Grilled Shrimp Salad

This light grilled shrimp salad is packed with spices and vegetables and easy to make even on a weeknight!

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp on Skewers

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

It’s grilling season and home cooks tend to think of grilling recipes as being super heavy and meaty. But this grilled shrimp salad is one of my go-to light grilled dinners that is always a hit. 

This is not your basic side salad. It’s jam-packed with big flavors that start with spiced and grilled shrimp, plus grilled peppers and onions (I mean why not, the grill is already hot)—then all these grilled items get served on a base of romaine with lots of fresh vegetables and some Cotija cheese. A tangy cilantro vinaigrette then ties everything together. 

The salad is filling and light at the same time, if that makes sense. It’s also very fast to make, especially if you prepare some of the stuff in advance, which is fine to do. It makes for a healthy and delicious weeknight salad dinner and leftovers are fine for in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Hello, hearty lunch salad. 

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

How to Prep Shrimp for This Salad

To make the shrimp for this salad, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp. If you use frozen, make sure to thaw them slowly in the fridge before peeling and grilling. 

After peeling I season them well with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. A good drizzle of olive oil will help them from sticking to the grill. I like to use 25-30 count shrimp for this recipe which means there are at least 25 shrimp per pound. That means they aren’t huge shrimp, but big enough to not fall apart on the grill. 

I like peeling the shrimp before grilling because it makes them easier to serve and I love the direct heat char that you get on the shrimp, but it does mean that the shrimp will cook faster, so you need to keep an eye on them. 

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Grilling Some Vegetables for Your Grilled Shrimp Salad

To make great grilled vegetables, keep them in big chunks so they don’t fall through the grates and are easier to flip. Drizzle them with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are on the grill, don’t mess with them too much. Let them get charred nicely on one side before flipping.

You can grill many of the vegetables in this salad, but I think the peppers, onions, and jalapenos are particularly good on the grill. 

Make Ahead Tips

You can make many of the components of this salad in advance, like the vinaigrette, and chopping and preparing the vegetables. 

I wouldn’t pre-grill the vegetables or shrimp though since they are best right off the grill. If you have everything else done though, it really is a fast process to toss them on the grill and dinner is done!

Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp on Skewers

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

More Glorious Grilled Shrimp Recipes

Grilled Shrimp Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Yield 4 large salads


For the cilantro vinaigrette

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

For the grilled vegetables

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered

  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and quartered

  • 1/2 red onion, cut into quarters

  • 1 jalapeno, halved (remove seeds for less heat) 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

For grilled shrimp 

  • 1 pound shrimp (25-30 count), peeled and deveined 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 4-6 ounces Cotija cheese


  1. Preheat grill:

    Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you are using gas, turn your burners on medium-high and allow to preheat. If you are using charcoal, prepare for direct heat grilling.

  2. Make the vinaigrette: 

    In a glass jar with a lid, combine the lime juice, minced cilantro, mustard, sugar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Add the lid and shake well to combine all of the ingredients. Set aside. 

    The vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. It’s best served at room temperature. If you have leftover dressing, it will keep fine in the fridge for a week.

    Simple Tip!

    If you store the vinaigrette in the fridge, that’s fine, but it will probably separate. If you let it warm up on the counter before serving and give it a shake, it’ll come right back to life.

    Cilantro Vinaigrette in a Jar for Grilled Shrimp Salad

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

  3. Grill the vegetables: 

    Drizzle the peppers and onions with olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and using tongs add to your preheated grill. 

    Grill the vegetables for 4-5 minutes per side until they are well charred and tender. Using tongs, remove from the grill and let cool. Roughly chop the vegetables for the salad.

    Grilled Vegetables for Shrimp Salad Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

  4. Prep and season the shrimp: 

    In a large bowl, add the shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil and season with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then skewer the shrimp, dividing them between 4 skewers. If you use wooden/bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them well so they don’t burn completely on the grill.

    Bowl of Seasoned Shrimp for Grilled Shrimp Salad Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

    Shrimp on Skewers for Salad

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

  5. Grill the shrimp:

    Add shrimp skewers to grill (I recommend lightly oiling grill to prevent sticking) and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. The shrimp are done when they are pink and no longer translucent in the center. Remove shrimp from grill and serve them as soon as possible.

    Shrimp on Grill for Salad Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

  6. Assemble the salad and serve: 

    Add the romaine lettuce into a large serving plate or bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette. Top with chopped, grilled vegetables, grilled shrimp, sweet corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, scallions, and crumbled Cotija cheese.


  7. Storage:

    Leftover salad ingredients are best stored separately and without dressing. Shrimp will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you do have salad that is dressed, it will keep okay for 1 day in the fridge, but the texture will change. 

    Did you love this recipe? Give us some stars below!

    Bowl of Grilled Shrimp Salad with Shrimp, Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cotija Cheese

    Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
698 Calories
50g Fat
42g Carbs
29g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 698
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 171mg 57%
Sodium 1438mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 15g 52%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 112mg 558%
Calcium 409mg 31%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 1546mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.