This Cajun Shrimp Salad recipe is a great way to enjoy spicy flavors in a light, refreshing meal, perfect for any day. The Cajun seasoning, veggies, and shrimp are all you need to make a satisfying meal.
Why we all love this recipe
Quick and Easy: Gathering the ingredients is the only main task in this recipe. The rest is simple: toss the shrimp in the seasoning and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then, toss it with the green salad. This Cajun Shrimp Salad is excellent for busy evenings.
Perfect for Meal Prep: This salad is ideal for meal planning. The ingredients, including the large shrimp and salad greens, stay fresh in an airtight container, making your week's lunches a breeze.
Customizable Heat: This salad always tastes excellent, whether you add an extra Cajun spice blend or tone it down.
Burst of Cajun Flavors: Savor the spicy, vibrant flavors of New Orleans right in your kitchen. If you're a fan of Cajun cuisine lover, this recipe is tailor-made for you.
Shrimp: I have used medium-sized shrimp, but you may choose large or small varieties. Remember that the cooking time varies with the thickness of the shrimp.
Cajun Seasoning: The star ingredient. Both store-bought and homemade blends work well in this recipe.
Parsley: The flavor blends perfectly with the other co-ingredients.
Olive Oil: The mild flavor doesn't overpower the Cajun seasoning. Canola or vegetable oil are suitable substitutes if you are looking for alternatives.
Mixed Greens: Feel free to toss in your favorite combination of greens - romaine lettuce, spinach, or even arugula are great choices.
Veggies: I used veggies like slices of avocado, red onion, and chopped bell peppers. Cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn kernels, and cherry tomatoes taste great and add texture.
Sriracha Sauce: Provides heat to the sauce; adjust the quantity to your heat tolerance.
Mayonnaise: Provides a luscious and creamy texture.
Garlic and Onion Powder: While optional, adding these will brighten the salad dressing.
Lemon juice: Gives this creamy dressing an instant facelift.
How to make it?
Prep the Shrimp: When using frozen shrimp, ensure they are thawed to room temperature. If you use fresh shrimp straight from the store, ensure they are cleaned and deveined. And pat dry with a paper towel.
Seasoning: In a mixing bowl, add the shrimp, minced parsley, salt, and Cajun seasoning. Toss until the shrimp is well coated with the spice mix. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes for the shrimp to absorb the flavors.
Cook the Shrimp: Place a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Then, arrange the shrimp in a single layer without crowding. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove it from the skillet and set aside.
Whisk the Dressing: In the meantime, in a small bowl, add mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk until all the ingredients are well blended. Set aside.
Toss the greens and veggies: In a large bowl, add the chopped veggies(red onion, bell peppers, tomato) and the greens. Set aside.
Assemble the Salad: Add the veggies as the bed in the serving salad bowls. Then, toss in the Cajun-seasoned shrimp. Drizzle with the spicy sauce.
Serve Immediately: This Cajun shrimp salad is best served fresh.
What to serve with?
Bread: Cajun shrimp salad and bread rolls are our favorite pairings. It would also taste great with flavored rolls like garlic pull-apart bread or pesto rolls.
Soup: Pair this shrimp salad with a light, brothy soup like roasted red pepper soup, or try this tomato soup made from tomato paste.
Grains: Thinking of serving this Cajun shrimp salad for dinner? Try pairing it with quinoa or brown rice.
Veggies: Spicy roasted vegetables or grilled veggies also make a satisfying pairing.
How do you store the leftovers?
In the Refrigerator: This Cajun shrimp salad is best served fresh. The cooked Cajun-spiced shrimp is good to store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Since the tomato and onion release liquids after a while, it's best to keep the greens, veggies, and shrimp separately in containers.
Freezer: Freeze the leftover Cajun shrimp in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. However, storing veggies in the freezer is not recommended.
Thawing: Thaw the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can gently reheat the shrimp in the microwave.
Reheating: Gently reheat the shrimp in a skillet over medium heat until warm. Then, toss with fresh salad greens for the best results.
Tropical Twist: Add mango and pineapple chunks for a sweet, fruity contrast to the Cajun spice. This variation yields a refreshing summer salad.
Dressing: Try Caesar dressing or Greek yogurt-based dressing for complex flavors.
Pasta: Toss cooked penne or elbow pasta for a filling meal.
Cheesy Delight: Sprinkle some grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese over the salad for a creamy texture.
Hearty Grain: Add cooked quinoa or couscous to fill the salad.
Skillet: A good-quality skillet evenly distributes heat, which delivers the best texture for the shrimp.
Mixing Bowls: We need large and small mixing bowls - one for tossing your shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and another for mixing your salad ingredients.
Whisk: A small whisk is perfect for emulsifying your dressing, ensuring the spicy salad dressing is well blended.
Tips for the Best Results
Adjust the salt: some store-bought Cajun seasoning has salt. So check it prior and adjust the salt for marinating the shrimp.
Don't Overcook the Shrimp: Cook until they're pink and opaque to keep them juicy and tender.
Add Ingredients Just Before Serving: To keep your salad fresh and crisp, add the avocado, dressing, and cooked shrimp just before you're ready to serve. This preserves the textures and flavors at their best.
Spice up: Add cayenne pepper to the dressing to increase the heat.
Printable recipe card
Cajun Shrimp Salad
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon parsley minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups mixed greens spinach/kale/arugula/spring mix/lettucew
- ¾ cup tomatoes roughly chopped/cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado sliced
- ¼ cup red onion roughly chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper roughly chopped
For the Cajun Shrimp
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the cleaned shrimp, parsley, salt, and Cajun seasoning.
- Toss well and set aside for 10-15 minutes for best results.
- Now, place a pan over medium heat and cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly.
- And set aside
Make the dressing
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and lemon juice.
- Whisk until all the ingredients are combined.
- And set aside.
- Add chopped red onion, tomatoes, spinach, and bell pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Arrange the salad
- Arrange the serving bowls with a bed of greens and veggies.
- Then toss with cooked Cajun shrimp.
- And fianlly drizzle with the salad dressing.
- Serve immediately.