In the summertime, shrimp becomes the ultimate delight! Our Cajun Shrimp Salad recipe boasts a burst of spicy flavors, making it an ideal choice for a light and refreshing meal during those scorching summer months. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but its quick and easy preparation will leave your taste buds satisfied without anyone suspecting its simplicity!
The Cajun Shrimp Salad catches the eye with its impeccable presentation and promises an explosion of refreshing flavors. The shrimp is cooked to perfection, boasting a delightful hint of heat that adds just the right amount of spice. Complemented by creamy avocado and juicy cherry tomatoes, every bite offers a symphony of textures. A bed of tender lettuce serves as a lush canvas for these vibrant ingredients, while the harmonizing notes of Cajun vinaigrette bring all the flavors together in perfect unity.
If one desires more summer salads, they should consider sampling our selection of Shrimp Salads. Options include the refreshing Cold Shrimp Salad or the delightful Thai Prawn Salad.
What Is Cajun Cuisine?
Cajun cuisine originated when the descendants of French Catholic colonists and Acadians were forced to flee Canada due to British expulsion and found a new home in New Orleans.
Cajun food, rooted in French country cooking, embodies the pinnacle of comfort cuisine. It utilizes ingredients reminiscent of rich swamp environments, contributing to its unique flavor profile. Captivatingly complex and often with a spicy kick, Cajun dishes offer an exploration of taste without overwhelming heat.
Can I Use Frozen Shrimp?
Sure! In fact, I always keep a couple of packs of frozen prawns in the freezer for quick meal preparations.
Frozen shrimp/prawns are an excellent alternative if one feels uneasy handling raw shrimp or is too busy to bother with the peeling process.
To Prepare Frozen Shrimp / Prawns :
- The overnight method involves defrosting them the day before in the fridge. Place the items in a colander with a medium bowl underneath to collect any water. Rinse the food under cold water, then allow it to drain and dry thoroughly before cooking.
- The method for defrosting prawns is important and should not be overlooked. To ensure proper defrosting, place the prawns in a colander under cold running water. Remember to turn them occasionally to promote even thawing. Once they are fully defrosted, be sure to drain them and dry them thoroughly before cooking.
What You Will Need To Make Cajun Shrimp Salad ?
Ingredients and Substitutions :
- Shrimp or prawn? We’ve opted for medium fresh shrimp in this recipe, but if you prefer, large shrimp can be used as well. For those on a budget, consider using chicken instead. Simply cut it into strips or cubes and marinate before proceeding.
- The Cajun blend adds bold and spicy flavor to shrimp. You can use cayenne pepper, a Creole blend, or paprika as substitutes. Particularly, the smoked variation of these substitutes works exceptionally well in achieving the desired taste.
- Various salad greens can be utilized for the lettuce in your dish. You have a wide range of options, including fancy varieties like cos or romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula/rocket, or even massaged kale
- Tomatoes can be customized according to your preference – feel free to choose your favorite variety and cut them into bite-sized pieces instead of specifically opting for cherry tomatoes.
- Looking to switch up your superfood game? If avocados aren’t your thing, opt for some nuts instead. Almonds, cashews, or macadamias are all fantastic additions to this salad. However, if you have a nut allergy, consider trying some cooked edamame as an alternative.
- Incorporating the given parameters, here is an improved version of the sentence: Green onions, also known as scallions, are often added to dishes for their slightly spicy and peppery flavor. If preferred, diced red
- Salad dressing comes in various options to suit different tastes. One easy dressing recipe involves a combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and a Cajun blend. If you prefer a creamier option, you can try our delicious creamy Cajun dressing or explore the zingy flavor of our cilantro lime vinaigrette.
The dish appears visually enticing, and its flavors are incredibly delightful. While it is already delicious as it stands, you have the freedom to personalize our Cajun Shrimp Salad recipe according to your own taste preferences. Allow me to share a few suggestions that will ignite your creativity and inspire you to create something truly unique.
- Incorporate sliced bell peppers (capsicum) or finely chopped celery to enhance the dish with vibrant colors and a satisfying crunch.
- Grilled corn for some sweetness.
- Refreshing cucumber rounds.
- Sliced chilli for added heat.
- A cooked grain such as quinoa, freekeh, or wild rice makes it more substantial.
- For added protein, add some crumbled feta or cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans.
- To give your dish a herby kick, toss in some chopped parsley, dill or cilantro.
How to Make Cajun Shrimp Salad
Step 1 – Marinate the shrimp/prawns
To begin, one should first peel and devein the shrimp. Next, rinse the shrimp thoroughly and gently pat them dry.
The shrimp is added to a medium-sized glass bowl along with a tablespoon of oil, crushed garlic, and Cajun spice. The shrimp is then seasoned and thoroughly mixed.
Ensure the remaining ingredients are prepared while keeping them in a cool place.
To ensure optimal cooking results, it is recommended to maintain the ingredients at room temperature rather than chilling them. This will facilitate better cooking when using a hot pan.
When you put cold seafood, meats, or poultry in a hot pan, they won’t get that nice sear you want.
Step 2 – Prepare the salad ingredients.
He or she should start by giving the lettuce a thorough rinse using a colander and cold water. Any wilted or damaged leaves should be discarded, and the hard core of the lettuce should be removed.
To prepare the leaves, one can either pat them dry or use a salad spinner to spin away any excess moisture. Once dry, simply shred the leaves.
The tomatoes should be rinsed, patted dry, and sliced in half.
The onions should be washed and trimmed before being finely sliced.
The avocado should be rinsed, then the pit removed before cubing it up. To prevent browning, a little bit of lime or lemon juice can be squeezed on top.
Step 3 – Cook the shrimp / prawns
On a stovetop set to medium-high heat, take a non-stick pan and add two tablespoons of oil to it. Allow the pan to heat up. Once it’s adequately hot, delicately place the shrimp into the pan. Cook each side for approximately one to two minutes. Keep a close watch on the shrimp as they change color, ensuring they are thoroughly cooked without being overdone.
The heat should be turned off, and it’s recommended to add a few drops of lime or lemon juice on top.
Step 4 – Shake-up dressing.
To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a glass jar. Season to taste, then securely seal the jar and shake vigorously until the mixture emulsifies. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
The flavors can be adjusted according to personal preferences. Experiment with different seasonings until it suits your taste.
Step 5 – Assemble the Cajun Prawn Salad
All the chopped vegetables should be added to a spacious bowl. Next, season them and drizzle the dressing over the top. It is important to mix everything together thoroughly for the flavors to blend harmoniously.
The cooked prawns should be added to the salad along with the pan juices. Gently incorporate them into the mixture for a delicious combination.
The seasonings should be tasted and adjusted to suit personal preferences.
Arrange in a salad bowl, sprinkle a generous pinch of Cajun seasoning on top to garnish.
Can I Make It Ahead of Time?
This salad is at its peak when enjoyed immediately after preparation. However, here are some time-saving tips to consider.
- The dressing can be prepared ahead of time by making it a few days in advance. Store it in a sealed glass container and keep it refrigerated. Just remember to bring the dressing to room temperature before tossing it through your salad.
- The prawns should be marinated and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Remember to remove them and allow them to reach room temperature before cooking.
- The vegetables, except for the avocado, should be prepared and stored in an airtight container in the fridge several hours before.
Serving Suggestions (Cajun Shrimp Salad)
This Cajun Shrimp Salad is a great option for a quick and tasty dinner. It can also be served as an impressive appetizer at your next dinner party.
This versatile salad can be a delightful meat-free option for barbecues or an excellent addition to a seafood spread. It complements grilled fish, crab cakes, and steamed mussels beautifully. The dish offers a refreshing and flavorful combination, suitable for various occasions
And, naturally, it is perfectly suited for family gatherings. Consider pairing it with fish tacos or a delectable fish pie. The taste is simply irresistible!
People Also Ask (Cajun Shrimp Salad)
Storing Cajun Shrimp Salad
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge without the lettuce, as it tends to become soggy and limp. Simply place them in an airtight container for storage.
What options are available for utilizing the remaining food?
This salad is delicious when eaten right after making it. You can discard the lettuce, but the rest of the salad will still be good for the next day.
This salad is suitable for various eating styles, including Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb, Nut-Free, Paleo, and Whole30. If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian version, you can substitute the prawns with cauliflower florets. Each serving of this salad provides approximately 452 calories and 7 grams of net carbs. Please note that the nutritional information is estimated using a nutritional database.
The combination of succulent shrimp and crisp fresh veggies, tossed in a delectable Cajun vinaigrette, offers a wide array of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Shrimp serves as an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and an array of vital nutrients including zinc, iron, and calcium. Each component of this delightful dish contributes to its nutritional profile. Sumptuous avocado, juicy tomatoes, and crisp lettuce are all packed with dietary fiber, vitamin C, and beneficial carotenoids. Meanwhile, the vinaigrette adds a healthy dose of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Combining these nutrient-rich elements, the Cajun Shrimp Salad emerges as a perfect choice for a satisfying and health-conscious meal.
Cajun Shrimp Salad
For the Cajun shrimp
- 600 grams Shrimp/prawns peeled and deveined (approximately 22 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons Cajun spice
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
For the salad
- 150 grams lettuce approximately 5.3 ounces
- 400 grams cherry tomatoes approximately 14 ounces
- 1 medium avocado approximately 250 grams /7 ounces
- 2 green onions
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Cajun spice
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
MARINATE THE PRAWNS
- To properly prepare your shrimp, begin by peeling and deveining them. Then, give them a thorough rinse and gently pat them dry.
- In a glass container, combine crushed garlic and Cajun spice with one tablespoon of oil. Season the mixture well and ensure it is thoroughly mixed.
- As you prepare the remaining ingredients, ensure to store them in a cool place. It’s crucial to maintain a room temperature for optimal results when searing them in a hot pan, rather than chilling them.
- Placing cold seafood, meats, or poultry into a hot pan can impede their ability to achieve a desirable char and cook thoroughly.
PREPARE SALAD INGREDIENTS
- To prepare the lettuce, begin by washing it thoroughly and discarding any leaves that appear damaged or wilted. Additionally, ensure that you remove the tough core of the lettuce. This step will ensure that the lettuce is clean, fresh, and ready to be used in your recipe.
- To prepare the salad, one can either gently pat or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture before shredding it.
- The tomatoes should be rinsed, patted dry, and then sliced in half.
- To prepare your onions, start by washing them thoroughly. Next, trim off any excess parts and then proceed to slice them into thin, delicate pieces.
- To prepare the avocado, begin by rinsing it thoroughly. Then, carefully remove the pit before cutting it into bite-sized chunks. To prevent the avocado from browning, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice on top.
COOK YOUR PRAWNS
- In a high-heat setting, place a frypan that is designed to prevent food from sticking, and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the pan is heated, introduce the prawns and lightly cook them on each side for 1-2 minutes, or until they change in color and are just done.
- The heat should be switched off, and a generous squeeze of lime or lemon juice should be applied on top.
- In a glass jar, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients, ensuring to add the right amount of seasoning. Then, vigorously shake the jar to achieve the perfect emulsion.
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
- In a large bowl, combine all the finely chopped vegetables. Ensure they are well-seasoned before pouring the dressing over them. Finally, mix thoroughly to achieve a harmonious blend.
- The cooked prawns should be added to the salad along with the pan juices, ensuring they are well mixed.
- The seasonings should be tasted and adjusted to align with personal preferences.
- In the salad bowl, carefully arrange the ingredients and sprinkle a generous pinch of Cajun spice on top as an exquisite garnish. The salad should be served immediately, ensuring that all the flavors are enjoyed at their freshest.