Creamy Shrimp Salad

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Creamy Shrimp Salad with celery, red onion and a dill mayonnaise dressing is a great sandwich filling or lettuce topper you can make in just minutes.

This shrimp salad is the perfect bbq, potluck, picnic accompaniment to serve alongside Macaroni Salad, Cole SlawBaked Beans and Crab Salad (Seafood Salad). Your guests will LOVE all the easy, delicious and fresh sides and sandwich fillings.

Creamy Shrimp Salad
 Shrimp Salad

Cold Shrimp Salad may not sound like the perfect back to school meal, but it is the PERFECT Labor Day recipe for your last cookout of the season. Think lobster roll meets shrimp. You butter up and toast a split top bun and fill it with this shrimp salad and your guests are going to feel like they’re on the coast of Maine. See you later lobster.

The other way people tend to eat this is as a classic sandwich/avocado/tomato filling. The shrimp that is classically used is significantly smaller, but if you look through your weekly ads you can grab these giant shrimp for a great deal. The shrimp in the photo above were under $7.00/lb in an urban part of CA.

So what is so great about the shrimp salad? The pop of dill, the crunch of the celery, the tang of the mustard, the acid of the vinegar. This dish is luxurious, delicious and EASY. Plus it’s just completely impressive if served to guests.

Cold Shrimp Salad

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How do you make a shrimp salad?

  • Do not use pre-cooked shrimp, it will be rubbery and flavorless.
  • Do not leave the lemon out in boiling the shrimp, it adds a ton of flavor.
  • Do not skip the ice bath or the shrimp will overcook and become rubbery.
  • Fresh dill pumps up the freshness and flavor, and with so few ingredients you don’t want to skimp.
  • The celery adds a nice crunch, you can substitute in a pinch with bell pepper or even cucumber. Try to stick to celery if possible though.
  • Let it sit once mixed, preferably for a couple of hours so it doesn’t taste like boiled shrimp dipped in a dressing.

What dressing goes on shrimp salad? Shrimp salad is coated in a creamy dijon and vinegar based mayonnaise dressing that is specific to shrimp salad. This mayonnaise dressing is different than that of macaroni or potato salad.

What food goes with shrimp salad? Aside from all the other summer side dishes above we love make a shrimp salad sandwich or croissant as a meal. We love to top it over a salad or shrimp salad with avocado. You can also butter and toast a baguette and pile the shrimp on top for a play on shrimp toast.

Shrimp Salad for Sandwiches

Can you toss this dish with pasta? YES, absolutely. You should be okay to add a half a pound of uncooked pasta to the recipe, cook it and add it to the mixture when the pasta is cold. You should also toss the pasta in a bit of oil first to coat it and prevent it from soaking up all the dressing.

Can you add chopped avocado? Not only can you I highly recommend it! I battled myself on including it in the recipe but at the end of the day left it out because I wanted to give you all the best classic shrimp salad recipe vs my favorite variation.

Shrimp Salad Tacos/Lettuce Wraps? One of my favorite ways to enjoy this recipe is as a shrimp salad with lettuce. Butter lettuce to be specific. I make them into lettuce tacos topped with (you guessed it) chopped avodado!

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Shrimp Salad

5 from 10 votes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Creamy Shrimp Salad with celery, red onion and a dill mayonnaise dressing is a great sandwich filling or lettuce topper you can make in just minutes.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • 4 pounds shrimp (16 to 20 count) peeled
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dill
  • 1 red onion minced
  • 3 stalks minced celery minced


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Bring 8 cups of water, salt and lemon to a boil and add in the shrimp, cooking for 2-3 minutes before removing the shrimp and placing them in ice water.

  2. In a large bowl, add together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings, Amount per serving: 258 calories, Calories: 258g, Carbohydrates: 1g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 828mg, Potassium: 20mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 30g, Vitamin C: 0.7g, Calcium: 5g, Iron: 0.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Creamy Shrimp Salad, shrimp

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  1. Wonderful salad. I live in Savannah, Georgia. I’ve discovered that when the shrimp are fresh, boil them with the heads on for maximum flavor. If you can’t get “head-on” shrimp, cook them in the shell. Then remove the head and peel them after they are cooked and cool. I also cut-up each shrimp into about 3 pieces for this salad.

    1. Iam going to try this. I have been looking for a shrimp salad recipe to stuff in an avocado. I first tried this in Mexico and fell in love with shrimp salad stuffed Avocado.

  2. This was outstanding. It going into our must make recipes. I followed the recipe exactly, thought it was going to be too much onion, but nope.

  3. being from the fla. keys we always add lime or lemon to our seafood salads ….so i added some fresh squeezed lemon ….which in my option bumped it up a notch. very nice salad

  4. Yum!!! Just made this. So tasty. I’m a simple guy who likes simple foods and this is just perfect for a picky eater like me. I left out the mustard and onions, though.

    1. You might try adding some shallot, which is milder. I totally agree about leaving out the mustard! I come from a town on the Atlantic ocean where fresh seafood is always abundant, and there is no lack of 5* seafood restaurants around. No one EVER adds mustard to any shellfish salad. You’d be laughed out of town! Some folks depend on mustard as an ingredient in salads waaay too often. It’s a cheap trick which usually masks the other flavors in the dish, and does no justice to the dish itself.

  5. I will make this salad today. Just one thing, after I cook shrimps I NEVER put them in water to cool down (they loose a LOT of flavor this way), I put them on ice and in the fridge !

  6. This recipe is AMAZING. I’m from the south and I LOVE adding mustard to my salads. Just adds another layer of flavor thats otherwise missed 🙂

  7. Sabrina, very good recipe. I have made several of your recipes and really enjoy them. I especially like the how to make the recipe section, very good helpful hints. Thank you for sharing!

  8. My family & I are originally from New England, so we love the cold salads made with either shrimp or lobster. This Shrimp Salad was very tasty (I cut down on the amount). The one ingredient which I left out was mustard, since it’s NEVER used in shrimp or lobster salad in a REAL New England recipe. I assume that the addition of mustard came from our southern neighbors, since they seem to add mustard to every cold salad they make. PLEASE dear southern neighbors, don’t mess-up our original New England recipes by adding mustard. You need to taste the seafood, NOT the mustard!

    1. I’m from (and still live) in New England. I sometimes add mustard and sometimes don’t. I still taste the seafood either way, just one way is a bit spicier which can be a good think. This is a good recipe either way.

  9. This recipe is as close as it gets to my favorite shrimp salad from my favorite caterer. Now I can make it at home! Thank you so much.

  10. Shrimps are my favorite and I am always on the lookout for ways to enjoy them. Love the creamy flavors in this salad, can’t wait to try it!

  11. My family & I are originally from the seaside town of Old Saybrook, CT, so we were brought up eating great seafood. We love Shrimp Salad & Lobster Salad. We like to have it on lightly buttered & grilled New England Hot Dog Buns. Your recipe for Shrimp Salad sounds pretty much as we make it, except that we DON’T EVER add mustard! It isn’t heard of to do that here, especially when using fresh dill. The two of them just don’t go together at all! One overpowers the other, and the flavor is terrible. Other than that. we make it with the same ingredients which you used. Don’t get me wrong, we like mustard, but NOT in Shrimp (or Lobster) Salad.

  12. All my kids and husband would be jumping for joy if I made this for them. This is such a fun idea, absolutely going to happen.