With crisp greens, succulent shrimp, and a tangy dressing, this shrimp Caesar salad is one of those healthy meals that’s so good, it feels naughty! And is oh-so easy to make. Let me show you how to make a lightened-up version of classic homemade Caesar; a match made in heaven with our oven baked shrimp.
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Here are the ingredients you’ll need for our shrimp Caesar salad (swaps and variations below).
- The Dressing: Our light homemade Caesar dressing is made of Greek yogurt, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and anchovies (optional!) for added depth.
- The Veggies: Fresh romaine lettuce, and any additional veggies you want to mix in. I love adding cherry tomatoes and avocado–shrimp and avocado salads are my fave.
- The Croutons: Make your own croutons by cubing bread, tossing it with olive oil, and baking until golden and crispy. You can also add seasoning if you’re feeling fancy. Psst–old (day or two) bread is easier to make crispy croutons with, as it doesn’t contain as much moisture.
- The Shrimp: Use large shrimp, peeled and deveined, seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I prefer shrimp with the tail off so it’s easier to eat, but you can keep the tail on for presentation if you prefer. I also like to keep the shrimp simple here (our Caesar dressing is packed with flavor!), but you can use shrimp marinade or whatever seasoning you want to mix in.
Substitutions & Additions:
As with any salad recipe, this one is easy to tweak to suit your cravings. Here are some ideas for you:
- Protein: Swap shrimp with pan seared salmon for a salmon salad, or mix in leftover chicken for a chicken salad. For a vegetarian version, skip the meat altogether, or mix in crispy chickpeas.
- Add more veggies: I love mixing in roasted vegetables, or crisp raw veggies like sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onions.
- Try different greens: although not traditional, you could make a kale salad, fennel salad, arugula salad, or shaved brussels sprouts salad by simply swapping the Romaine.
How to Make Shrimp Caesar Salad
This shrimp salad is shockingly easy to make! Although I absolutely love pan seared and grilled shrimp, I like to oven bake them for this salad to use fewer dishes (we’re already turning the oven on for the croutons)–feel free to use leftover shrimp instead!
- Prepare the dressing either in a blender, salad dressing shaker, or small bowl with a whisk. Taste and tweak the seasoning to your liking.
- Bake the croutons.
- Bake the shrimp, on the same sheet pan, because why dirty more dishes?!
- Assemble. Toss everything in that delectable dressing and dig on in.
How to Store Leftovers?
Store leftover Caesar salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator, keeping these tips in mind:
- Rinse the greens and store them wrapped in paper towels in a large baggie–this keeps them beautifully crisp.
- Store the dressing in a salad shaker or bowl with a lid.
- Cut the avocados right before assembling the salad to prevent browning.
- Consume within 1-2 days for the freshest taste.
Tips for the Best Shrimp Caesar Salad
- Dry lettuce really well. I love a salad spinner for this. Drying your lettuce prevents the dressing from becoming soggy, and allows the flavors to really shine!
- Freshness Matters: Use fresh and quality ingredients for the best flavors. This makes a big difference with parmesan and veggies.
- Use a food processor for a smoother dressing. Although you can mix everything in a bowl, sometimes it’s just easier to let this kitchen appliance do the heavy lifting. It also makes the dressing smoother.
- Don’t dry out your shrimp. Shrimp is easy to overcook (psst–large shrimp are harder to overcook). Check often, and pull as soon as they have cooked through. Otherwise, their texture will be tough and chewy.
- Keep it Crisp: Add the dressing just before serving to keep the greens crisp. This salad is best enjoyed fresh!
More Salad Recipes
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For the Caesar Dressing:
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of both Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
For the Salad:
- 4 slices bread either sourdough or french bread, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and chopped
- 2 ounces parmesan sliced with a veggie peeler
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- Preheat oven to broil. Toss bread cubes in 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil in the center of the oven until crispy, about 1-3 minutes. Remove croutons to a plate and set aside.
- Turn broiler off, and oven on to 400 F. Toss shrimp in remaining tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Spread into a single layer on the same rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients together in a small blender, or shake really well in a salad shaker.
- Assemble the salad, and drizzle the dressing on top. Enjoy!