Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

For a no-cook recipe use cooked shrimp for my Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette. This is a perfect Paleo recipe for you to enjoy.


  • 1 Pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons olive oil or more
  • 4-6 Cups hearts of Romaine or Mixed Greens
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon agave
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Calories Per Serving400

Folate equivalent (total)122µg31%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg11.3%

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch lengthwise wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
  • One 5-ounce head of Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate or on a small baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lime juice, shallot and cilantro. Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over the bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the grapefruit sections into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl discard the membranes. Gently fold in the avocado and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, tossing the shrimp until they are curled and pink, about 4 minutes.

Arrange the lettuce on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, lift the grapefruit and avocado from the citrus vinaigrette and gently spread over the lettuce. Add the shrimp to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Arrange the shrimp over the salad and drizzle the remaining citrus dressing on top. Scatter the toasted pumpkin seeds on top and serve right away.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to skillet and cook until opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate.

To skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat. Add cooked shrimp and toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons oil, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top with shrimp mixture, carrots, and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with dressing.

Buying Shrimp

Precooked shrimp works is fine in recipes like this. BUT. While it may be tempting to buy cooked shrimp for this recipe, think a moment about it. Some pre-cooked shrimp is great other precooked shrimp is soggy and salty, and I would almost always rather cook my shrimp myself than take a chance on mediocre precooked shrimp.

If the cooked shrimp is pre-packaged at supermarket, skip it. But if you are buying it from a quality place, from an actual fish counter, ask to taste one. If it’s brisk and clean and unsalty and firm, then you are in luck. They will likely be a bit more expensive than raw shrimp, but now you have a real choice.

And while I am a HUGE fan of raw frozen shrimp (And P.S., almost all of the shrimp we get is frozen at some point, even if you buy it from a fish monger), frozen cooked shrimp just isn’t my jam.

Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

Remember the good old days when we used to have people over for dinner and cook a big spread. The question my guests would ask most frequently is do I cook like this every night!? And the answer is a big fat no. I cook a few times a week and then mix and match those recipes to make delicious lunches and dinners for us. For example, if I cook a big pot of quinoa – I’ll turn it into various things through the week to keep things exciting. These Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl with Cilantro Vinaigrette are a result of just that! That’s exactly what I’ve been doing this year too because things are hectic with a new baby and I’m trying to keep it simple!

Adding a few giant spoonfuls of my self-proclaimed famous cilantro vinaigrette, stirring in some toppings and adding grilled shrimp couldn’t be easier or more addictive. It’s one of those recipes that you can have for lunch or dinner and add various proteins if you prefer. Chicken, shrimp (like I did here), salmon, steak, the possibilities are endless and it travels well so you can throw it in your bag before you head out the door to work!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad – a salad packed full of vegetables that will become a go-to meal or dish in your kitchen from the moment you try it! This salad is very easy to make, light and refreshing in flavor, and can be made in minutes. The perfect low-calorie meal or side dish if you’re looking for something simple and quick.

This Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado salad is loaded with chunks of avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, red onions, corn, black beans, and cucumbers. It is very simple to make, whether it be for a meal or as a side dish. The light and refreshing cilantro lime dressing will captivate your taste buds interests from that first bite. The best part? You can enjoy seconds without the guilt! Trust me, you’re going to be way too overjoyed by this salad not to enjoy a second helping.

When you add avocado to a dish it automatically becomes the star of the meal. Right? Well, maybe that’s the case when you’re an avocado fanatic (like myself). I could be wrong. Am I? haha. But when it comes to this meal – shrimp is the absolute star, making this entire salad over the moon delicious.

With that being said, I have to stress… let me reiterate that: I HAVE to stress, that in order for the shrimp to be such a mega star, you need to get the right kind of shrimp. Whether fresh or frozen, I highly recommend using wild caught shrimp. Please do not buy farm raised or little shrimp. It matters when it comes to flavor!

If you’re not a shrimp fan, I do recommend swapping this out for chicken. I recommend the marinade ingredients and instructions for the chicken in my Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Naan Wraps recipe. OR you can simply omit the shrimp all together and enjoy a refreshing vegetable salad! Either way you go – you’re going to love it!

Tips & Side Notes :

  • Use fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice for maximum flavor. The old saying, “Fresh is best!” applies here. Trust me.
  • Corn: using freshly boiled/grilled corn is recommended, but due to the seasons – frozen or canned works well, too. Just be sure to thoroughly drain if you used canned.
  • I recommend using seedless cucumbers over traditional, but this is a simple preference of my own. It will not affect the flavoring at all.
  • As mentioned above: whether fresh or frozen, I highly recommend using wild caught shrimp. Please do not buy farm raised or little shrimp. If you use frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator and then drain any excess water/juices that remain.
  • Be sure to make sure which shrimp you are using – raw or cooked. Raw shrimp will appear greyish in color, whereas cooked shrimp will be firmer and pink in color. Also make sure that your shrimp is peeled and deveined before tossing together! This recipe calls for cooked (pink) shrimp.

I’m not sure what I love most about this salad. The fact that it is made with fresh ingredients, the flavors, or simply because it is so easy to make. Considering one of my goals for this year is to increase my vegetable intake, I think this is a keeper as it helps me hit that goal!

This salad is good for approximately 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Due to how quickly avocados turn, it is best to be eaten as soon as it’s made. Although the extra lime juice will help slow down the oxidation process (spoiling/turning brown) of the avocado. Keep that in mind as you’re adding lime juice. A little extra goes a long way – not just in flavor, but for leftovers.

Our road trip back yesterday from San Francisco was slightly longer than usual, but the beautiful route along the 101 was worth the extra 2 hour drive. It&rsquos not often that we get to see a mix of California&rsquos gorgeous oak woodland interior and stunning rolling coastline, so the 10 hour drive was visually fabulous. If you ever get a chance to road trip our home state of California, please add Route Highway 1 PCH and 101 on your list. You will not be disappointed.

We spent the last 4 days in San Francisco for a video shoot with Blue Bottle Coffee along with a visit with family. It seems like we&rsquove been making this trip quite a bit this year, so for our drive home we wanted to mix things up to see more of our beloved state. Gosh, California is just so beautiful in Spring and we&rsquore smitten with it beyond words.

some iPhone images from San Francisco

view of the city from Bay Bridge

cherries in season at the Castro Farmers Market

The Richmond Bridge in the distance, Marin County

Along our drive home we talked about Sierra, the garden, our next travel work trip and what we were going to share on our next post. Then we remembered the avocado shrimp noodle salad! Oh yes, can&rsquot forget that amazing avocado shrimp noodle salad. We had shared an image of this dish about 10 days ago on our Facebook page and wanted to make sure we were able to test the recipe a few more times before we posted.

Easy Noodle Recipe with Avocado

For our last food photography & styling workshop , the kind folks at The California Avocado Commission were so generous and sent us some avocados to photograph and style with. And with the leftovers, we were able to have a feast of avocados to eat for our Cinco De Mayo party!

Even after the workshop, we had a few gorgeous avocados left over and decided to use those for lunch in our noodle salad. So here it is, one of our favorite lunches to feast on. It&rsquos a fresh and satisfying noodle salad with creamy avocado and grilled shrimp. The creamy ginger vinaigrette binds everything together so well and toss it up a bit to blend the avocado in with the noodles, you have yourself a winning noodle salad.

This noodle salad is wonderful when it&rsquos cold and with all the amazing warm weather we&rsquove been having, consider it the perfect picnic dish. Hoping your weather is warming up and sunshine is filling your days!

Shrimp & Avocado Salad with a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Lime and cilantro bring a zesty kick to this avocado-filled salad. With the light taste of shrimp combined with summer favorites like avocados, tomatoes and red onion, you can enjoy this salad as an appetizer or a light lunch.

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 lb raw, large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large avocado, pit and skin removed, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/4 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Optional garnishes: thinly sliced radishes, sugar snap peas & cilantro

What's the best shrimp to buy for salads?

This is a time where you don't need to splurge on the larger shrimp. Since the shrimp is chopped in the salad, I usually buy medium (31-40 count) or small (41-50 count) shrimp for this recipe. The count refers to the number of shrimp you will typically find in one pound of shrimp. Smaller shrimp are usually less expensive. One note, I wouldn't buy bay shrimp for this recipe as they have a much different flavor and are very small.

For the easiest prep, look for raw shrimp that are shelled and deveined. Frozen is fine, just defrost them overnight in the fridge or under cold water before poaching. I do not recommend poaching frozen shrimp since the outside will overcook while the inside remains raw.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 2 romaine hearts, coarsely shredded
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Hass avocado, diced
  • 4 ounces tortilla chips (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Blanch the shrimp just until white throughout, 3 minutes. Drain and chill the shrimp in the ice water, then drain again and pat dry. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl. Add the romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, avocado and tortilla chips.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the mayonnaise, lime juice and lime zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve right away.