Shrimp Cocktail Salad

This retro-style recipe transforms the ingredients and flavors found in a classic shrimp cocktail into a satisfying main dish salad.

Dressed with a tangy variation of a standard cocktail sauce, it combines romaine lettuce, sliced avocado, tomato wedges, cucumber, sweet onion and sautéed shrimp and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Shrimp Cocktail Salad

Shrimp Cocktail Salad

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A satisfying main dish salad made with sautéed shrimp, romaine lettuce, ripe tomatoes, sweet onion, avocado and a light, creamy version of a classic cocktail sauce for dressing.


  • 1-1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons prepared horseradish, see notes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 Campari, or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 4 paper-thin slices sweet onion, separated


  • Place the shrimp, garlic, oil and lemon juice in a mixing bowl Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until they turn pink and opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking the chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Add just enough milk to produce a creamy consistency, season with a bit of freshly ground pepper and set aside.
  • To assemble the salads, arrange a bed of lettuce on each of 4 plates and top with tomato wedges and slices of avocado, cucumber and onion. Divide the shrimp between the salads and drizzle each with a portion of dressing.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Recipe Notes:

The heat and flavor of prepared horseradish can vary quite a bit in intensity. Start with 1 to 2 tablespoons in the dressing and adjust to suit your taste.
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