You don’t need to head to a restaurant to enjoy a fresh Shrimp Caesar Salad made with homemade croutons and a scratch-made dressing. I’ll teach you how to make your own delicious shrimp salad at home.
Juicy, flavorful shrimp on top of a bed of crunchy romaine and crispy croutons, all dressed with a homemade Caesar salad dressing and lots of parmesan cheese? Yes please!
This salad is just amazing, and once you learn how simple it is to make it all from scratch, I don’t think you’ll be buying bottled Caesar dressing ever again.
This salad comes together quickly since shrimp only take a few minutes to cook on the stove, so you can have dinner ready fast.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A Delicious Light Meal– All of the needed food groups are here, in a tasty package. Enjoy a shrimp salad as a light dinner or lunch.
- All Homemade– Homemade croutons and homemade caesar dressing make this salad incredibly delicious. The sauteed shrimp is just a bonus!
- Versatile Recipe – You can add your favorite salad toppings to this basic shrimp Caesar recipe, or make adjustments to suit your preferences. I’ll give you some ideas a bit later.
Ingredients In Caesar Shrimp Salad
Here’s what you need to make this delicious salad with shrimp.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
For the Salad:
- Shrimp: You’ll need one pound of raw shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. You can leave the tails on if you like, or remove them before cooking for easier eating later. I chose shrimp that are Medium or Large size, but you can use any size that you enjoy.
- Olive Oil, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper: To cook the shrimp and add some flavor to them. You can make your own Old Bay Seasoning using my easy recipe.
- Romaine Lettuce: You want about 6 cups of chopped lettuce for this salad. You can get that using two romaine hearts or one large head of romaine. Be sure to wash and dry the lettuce before you start.
- Parmesan Cheese: You can use grated parmesan or very finely shredded for this salad. I sometimes like to add a bit of freshly shaved parmesan as a garnish too. Parmesan is much tastier when you grate it fresh.
- Croutons: Make them homemade! It’s super simple to bake them in the oven or make them in the Air Fryer. You’ll need 3 cups of cubed bread, plus some olive oil and salt and pepper.
For the Dressing:
Mayonnaise: a traditional Caesar dressing is made from oil and egg yolks. We’re skipping that and using mayo instead. It’s a shortcut that doesn’t take away any flavor.
Anchovy Fillets: Take 4 anchovies from a can and chop them up finely. Then take the flat edge of your knife and mash them into a paste. These little fish add TONS of savory, umami flavor to the dressing.
Lemon Juice and Dijon Mustard: These add needed acidity and tanginess to the creamy dressing.
More Parmesan Cheese: It’s in the salad and in the dressing. It’s so good!
For more information on how to make homemade Caesar dressing, see this post where I give you all the best tips.
How To Make a Shrimp Caesar Salad
- Make the Croutons: Making fresh croutons is easy, and the key to the most amazing Ceasar salads. You can follow my Homemade Croutons Recipe for all the details, but it’s simple: Place cubed bread, olive oil, and salt and pepper on a baking pan and toss to combine. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes turning once halfway through or until they’re crispy and golden brown.
- Cook the Shrimp: In a skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Then add the shrimp and season with old bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp is fully cooked (it should be opaque and no longer gray). Remove from the skillet and cool completely.
- Make Homemade Caesar Dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl using a spoon or a whisk.
- Assemble the Salad: Chop or tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and combine it with the parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing. Toss to combine, then top with the cooked shrimp.
You can also make homemade croutons using your Air Fryer! Get the simple recipe here.
Shrimp Caesar Recipe Tips
- Wash the Lettuce: Romaine can hold on to a lot of dirt. I use this salad spinner from OXO to wash and dry all of my lettuce for salads.
- As a Side Dish: This salad can serve 4-6 people if served as a side dish, or 2-3 people as a main course.
- Lighten the Dressing: Save calories by swapping out half of the mayonnaise for Greek Yogurt. The dressing will have a different, slightly tangy flavor, but it’s still amazing.
- To Season the Shrimp: Old Bay is my go-to shrimp seasoning, but you can also use your favorite Cajun seasoning. For a more simple flavor, cook the shrimp with butter, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Enjoy it Fresh: Ceasar salad is best when eaten directly after making it. The lettuce will get soggy if left to sit too long after dressing it.
What To Serve With Shrimp Ceasar Salad
Caesar Salad Variations
There are so many delicious ways to make a Caesar Salad. Try these ideas to switch things up!
Greens: Hearty greens like kale and spinach can be used in place of all or some of the romaine.
Toppings: Go as crazy as you like with Caesar salad toppings! Hard-boiled eggs, chopped bacon or crispy pancetta, diced tomatoes, sunflower seeds, sliced red onions, or olives are some ideas to get you started.
For a shrimp Ceasar salad, you can use any size of shrimp that you prefer. Sometimes I like to use small or medium-sized shrimp so that they are easy to eat in one bite. Other times I add jumbo shrimp for a different presentation. You choose!
My homemade Caesar dressing does call for anchovy fillets, but if you prefer, they can easily be left out. Worcestershire sauce can offer a similar flavor, so add some to the dressing if you’re omitting the anchovy.
You can prepare parts of this salad ahead of time, including cooking the shrimp, washing the lettuce, preparing the dressing, and baking the croutons. So long as you wait until just before serving to dress the salad, everything will be perfect.
Caesar salad is best enjoyed the same day that you make it, but this homemade Caesar dressing made with mayo (and without eggs) can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days if needed.
Pin the recipe so that you’ll never lose this delicious Ceasar Salad formula! Shrimp Ceasar Salad will be a new favorite, I’m sure.
For the Shrimp and Salad
For the Caesar Dressing
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 4 anchovy fillets minced then mashed
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Make the croutons by following this recipe, or seeing note 4 below.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the shrimp and season with old bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until cooked through and opaque (no longer gray). Remove from the skillet and allow to cool completely.
- Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, anchovy, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and parmesan cheese) in a bowl using a whisk.
- Chop the lettuce, or tear it apart into bite sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce with the dressing, parmesan, and croutons. Toss until well combined. Serve immediately in a large salad bow, topped with shrimp.
- To Store: I don’t recommend making this salad ahead of time. If needed the ingredients for the salad can be prepped and kept in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- To lighten up the dressing, replace half of the mayo with Greek yogurt.
- Rather than old bay seasoning, you can use your favorite Cajun seasoning, or simply cook the shrimp with a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Making fresh croutons is easy, and the key to the most amazing Ceasar salads. You can follow my Homemade Croutons Recipe for all the details, but it’s simple: Place 3 cups of cubed bread, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper on a baking pan and toss to combine. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes turning once halfway through or until they’re crispy and golden brown.
- Wash the lettuce, as Romaine can hold on to a lot of dirt. I use this salad spinner from OXO to wash and dry all of my lettuce for salads.
- Ceasar salad is best when eaten directly after making it. The lettuce will get soggy if left to sit too long after dressing it.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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