Shrimp Avocado Salad
Shrimp Avocado Salad bursting with Caribbean flavors is ready to whisk you away to the tropics! This Shrimp Avocado Salad recipe is vibrant, fresh, satisfying, crunchy, creamy and what island dreams are made of! It is loaded with juicy jerk marinated shrimp, creamy avocado, pineapple, mangos, kiwis, oranges and jicama, then dusted with toasted coconut and roasted macadamia nuts all doused in tangy, bright Caribbean Citrus Vinaigrette. This salad recipe is easy to make, exploding with texture and you can prep all the ingredients except the avocados ahead of time for easy entertaining, make ahead dinners or light lunches.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 20minutes (includes marinating)
Cook Time
8minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 20minutes (includes marinating)
Cook Time
8minutes
Shrimp Avocado Salad
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1pound medium uncooked shrimppeeled, deveined
  • 10oz. spring mix
  • 1cup chopped pineapaple
  • 1 mangopeeled and chopped
  • 2 kiwispeeled, sliced and quartered
  • 1 red bell pepperchopped
  • 3 mandarin orangespeeled, segmented
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped or sliced
  • 1cup chopped jicama
  • 1/4cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2cup salted, roasted macadamia nuts(may sub roasted, salted cashews)
  • 1/2cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes
Caribbean Shrimp Marinade
  • 1tablespsoon olive oil
  • 1tablespoon lime juice
  • 1tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1tablespoon honey
  • 1tablespoon ketchup
  • 1tsp EACH chipotle chili powder, paprika
  • 1/2tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, all spice
  • 1/4tsp EACH ground ginger, salt
Citrus Cilantro Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/2cup olive oil
  • 1/4cup orange juice
  • 1/4cup lime juice
  • 2tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1tablespoons honey
  • 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 2tablespsoons finely chopped cilantro
Instructions
Shrimp Marinade
  1. Add marinade ingredients to a freezer bag or medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes in the fridge. Meanwhile make dressing and chop the salad ingredients.
Dressing
  1. Add Vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine OR add to a jar and shake well. Store in the refrigerator. Best if chilled at least 30 minutes.** When ready to serve, whisk or shake jar to recombine.
Cook Shrimp
  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add shrimp and marinade and cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or just until opaque and cooked through.
Assemble
  1. To assemble, add lettuce to a large bowl and top with remaining Salad ingredients. Drizzle with desired amount of Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss to combine.
  2. Alternatively, (especially if you expect leftovers) mix all of the Salad Ingredients EXCEPT for the coconut and avocado then garnish individual servings with coconut and avocado because they don’t keep as well. Drizzle vinaigrette over individual servings.
Recipe Notes

*TO TOAST COCONUT

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spread coconut into a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roast for 5-7 minutes until golden, watching closely towards the end as it can change very quickly.

TIPS FOR SHRIMP AVOCADO SALAD

  • **Chill dressing.  You’ll want to refrigerate your Caribbean Vinaigrette for at least 30 minutes but it is even better refrigerated overnight.  You can place the dressing in the freezer to chill more quickly if serving in less than an hour.
  • Use ripe fruit.  The key to this Shrimp Avocado Salad is to use ripe, sweet fruit.  You don’t want under-ripe fruit or it will be too tangy in combination with the dressing.
  • Customize ingredients.  The salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions.  You can use add/swap any ingredients for your favorites but please don’t skip the mangos!
  • Mangos: They offer a pop of juicy sweetness that cuts through the spicy shrimp and tangy fruit. If you are intimidated by mangos, don’t be, just check out my How to Cut A Mango Post that teaches everything you could ever want to know about mangos!  To check for ripeness, focus on FEEL not color because every variety is a different color when ripe. For example, red doesn’t necessarily mean ripe. Squeeze gently to judge ripeness. A ripe mango will give slightly like a ripe avocado. If you are intimidated.
  • Don’t over marinate shrimp. Don’t marinate shrimp longer than 60 minutes or the acidic marinade can break down the shrimp proteins and make it mushy.
  • Don’t over-cook shrimp.  Cook shrimp just until opaque for the juiciest shrimp.
  • Cook shrimp with tails on.  I recommend cooking your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contains flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting you can remove the tails if you desire.

    HOW TO SERVE SHRIMP AVOCADO SALAD

    There are three ways to serve Shrimp Avocado Salad:

    • If you don’t expect or want leftovers:add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing.
    • Create a salad bar:consider creating a salad bar and keeping everything separate because the fruit can make the lettuce soggy when stored together.  Simply line up all of the ingredients in separate serving bowls and let guests assemble their own Shrimp Avocado Salads.
    • If you expect leftovers:If you still want to toss the salad, then add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl except the avocados, coconut and dressing.  Let individuals dress their own salads with avocados, coconut and dressing.  You will want to chop fresh avocados when serving leftover salad.

    HOW TO MAKE AHEAD

    I love that you can prepare almost every element of this Shrimp Avocado Salad ahead of time:

    • Vegetables & Fruit.  You can chop all of your vegetables and fruit ahead of time. Store fruit in separate containers with a paper towel so their moisture doesn’t make the lettuce soggy.  I do not recommend storing your pre-cut fruit longer than a day because they soften and part of the beauty of this Shrimp Avocado Salad is its freshness.
    • Shrimp.  The shrimp is delicious just after its cooked or you can cook it up to 3 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • Dressing.  It tastes exponentially better made in advance and it will save you time later!  The dressing can be made 24 hours ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    SHRIMP AVOCADO SALAD RECIPE MEAL PREP

    This Shrimp Avocado Salad makes excellent meal prep if you want to prep the ingredients ahead of time and serve later for dinner or for lunch on the go.  Here’s how:

    1. Divide lettuce between desired number of containers.
    2. Top with red onions, bell peppers (pat dry), macadamia nuts and shrimp.
    3. Separate chopped jicama, mangos, pineapple, kiwis, mandarin oranges and coconut in separate plastic bags and place on top of salad containers OR I like to roll out a large piece of plastic wrap and add lines of each ingredient (amount for that container), roll over that ingredient so its enclosed, then add the next ingredient and continue to roll up and add ingredients until they are all enclosed; repeat for each container.
    4. Divide dressing into separate containers/baggies.
    5. Store salad containers in the refrigerator and serve with freshly chopped avocados.