Fresh summer ingredients and a zesty homemade vinaigrette combine to create this Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad. This Nordstrom Café copycat recipe captures the flavors of this irresistible shrimp salad!
Excellent cuisine at a restaurant inside a department store? Yes! It was at the Nordstrom Café at a mall in California that I fell seriously in love with their Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad.
Each visit to the mall was an excuse to stop in for lunch, and try as I might to order something new, I knew why I was there. It was this irresistible salad that kept me coming back.
As I’ve done with so many of my restaurant favorites, I set about recreating this salad at home. This copycat Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad recipe is now one of my favorites in my growing collection of easy entrée salads.
Table of contents
- Oil – Vegetable or canola oil.
- Raw shrimp – Extra large (26 to 30 count) raw shrimp. Look for peeled and deveined shrimp to save yourself a lot of effort. If they have the tails on, it’s quick and easy to pull them off.
- Mixed greens – Any combination of mixed baby greens that you love. Bagged blends are great way to go.
- Corn – For convenience sake, I most often use frozen yellow corn in salads. If you want to use fresh corn, you can grill or boil it and cut the kernels off the cob.
- Tomatoes – I love red grape tomatoes but will sometimes use Roma tomatoes. You can use any type of tomato you have growing in your garden or lingering in your fridge.
- Bell pepper – Diced red bell pepper.
- Cheese – Shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Tortilla strips – You can find bags of tortilla strips in the salad dressing section of the grocery store. Or use crushed tortilla chips for that same crunch.
- Garnish – Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges. I always squeeze a lime wedge over my salad before digging in.
- Vinaigrette – My copycat version of Nordstrom Café’s Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is bright and citrusy from fresh lime juice and cilantro leaves and lightly sweetened with a touch of honey. It’s super quick and easy to make.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad
This is a quick overview of how to make this recipe. You’ll find detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Make the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Follow my recipe to make the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette quickly and easily in a food processor. It can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until you need it.
Marinate and Cook the Shrimp
- Marinate – Toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Refrigerate while you prep the other ingredients, up to about 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes.
- Cook – Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the shrimp in an even layer, and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Cool – Using tongs, flip the shrimp over and continue cooking for another minute or two, just until they are cooked through. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a small bowl, leaving behind any liquid. Set aside to cool slightly or transfer the bowl to the refrigerator.
Toss and Assemble the Salads
- Salad Ingredients – Add the baby greens, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and cheese to a large salad bowl.
- Dressing – Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the reserved dressing and toss to combine.
- Assemble the Salads – Divide the mixture between four shallow salad bowls. Divide the cooled shrimp between the salads and drizzle with a little more Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Garnish each salad with tortilla strips, a sprig of cilantro, and a lime wedge.
Protein: Nordstrom Café let’s you choose between shrimp, steak, chicken, salmon, or roasted cauliflower (yum!) for their Cilantro Lime Salad. Although I always choose shrimp, I’d love this salad with ALL of these choices! Simply cooked sirloin steak or the grilled chicken I do for my Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad would be perfect. Or even easier, grab a rotisserie chicken at the store.
Greens: Substitute any type of lettuce you love. You can use chopped romaine hearts, butter lettuce, or your favorite store-bought blend of greens.
Grains: Toss some cooked quinoa or farro with the greens to up the fiber and protein factor.
Tex-Mex: Add canned black beans and creamy slices of avocado to amp up the Southwest flavors. To add a little heat, toss in a diced jalapeño.
Nuts and Seeds: Nordstrom Café adds pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to their salad which I would always include if I’ve got them on hand. You can also add sliced almonds for a little added crunch.
Platter Salad: This salad would make a gorgeous platter salad for entertaining. Just spread the ingredients out over a large platter and let everyone serve themselves.
More Main Dish Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Shrimp Caesar Salad
- Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
- Easy Chicken Cobb Salad
- Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
- Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- Check out my entire collection of salad recipes for more!
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad
- 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
- 20 extra large raw shrimp (26 to 30 count), (about 12 ounces), peeled, deveined, tails off
- 5 ounces mixed baby greens
- 1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed
- ¾ cup red grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
Optional for Garnish
- Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges
Marinate the Shrimp
- Transfer the shrimp to a bowl or zippered plastic storage bag and pour 2 tablespoons of the cilantro-lime dressing over them and toss to combine. Refrigerate while you prep the other ingredients, up to about 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes.
Cook the Shrimp
- Add the oil to a 12-inch skillet and place over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. When hot, add the shrimp, spread out in an even layer, and cook for about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the shrimp over and continue cooking for another minute or two, just until they are cooked through. Remove from the heat and use the tongs to transfer the cooked shrimp to a small bowl, leaving behind any liquid. Set aside to cool slightly or transfer the bowl to the refrigerator.
Assemble the Salad
- Add the baby greens, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and cheese to a large salad bowl and toss well to combine. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the reserved dressing and toss again.
- Divide the mixture between 4 individual shallow salad bowls. Top each salad with 5 shrimp (around the edges of the bowl) and a light drizzle of the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Garnish each salad with tortilla strips, a sprig of cilantro, and a lime wedge. Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.