Blackened Shrimp Salad is a refreshing entree that’s light but in a hearty way. Blackened shrimp on crisp artisan field greens, sprinkled with applewood smoked bacon, hard boiled eggs, heirloom petite tomatoes all splashed with a champagne vinaigrette. It’s healthy and it’s irresistibly delicious. A perfect Summer entree salad.
Inspiration for This Shrimp Salad
I’m sure I’m not special in possessing a desire to copycat a meal that I’ve enjoyed at a restaurant. We’ve all been there. Taking a couple of bites then announcing, “I’ve got to make this at home.”
And why not. The cost is always about half of what you pay in the restaurant. I enjoyed this beautiful shrimp salad recipe at a cost of around $12 for two salads at home as opposed to $23 for a single entree at the restaurant. So there ya have it.
One of my favorite “made it at home” is this Ya Ya’s Grilled Pita and Hummus. I’m pretty proud of that one and make it all the time. Keep in mind, it never hurts to inquire of the waiter about the ingredients or special preparation secrets. Many times you’ll get more information than you bargained for.
So, blackened shrimp salad is my latest project. This “Farmer’s Salad” from a popular local restaurant was divine with flavor, and I knew it would be easy to recreate in my own kitchen.
No need to interrogate the wait staff for this recipe. This blackened shrimp salad is very straight forward . It was just up to me to come up with a blackened shrimp seasoning that didn’t totally overwhelm the delicate sweet flavor of shrimp.
It took a few trial runs and some tinkering. The Champagne vinaigrette was easy, as I have a killer recipe from Culinary School. With that said, I’m feeling confident that I got these shrimp salad flavors just right.
Blackened Shrimp Seasoning
We made a couple of blackened seasoning mixes at Culinary School, one for shrimp and another for fish fillets. Digging through my notes, I found the ingredients from both classes, and came up with a combo of these favorite seasonings for my final recipe.
If you’re a regular reader, you know that I cook with a lot of chili powders and chili seasoning. The Culinary School combos involved both but not used together. I’ve got a great recipe for homemade chili seasoning, so chose to go that route. Brown sugar was a must, and the rest is pretty standard. I just needed to get the proportions right. You’ll find my final recipe below.
With the perfect amount of spice, when the shrimp hit that sizzling pan, the aromas were intoxicating.
The Champagne Vinaigrette comes with no alterations and from the recipe we used at school. I loved it then and I love it now. A delicious combination of flavors for the ingredients in the salad.
Tips to Make This A Great Blackened Shrimp Salad
- Please purchase Wild American Shrimp as opposed to farmed shrimp from overseas. There’s a world of difference in both flavor and texture. It’s the right thing to do and it just flat out tastes better. It’s shrimp that tastes like shrimp. And the texture is more pleasing.
- Buy large or jumbo shrimp. Larger shrimp are much easier to manage while cooking and less apt overcook and dry out.
- To know when shrimp are cooked properly: straight shrimp are undercooked, shrimp curled into a “C” are done, shrimp closed in a tight curl are overcooked.
- When deveining shrimp, I like to cut a pretty deep swath down the back of the shrimp. I like how they look after they’re cooked. And they cook more evenly and there’s more flesh for the seasoning.
- Purchase quality thick sliced bacon. Preferably applewood smoked. Preferably from your favorite butcher case. Even though commercial packaged bacon is labeled “thick sliced.” I find a reputable butcher will offer thicker bacon with a better flavor.
- Use a Spring greens mix that doesn’t include a bitter lettuce such as radicchio. The strong flavor will distract from the delicate fresh flavor of the Champagne Vinaigrette.
- Look for orange petite tomatoes. A great contrast color for this salad.
Recipe for Blackened Shrimp Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
I hope you give this shrimp salad recipe a try and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite way to use Blackened Shrimp, let me know, I’d love to give it a try. I’m thinking there’s a great blackened shrimp pasta recipe out there.
More Shrimp Salad Recipes Worth a Look
- Roasted Shrimp Salad with Avocado and White Beans
- Creamy Shrimp Salad with Lime Zest
- Avocado Shrimp Salad with Mango Dressing
- Grilled Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Orange
- Southwestern Hominy Salad Recipe with Shrimp
- Salt Block Roasted Shrimp with Honey Mustard Basil Vinaigrette
- Grilled Shrimp Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing
And this one I found over at FoodieCrush for Shrimp and Macaroni Salad Recipe.
And, you won’t want to miss this recipe for Heavenly Halibut. It’s the most popular seafood recipe on my site. Not surprising, it’s easy, it’s delicious and it’s well … heavenly. Looking for more seafood recipes, you’ll want to visit my Seafood Category.
Blackened Shrimp Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
- 6 slices Bacon Thick cut, applewood smoked, cooked and cut into chunks.
- For The Champagne Vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 dashes hot sauce Tabasco works well here
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- For the Salad
- 16 petite heirloom tomatoes preferably orange in color
- 4 cups spring salad greens
- 3 hard boiled eggs peeled and quartered
- 4 Tablespoons Blue Cheese Crumbled
- For the Blackened Shrimp
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp uncooked peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cook the bacon either in the oven or in a skillet. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, cut in chunks. Set aside.
- In a glass bowl, add all ingredients for the Champagne vinaigrette. Whisk well and set aside.
- Peel and devein shrimp. When deveining, cut a wide slit down the shrimp to expose more flesh. Place on a sheet pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the blackened seasoning.
- Sprinkle the seasoning over the shrimp and with your hands, mix well to coat the shrimp on all sides.
- In the meantime, prepare and gather the ingredients for the salad. Wash and dry the lettuce. A salad spinner works well here. Slice the heirloom petite tomatoes in half. Peel and quarter the hard boiled eggs. Place the greens in a large salad bowl and set aside.
- To Cook the Shrimp: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Once the skillet is hot, add the oil. When the oil is shimmering quickly add the shrimp in a single layer. Turn down heat a bit so you don't burn the shrimp. You want them crispy not burnt. Cook in batches if necessary. You don't want to overcrowd the shrimp. Cook two minutes. Then quickly turn the shrimp with tongs, and cook an additional two minutes on the other side. Remove to paper towels.
- Toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette.
- To serve, place the dressed greens in 4 shallow salad bowls. Arrange the salad ingredients over the greens. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, cooked bacon and arrange shrimp over the salad.