This Southwest Honey Lime Shrimp Salad is a delicious main dish salad! Topped with sweet and tangy shrimp, corn, tomatoes, avocado and crumbled queso fresco. So flavorful and easy to make!
August has been exceptionally warm this year here in Colorado. Despite the stores putting out all the fall merchandise I’m still in full summer mode. This is actually the time of year that our produce is at it’s peak. Corn, tomatoes, peaches and melons are what we pride ourselves in this time of year.
The tomato plants in my garden have been producing tons of tomatoes lately. I pick a bowl full about every 2-3 days and am constantly trying to use them. Luckily, I was able to sneak some into this Honey Lime Shrimp Salad.
As with many of my recipes, this shrimp salad has a Southwest flavor profile to it. The shrimp is marinated in a sweet and spicy mixture of chili powder, cumin, honey, and lime juice. The marinade conveniently doubles as the vinaigrette for the salad as well.
You may have noticed that all of my salad recipes are heavy on the toppings and this Southwest shrimp salad is no exception. The toppings are what make the salad appealing, give it texture and it’s where all the flavor is. They’re what turn a salad you serve as a side dish into a main dish salad.
Ingredients For Honey Lime Shrimp Salad
- medium size peeled and deveined shrimp
- chili powder, cumin, garlic powder
- butter lettuce
- cherry tomatoes
- queso fresco
How To Make Honey Lime Shrimp Salad
Start by making the marinade for the shrimp which also doubles as the vinaigrette for the salad. In a small jar or bowl combine the lime zest and juice, honey, spices, salt, pepper and olive oil. Shake or whisk until combined.
Place the shrimp in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the marinade to them. Stir them around until they’re coated then set aside. The shrimp should marinate for 15-30 minutes depending on how much time you have. I like to stir them at least once so that the marinade is distributed evenly on the shrimp.
While the shrimp marinates prepare the salad. Arrange torn leaves of butter lettuce onto a serving platter or add them to a large salad bowl. Top the lettuce with halved cherry tomatoes, corn, slices of avocado and crumbled queso fresco.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil and then add in the shrimp. Spread the shrimp out so that they’re in a single layer and then let them cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over. By not moving them you’ll get a nice caramelized crust on the outside thanks to the sugar in the honey and lime juice.
In total, the shrimp will need about 5 minutes to cook, assuming you’re using the medium size. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and let them cool for a minute before adding them and any of the sauce that’s left in the pan onto the salad.
Garnish the salad with chopped cilantro and drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the top of the salad or serve it on the side.
Shrimp Sizes Per Pound
There’s often confusion when a recipe just says to use a pound of shrimp. You might be even more confused if you’re wanting a certain number of shrimp and go to the seafood counter at the grocery store and say you want a pound of large shrimp. If you don’t know how many large shrimp are equivalent to a pound you may be surprised at the number you end up with. Below are the most common sizes of shrimp and number per pound you should expect to get.
X-Small – 61/70 shrimp per pound
Small – 51/60 shrimp per pound
Medium – 41/50 shrimp per pound
Large – 31/40 shrimp per pound
X-Large – 26/30 shrimp per pound
Jumbo – 21/25 shrimp per pound
X-Jumbo – 16/20 shrimp per pound
Collosal – 15 or less
Frequently Asked Questions
Queso fresco is mild fresh Mexican cheese. It’s generally made from cow’s milk and is soft, crumbly, and a little salty. It’s similar to feta, but with a much more mild flavor.
You can use any type of lettuce for this salad. If you don’t use butter lettuce I’d recommend romaine or green leaf lettuce.
Yes. I always buy my shrimp frozen. For the most part, unless you live next to the ocean, all of the shrimp you see in the seafood counter were previously frozen.
More Shrimp Recipes
- Skillet Shrimp Fajitas
- Shrimp Orzo Salad with Feta and Herbs
- Cucumber Shrimp Salad with Lemon and Herbs
- Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde
- Teriyaki Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Zest of a lime
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound raw medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 head butter lettuce (or 5 cups lettuce of choice)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
- 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Cilantro for garnish
- In a small jar or bowl, add the olive oil, honey, lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Shake or whisk together until well combined.
- In a large bowl add the shrimp. Pat them dry with paper towels of any excess water. Take 3 tablespoons of the marinade/vinaigrette and add it to the shrimp. Stir together until the shrimp are coated and then let them marinate for 15-30 minutes, stirring once to re-coat them in the marinade.
- While the shrimp marinates make the salad. Arrange the lettuce onto a serving platter or add it to a large salad bowl. Top the lettuce with the corn, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado and queso fresco.
- Add a little olive oil (I used a couple teaspoons) to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl the oil to coat the bottom and then add the shrimp to the hot skillet. Spread them into a single layer and let them cook for 2 minutes before flipping them over. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until they're opaque and have curled up.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and then add the shrimp to the salad along with any sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with the remaining vinaigrette either drizzled on top or served on the side.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 807mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 17gProtein: 20g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.