Shrimp Louie Salad is perfect for serving at a weekend brunch or lunch. A creamy, signature dressing is drizzled over a bed of crispy lettuce topped with Cajun-spiced shrimp, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs.
It’s always good to have some easy, flavor-packed dishes to serve to guests, and this is one of my favorites. It also makes a great healthy lunch if you want to swap out the sandwich for something lighter.
WHAT IS SHRIMP LOUIE
Shrimp Louie salad is a classic shrimp salad originating in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. The salad starts with a bed of greens, and is usually topped with avocado, hard-boiled eggs, tomato, and shrimp, with a signature dressing (that’s similar to Thousand Island) drizzled on top.
- Shrimp- I use large, raw shrimp for this recipe. You can buy the shrimp in the frozen seafood aisle of your grocery store or at the fish counter of your local market.
- Oil- I use good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Cajun seasoning– A flavorful seasoning used in Louisiana cooking. Find this in the spice aisle.
- Paprika- Use plain paprika in this recipe (other types include smoked hot, Hungarian and smoked sweet). Find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store.
- Mayo- A pantry staple.
- Ketchup- A pantry staple.
- Sour cream- You can use either full fat or low fat.
- Lemon juice- I squeeze straight from the lemon for best flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar- A pantry staple.
- Brown sugar- A pantry staple.
- Worcester sauce- A fermented sauce found in the condiment aisle of your grocery store.
- Lettuce- This recipe calls for romaine, but use your favorite lettuce if you prefer. It’s traditionally served on iceberg lettuce, but a romaine, butter lettuce or spring mix works well.
- Tomatoes- I use cherry tomatoes, but you can cut a large tomato into wedges.
- Avocado- Use a ripe avocado that yields to firm, gentle pressure.
- Hard Boiled Eggs- You can make these ahead of time and store in the fridge.
HOW TO MAKE SHRIMP LOUIE SALAD
- Prep the avocado, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs and wash the lettuce if it’s not pre-washed. Set aside.
- For the dressing: In a blender or whisk by hand, combine the mayo, ketchup, sour cream, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, paprika, Worcester sauce, and salt, blending to combine.
- For the shrimp: Thaw if necessary (see below). Peel the shrimp if you bought shell-on. Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and sauté in olive oil for about 4-5 minutes, until pink and opaque.
- Assemble the salad. This step includes laying down a bed of lettuce and arranging the avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and shrimp on top.
- Drizzle with the dressing right before serving.
HOW TO THAW FROZEN SHRIMP
If your shrimp are frozen, you have two options for thawing. One option is to let them thaw overnight in the fridge. Another option is to take the shrimp out of the package, put it in a bowl of cold water (or a colander), and let a light stream of cold water run into the bowl while excess water goes down the drain. It will take about 15 minutes for the shrimp to be ready to cook.
HOW TO BOIL EGGS
- Fill a small or medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Gently add the eggs and boil for 10 minutes.
- Drain when done and let cool before peeling.
- You can make the eggs a day or two before you make the salad. Store in the fridge with the peels on until ready to use.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE OTHER INGREDIENTS FOR THE SHRIMP?
You can swap out the shrimp for lump crab meat. In fact, some restaurants serve Crab Louie salad. If you want a vegetarian option, replace the shrimp with a can of chickpeas.
HOW TO SERVE SHRIMP LOUIE
· There are many ways to serve this epic salad. You can arrange lettuce in individual salad bowls with the rest of the ingredients on top.
· If you’re serving a crowd, get a large bowl and toss in the lettuce with the rest of the ingredients arranged in rows on top.
· You can also arrange the ingredients on a large platter and put the bowl with cooked shrimp right at the center.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS GO WITH SHRIMP LOUIE SALAD?
· Cooked beets
· Tobasco sauce
· Baby potatoes
· Sliced zucchini
· Green beans
· Lemon wedges
TO MAKE AHEAD OF TIME
· The hard-boiled eggs can be made up to 1 week ahead of time.
· The dressing can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
· You can pre-cook the shrimp and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
· Wait until right before serving to drizzle the salad with dressing. You want the lettuce to be crisp, not soggy.
Classic Shrimp Louie Salad
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup ketchup plus 1 tbsp
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound large peeled shrimp
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 ripe avocado diced
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 4 large eggs, hard boiled and sliced in half.
- In a bowl whisk together the first nine ingredients until smooth. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a pan melt the butter and add the shrimp.
- Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the shrimp and cook until fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomato, shrimp and diced avocado.
- Add some of the dressing and toss gently. Add more dressing if desired or store any leftover dressing in the fridge.
- Serve the salad on individual plates with some of the hard boiled eggs on the side.