/Throwing Some Shrimp on the Grill Tonight? Make This Delightful Salad!
Simply Recipes Grilled Shrimp Salad LEAD 02 aee1764bc88349f0ad060141f3589548

Throwing Some Shrimp on the Grill Tonight? Make This Delightful Salad!

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp on Skewers
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

It’s grilling season and home cooks tend to think of grilling recipes as being super heavy and meaty. But this grilled shrimp salad is one of my go-to light grilled dinners that is always a hit. 

This is not your basic side salad. It’s jam-packed with big flavors that start with spiced and grilled shrimp, plus grilled peppers and onions (I mean why not, the grill is already hot)—then all these grilled items get served on a base of romaine with lots of fresh vegetables and some Cotija cheese. A tangy cilantro vinaigrette then ties everything together. 

The salad is filling and light at the same time, if that makes sense. It’s also very fast to make, especially if you prepare some of the stuff in advance, which is fine to do. It makes for a healthy and delicious weeknight salad dinner and leftovers are fine for in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Hello, hearty lunch salad. 

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

How to Prep Shrimp for This Salad

To make the shrimp for this salad, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp. If you use frozen, make sure to thaw them slowly in the fridge before peeling and grilling. 

After peeling I season them well with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. A good drizzle of olive oil will help them from sticking to the grill. I like to use 25-30 count shrimp for this recipe which means there are at least 25 shrimp per pound. That means they aren’t huge shrimp, but big enough to not fall apart on the grill. 

I like peeling the shrimp before grilling because it makes them easier to serve and I love the direct heat char that you get on the shrimp, but it does mean that the shrimp will cook faster, so you need to keep an eye on them. 

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Grilling Some Vegetables for Your Grilled Shrimp Salad

To make great grilled vegetables, keep them in big chunks so they don’t fall through the grates and are easier to flip. Drizzle them with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are on the grill, don’t mess with them too much. Let them get charred nicely on one side before flipping.

You can grill many of the vegetables in this salad, but I think the peppers, onions, and jalapenos are particularly good on the grill. 

Make Ahead Tips

You can make many of the components of this salad in advance, like the vinaigrette, and chopping and preparing the vegetables. 

I wouldn’t pre-grill the vegetables or shrimp though since they are best right off the grill. If you have everything else done though, it really is a fast process to toss them on the grill and dinner is done!

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp on Skewers
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

More Glorious Grilled Shrimp Recipes

  • Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula
  • Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Pepper Couscous
  • Grilled Shrimp with Tomato Olive Salsa
  • Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers  
  • Grilled Shrimp Taco Bowl

Preheat grill:

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you are using gas, turn your burners on medium-high and allow to preheat. If you are using charcoal, prepare for direct heat grilling.

Make the vinaigrette: 

In a glass jar with a lid, combine the lime juice, minced cilantro, mustard, sugar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Add the lid and shake well to combine all of the ingredients. Set aside. 

The vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. It’s best served at room temperature. If you have leftover dressing, it will keep fine in the fridge for a week.

Cilantro Vinaigrette in a Jar for Grilled Shrimp Salad
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Grill the vegetables: 

Drizzle the peppers and onions with olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and using tongs add to your preheated grill. 

Grill the vegetables for 4-5 minutes per side until they are well charred and tender. Using tongs, remove from the grill and let cool. Roughly chop the vegetables for the salad.

Grilled Vegetables for Shrimp Salad Recipe
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Prep and season the shrimp: 

In a large bowl, add the shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil and season with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then skewer the shrimp, dividing them between 4 skewers. If you use wooden/bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them well so they don’t burn completely on the grill.

Bowl of Seasoned Shrimp for Grilled Shrimp Salad Recipe
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans
Shrimp on Skewers for Salad
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Grill the shrimp:

Add shrimp skewers to grill (I recommend lightly oiling grill to prevent sticking) and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. The shrimp are done when they are pink and no longer translucent in the center. Remove shrimp from grill and serve them as soon as possible.

Shrimp on Grill for Salad Recipe
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Assemble the salad and serve: 

Add the romaine lettuce into a large serving plate or bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette. Top with chopped, grilled vegetables, grilled shrimp, sweet corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, scallions, and crumbled Cotija cheese.

Serve.

Storage:

Leftover salad ingredients are best stored separately and without dressing. Shrimp will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you do have salad that is dressed, it will keep okay for 1 day in the fridge, but the texture will change. 

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Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans