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This simple and delicious Shrimp Taco Salad can easily be whipped up in under 30 minutes and is topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing. Full of flavor and packed with black beans, avocado, cheese and other favorite toppings. This will be your new go to salad!

Overhead shot of white bowl with shrimp taco salad with avocado, cheese, black beans etc.
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There is nothing like a big taco salad topped with all the fixin’s. The options are endless and you can make the same thing over and over but still never have the exact same salad twice.

This 20 minute shrimp taco salad was inspired by these spicy shrimp tacos and our family favorite chicken burrito bowls.

This salad is amazing as shrimp cooks up sooo fast, but to me, it’s the creamy cilantro lime dressing that MAKES the whole meal. It is the new dressing we put on everything.

Why you will love this taco salad with shrimp:

  • The whole meal comes together in under 30 minutes. If you time everything out right, this shrimp salad can be ready in about 20 minutes give or take. Sure if you marinate the shrimp it will add a touch of time, but you can always get everything else set while you wait.
  • There are so many options for toppings and add-ins. Tacos and taco salads are the best because the toppings are endless. Think beyond cheese, tomatoes and sour cream–so much more!
  • Simple to accommodate to everyone’s liking. I like setting this out more like a taco salad bar. Set everything out and let everyone put their own salad togeither.
  • Easy to meal prep! You can easily make the shrimp and cilantro lime dressing ahead of time and then toss the salad together whenever you would like. This is always great for when you have a family eating in shifts or don’t want to cook after a long day at work.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • shrimp: for this shrimp taco salad, I opt for medium shrimp. They cook up perfectly into the bite sized shrimp I prefer in a salad. They also cook up in 5 minutes or less so ideal for when you want a FAST meal. If you use large or jumbo shrimp, just add on time for cooking.
  • spices: while you could use taco seasoning packets, I highly encourage you to skip them. Just a handful of simple spices make the flavor of the shrimp all the better. I use: chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, paprika and just a touch of cayenne. For a fun twist, some smoked paprika instead of regular is great.
  • olive oil: this is to marinate the shrimp.
  • lettuce: you can opt for a head of lettuce, but to make this taco salad with shrimp all the quicker to whip up, I most often use ready to go packages. We have a local indoor farm, 80 Acres that is great and often our go-to.
  • tomatoes: I prefer the bite sized kind, but you can dice up Roma or other types.
  • red onion: red onion is our preference for color and flavor. My husband hates it so I leave it out and serve it on the side for whoever wants to add it on.
  • corn: thawed frozen corn, roasted or grilled corn cut off the cob, charred corn, any that you have around is perfect. Canned is the only form I would not suggest using.
  • cheese: I go between a cheddar mix and cotija cheese. I love the look of the cotija cheese for a super pretty salad, but flavor is great with your favorite cheese.
  • avocado: ripe but slightly firm to touch. Opt for avocado that is not ready for guacamole for best results.
  • tortilla strips: really anything that adds crunch is great. Crushed up tortilla chips, Fritos, the strips, taco shells–any will work!
Lettuce, tomatoes, beans, shrimp, cheese and other ingredients for recipe labeled on counter.

What you will need for the creamy cilantro lime dressing:

  • cilantro: fresh cilantro, rinsed. You can keep the stems on and everything!
  • lime: freshly squeezed lime juice is ideal
  • mayonnaise: Use your favorite for the tang you love.
  • sour cream: full fat is my suggestion, but you can use a reduced fat version if desired. Greek yogurt is an ok substitute but you will more than likely need a bit more honey to cut it and it’s possible that this will thicken it a bit more as well, so make adjustments as desired.
  • garlic: start with one clove and add another after blending the dressing.
  • olive oil: a good extra virgin olive oil is ideal
  • honey: I prefer honey, but another sweetener will work.
  • salt and pepper: season to taste
Food processor with cilantro, lime, mayo and other ingredients for dressing.

How to make this salad:

Start out by marinating the shrimp. Toss the olive oil, spices, salt and pepper with the shrimp and generously coat the shrimp.

You can allow the shrimp to marinate for about 15-30 minutes but shrimp doesn’t really need a long marinate time. Ideally, you don’t want it to sit more than one hour.

Sauté on medium high in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque. Internal temperature should reach at least 120°F. Keep a close eye on the shrimp as it does cook very quickly.

Make the dressing. Add all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. You can add more garlic, salt or pepper to taste. If the dressing seems too thick, add a teaspoon or two more olive oil. You could add a touch of water instead.

Once you have the shrimp and dressing, add it all over top your bed of lettuce and add the veggies, beans and other ingredients. Drizzle dressing over top and enjoy!

White bowl with taco salad with shrimp and creamy cilantro lime dressing drizzle.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Prep the salad plates before cooking the shrimp. The shrimp and dressing whip up very fast in this shrimp taco salad. If you prep your bed of lettuce with the avocado, tomatoes, onion, beans and other ingredients before cooking, you will get to enjoy your salad with shrimp that is freshly cooked.
  • You can opt to air fry the shrimp if desired. If you would like to air fry, set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for about 5-6 minutes, shaking halfway through. Again, keep an eye on the shrimp as it cooks quickly!
  • Storing suggestions. If you are meal prepping or thinking you may have leftovers, store the shrimp in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. The dressing will last for about a week.

Other possible additions to your salad:

While I love this taco salad with shrimp just the way it is, it’s always fun to add in some more fun ingredients. Consider the following:

  • pico de gallo
  • guacamole: the avocado on it’s own is great, but a dollop of guac hits the spot as well.
  • sliced black olives
  • jalapeño
  • roasted tomato salsa
  • pickled onion
  • radishes

What else am I missing?

Other Salad Recipes:

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Tap stars to rate!
5 from 6 votes

Shrimp Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

This simple and delicious Shrimp Taco Salad can easily be whipped up in under 30 minutes and is topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing. Full of flavor and packed with black beans, avocado, cheese and other favorite toppings. This will be your new go to salad!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the Shrimp:

Cilantro Lime dressing

For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces romaine lettuce, (ready or about 7-8 cups chopped)
  • c grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c black beans, rinsed
  • 1 c cheese
  • 1/4 c red onion
  • Tortilla strips
  • 1 avocado, ripe but not too soft, diced
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Instructions 

  • Marinade the shrimp. Toss the olive oil, spices, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Allow to sit for up to 30 minutes if desired.
  • While the shrimp marinates, prepare the cilantro lime dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender. (I advise starting with one garlic clove and adding more as desired). Thin the dressing with one teaspoon of water at a time to your liking.
  • Prepare the salad ingredients and add to salad bowl or dishes. Once set, cook the shrimp. Cook at medium high for about 2-3 minutes each side or until opaque.
  • When shrimp is cooked, allow to rest for several minutes and then add to salad. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy.

Notes

  • Prep the salad plates before cooking the shrimp. The shrimp and dressing whip up very fast in this shrimp taco salad. If you prep your bed of lettuce with the avocado, tomatoes, onion, beans and other ingredients before cooking, you will get to enjoy your salad with shrimp that is freshly cooked.
  • You can opt to air fry the shrimp if desired. If you would like to air fry, set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for about 5-6 minutes, shaking halfway through. Again, keep an eye on the shrimp as it cooks quickly!
  • Storing suggestions. If you are meal prepping or thinking you may have leftovers, store the shrimp in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. The dressing will last for about a week.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question?Leave a comment below!

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Mo says:

    5 stars
    Made this today, so delicious and satisfying!

    1. Lorie says:

      Love hearing this, Mo!!! We have been making this one on repeat recently!