This blackened shrimp Caesar salad is the best recipe to elevate your salad game! Crispy seasoned shrimp are served over a bed of greens and topped with a creamy Caesar dressing and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Quick to prepare, it’s a meal everyone will agree on!
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my latest obsession with this easy blackened shrimp Caesar salad recipe. Proving that salads don’t have to be bland or boring, it’s loaded with flavor and comes together in minutes.
The end result is a restaurant-quality meal from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or feeding a crowd, it’s sure to be a hit!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- High protein
- Gluten free and nut free
- Made with simple ingredients
- Ready in less than 20 minutes
- The components can be prepared in advance
What are blackened shrimp?
The concept of “blackened” relates to a blend of spices used primarily in southern and Cajun cuisine. You can “blacken” almost any type of protein like chicken, fish, steak, etc.
The spice blend typically has a bit of a spicy kick to it with lots of bold flavor making it a great cooking style for meat paired with something lightly flavored like a salad, rice, or potatoes.
The protein is coated in the spice blend and then almost charred, creating little specks of “black” along the meat. Some blackening blends include brown sugar which can create a caramelized feel, too. I skipped the sugar in this recipe. So, you’re really getting loads of fresh bold savory flavor in every bite.
Ingredients & Notes
for the shrimp
- Shrimp - Peeled and deveined shrimp is best. Fresh or frozen can be used as long as it’s thawed first.
- Seasonings - Paprika, garlic powder, thyme, cumin, sea salt, onion powder, and black pepper add lots of warm, savory flavor to the shrimp.
- Oil - I prefer the strong flavor of olive oil, but any type of oil will work for blackened shrimp.
for the salad
- Greek yogurt - This forms the base of the dressing, adding creaminess and a boost of protein.
- Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed is best.
- Dijon mustard - Adds a satisfying, tangy taste.
- Red wine vinegar - Do not use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead. Red wine vinegar is the only option that will yield the flavor we’re looking to achieve.
- Worcestershire sauce - If needed, you can substitute it with soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Seasonings - Garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt add extra depth and tie the flavor of the dressing in with the shrimp.
- Lettuce - A bed of Romaine lettuce forms the base of the salad.
- Parmesan cheese - Technically optional, a sprinkle of thinly sliced Parmesan finishes the salad with a hint of savory, saltiness you’ll love.
What shrimp is best for blackened shrimp?
Peeled and deveined shrimp is best if you’re planning on serving the blackened shrimp on top of something, like a salad or rice. Cooking shrimp with the tails on is common, but it can get messy having to remove the tails with every bite. Save time and the mess by removing the tails before you cook the shrimp.
However, if you’re making the shrimp as a cocktail appetizer, leave the tails to allow guests to easily enjoy the shrimp without getting messy or having to use a utensil.
Can I use Frozen Shrimp?
Frozen shrimp will work with this recipe. In fact, most “fresh” shrimp at the seafood counter at the store was frozen beforehand. So, sometimes buying shrimp already frozen means it will actually be fresher. Thaw them out at room temperature or let them soak in a little bit of warm water. Then, remove the shells, and devein if needed.
You won’t believe how quickly this blackened shrimp Caesar salad comes together! You’ll be preparing multiple components at once. So, make sure to have all your ingredients close by.
Step 1: Prepare the shrimp. If you haven’t already, now is the time to peel and devein the shrimp.
Combine the seasonings in a small bowl or dish, sprinkle the mixture over the shrimp, and mix well to combine and coat each piece.
Step 2: Cook the shrimp. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is shimmering, add the shrimp, and cook until they turn a light pink color.
Then, flip them over, and continue to cook until they’re pink all the way through. Transfer the blackened shrimp to a bowl, and set it aside to cool.
Step 3: Create the salad dressing. Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl or jar, and mix until they’re well combined and smooth.
Step 4: Toss the salad. Add the Romaine lettuce to a large bowl, pour the dressing on top, and toss to coat.
Step 5: Serve. Portion the salad onto plates, and place them in the fridge for a few minutes to chill. Finally, divide the shrimp between the bowls, top the salads with Parmesan cheese, and enjoy right away!
- Blackened shrimp should have a little char to them. Heat a skillet (I love using a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat so the shrimp can get crispy on the edges. You can use a high heat if you want a deeper char, too.
- Shrimp don’t take long at all to cook. So, make sure to watch them carefully when they’re cooking. You will know they are done when they become a little tougher and turn a soft pink color.
- A great Caesar salad is served very chilled. If you want to feel like you’re enjoying a restaurant-worthy Caesar salad, portion the tossed salad out onto plates, and store it in the fridge until ready to serve. This allows the plate to get cold as well as the lettuce and dressing.
What to serve with blackened shrimp?
How to Store
Store leftover blackened shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, add the dish to a microwave-safe container, and heat the shrimp in increments of 15 seconds in the microwave. Serve as desired.
The Caesar salad dressing can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
This blackened shrimp recipe is gluten free but if you’re using a different recipe, be sure to double-check the ingredients.
Blackened shrimp is one of the healthier ways to prepare shrimp. Compared to fried and battered shrimp, blackening shrimp is a more natural way to give shrimp flavor without the unwanted fat and breading.
The blackened shrimp in this recipe is Whole30 compliant, but be sure to look at the ingredients in other recipes as sometimes sugar can be used in blackened shrimp.
For more easy seafood recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Blackened Shrimp Casesar Salad
- 3 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Large Pan
- 1 Large Salad Bowl
For the shrimp
- 1 lb raw shrimp - peeled and deveined
- 2 ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Olive oil - to cook the shrimp
For the salad
- ⅔ cup greek yogurt
- ½ lemon juiced - 2 Tbsp
- 1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Romaine lettuce
- Parmesan cheese - to garnish, optional
- If you haven’t already, peel and devein the shrimp and place them in a separate bowl.1 lb raw shrimp
- In a small bowl or dish add the paprika, garlic powder, thyme, cumin, sea salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Mix well to combine. Set aside.2 ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sprinkle the seasonings over the shrimp and toss well until well coated.
- Add some olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the seasoned shrimp. Let the shrimp cook for 1 - 2 minutes until they turn a light pink color before flipping them over to cook for another minute until pink all the way through. Transfer the shrimp to a separate bowl and set aside to cool down slightly.Olive oil
- Next prepare the salad dressing. Add the greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt to a bowl or jar and mix well to combine.⅔ cup greek yogurt, ½ lemon juiced, 1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Add the romaine lettuce to a large bowl and toss well with the caesar dressing.Romaine lettuce
- Portion the salad onto plates and pop them in the fridge for at least 5 minutes to chill (this is optional but the best way to level up a caesar salad in my opinion!).
- When ready to serve, top the chilled salad with the blackened shrimp and freshly grated Parmesan, if desired, and enjoy!Parmesan cheese