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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.

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 crabs 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.

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.

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 potDrain 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 bathPeel 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.

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Old Bay 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, Edamam.com. 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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  • 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
    • Reply
  • Another winning recipe. Absolutely delicious!!! And, it couldn’t have been easier to prepare. Thank you Jenn

    • — Katheen Pacacha on August 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Quick & easy to make. Better after sitting a little longer so the flavors had time to marry.

    • — mm on July 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Carol H. on June 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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).

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Luther on June 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I don’t eat shrimp but my hubby does. Guess what? He ate all two pounds himself today!!!

    • — Jillybean on May 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute the wine vinegar with a non-alcoholic vinegar?

    • — Ronald Millar on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Regina on May 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Debra on April 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this today (cut in half for fewer servings) and it was fabulous!

    • — Catherine on February 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Simple and delish! Old bay is the difference maker.

    • — Lucia on January 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — LM on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Really fast, easy and delicious. Also Weight Watchers friendly.

    • — Jenna B on January 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • That was great and definitely creamy. Added one additional ingredient, mustard. Just a tad though.

    • — Sean on December 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Patty Dreyer on December 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Is Old Bay available in New Zealand?

    If not, is there a substitute available here please?



    • — Richard Hayward on August 19, 2021
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on August 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Kt on August 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can you use Miracle whip instead of mayo?

    • — Geraldine Pauls on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure. It will have a slightly different flavor but will still be good. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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 on July 9, 2021
    • Reply

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