Get ready for a flavor-packed delight. This simple yet sensational blackened shrimp salad features a combination of butter lettuce (or any leafy greens), red onion, corn, avocado, and feta cheese. Drizzled with a light dressing of olive oil and lime, it’s a refreshing and filling salad that will leave you craving more!
Why This Works
- Filling entree salad with protein, fiber and healthy fat
- Short ingredient list
- The use of blackened seasoning blend makes seasoning a snap
- Can be eaten as is or with a carb such as grains, tortilla, and bread
- Takes less than 30 minutes to make
Ingredients and Nutrition
Blackened shrimp lettuce salad is made with the following nine simple ingredients. Feel free to personalize your salad by substituting other leafy greens and vegetables to suit your preferences.
This easy shrimp and lettuce salad features jumbo shrimp, perfectly sized for a salad entrée. However, smaller sized shrimp also work well.
For added convenience, save time by opting for pre-peeled and deveined shrimp, making this salad truly effortless to prepare.
Shrimp is a low-calorie food that supplies the following nutrients :
- Protein: A macronutrient that serves as the building block for muscles, tissues, organs, and cells. It’s also needed for the production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
- Polyunsaturated fats: Shrimp’s fat content is mostly made up of polyunsaturated fat, including omega-3 fats, making it a heart-healthy choice. Although shrimp is not as rich in omega-3 fats as certain seafood like salmon, it remains low in saturated fat, the type of fat linked to heart disease.
- Vitamin B12: Shrimp, like other animal foods, is a source of vitamin B12, a vital nutrient that contributes to red blood cell production and DNA synthesis. It also plays a crucial role in supporting brain health and maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- Phosphorus: This important mineral helps the body with waste filtration, tissue repair, and cellular maintenance. It’s essential for promoting strong bones and dental health. Additionally, phosphorus plays a key role in energy production, ensuring optimal bodily function.
- Choline: Found in shrimp and other foods like meat and eggs, choline plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of cell membranes. It also supports brain health, cognitive function, liver function, and fat metabolism.
In this blackened shrimp salad recipe, we utilize butter lettuce as the base. However, feel free to exercise your creativity by substituting it with any leafy greens. Spinach, leafy green blend, and red leaf lettuce are great alternatives.
Leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with fiber and an array of essential nutrients. They’re particularly abundant in the following nutrients :
- Vitamin A: Best known for its role in eye health, vitamin A is also involved in cellular communication and immune function.
- Folate: Folate is especially essential during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects. It’s also needed for DNA synthesis, proper growth and development, and producing red blood cells. Additionally, folate breaks down homocysteine, an amino acid that can be harmful if it builds up in the body.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K plays a crucial role in the body, contributing to proper blood clotting and bone formation. Additionally, research suggests that this essential vitamin may have a protective effect against the calcification or hardening of blood vessels.
By incorporating leafy greens into your diet, you can give your overall health and well-being a nourishing boost. Beyond salads, there are numerous creative ways to enjoy leafy greens, whether it’s adding them to soups, pasta, smoothies, or wraps.
Frozen sweet corn
Frozen sweet corn offers a convenient option for quick recipes like this easy blackened shrimp salad. Nevertheless, you have the flexibility to use fresh or canned corn as well.
Lightly charring the corn for the shrimp salad enhances its natural sweetness, adds a smoky flavor, and creates a visually appealing texture.
Sweet corn contains fiber, which is important for gut and heart health. It also provides nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B1, folate, potassium, and magnesium .
Corn also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that support eye health .
The addition of red onion to the blackened shrimp lettuce salad brings a delightful tangy and crisp flavor, complementing the other ingredients perfectly. Feel free to omit or use another type of onion.
Onions contain quercetin, a compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Many fruits and vegetables contain quercetin, with onions containing the highest amount. 
Avocado adds a creamy and buttery texture to this recipe, accompanied by a delicate nutty undertone. Additionally, it enriches the dish with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, elevating its nutritional value .
Avocados are not only delicious but also packed with fiber and an array of essential nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and K, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin .
- Blackened seasoning blend eliminates the step of mixing a bunch of different spices. However, you certainly can make your blend. Blackened seasoning is typically made with paprika, garlic powder, Kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne, and onion powder.
- Feta cheese lends a tangy, salty and creamy element but feel free to omit or substitute with another type of cheese.
- Olive oil is used for cooking the corn and shrimp and for the salad dressing.
- A squeeze of lime juice adds a tangy and refreshing citrus flavor to the recipe, balancing the richness of the blackened shrimp and complementing the other ingredients in the salad. You can also use lemon juice.
You’ll notice there’s no salt in this shrimp lettuce salad recipe. That’s because there’s already salt in the blackened seasoning blend and in the feta cheese.
Combine the peeled and deveined shrimp with blackened seasoning and a squeeze of lime juice in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and cook the corn.
Chop the lettuce, red onion, and avocado that will go into the blackened shrimp salad. Place all the chopped ingredients in an entree bowl along with the crumbled feta cheese. Set the bowl aside.
If you’d like to mellow the strong taste of raw onion, you can reduce its intensity by soaking the chopped onion in a bowl of water before mixing it with the rest of the salad components. The water helps to disperse the sulfur compounds that contribute to the strong flavor of onions.
In a medium-sized frying pan over medium to high heat, sauté the corn in a half-tablespoon of olive oil. Season the corn with a little of the blackened seasoning or salt if you’d like.
Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, cooking until the corn is slightly charred.
Transfer the cooked corn to the entree bowl containing the other salad ingredients.
In the same pan you cooked the corn in, add a half-tablespoon of olive oil over medium to high heat and add the marinated shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about one and a half to two minutes on each side.
Transfer the cooked shrimp to the entree bowl and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Finish with a squeeze of lime and toss all the ingredients together.
Savor this blackened shrimp salad either on its own or accompanied by a bread roll or warmed tortillas. See Frequently Asked Questions for more serving ideas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other delicious salad ingredients that can go well with blackened shrimp salad:
– Cherry tomatoes
– Bell peppers
– Green or yellow onion
– Blue cheese
– Black olives
– Fresh herbs (such as cilantro or parsley)
– Roasted red peppers
– Sliced almonds or other nuts for added crunch
Feel free to mix and match these ingredients to create your own personalized and flavorful variation of the blackened shrimp salad!
There are several other carb options that can complement this blackened shrimp salad recipe. Some alternatives include:
Rice: Serve the shrimp salad over a bed of cooked rice for a more substantial meal.
Quinoa: Prepare quinoa and use it as a base for the blackened shrimp salad, boosting the protein and nutrition of the dish.
Pasta: Toss the blackened shrimp salad with cooked pasta, such as penne, fusilli, or orzo to create a flavorful pasta salad.
Couscous: Cooked couscous can be mixed with the shrimp and lettuce salad, offering a light and fluffy texture.
Sweet potato: Roasted or mashed sweet potatoes can be served alongside the shrimp salad, providing a healthy and satisfying carb option.
Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning is a popular choice that shares some similarities with blackened seasoning. Similar to blackened seasoning, Cajun seasoning is available for purchase as a pre-made blend, or you can create your own blend according to your preferences. It typically includes a blend of spices like paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, Kosher salt, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne.
Chili Powder: While it may not replicate the exact flavor of blackened seasoning, chili powder can add a pleasant kick to your dish. It typically contains a mix of cayenne, cumin, and garlic powder. Be aware that chili powder can vary in heat levels, so adjust accordingly.
Smoked Paprika: Adding smoked paprika can impart a smoky and slightly sweet flavor to your dish. It works well as a standalone seasoning or in combination with other spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
Blackened Shrimp Lettuce Salad 9 Ingredients
- 1 medium bowl
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 1 cutting board
- 1 chef knife
- 1 medium frying pan
- 1 spatula
- 6 to 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon blackened seasoning blend
- 2 to 3 cups of lettuce or other leafy greens
- ½ small avocado (or ¼ large avocado), peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped or thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup frozen sweet corn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided into 1 tablespoon and two ½ tablespoons)
- 2 lime wedges (or lemon wedge)
- In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, blackened seasoning blend, and a squeeze of lime juice and set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Chop the lettuce, red onion, and avocado and add them to an entree bowl. Add the crumbled feta cheese to the bowl. Set the bowl aside. If you find the taste of raw onion too intense, you can tone down the flavor by soaking the chopped onion in a small bowl of water before combining it with other salad ingredients.
- Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium to high heat and add the frozen corn. Season with a pinch of salt or a sprinkling of the blackened seasoning if you'd like. Stir frequently and cook for about 5 minutes, until the corn is slightly charred. Transfer the cooked corn to the entree bowl with the other salad ingredients.
- In the same frying pan on medium to high heat, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil and add the marinated shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about 1½ to 2 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the cooked shrimp to the bowl with the other salad ingredients. Drizzle with remaining olive oil or more if you'd like and add a squeeze of lime or lemon. Toss ingredients together and enjoy!
Tried this recipe? What variations or adaptations did you make? Share in the comments.