Chimichurri Shrimp Salad

This restaurant inspired Chimichurri Shrimp Salad is healthy, flavorful, and topped with the most irresistible cilantro chimichurri dressing!

shrimp salad bowl with cilantro chimichurri, pickled red onion, lime wedges, avocado, and feta

I’ve probably eaten my restaurant-inspired Salmon Chimichurri Salad a zillion times now and finally *FINALLY* let shrimp in on the fun.

Well, less fun for the shrimp but more fun for me — it’s deeeelish!

First up, we’ll need the most deeeeelish cilantro chimichurri made with lots of fresh cilantro, scallions, and garlic.

CILANTRO CHIMICHURRI DRESSING

  • ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • ⅓ cup fresh chopped scallions or green onion – white + green parts
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves (must be fresh – no jars or tubes)
  • 1 red chili pepper (optional)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ¼-½ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ⅛-¼ tsp black pepper

These ingredients all play a pretty key role in the sauce and flavor of this dish and would absolutely be missed if left out. Make sure you use fresh garlic as it’s the most flavorful option and a star ingredient in dressing. If you’re not a fan of cilantro and want a parlsey-based chimichurri instead, you can totally use the one from my Chimichurri Cauliflower recipe.

Aim for 1/2 cup (packed) of cilantro. Mostly leaves with the smaller portions of stems left on for easy chopping. Finely chop. Remove the root portion of the green onions (scallions) and thinly slice/chop. Add to a medium bowl with the cilantro. Smash, peel, and finely mince fresh garlic.

To your bowl add the minced garlic, olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, and red wine vinegar. Season with adding salt, dried oregano leaves, and pepper. Mix well and allow chimichurri to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to help the flavors mingle. You can even make this dressing in advance and let it chill in the fridge overnight before using.

Shrimp Salad Ingredients

Shrimp – fresh or frozen shrimp can be used here, simply thaw first if using frozen and prep as needed. Tail may be left on or off depending on presentation preference.

Spices – I love using a combination of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.

Romaine Lettuce – this fresh, crisp green is a great base for this salad. You could also use massaged kale or chopped fancy-leaf lettuce if desired. Spring mix would probably work great too!

Avocado and Cucumber – these veggies taste great and add extra vitamins and nutrients to the salad.

Feta – crumbled feta adds a bit of creaminess to the salad and its flavor pairs oh so well with the other ingredients. If you follow a dairy-free diet you could try vegan feta as a swap or simply skip entirely.

Red Onion – thinly sliced red onion is my favorite to use here. You can add it plain or marinate it in a little oil and vinegar (or even in a few spoonfuls of chimichurri dressing) to soften it up before topping your salad or even use quick pickled red onion. Every which way is delicious so choose your favorite.

Chimichurri Shrimp Salad

Recipe yields 2 meal-sized salads. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if needed!

Ready to get cooking? Here’s the printable recipe card:

Cilantro Chimichurri Shrimp Salad

Chimichurri Shrimp Salad

This restaurant inspired Chimichurri Shrimp Salad is healthy, flavorful, and topped with the most irresistible cilantro chimichurri dressing!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Pescatarian
Keyword: Chimichurri Shrimp Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 salads
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

SEASONED SAUTEED SHRIMP

  • ½ pound raw shrimp (fresh or frozen + thawed)
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • tsp salt
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 small lime for squeezing over shrimp and salad + optional garnish

FOR THE SALAD

  • 2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup diced or sliced cucumber
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion (raw or pickled)
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2-4 TBSP crumbled feta cheese

CILANTRO CHIMICHURRI DRESSING

  • ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • cup fresh chopped scallions or green onion (white + green parts)
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves (must be fresh – no jars or tubes)
  • 1 small red chili pepper (optional) minced
  • ¼-⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ¼-½ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ⅛-¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • First make the cilantro chimichurri dressing.
  • Aim for 1/2 cup (packed) of cilantro. Mostly leaves with the smaller portions of stems left on for easy chopping. Finely chop. Remove the root portion of the green onions (scallions) and thinly slice/chop. Add to a medium bowl with the cilantro. Smash, peel, and finely mince fresh garlic.
  • To your bowl add the minced garlic, minced chili pepper, olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, and red wine vinegar. Season with adding salt, dried oregano leaves, and pepper.
  • Mix well and allow chimichurri to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to help the flavors mingle. You can even make this dressing in advance and let it chill in the fridge overnight before using.
  • If raw onion is preferred, simply run thinly sliced onion under cold water to mellow the sharpness of the onion. For speedy marinated red onion (my FAVORITE!) add a splash of oil and vinegar to the onion in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well and allow to marinate while the shrimp cooks.
  • Clean and peel shrimp, defrosting if needed. Lately we’ve been buying frozen, deveined, easy-peel shrimp. All I have to do is defrost, peel, and cook! You can also buy your shrimp already peeled if you’d like.
  • Pat shrimp dry and season with chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix well to coat both sides.
  • Heat a large pan or skillet to medium-high heat with 1 TBSP of oil and sauté shrimp. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes until shrimp curl and become opaque. The cook time will depend on the heat setting you choose and the size of your shrimp, but regardless they’ll be perfectly cooked in a matter of minutes. While the shrimp are still in it, deglaze the pan with fresh squeezed lime juice and mix well.
  • Divide chopped lettuce between two bowls. Lightly toss with 1-2 TBSP of chimichurri dressing. Add cucumber, red onion, and feta. Top with freshly cooked shrimp and serve with remaining dressing for drizzling and freshly diced avocado. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for both salad and dressing using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 52g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Monounsaturated Fat: 32g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 943mg, Potassium: 945mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 5345IU, Vitamin C: 65mg, Calcium: 169mg, Iron: 3mg

More Tasty Shrimp Recipes

If you get a chance to try this cilantro chimichurri shrimp salad, let me know!

You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin founded Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University and working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star! Peas and Crayons is know for veggie forward recipes that are colorful and crave-able.

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