcooked after being in the food processor.

  • Is Old Bay available in New Zealand?

    If not, is there a substitute available here please?



    • — Richard Hayward
    • Reply
    • Hi Richard, If it’s not available there, you can make your own – here’s a recipe. (And it’s a delicious seasoning for all kinds of other foods including popcorn, fries, and egg salad.) Hope that helps!

  • Fantastic shrimp salad. I used 2 lbs raw shrimp that were already peeled/deveined and it was perfect. Served with croissants and lettuce. Thank you!

  • Can you use Miracle whip instead of mayo?

    • — Geraldine Pauls
    • Reply
    • Sure. It will have a slightly different flavor but will still be good. Enjoy!

  • It’s not fair for me to actually rate the recipe because I didn’t follow it very closely. I’m a firm believer in James Beard’s famous advice that: “it’s always a good idea to follow the directions exactly the first time you try a recipe. But from then on, you’re on your own.”

    I am a very experienced cook and seldom follow recipes, whether they’re mine or someone else’s. I generally use them more of a checklist or a suggestion to be sure I didn’t forget something.

    There are two reasons I’m posting a review. First, the Old Bay seasoning is a great, non-traditional addition. I added it to taste and probably used more than the recipe called for. It was a really nice change to the traditional shrimp salad which can be a little bland. I usually use Old Bay seasoning in the cooking liquid but seasoning the prepared shrimp salad really works so long as you don’t add too much.

    Secondly, and much more important, is to comment on how to buy shrimp. If at all possible, buy frozen shrimp and keep it frozen until you plan to cook it.

    You can’t buy fresh shrimp that hasn’t been previously frozen unless you live on the coast near where the shrimp boats come in. Shrimp is extremely perishable and is almost always frozen on the boat or as soon as possible after the shrimp boat comes in.

    The “fresh shrimp” you see in the seafood case is always previously frozen. Don’t buy it! Instead, ask for it frozen and defrost it at home when you are ready to cook it. Shrimp is easy and quick to defrost.

    Next, which shrimp should you buy? Wild caught shrimp are always better. My favorite is Key West pink shrimp but any wild caught shrimp is fine.

    Again, I didn’t follow the recipe so can’t comment but I hope my suggestions are helpful.

    • — Jim Scarborough
    • Reply

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