Fruity Grilled Shrimp Salad

5 from 2 votes
A red circle with the letters FFA red circle with the letters GF

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This summery Grilled Shrimp Salad is light, crisp, and refreshing, but totally satisfying. You’ll love the succulent shrimp paired with fresh fruit, tangy goat cheese, and a zingy Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Vinaigrette. Gluten free and packed with flavor!

two wooden bowls of grilled shrimp salad with fruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, and strawberry poppyseed dressing with two forks

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Shrimp Salad

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Grill or Stovetop
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

Years back, I used to go to Zumba class in the evening. It was just late enough that I had to have dinner before class or I’d pass out. But if you have ever done Zumba, you know that you probably don’t want to have a belly full of lasagna or tacos or chili right before you go jump and dance around for an hour.

That means Wednesday night was salad night in our house. Not that my husband and then-toddler were all that excited about salads on the regular. So I had to keep it creative and hearty enough for the husband’s appetite. But it also had to include ingredients that a 2-year-old would eat. A 2-year-old who, at that point, wanted nothing to do with lettuce. Here is one they loved, and why you’ll enjoy it too:

  • Savory and sweet. I have always loved a little sweet in my savory salads. And I can’t resist the combination of watermelon and feta or goat cheese. It gives this grilled shrimp salad such a bright and fresh flavor with great balance.
  • Light but satisfying. To really get those warm-weather vibes, I added mango to that watermelon plus some zippy grilled shrimp. It’s an unexpected flavor combination that makes the perfect summery meal that will still keep you full but not weighed down.
  • Naturally gluten free. It’s a great flexible family meal option since it has no gluten but also no special gluten free ingredients. Feel free to pair it with some gluten free soft breadsticks, if you like, or just keep it simple with tortilla chips!
bowl of mixed greens topped with grilled shrimp, watermelon, mango, pineapple, crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, and strawberry vinaigrette

What You’ll Need

Here’s a rundown of the different components of the salad and the ingredients to prepare them. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.

For the Grilled Shrimp

  • Limes: Use a zester to get the zest off of the limes before you cut them in half for juicing.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper: Just a pinch or two, to taste.
  • Shrimp: While raw is preferred, you can use pre-cooked shrimp in a pinch. It still doesn’t hurt to give it a soak in the marinade and a couple of minutes on the grill or grill pan for that extra flavor. Make sure it is peeled and deveined.

For the Salad

  • Pine nuts: Toasting them in a skillet gives a nice, toasty flavor and provides a bit of crunch for the salad.
  • Mixed spring greens: You can also use your favorite greens, such as romaine, arugula, or spinach.
  • Chopped fruit: For the best bright, summery flavor, I like equal parts mango, pineapple, and watermelon. But feel free to mix it up.
  • Goat cheese: You’ll love the tangy flavor when you crumble it on this salad. You can skip it or use a vegan cheese if you need a dairy free option.
  • Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette: A simple and super delicious recipe is included, but you can also use bottled dressing. We like one made by Marzetti in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, but there are other ones available in the store and online.

For the Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

  • Strawberries: Chop them up so they blend easier.
  • Lime juice: Make sure it is fresh.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper: A little sprinkle to taste.
  • Poppy seeds
Ingredients for Fruity Grilled Shrimp Salad with Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Vinaigrette.

Making the Grilled Shrimp Salad

Here are some of the details for how to make the salad, but make sure you check out the recipe card for the quantities and step-by-step instructions.

  • Grill the shrimp: Whisk together the marinade ingredients and add the shrimp. Let it marinate for 15-30 minutes. Preheat your grill or grill pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. If you are using raw shrimp, make sure it is pink and cooked through. Pre-cooked shrimp just needs a couple of minutes to be warmed up and get a little of that grill flavor.
  • Make the dressing: Toss all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or jar and stir in the poppy seeds.
  • Assemble the salad: You can make one big salad to toss and serve, or individual salads. Fill a large bowl or individual plates or bowls with the greens. Top with the fruit and grilled shrimp. Crumble over the goat cheese and sprinkle on the pine nuts. Drizzle with the dressing. Toss, if desired, and enjoy right away!
two bowls of grilled shrimp salad with a bowl of strawberry poppy seed dressing and sliced limes next to them

Tips and Variations

Here’s what you need to know for the best shrimp salad:

  • Use the right tools. Grab a Microplane zester and a handheld juicer for those limes you need for this recipe. If you are making the dressing, a strawberry huller makes prepping the strawberries super fast. And I love how a mango cutter makes things easier.
  • Change the protein. If you can’t get out to grill, Chili Lime Shrimp adds a little spice to the sweet, and you can make it in a skillet instead of lighting the grill, or slice up some Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken Breast is perfect if you aren’t a seafood lover.
  • Try a different dressing. As I said, you can use a storebought version, or try Greek Yogurt Honey Lemon Lime Dressing to add a fresh burst of citrus or Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing for a classic flavor.
  • Swap the fruit. Instead of watermelon, mango, and pineapple, try other fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and peaches. Even cucumber or tomato will add a little savory freshness.
  • Replace the cheese. If you don’t like goat cheese, skip it, or try feta, cotija, queso fresco, or go a little crazy with blue cheese.
  • Find another crunchy option. Change out the pine nuts with honey glazed walnuts, toasted unsweetened coconut, or even something unusual like Tropical Granola.

looking down on two bowls of salad with grilled shrimp and summer fruit next to a scoop of pine nuts and lemon wedges
bowl of mixed greens topped with grilled shrimp, watermelon, mango, pineapple, crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, and strawberry vinaigrette
5 from 2 votes

Summer Grilled Shrimp Salad

This summery Grilled Shrimp Salad is light, crisp, and refreshing, but totally satisfying. You'll love the succulent shrimp paired with fresh fruit, tangy goat cheese, and a zingy Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Vinaigrette. Gluten free and packed with flavor!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Shrimp:

  • Zest and juice from two limes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. raw or precooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the Salad:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 8 cups (two 5 oz. bags) mixed spring greens
  • 3 cups chopped fruit (equal parts mango, pineapple, and watermelon, or your fruit of choice)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese , crumbled
  • Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette (see below or storebought)

For the Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Instructions

For the Shrimp:

  • Combine the lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk together.
  • Add the shrimp, and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan on the stove.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. If you are using precooked shrimp, you just want to get them warmed with a bit of the grill flavor. If you are using raw shrimp, you want them to be pink and cooked through.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the Salad:

  • Prepare the dressing, if making it from scratch.
  • Place a skillet over low heat and add the pine nuts (do not use any oil). Let them toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until golden and giving off a nice, toasted aroma. Be careful not to let them burn, as this can happen quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place the lettuce into one large salad bowl or divide between individual plates or bowls.
  • Top with the fruit, grilled shrimp, goat cheese, and pine nuts.
  • Drizzle with the vinaigrette, about 2 Tablespoons on each individual serving or about 1/2 cup over one full salad. Toss, if desired and enjoy immediately.

For the Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette:

  • Combine all of the ingredients except poppy seeds in a blender or mini food processor, and blend till pureed and emulsified.
  • Stir in poppy seeds.
Nutrition Facts
Summer Grilled Shrimp Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 salad)
Calories 486 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 299mg100%
Sodium 1016mg42%
Potassium 499mg14%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1755IU35%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 241mg24%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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24 Comments
  1. Jill

    Love Zumba. Beautiful salad. Have you ever roasted or baked shrimp? I just started doing that. 4+ minutes at 400 degrees depending on the size. I love it – it gives them a nice little “snap”!!

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