There’s no shortage of flavor in this Cucumber Shrimp Salad! The simple chia vinaigrette ties the cucumber noodles, sauteed shrimp, and red peppers together with dynamic Asian-inspired flavors. It’s a fresh summer appetizer, side dish, or satisfying main.
Summer, in my mind, is a time for lighter, healthier meals. Not only are they delicious but on a hot day, meals packed with fresh fruits and veggies can help you stay refreshed. This Cucumber & Shrimp Salad with Chia Vinaigrette Dressing showcases all of these qualities in one easy dish!
This unique cucumber shrimp salad recipe makes enough to share, but it’s so tasty, you’ll want it all to yourself. The nutrient-dense mix of cucumbers and bell peppers paired with shrimp make a delicious low carb, low calorie meal that always keeps you feeling refreshed and satisfied.
Just like my Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Salad and Crunchy Cauliflower Rice Salad, this summer shrimp salad is easier to make than it looks. The fresh vegetables are tossed with chia seed vinaigrette and topped with buttery sauteed shrimp. Prepare the veggies and dressing while the shrimp cooks, toss it all together, and you’re done!
- Shrimp - Shrimp are low in calories, high in protein, and packed with essential nutrients, including Vitamin B12, zinc, copper, and omega-3. No wonder they’re one of the best additions to salads, tacos, sheet pan dinners, and pasta recipes! You’ll need large to extra large peeled and deveined raw shrimp.
- Cucumber - English cucumbers are best for spiralizing because of their long shape, mild flavor, and water content. I like to peel cucumbers before cutting them into spirals, but this is a personal choice!
- Red bell pepper - For a crisp, sweet, and tangy flavor. Red bell peppers have the highest amount of vitamin A and vitamin K but orange bell pepper and yellow bell pepper are also tasty options.
- Chia seed vinaigrette - This vibrant salad dressing is made with a handful of healthy ingredients like chia seeds, soy ginger sauce, honey, coconut vinegar, sesame oil, and lemon juice.
How to make a cucumber shrimp salad
This simple salad comes together in no time! All you have to do is cook the shrimp, prepare the fresh ingredients and make the dressing. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started:
Step 1: Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the shrimp. Season with sage, salt, and pepper, and let them cook undisturbed until golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side until the shrimp are cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Step 2: Lay the spiralized cucumber on paper towels and gently pat them dry. Trim the spirals into bite-sized pieces.
Step 3: To make the chia salad dressing, whisk the soy ginger sauce, coconut vinegar, lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, and chia seeds together in a large bowl.
Step 4: Add the cooled shrimp to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Next, add the cucumbers, bell peppers, cilantro, and salt, and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Instead of cucumber noodles - Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then slice them into thin half-moon shapes.
- Instead of shrimp - Use smoked salmon, canned tuna, pan seared scallops, or sushi-grade ahi tuna.
- Other veggie noodle options - Mix and match your spiralized veggies. For example, try carrot, parsnip, yellow squash, cabbage, or zucchini instead of or in addition to the cucumber noodles.
- Add more vegetables - Anything goes! Add avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, etc.
- Or use fruit - Toss the salad with spiralized apples, chopped watermelon, or orange wedges.
- Use a different dressing - The creamy chia vinaigrette gives the veggies an umami-forward zing, but you can swap it for almost any dressing here. Try this citrus vinaigrette dressing or use your favorite Greek or Italian salad dressing instead.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make this a vegetarian/vegan cucumber salad?
Yes! If you need the salad to be vegetarian or vegan, omit the shrimp and use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing. Add chickpeas, seared tofu, or cooked quinoa for extra protein.
How do you keep cucumber salad from getting soggy?
Using seedless cucumbers, like English, Japanese, or Persian, is a good start, but even these varieties can get soggy. To ensure you remove as much water as possible, sprinkle the cucumber noodles with salt and let them sit for at least 20 minutes before blotting away the moisture with a paper towel.
The salad is best enjoyed immediately but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 day. The cucumber will release water as it sits, so you may need to drain it before serving.
Hungry for more easy shrimp recipes?
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Shrimp
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp
- Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine with Shrimp
Cucumber & Shrimp Salad with Chia Vinaigrette Dressing
Shrimp sautéed in herb butter:
- 12 large shrimp peeled
- 1 tablespoon high quality butter
- 1 tablespoon dill minced
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 large English cucumber peeled
- 1 red bell pepper very thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- sea salt to garnish
Chia vinaigrette dressing
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- In a cast iron skillet melt butter. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the shrimp on both sides until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Garnish with fresh dill and let it cool off completely.
- Slice cucumbers thinly into ribbons using a mandarin. Alternatively you can spirilize. Lay cucumber strips out on paper towels to absorb extra moisture. Gently pat cucumber it towels to soak up the excess liquid.
- Slice bell pepper into thin strips. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the chilled shrimp and toss to coat.
- Add the cucumber and bell pepper strips and toss to coat.
- Garnish with cilantro and/or dill and sea salt. Serve immediately