Friday, January 18, 2013

Recipe for Shrimp Salad Cabbage Cups

Shrimp Salad Cabbage Cups
A treat for Phase One, inspired by the Denny family favorite Shrimp and Macaroni Salad.

Here's a brand new recipe for A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes, and since I made this and photographed it with a broken arm, I think it's safe to say that it's a super-easy recipe.  Typing with a cast is definitely a challenge though, so this post may be a little shorter than usual!   Nearly everyone in my family loves the Shrimp and Macaroni Salad that inspired this recipe, and I loved this Phase One variation as well.  I know, some of you don't like cabbage.  I don't understand this aversion to cabbage at all, but you can certainly make lettuce cups if you prefer.

Thaw shrimp in the fridge overnight; then drain and catch the "juice."

Simmer the collected shrimp "juice" until it's reduced and the flavor is concentrated.

Pull the tails off the shrimp.  (I only had 3/4 pounds of shrimp, but I wished I'd had more so I'm making the recipe for one pound.)

I used kitchen shears to cut the shrimp into small pieces.

Finely chop a cup of celery and slice about 1/2 cup green onion.

Mix the mayo, light mayo, concentrated shrimp "juice", lemon juice, and celery seed to make the dressing.

The hardest part of making this with a broken arm was cutting the core out of the cabbage.  Use a small, very fresh head of cabbage for best flavor.

Carefully pull off whole cabbage leaves to make cups.

Mix the dressing with the shrimp, celery, and green onion, and fill each cabbage cup with a scoop of the mixture.  Yum!

Shrimp Salad Cabbage Cups
(Makes about 8-10 cabbage cups, serving size is about 2 cups; recipe created by Kalyn.)

1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp, thawed overnight in refrigerator (I used 26/30 size shrimp, but smaller ones would be fine too.)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 small head green cabbage

Dressing Ingredients:
3 T mayo
2 T light mayo  (or use all regular mayo if you prefer)
1 T concentrated shrimp "juice"
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. celery seed
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Thaw frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight or longer.  Drain the shrimp into a colander that's placed over a bowl to catch the shrimp "juice."  Put the juice into a small pan and cook over a low simmer until it's reduced by at least half to concentrate the shrimp flavor.

While the shrimp liquid reduces, cut the shrimp into small pieces, chop the celery and thinly slice the green onion.  Use a sharp knife to cut the core out of the cabbage and carefully pull off whole cabbage leaves to make cups.

When the shrimp liquid has reduced, turn off heat and let it cool a few minutes.  Then whisk together the mayo, light mayo, shrimp "juice", lemon juice, celery seed, salt, and pepper.  Put the shrimp, celery, and green onion into a bowl and combine with the dressing.  (You may not want all the dressing; use the amount you prefer.)

Fill cabbage cups with a generous scoop of the shrimp mixture and serve right away.  The shrimp mixture will keep in the fridge for a day or two if you don't eat it all at one meal.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Shrimp, celery, and cabbage are all great low-glycemic foods for the South Beach Diet.  Mayo is a limited food, but as long as you use portion control, I would eat this for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

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 Phase One Shrimp to Enjoy!
Easy Garlic and Lemon Shrimp
Quick and Easy Spicy Broiled Shrimp
Shrimp Cocktail with Low Sugar Cocktail Sauce
Spicy Roasted Green Beans (or Broccoli) and Shrimp

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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. I'd probably make this as lettuce cups, but I will definitely make it. I get cravings for shrimp salad!

  2. Kalyn, I always enjoy reading your stories along with the recipes. I really appreciate your light heartedness! Still have cabbage from this past summer in the fridge, will enjoy this recipe.

  3. Thanks Lydia!

    I just accidentally deleted two comments instead of posting them, my apologies.

  4. oh my gosh, YUM! I loooove shrimp salad, and this looks like a great lighter version! and serving in cabbage cups...perfect low-carb lunch! thanks for the recipe :)

  5. I love cabbage and rarely think to use it a wrap or cup - great idea. Hope you are feeling better!

  6. Yum! This recipe and revisiting your site after a long while away has motivated my husband and I to start cooking more and eating healthier than we have been lately. It's hard since I work as a food tour operator and also review local restaurants, but we figure we will at least eat south beach friendly at home!

  7. I wonder if this would be good with the cabbage shredded and made like a coleslaw type? I bet it would! Yummy! One of my very favorites; shrimp salad!

  8. Becca, I do think that sounds good!

  9. I made these just as directed and loved them! I really struggled to separate the cabbage leaves without making them into coleslaw-my cabbage head was way too big! They were more like chipotle-sized burritos than cups, but still tasty and healthy. :) I might add some diced red peppers next time. Thanks for another winner, making it easy to stick to low carb!

  10. You can get the core out of lettuce by giving the core a couple of good pounds on the kitchen counter. It falls right out . . . no waste of lettuce.

    1. Diana, good tip but I was using cabbage in this recipe.


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