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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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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Comments

  • Can you use fresh lemon juice in place of the white wine vinegar?

    Thanks,

    • — Dawn on June 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • How much shrimp if I’m using extra large (26-30)? Thanks, Jenn.

    • — Jan on April 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jan, You’ll still need two pounds. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 6, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much. Always appreciate your “real-time” replies.

        • — Jan on April 6, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I am a huge fan of all your recipes, I call you my girl. First time commenting even though I have your cookbook and have recommended it to all my friends. I made the shrimp salad, let it sit for 1 day and WOW! Served like a lobster roll with fresh baked toasted bread. It was seriously my favorite meal ever! My family loved it! Thank you for all you do.

    • — Theresa Maloney on February 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • Fantastic shrimp salad recipe. I use lemon juice for the acidic value and add some fresh chopped dill. Outstanding……OUTSTANDING! Thank you so much for the easy recipe.

    • — Pattylou on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Making this (again) tonight. My husband loves it, I love it and we love your delicious tuna salad. We can’t get enough of both. Just scrumptous and both make for a wonderful light dinner with crunchy french baguette.

    • — Virginia Murrell on September 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • could I use Pinot Grigio instead of wine vinegar?

    • I can’t say I’ve ever tried that, but I suspect it would work. Please LMK how it turns out! 🙂

  • NEVER rinse shrimp with water after boiling them in water where “Shrimp boil” was added. You loose ALL the flavor. Instead drain and put in a bowl with ice in the fridge for approx 15 minutes !

    • Read the recipe…the shrimp boil is NOT added to the boiling water; it is added after the shrimp is dressed.

      • — Vin on May 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this and recommend it.

    • We loved this recipe! Added some sliced grapes, too

  • I made this recipe for a potluck and it was received very well! Everyone loved it! I did the recipe exactly as you have it…..did not tweak a thing. Delicious! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

    • I have made this a couple of times this summer and my husband and son absolutely love it. They have theirs on croissants while I have mine with salad greens. It’s light and easy, and so delicious. In fact, I’m about to make it again right now. Thank you for incredible recipes. Keep them coming.

      • — Susan Connelly
      • Reply
      • So glad you like the recipes, Susan! 🙂

  • I will be making for Christmas Eve family meal. I got recipe from the Country Club Manager. I can see diced water chestnuts for crunch and possibly a touch of horseradish for zing being added.

  • What a fabulous and easy recipe. I mixed Jenn’s salad this evening so the flavors blend well by tomorrow, and I’ve already helped myself to two sandwiches on mini-croissants. I’ll serve with those, sides of crisp endive and buttery Boston lettuce, and sliced avocado. My girlfriends are in for a real treat! Thank you, Jenn! XO

  • This is one of my favorite shrimp salads, not a lot of ingredients, easy to make and delicious.

  • What would you recommend as a substitute for the celery?

    • The celery adds a nice crunch, so something else with a similar texture would be nice; maybe diced bell peppers or jicama. Hope that helps!

  • I followed the instructions for preparing the shrimp. This will be my new way of preparing shrimp for any cold shrimp dishes. It’s quick and the shrimp texture was perfect. Precooked shrimp seems tougher to me. I prepared the salad early so the flavors could be enhanced. This recipe is easy to prepare and a real winner. I served with a choice of crackers or lettuce wraps. I will make this again.

  • Anyone who likes shrimp salad should give this a try. It is a wonderful recipe and thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Love frozen already cooked shrimp. Can not find a simple recipe for Shrimp Salad made with frozen already cooked shrimp.

    • Hi BJ, it’s fine for you to use already cooked shrimp for this – just defrost first!

  • Can you peel and devein shrimp before boiling

    • Definitely! I’ve provided a link to give you a little guidance. (If your store carries shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined, it will save you a bit of time.) Hope you enjoy the shrimp salad!

  • This is the easiest and most flavorful shrimp salad recipe i’ve ever made. I added a bit more Old Bay than listed and some cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for some heat. OMG!!! It was so good my family asked me to make it 2 days in a row. This is a keeper!

  • So good I made it two days in a row.

  • I LOVE this recipe. Perfect as is for a salad, but I’ve also put it on a toasted roll and served is as a sandwich. Tasty and easy!

  • Do I need to “cook” the precooked shrimp?

    • — Leonard McNeil
    • Reply
    • Hi Leonard, No need to cook the pre-cooked shrimp. Enjoy!

  • I love this salad. It is better chilled. I served it at a luncheon with creamed squash soup.

  • Fast, easy, delicious! Everyone at the picnic wanted the recipe. I have served this on a roll, with crackers, and as a side dish with salads. It is perfect with my Jersey tomatoes.

    • — Kathleen Walsh
    • Reply
  • This recipe is perfect for a hot summer day! I like to make it in the morning and let the flavors blend in the fridge throughout the day just in time for dinner.

  • I loved this salad,easy and tastes great. Hubby is a shrimp nut so good to find another way to serve them.

  • This is an alltime favorite here in Surnadal, Norway. So easy and absolutely delicious!

  • This recipe is divine! My entire family gobbles this down every time I make it, so much so that I always have to double the recipe. I tend to chop the shrimp into bite size pieces, to make this easier to eat. We love to eat this shrimp on a toasted croissant. Would definitely be a showstopper at brunch. I actually love this website and Jenn’s recipes. There isn’t a bad one on here and every time I make one of her recipes it always turns into a new family favorite.

  • Excellent! I love the addition of the Worcestershire sauce. I also added about 2 Tbsp. of sour cream to the sauce to make it a bit creamier. Delicious!! I must say, I’ve never made a recipe of yours that wasn’t terrific.

  • It also makes a great macaroni salad with minimal tweaking.

  • Where do I find “Old Bay seasoning”? If I can’t get it here what does it have for ingredients?

    • — Michael Salamacha
    • Reply
    • Hi Michael, It’s generally sold near the seafood department in the supermarket. If you can’t find it, you can order it online or make your own. Here’s a good recipe.

  • I finally made this and it’s really good. I love my own recipe so much I kept putting it off, but this is a welcome change.

  • I made this last night using freshly cooked peeled & deveined medium shrimp purchased from my local seafood market. Served on a bed of butter lettuce along with a crusty sourdough baguette. Absolutely the best shrimp salad I’ve ever eaten! Next time I’ll try using the tiny precooked peeled & deveined shrimp. I will be making this frequently. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  • Hi Jenn. I live in Ireland and I would like to know what is “Old Bay” seasoning?

    • — Eibhlín Glenholmes
    • Reply
    • Hi Eibhlin, Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices. It’s often used with seafood. The blend includes a number of spices including mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and more. If you can’t find it where you live, this is a great recipe for homemade Old Bay. Hope that helps!

      • You can buy Old Bay on Amazon too!

  • Excellent shrimp salad recipe. Served in mini croissants. I’m Italian so I added some chopped parsley and finely minced garlic for an extra bite.

  • Best recipe ever. This girl just fell in love with shrimp salad all over again!

    • — Jaime Rittgers
    • Reply
  • Nice salad for quick* lunch. Using alread peeled shrimp makes it “quick”. Also, we substitute Trader Joe’s white balsamic vinegar. Very tasty!

  • Shrimp salad was very good. I made it just as the recipe states except I used already cooked and peeled/deveined shrimp. When I make it next time, I will add 1/2 tsp. of mustard powder and garlic powder.

  • This was so simple and fabulous! My family loved it!

  • Such an easy recipe to prepare and refreshing on a hot day.

  • I made this recently for a last minute lunch when a friend was coming over. I always keep frozen shrimp on hand for those last minute I don’t have to to go to the store dinners or I don’t want to go to the store again. I buy the already peeled and deveined large shrimp with the tail on. 2 hours before my friend was to arrive I defrosted and sautéed my shrimp. I cut up the veggies and mixed the other ingredients together while I let the shrimp cool slightly. Mixed it all up and put it in the refrigerator. I served it on a bed of romaine and it was perfect! Another great dish from your site made with pantry items with a delicious result! Thank you!

  • Extra tasty with some finely diced cucumber, parsley and a few drops (or more!) of Tabasco.

  • I made this the other night and it was delicious! My wife loved it. I served it on a bed of iceburg lettuce.

  • I plan to make this over the weekend for a BBQ and wondering if it’s ok to prepare the salad the night before or best not to?

    • Hi Erika, It’s perfectly fine to make this a day ahead of time. Enjoy!

  • I made this the other night as a treat for my mother. It was so good. UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!!!. I could not find Old Bay seasoning, i used a Cajan spiece mixture instead. The receipe is now printed and saved.
    Thank you

  • Just made this and it is absolutely delicious! Like a lobster roll, but with shrimp. Love how easy this is to make too. Could definitely see serving this at a brunch. So so good!

  • Delicious and easy! Loved it.

  • How do you recommend serving this?

    • Hi Colleen, It’s great on a croissant, in a lettuce cup or diced and served with crackers. Enjoy!

  • Outstanding recipe and great timing Jenn. I’ve been looking for a simple recipe like this just this week that would work as a sandwich on a crusty french bread or as a salad with a french bread side. This tastes delicious made per the recipe. I can see adding diced red pepper or fresh diced home grown tomato, but this recipe doesn’t need. Great job, Jenn, and thank you.

  • What is the best way to heat cooked shrimp for this recipe? Thanks

    • Hi Alvin, There’s no need to hear the shrimp; it should be cold.

  • Could you use Greek yogurt in place of the mayo?

    • Hi Jay, I’d use low fat mayo over Greek yogurt. Hope that helps!

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