Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shrimp, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

This Shrimp, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad is a delicious option for an easy low-carb meal.

Shrimp, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com.

A few days ago I posted 90 Healthy No-Heat Lunches for Taking to Work, and I don't think I even included this favorite Shrimp, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad from back in 2007, but this would make a great take-to-work salad, especially if you kept the avocado separate and mixed it in just before you eat.

Fresh shrimp is pretty much impossible to find in Utah, but I love to make salads like this with frozen, cooked shrimp that's been thawed overnight in the fridge.  Then I use a little of the shrimp "juice" from the frozen shrimp to add more flavor to the dressing for the salad, a a trick I also like for adding flavor to my family's favorite shrimp and macaroni salad.  This is a quick salad that looks relatively fancy for the little time it takes to make, and I've made it many times since I first came up with the recipe.

(Shrimp, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad was updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, September 2012.)  

Thaw the shrimp overnight in the fridge; then let them drain well, with a bowl under the colander to catch the "juice."  I used 50-70 size frozen shrimp from Costco.

Cut the red bell pepper and celery in same-size pieces, slice green onions, and whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Dice the avocados and toss with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.  Season with salt if desired.

Gently stir the red pepper, celery, and green onions into the diced avocado.

In a small bowl, stir the dressing into the shrimp, tossing until every piece of shrimp is coated with dressing.

Then gently stir the shrimp and any extra dressing from the bowl into the mixture of avocado, red pepper, celery, and green onions, just mixing until it's combined.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste and serve.  (If you're making the salad to keep in the fridge, I might save out the avocado and mix it in just before eating.)

And just for the fun of it, here's the original photo of this salad from back in 2007!

Shrimp, Avocado and Red Pepper Salad
(About 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 lb frozen cooked shrimp, (50-70 per pound)
(see instructions after the recipe if using raw shrimp)
1 cup celery, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 avocados, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 T fresh lemon juice, to toss with avocado
1/2 tsp. salt for avocado (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:
5 T mayo or light mayo (I usually use a combination of light and regular mayo.I don't like fat free mayo which often has added sugar.)
2 T reserved shrimp juice from thawing shrimp
1/2 tsp. Ancho chili powder (I used Penzeys, other types of chile powder could be substituted)
1 tsp. dill weed

Thaw shrimp overnight in refrigerator. When ready to make the salad, place shrimp in colander placed over a bowl to catch juice. Drain shrimp well.

Cut the red bell pepper and celery into 1/2 inch pieces and slice the green onions.  Combine mayo, 2 T shrimp juice, chile powder and dill weed with whisk and set aside.

Dice avocado into 1/2 inch square pieces. Toss with lemon juice and salt and place in salad bowl.  Add the diced red pepper, celery, and green onion and gently combine.

Place shrimp in separate bowl, add mixed salad dressing, and stir to coat all shrimp with dressing. Add shrimp and dressing to bowl with shrimp mixture, and gently combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired and serve immediately.

Instructions for raw shrimp:
Shell and deveine shrimp. Put 1 1/2 cup water in saucepan, add 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. peppercorns, and several slices lemon. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp and turn off heat immediately. Let shrimp poach until opaque, less than five minutes. Remove shrimp and cool. (This method will not give you the shrimp juice which adds flavor to the dressing. Knorr makes shrimp bouillon, which could be used, or bottled clam juice would be a good substitute. You could also boil the shrimp shells and then reduce the liquid, which is a bit more labor intensive.)

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
Everything in this salad is a good choice for all phases of the South Beach Diet, or most other types of low-carb eating plans.  The salad has mayo and avocado, which both contain "good fats" but I would eat foods that are less high in fat for my other meals that day, especially for phase one.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Salads with Shrimp:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Shrimp and Avocado Salad from Simply Recipes

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Edamame, Cilantro, Chipotle, and Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen

Salad Cups with Quinoa, Shrimp, Avocado, and Lemon Dressing from Cookin' Canuck

Shrimp and Macaroni Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

Barefoot Contessa Shrimp Salad from Leite's Culinaria

(I find these recipes from other blogs by using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Wonderful! I love shrimp and had an uncle who had a shrimp boat, so we did have fresh shrimp. But, for most people frozen shrimp is what they will get. It's what I have to use too. Somehow, I sensed there was avocado in there! :):) I love it.

  2. OH I want some of this NOW! Including the elusive avocadoes ... isn't it winter in Utah? this has a great summer feel to me.

  3. avocado and shrimp, yumm

  4. Wow...that would be great at any time of the year for me!

  5. Sher, fresh shrimp, what a luxury.

    Alanna, yes, it is so winter here. The high today was about 15. Maybe that's why I wanted this.

    Burcu, Yumm is right. I love shrimp in any form.

    Bill, I agree. Any time is shrimp salad time.

  6. Kalyn the pics are lovely. Thanks for your kind word on blogher.

  7. Oh, yum. What's not to love in this recipe?

  8. Anjali, you're so welcome. It was so touching to see your Grand Aunt's kitchen.

    Emily, thanks! I agree this is a great combination.

  9. Wonderful looking salad Kalyn.

    I am thinking of trying South Beach, but not sure if it would be hard for me since I am used to weight watchers.

    Something I'll have to think on a bit.

  10. Thank you so much for all your posts. Your blog has been my number 1 resource for learning to cook and eat healthy. So thank you!!!

    I haven't made this one yet, but I love shrimp and avocado, so I'm excited about it. Thanks also for the info on shrimp sizing. I didn't know that!

  11. My husband and I loved it1 Thanks for posting!

  12. This sounds pretty terrific to me! I bring a lunch twice a week now to eat with my son after preschool - this will be going in mommy's lunch box soon!

  13. So many of my favorites are in this salad, Kalyn. I'm imagining just how wonderful this salad must be. :-) Must pick up some shrimp and avocados right away!


  14. looks great! I love anything with shrimp and avocado!

  15. I love the photo flashbacks. This is one instance where the photo from the original post didn't tempt me to make the salad, but the updated photos bring out all of the gorgeous colors and make me want to make this for lunch, today! Fresh shrimp are impossible to come by here in New England, too, so I always have a bag of good quality frozen shrimp on hand.

  16. So glad people are enjoying the updated version of this. I agree with Lydia that the original photo was not too inspiring so I'm happy it got updated!

  17. I love your idea of using a little shrimp juice in the dressing for added flavor!

  18. Thanks Jeanette. I do think it makes a big difference in the flavor.

  19. This looks so light and refreshing . . . cannot wait to make it!

  20. I made this today for lunch at work. Absolutely fantastic! The only change I made was to use roasted red pepper instead of fresh. I loved it...I may make it again tonight it was so good! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Thanks Zach.

    Lisa, so glad you enjoyed it!

  22. I give this five stars. I didn't change a thing (as far as I could tell), and it was even better than anticipated. This is going to be a phase 1 staple for me forever and ever.

  23. So glad you enjoyed it! Don't you love those recipes that turn out to be Phase One staples!


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