This Old Bay recipe for shrimp salad is just what you need on a hot summer day. A cool refreshing high protein lunch, whether served on a croissant, lettuce leaves or avocado. Great for summer picnics or cook-outs.
We’re in the middle of a heat wave in the Carolinas, which means it’s time to make a batch of this light Old Bay recipe for shrimp salad seasoned with Old Bay of course, and dill.
While I love salads with fresh produce from the farmer’s market, you can still have a healthy lunch without eating a traditional veggie salad. This is also great to make if you’re vacationing at the beach and have access to fresh shrimp!
My typical lunch is whatever is leftover from dinner, but with the thermostat staying in the 90º, I’ve been craving something light and cold. Shrimp flavored with onions, dill and Old Bay and tossed in a light lemon and mayonnaise dressing is so simple but will become a staple in your house.
Why you’ll love it
- Quick and easy to throw together
- Several ways to serve it
- Light and cool for hot summer days
- Creamy dressing
- It can be it’s own meal or a side
This easy recipe can be made in just a few minutes which is great for those times when you get a last minute invitation to a brunch or summer cook-out. Leave it overnight and the flavors get even better.
Looking for a low fat, high protein meal that’s low carb, keto, gluten free and dairy free, then you’re in luck. This seafood salad meets all those criteria but most importantly it tastes fantastic. The combination of flavors is what makes it a classic.
This salad is delicious served on a croissant, but is equally good alone or try scooping it into an avocado or stuff it into pita bread.
Old Bay seasoning along with fresh dill are what makes this delicious salad so spectacular. Around here, we use Old Bay in shrimp packs and seafood boils and even in cheese wafers. We sprinkle it on corn, scrambled eggs, and anything that needs a little flavor boost.
What is Old Bay seasoning
Old Bay seasoning is made up of celery salt, pepper and paprika along with other herbs and spices and originated in Maryland. It has a little kick but it’s not too spicy. It’s most commonly used with seafood.
I’ve found that frozen pre-cooked shrimp work great in this salad. Any size will work, if they’re large you’ll want to cut them into bite size pieces. If you have access to fresh shrimp, you should go with fresh.
If using fresh shrimp, you’ll need to peel and devein them first.
How to thaw shrimp
If you didn’t plan ahead and have frozen shrimp, you have a couple of options. You don’t want to shock them by putting them in the microwave or placing them in hot water.
Instead place them in a ziplock and submerge the bag in a medium bowl of cold water, holding it down with a plate or something heavy, this will take about 45 minutes.
In a hurry, then just dump the shrimp in a bowl of cool water and they will thaw in 10-20 minutes.
What you’ll need
- Fresh or frozen shrimp – 1 pound will produce 4 good size servings, you can use small or medium shrimp, you will be cutting them into smaller pieces. You’ll need peeled shrimp for this recipe.
- Red onion – red or purple onions have a stronger taste but are great eaten raw, a little is all you need to add some pizzaz to the salad. If you don’t like the stronger taste of red onions, then you could use green onions or scallions.
- Cucumber – this adds texture and absorbs the creamy dressing
- Mayonnaise – Choose the brand of mayo you like the best, my favorite is Hellman’s which to me is slightly tart but not too sharp. I think the brand of mayonnaise that you like depends on where you grew up. Hellman’s is very popular in the South along with Duke’s.
- Old Bay Seasoning – this seasoning really perks up the shrimp salad dressing
- Fresh dill – dill is a subtle herb but adds a freshness to the salad. If you can’t find fresh herbs, then use about 2 teaspoons of dried.
- Pantry staples – lemon juice and mustard.
How to cook shrimp
Peel and devein and then pat dry with a paper towel. Add to a pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil in a single layer and cook until they start to turn white, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 2 more minutes. If using large shrimp, it could take a little longer. Remove and let chill before adding to the salad.
Boiled shrimp are also great for an Old bay shrimp salad. It only takes about 2 minutes to boil them, so pretty quick. Just add to a large pot of boiling water, cook for 2 minutes, drain and chill. Here’s some directions form A Couple Cooks.
How do you make shrimp salad with Old Bay and dill
Once you have cooked and cooled the shrimp, chop it into bite size pieces.
Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, a little Dijon mustard, fresh dill and Old bay. Whisk it together.
Finely chop some red onion, you don’t want big chunks, and add to a bowl with cooked cold shrimp and chopped cucumber.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and black pepper as needed. You can refrigerate this and serve it the next day.
You can also add some fresh lemon juice to the top of the salad and sprinkle it with fresh parsley.
How to serve it – 3 ways
- I love this creamy shrimp salad served on a croissant as a sandwich. The light and flaky layers are still strong enough to hold the shrimp, and the buttery flavor compliments the Old Bay shrimp.
- For a healthy shrimp salad serve this on bibb lettuce or romaine lettuce. The large leaves make it easy to wrap around the shrimp for lettuce wraps or serve on a bed of lettuce for a great light supper.
- Use an avocado and make a shrimp bowl for a light lunc
What to serve with shrimp salad
Of course a shrimp salad can be a meal on its own. If serving it as a main course, then try adding a simple fruit salad.
Since it’s so light, you can serve it as a side with your main meal. It’s especially great with ham or steaks.
If you’re making it for a brunch, it goes well with any egg or quiche dish.
Substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning
If you can’t get your hands on Old Bay seasoning, you can replicate the flavor to some extent. The combination of herbs is kept a secret but the main ingredients are Paprika and Celery Salt. Try adding ¼ teaspoon of both paprika and celery salt for every teaspoon of Old Bay that is called for in a recipe.
To paprika and celery salt, add a little cayenne or red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. While not exactly the same, it will give you a similar flavor profile.
You could also use Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt.
FAQs and Tips
Store in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container. It’s even better the day after it has been prepared.
For the best salad, use fresh dill but if you’re in a pinch you can use two teaspoons of dried.
This Old Bay Shrimp Recipe is low in fat and high in protein. It has very few carbs, just 2, so it will comply with a keto and low carb diet. It’s also dairy free.
Favorite Shrimp recipes
More delicious summer salads
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Old Bay Recipe for Shrimp Salad
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 1 lb shrimp cooked
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- ½ cup English cucumber peeled and chopped
- Cook shrimp in a skillet, about 2 minutes per side or boil for about 2 minutes.
- Pat cooked shrimp dry with a paper towel and cool. Cut into bite size pieces, add chopped onion and cucumber and stir to combine.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, dill and Old Bay.
- Pour over cooled shrimp mixture and serve as is or top with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with parsley.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Use fresh dill, if you’re out, you can use 2 teaspoons of dried.
- If you have fresh shrimp, cook in a skillet in a little olive oil, about 2 minutes per side until pink and opaque. Let cool before adding to the salad.
- Serve on a croissant or pita, lettuce leaves or in an avocado.
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