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The perfect summer meal, Grilled Shrimp Salad is fresh, flavorful, and filling. This recipes gives Cobb salad a light and delicious Mexican twist with charred corn, Cotija cheese, and a spicy Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing. You’ll be making it all season long!
Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
Cobb Salad is such a classic. With the chicken, eggs, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, and more, it’s definitely not just a pile of greens. This is a dinner-worthy salad that will satisfy even the biggest appetites.
However, sometimes even the classics need an update to give an old favorite new life. Swapping out the chicken to make it a grilled shrimp salad gives it a bit of summertime flair, along with that fresh corn on the cob that’s tossed on the grill alongside the shrimp. We can’t skip the tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled eggs, and, of course, the bacon.
But besides the summery spin, this one also gets a little Southwestern flair. The cheese of choice is a crumbly, salty Cotija. And it’s spiced up with Cilantro Lime Ranch that has just a little jalapeno kick.
This is the kind of salad that, once you realize how easy it is to make at home, you won’t want to spend your money ordering restaurant salads ever again!
The best thing about a Cobb salad is how satisfying and flavorful it is because it is loaded with tasty toppings. That’s why this ingredient list might look a little long. But don’t let that scare you off.
You can always skip, add, or substitute anything to really make this Shrimp Cobb Salad your own. Feel free to add cucumbers, croutons, or crushed tortilla chips. Or skip the corn to make it keto-friendly.
- Corn: Since you’ll be grilling it, you want it on the cob, but shucked
- Raw extra large shrimp: Peel them, but preferably leave the tail on. You can use fresh or frozen and thawed shrimp. Smaller shrimp will work too, but adjust the time accordingly.
- Avocado oil: Or another high smoke point oil such as canola for grilling the corn and shrimp.
- Seasonings: Smoked paprika, garlic, powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, or whatever you like to season the shrimp and corn.
- Fresh cilantro: Use some on the shrimp and the rest in your salad.
- Romaine lettuce: Wash, dry, and chop a few hearts.
- Bacon: You’ll want it cooked and chopped. Tip: See my post on how to cook bacon for 6 different methods you can use.
- Hard boiled eggs: Just cut them in half. Tip: See my post on how to make hard boiled eggs for 6 different methods you can use.
- Limes: These are optional, but adding a squeeze of lime gives the salad a little zing.
- Tomatoes: The photos show chopped tomatoes, but you can also use grape tomatoes sliced in half.
- Avocados: Make sure to slice the avocado at the last minute, or squeeze a little lime juice on them
- Cotija cheese: This Mexican cheese crumbles nicely and adds a salty topping to the salad. You can substitute Parmesan or Romano cheese, and even feta will work.
- Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing: Add a bit of Southwestern flair to the salad with this creamy homemade dressing that even has light, keto, and dairy-free options.
You can pick up pre-cooked bacon in the prepared meats section and cooked eggs from the dairy case or salad bar at the grocery store.
How to Make Grilled Shrimp Salad
Grill the Shrimp and Corn
Drizzle or brush some of the oil over the corn and shrimp, then season them as you prefer. For the corn, I like a little smoked paprika, plus salt and pepper. On the shrimp, a bit of the cilantro, and some garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper taste great. But you can also use a basic grill seasoning or just salt and pepper.
Then just toss the shrimp and corn on the grill. The corn will take about 5 to 7 minutes to get tender and slightly charred. You’ll need 3 or 4 minutes per side for the shrimp to get browned and cooked through. Set both aside, and cut the corn off the cob once it is cool enough to handle.
Assemble the Salad
You’ll start with a nice base of chopped Romaine that has been washed and dried. You can make it all in one big bowl and toss it together before serving, or make individual salads.
Once you have that bowl of lettuce, add the bacon and eggs. Sprinkle on the grilled corn that has been removed from the cob, as well as tomatoes, limes (if you are adding them), avocado, and cheese. Finally, top it with the shrimp and cilantro.
Add the Dressing
Now give the grilled shrimp salad a nice drizzle of the Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing. Or let everyone pour it over their individual servings. And get ready to dig in!
- Red Wine Vinaigrette is actually the traditional dressing for a Cobb Salad.
- If you are missing out on the Grongonzola, you can always use Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing.
- Hot Bacon Dressing adds a rich touch with more smoky, salty flavors and a hint of sweetness.
- And then there is always a nice basic Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing to give it a little tangy bite.
Storing Leftover Salad
Any remaining salad can be stored in the fridge for an extra day, be sure to cover it tightly. If you were to make this ahead of time to pack the next day for lunch, I would recommend leaving the bacon and avocados off until the last few minutes. Otherwise, the avocados will turn brown and the bacon will get soggy.
You can even prepare all of the toppings and store them separately in individual containers, then assemble the salad right before serving.
Make it a Meal
While Shrimp Cobb Salad is definitely filling enough for dinner, maybe you’d like to add something else to finish off your meal.
- Seafood is always delicious with Cheddar Bay Cauliflower Tots.
- Dill Hash Browns would be tasty on the side or even as an alternative to croutons on top.
- Top the salad with Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken for a change of pace.
- Melt butter over a slice of Gluten Free Cornbread.
- A set of tongs is what you’ll need to flip the corn and shrimp on the grill.
- I love this handy avocado tool for quickly cutting through the thick skin, removing the pit, and cutting it into slices.
- When you are squeezing those limes for the dressing or just over the salad, a handheld citrus juicer gets every last bit of juice.
- The most perfect hard boiled eggs are made in the Instant Pot, and you can even cook your bacon in there.
Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad
For the Salad:
- 3 cobs of corn, shucked
- 16 raw extra large shrimp, peeled and tail on (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 1-3 teaspoons avocado oil, for grilling
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional or preferred seasonings for the corn
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional or preferred seasonings for the shrimp
- 1 teaspoon cumin, optional or preferred seasonings for the shrimp
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 hearts of Romaine lettuce
- 16 slices (about 1 lb) cooked and crumbled or chopped bacon
- 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced in half
- 4 limes, cut in half (optional)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 3 tablespoons crumbled Cotija cheese (or grated Parmesan or Romano)
- Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
For the Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño (seeds removed unless you want it extra spicy)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt
Grilling the shrimp and corn:
- Start by grilling your shrimp and corn.
- Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to high heat (about 500°F).
- Brush corn with a teaspoon or two of the avocado oil. Season corn with smoked paprika, and pinch of salt and pepper, or use your preferred seasonings.
- Place the corn on the grill. Cook for about 5-7 minutes turning every so few minutes to achieve even grilling. When the corn is tender and browned it’s ready to remove. Set aside.
- Drizzle the shrimp with a teaspoon or two of the avocado oil, and season with about a teaspoon of the chopped cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, and pinch of salt and pepper, or use your preferred seasonings.
- Place shrimp on the grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on the first side. You should start to see them turn pink about halfway up and notice the browning on the bottom.
- Flip the shrimp and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the second side until it is browned. Set the shrimp aside.
Assembling the salad:
- Wash the Romaine and pat dry. Slice in half and cut away the core, then chop it into smaller pieces about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches wide. Place it in a large bowl.
- Next, add chopped bacon and sliced eggs on top of the Romaine.
- Cut grilled corn off the cob and place it on top. Add the tomatoes, lime halves (if using), avocado, and cheese.
- Finally, place shrimp on top and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.
- Serve with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing.
Making the dressing:
- In a blender or food processor, combine the milk, mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, dill, chives, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.
- Blend on high until all of the ingredients are completely mixed. You should have a nice light green color and texture should be smooth.
- Store dressing in the refrigerator covered until ready to use. If kept refrigherated, it will keep for about a week.