If you love seafood, you will love this Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad recipe. It also makes a terrific sandwich filling. Fresh, light and wholesome, it couldn’t be easier to make.
Sometimes I use smaller shrimp and serve the mixture as a sandwich filling or on crackers or crostini as hors d’oeuvres at cocktail parties. However this recipe is equally good for enjoying yourself while staying at home, whether you want to dress it up as a salad or serve it as a sandwich with your favourite bread (mine’s a light sourdough rye).
Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad is a Versatile, Make Ahead Recipe
You can make this Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad (or sandwich filling) recipe earlier in the day and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to serve. To make the salad healthier, you can skip the mayonnaise and just use the crushed avocado as a binding agent. If I’m making this salad as a sandwich filling, I skip the mayo in the filling itself, and use it instead of butter on the bread.
I love the flavour of this salad as it is, but if you really like spicy food, try adding some finely chopped fresh (or frozen) red chili.
If you are serving it as a salad, this is the perfect opportunity to get those pretty glasses you’ve been saving for special occasions out of the cupboard and use them. I used to keep special china and crystal ‘for good’ and they hardly ever saw the light of day. Recently I realised that the joy of having these things is in seeing them and using them. After all, what am I saving them for? Now almost everything I have is in regular use.
Quality Ingredients Make the Difference
Because there are so few ingredients in this shrimp and crab appetizer salad, you want to be sure they are all good quality. Fresh seafood, crisp veggies and good mayonnaise will ensure that this Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad turns out beautifully. When it comes to crab meat, of course you can used canned white crab meat if you are on a budget or fresh is not available. I use Seafood and Eat It Cornish White Crab.
Provided you have no allergies, shellfish is really good for you. Shrimp and Crab both contain protein and healthy fats as well as zinc.
If you do add mayo, be sure it is a good mayonnaise you really like. Those of a sensitive nature should look away now, but I always use Hellmann’s Extra Light. I know it’s a long way from homemade, but I genuinely love the flavour, as well as the fact it isn’t loaded with calories.
Bigger shrimp work really well when you are serving this as a salad, but smaller ones are much better for sandwiches or hors d’oeuvres.
Whether you serve this shrimp and crab appetizer salad as a starter, light lunch or in a sandwich it is as perfect for everyday and it is for entertaining. Give this quick, easy and versatile recipe a try and you will see why it has become a real go to at our house – and beyond!
Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad – Printable Recipe
Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad Recipe
- ⅓ cup prepared white crab meat canned crab meat is fine, and if you prefer to use a mix of white and brown crab meat that is fine too.
- 16 to 20 medium to large cooked shrimp, thawed if frozen or about a half to three-quarters of a cup of little cooked shrimp, thawed if frozen
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 4 spring onions or scallions, finely chopped or use fresh or dried chives if they are not available.
- 1 avocado, peeled, finely diced and lightly crushed If avocado is not available you can use a little more mayonnaise.
- ⅛ teaspoon celery salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 to 3 tablespoons of your favourite mayonnaise optional
- Mix the crab and shrimp together in a bowl with the red pepper, celery and spring onions.
- Add the avocado and stir to mix through.
- Stir in the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with the celery salt and black pepper.
- Gradually add the mayonnaise, if using, a bit at a time, until the mixture just clings together.
- Spoon into pretty bowls and serve. I like to make sure there is a shrimp or two on the very top of the salad, it makes it look pretty. Or use as a sandwich filling or to top crackers or melba toast as hors d'oeuvres.
- Garnish with paprika or chopped, fresh parsley.
- (To prepare ahead of time, prepare to the end of step 4, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Portion out and garnish just before serving. Best served on the day it is made.)