Friday, May 23, 2014

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime (Gluten-Free)

I love the combination of flavors in this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime.

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime found on

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and I love this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime.  Photos for this recipe were updated May 2014 and I'm so happy to have better photos for this favorite salad!)

Shrimp, black beans, cilantro, and lime. It's a combination that goes together so well that you could easily come up with hundreds of recipes featuring this quartet. I bought a big bag of cooked frozen shrimp from Costco, and this was a salad I made for lunch after thinking to myself, hmmm, what else can I make with shrimp? The ingredients were determined by what I had in the fridge and pantry, as well as a well-documented love for cilantro, and this recipe has cilantro in the dressing and more cilantro in the salad, which is just fine with me.  If you're not a cilantro fan I think you could still get a pretty good result with thinly sliced green onion replacing the cilantro in the dressing and just using a little more green onion in the salad, but I wouldn't use parsley in place of cilantro here.

When you're ready to make the salad, thaw the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator and then drain well.

Then spread the shrimp out on a paper towel, cover with another towel, and pat dry.

If using canned black beans, put them in a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears.)  Let the beans drain well; pat dry with paper towels if they seem wet.   (I love to cook dried black beans in the slow cooker, and those would be perfect for this recipe.)

You'll need 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro for the dressing as well as another 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped cilantro for the salad.

Use a food processor (or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender(as shown here) to mix together the oil, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, Green Tabasco Sauce, ground cumin, ground chile powder, and a little salt to make the dressing.  (This was originally made with Rice Bran Oil, but I used Avocado Oil when I redid the photos.)

For best flavor, mix together the shrimp and black beans with about half the dressing and let it marinate in a covered container in the refrigerator for about an hour.   Even a short marinating time will improve the flavor if you can't wait an hour.

While the shrimp and beans marinate, cut up the red bell pepper into pieces that are about 1/2 inch square.

Slice up enough green onions to make about 1/4 cup.  Then add the chopped cilantro, chopped red bell pepper, and sliced green onions to the marinated shrimp and black beans and serve.  (Bad blogger; I forgot to take another photo when I mixed it together so use your imagination!)

And just for fun, here's the original photo of this recipe from back in 2007, and I still have that plate!

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime
(Makes about four servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

20-25 frozen cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed; 51-60 size (Use more if your shrimp are a smaller size)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well (or use 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch square
1/2 - 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup neutral flavored oil (I used Avocado Oil)
1 1/2 T fresh squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. Green Tabasco Sauce (or use your favorite hot sauce or cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. ground chili powder (I used ground Ancho chile powder)
generous pinch salt (I used sea salt)

Thaw shrimp in refrigerator overnight if possible (or thaw in the bag in cold water). Drain well, then pat shrimp dry with paper towels.

Rinse black beans in colander until no more foam appears, then drain well. Pat dry with paper towels if beans look very wet. 

In food processor with steel blade, pulse together oil, lime juice, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, green Tabasco, cumin, chile powder, and salt about 1 minute, until cilantro is finely chopped and ingredients are well combined. Mix about half of dressing with beans and shrimp and let marinate in refrigerator one hour or as long as you can before you need to make the salad if you can't wait one hour.

While the shrimp and beans marinate, remove seeds from the red bell pepper and chop into pieces about 1/2 inch square.  Slice enough green onion to make 1/4 cup (or more if you're not adding the cilantro.)

Add green onion, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped cilantro to shrimp and black bean mixture. Add additional dressing until salad is as moist as you prefer, and devour!  (You may not need all the dressing.)

I kept the leftover salad in the refrigerator overnight and ate it for dinner the next day, and it was still very good the second day.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Although the South Beach Diet does permit beans even on phase one, they're limited to a very small serving for Phase One.  Since this salad does have other Phase One ingredients besides the beans, you can have a normal-sized serving, but use portion control if you're eating this for Phase One.

Ten More Tasty Combinations with Black Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)

Black Bean, Rice, and Cilantro Salad ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing ~ The Perfect Pantry

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Cilantro and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas ~ Panini Happy

Nick's Chipotle Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Cheesy Black Bean Quinoa Taco Bake ~ Half Baked Harvest

Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Mexican Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Lime Black Bean Salad with Shrimp ~ Sarah's Cucina Bella

Chicken, Black Bean, and Red Pepper Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing ~ Kalyn's kitchen

Spicy Black Bean Sweet Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado-Lime Sauce ~ Dishing Up the Dirt

Blogger Disclosure:
This recipe was first posted for Weekend Herb Blogging a food blogging event that started as a joke and still continues to this day at Cook Almost Anything.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, 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. Looks like I'll have to use some of my cooked chicken instead of shrimp for my version of this.

    Thanks so much for sharing...I'm drooling!!!

  2. Ok, I am drooling! This looks so good! I think we need to have this at one of our dinner parties:)

  3. This shrimp recipe looks so good! And, I was so excited to read you made it with rice oil! I discovered California Rice Bran Oil a couple of years back and it has been my primary oil since.

    Thanks for sharing

  4. I had no idea it started as a joke--I love it! And I can't wait to hear more about rice bran oil.

  5. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. I am having people over and I will make this salad. yum

  6. Love the combination of shrimp, black beans, and lime. I'll try this with the parsley instead of cilantro (forgive me!).

  7. That looks wonderful! I've just discovered green tabasco and I love it! The red is too hot for me (delicate flower that I am..hahahaha)

  8. Ruth, I think chicken would be good in this. I might marinate the chicken a bit longer if possible.

    Maria, I will make it for you for sure.

    Cathie, the rice bran oil was great in this.

    Lisa (homesick Texan) it was a complete joke about me writing about my plants. In fact we just joked about it for a few weeks, until I actually did it. Right away other people joined in. I will be writing more about rice bran oil soon.

    Chigiy, yes, this would be good for Cinco de Mayo, good idea. Hope you like it.

    Lydia, no worries. We will let you make it with parsley.

    Katie, me too on the red Tabasco. I think the green has more flavor too. I love it on eggs.

  9. Yah doing this with chicken or pork would be really good I think a cinco de mayo party with this and some chips yum

  10. I really love the look and sound of this my mouth is watering!

  11. Looks like an easy summer receipt and I love using rice oil as well.

  12. Hello, I wanted to comment because this is the first recipe I've made of yours and my whole family absolutely loved it! My parents are suppose to be on the South Beach Diet (but are pretty lax) and I follow most of the rules for health purposes (I'm not allowed to "diet"). We made this tonight because we had shrimp (a rare treat) and I grow cilantro in my herb garden. We left out the onions and the tabasco sauce (didn't have any), but it was excellent without! The combination of lime, cilantro, beans, and shrimp was really, really good, and healthy! Thanks so much.

  13. Another winner. I would gladly eat this any day.

  14. The updated photos really make this salad come alive! Shrimp and black beans are one of my all-time favorite combinations. Thanks to you, I'm making batches of black beans in both the slow cooker and pressure cooker.

  15. Thanks Lydia. I have got to get more consistent at cooking the beans from dried beans instead of just grabbing a can; the fresh-cooked beans are so much better!

  16. Kalyn, what a lovely combination of flavors and textures!

  17. Thanks Jean; so glad you like it!

  18. I made this the other night and threw in the leftover bit of kale salad w/citrus vinaigrette. We both really liked it, my husband especially! I guess I'll have to try the dried beans - I never think that far ahead!:)

  19. Wendy, so glad you guys enjoyed it. (And I do know what you mean about having to think ahead on cooking the dried beans, but so worth it when you remember.)

  20. Hi kalyn I was wondering can i use Lemon instead of lime as i am Allergic to Lime??

  21. I think lemon will still be good. (I'm on a cruise so sorry for the slow reply.)


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