Many moons ago I worked a desk job. During a time when I wore high heels, went to happy hours, and had accessories to complete every pencil skirt and perfect hair bun. I wasn’t fancy, but I was well maintained. I’m still not fancy but more ‘hot mess’ than ‘cute lady boss’. Despite what my title was or could have been at work, I still humbly brought my lunch every single day. And this Thai shrimp salad with almond dressing (paleo + whole30) is perfect for just that.
I type humbly with a smirk. Because this salad looks anything but humble – it is fancy. But like my once ’20-something-climbing-the-corporate-ladder/girl-power’ status, this salad looks powerful and put together, but deep down it’s really simple, fresh, and easy. Wait, that was a bad analogy. I’m not saying I was easy, no…delete…edit, undo…errrrr. Easy to be friends with. Easy to converse with. Right? That makes more sense – are you with me? Ok let’s just move on.
This Thai shrimp salad with almond dressing is fantabulous for those lunches you bring to work AND those lunches you eat at home. Why? No cooking required, no lefttovers needed. All the ingredients of this restaurant-quality meal can be found in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. WIN! Because nothing is worse than wanting to build a bomb salad but realizing you only have uncooked meat. And skipping the main protein hub just means you’re hungry again in an hour.
Let me count the ways I love thee: paleo, whole30 compliant, gluten-free, easy to make, and THE DRESSING. It’s the creamy burst of flavor that completes every single bite. I kind of want to put it on everything – like maybe slather my body with it, put it in a syringe and have it in my purse everywhere I go, mix it in my coffee, lick it from the bowl. Obsessed doesn’t even scratch the surface.
And!!! And and and, you can use any leftover dressing for other meals. Drizzle it over grilled chicken or on roasted vegetables, combine it with rice or quinoa, or use it as a dip for spring rolls. A dressing that wears many hats, kind of like me (if I do say so myself). But I’m not Thai, soooo never mind. Analogies = 0 for 2.
The only thing you need to do to make this Thai shrimp salad with almond dressing is some cutting and chopping action. This is where meal prep is clutch. Simply chop the vegetables a few days or the night before – that way assembling is a breeze. Be sure to make the dressing beforehand too, and store in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator.
No more breaking the bank going out for salads anymore! This budget-friendly lunch will be your next go-to whether you’re bossin’ it up on the 37th floor, or in your toy-infested living room.
Looking for more easy whole30 compliant lunches? Try these cilantro pesto chicken wraps or this blackened fish taco salad bowl.
Thai Shrimp Salad with Almond Dressing (paleo + Whole30)
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro
- 3/4 cup diced cucumbers
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1/2 pound cocktail shrimp, thawed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon raw honey (omit for whole30)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water (or less if you like a thicker dressing)
- Compile the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well
- Add the cocktail shrimp
- Mix the almond dressing ingredients well and drizzle over the salad. Double the recipe if desired (keeps well in the refrigerator)
- Top the salad with cashews or sliced almonds if preferred
Beverley @ Born to Sweat says
oooo i love your version Chrissa!! Looks so good! I haven’t tried almond butter dressing before (mostly because i’m cheap AF and peanut butter is cheaper HAH), but i think i gots to change that.
PS congratulations on your bb boyyyyyy <3 so much love for your family!!!
Bahaha I love you. PB is def cheaper – luckily there is a grocery outlet near me and sometimes I can get almond butter for less than $4. Whaaaa?!?! Thanks for the sweet note – it means a lot! Stay tuned for some crazy snaps (I’m sure) 😉
Brandy @ Hellomidlifecrisis says
I have always been so afraid to work with shrimp (or any seafood really) in my own kitchen because I know so little about it (how to tell when it’s done, how do I know when it’s not safe to consume, etc) but this recipe looks incredibly good (even at 8 in the morning) so I may have to be a little more adventurous!
Luckily with frozen cocktail shrimp you don’t have to worry about cooking or anything! So you totally got this Brandy!
I’ve just started making my own dressings and over the weekend after making my own orange-dressing, I thought why haven’t I been doing this for longer?! I know, never to late to start so I’m pinning yours for later! And who needs pencil skirts and high heels, anyway? 😉
Oh you must share that orange dressing. Sounds yummy! I totally know what you mean – for years buying the junk in the bottle I finally came to realize that making your own is SO much better – tastes better and better for you! PS all hail sneakers and yoga pants!!!
Love that almond dressing, it sounds delicious ! Also love that this recipe is whole 30 approved! I am always looking for more to incorporate in my everyday!
Thanks Hilary! The dressing is super yum – and really versatile!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Ever since I was young I dreamed of a job where I had to dress up in suits/pencil skirts, and heels! Bahahaha! (Okay…I still do!)
That sauce <3 I fully believe you should strive to make people jealous with your packed lunches 😉
SAME!!! I thought it would be so glam! I ended up getting sick of it and now prefer my yoga pants every day 😉 You are so funny!
This looks amazing! Would make the perfect lunch! I love almond dressing!
Ros Emely@stressfreemommies says
This looks so good! And you are too funny, haha! (the easy part) Anyways, I am loving the sound of almond dressing and shrimp salads are my favorite kind of salads to eat!
I’m glad someone gets my sense of humor 😉 You’ll love this salad Ros! Thanks friend.
I literally just made a similar sauce. However, I used peanut butter – the sauce was def thicker than I had wanted. I probably should have used almond!
PB is usually the preferred sauce with any Thai inspired dish. But to make this paleo, I did almond butter. And I almost like it better! I hope you do too Carmy!
Amy Scott says
I’m a huge shrimp and Thai food fan! I never think of making nice salads like this and always settle for the mundane. This week I’m going to go out of my way and put this together. I’ve got shrimp in the freezer 🙂
I can so relate. My salads used to be so sad too. Lately I’ve been trying to make them grand so I don’t get so sick of the same every day! I hope you love this Amy and thanks for stopping by!
Mmmm…love all of these ingredients, but that dressing! YUM!
Hope you and the fam are adjusting well to your new addition! xoxo
Thanks Blair! And thank you for thinking of me – we are holding down the fort (barely) HA!
This looks amazing and I totally need to try that dressing! I am always looking for Whole30 compliant ideas..
Glad you’re digging this Lauren! It’s always nice to mix it up when doing Whole30!
Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says
This looks so FABULOUS!!! I can’t wait to try it, Pinned 🙂
Thanks so much Angela!
oh yummmmy. i am totally pinning this!
Thanks for the pin love Abbey!
Omg I’m drooling!! And I love that this is gels their than most versions! Defintely going on next weeks Meal plan.
Totally! You can customize this salad by adding or taking out ingredients, substituting, etc. It’s all good in the end. Thanks Keala!
Elaine Matthews says
This looks amazing!! I love everything about it!! Perfect in this warm weather of summer!! Thanks for sharing!!
You’re so welcome Elaine. Enjoy!
Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands says
This looks so delicious! I love the combination of flavors, Thai is one of my favorites! The dressing, fresh herbs, and cashews I cannot wait to try it!
Spot on 😉 Lots of flavors that just mesh so well together. I hope you love it Sarah!
Kayla @ Blondes Have More Run says
Such an awesome combination of ingredients and flavors all in one big-ole salad!
Gotta love one big-ole yummy salad!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner says
Love this dressing and I would make it with tofu as well. Yum!
That’s a great idea! It would work well with tofu too!
Can’t wait to try this. I love shrimp anything, but this looks especailly yum!
Shrimp is LIFE! Thanks Renee.
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
i bring my lunch most days of the week..and i could certainly add this to my list 🙂 it looks sooo refreshing!!
Yes yes do!! And good for you for bringing your own lunch (usually healthier and saves so much $$!)
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
First of all…you are one hot mama so dont say youre a hot mess, lady! 😀 Second, omg i need this salad right now! I love a nice filling salad for lunch–i love the combination of flavors for that dressing!
Oh Heather – you’re too sweet. xo I hope you dig this salad – it really is super yum for lunch or even dinner!
I love all of these ingredients. It looks so fresh and light too! Love it!
The veggies and cilantro give it that total light and fresh taste. Thanks Kim!
Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy says
This looks AMAZING! I am totally making this recipe this weekend! pinning for later!
Oh I hope you love it Natalie! Thanks so much!
The dressing sounds amazing, love anything paleo!
It totally is. Enjoy Tee!
Oh my goodness this looks so Delish! I need to try that dressing ASAP!
YES DO!!! The dressing is bomb.com!
Nicole Banuelos says
Yum, my husband would love this! Maybe I’ll surprise him this week! 🙂
Wife of the year for you! 😉
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
My husband loves shrimp so this is a salad he’d probably be really excited about! haha 🙂
Shann Eva says
That dressing sounds amazing! I love any meal that I don’t have to cook the protein. Me and raw meat aren’t the best of friends. This looks perfect!
Bahaha I think raw meat isn’t anyone’s friend. Gotta love salads that you can throw together in no time – sans the cooking of meat. Thanks Shann!
Maggie Unzueta says
This looks amazing. I love anything shrimp. 🙂
I mean, who doesn’t?! Shrimp should be a meal staple – SO GOOD!
Kelly @ Eat the Gains says
This sounds so good! I am a lover of packed lunches and salads, so this is perfect! Can’t wait to try it!
I hope you do Kelly. Lunch-packers unite!
Only cutting and chopping action sounds like a WONDERFUL salad! It’s amazing how it is really easy to put together a delicious salad without much work, because salad ingredients have so much color and beauty.
Exactly! Fresh and flavorful salads don’t have to be a ton of work to make!
rachel @ athletic avocado says
oh my gosh that dressing is unbelievable as well as this salad!!! I’ve been wanting ALL the shrimp lately so this is perfect! pinned 🙂
Thanks Rachel! Yesssss the dressing is soooo good!