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Chipotle-Lime Shrimp Salad with Radishes and Avocado

Makes 4 servings30 minutes hands on time30 minutes total time

Makes: 4 servings

Total Carbohydrates: 12 grams per serving

Hands-on Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

If shrimp were free, I would eat this every night. It’s crunchy and creamy (thank you, radishes and avocados), and the shrimp themselves are tart and tender and a little bit spicy. So it’s basically a perfect food. It’s also fairly forgiving, in terms of the shrimp you use: mine were on the smaller side this time, and tailless, but you could use bigger ones with or without tails and – sorry if this sounds like heresy – you can even start with *cooked* shrimp. I have done this, and I still marinate and fry them more or less as directed here, because I’m a sucker for the flavors, and they’re great that way. But it would be easier simply to dump the cooked shrimp on top of the salad and then dress the whole thing, and you should feel free to try that.

If you’re looking to:

Lower the fat: Swap in sliced celery for the avocado.

Lower the salt: Reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon.


2 teaspoons chipotle puree* (or substitute a smoky hot sauce such as Chipotle Tabasco)

2 limes, juiced (about ¼ cup)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt)

1 clove garlic, minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)

1 pound raw shrimp (without their shells), thawed if frozen

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 bunch radishes, sliced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced or diced

½ cup cilantro for garnish (if you like cilantro)

*To make the chipotle puree, scrape an entire (7-ounce) tin of chipotle in adobo (brands to look for include Embasa, San Marcos, Herdes, and La Costeña) into the blender and puree it. Store it in your fridge in an impeccably clean glass jar where it will keep indefinitely − unless it doesn’t, which is what sometime happens. A thin layer of oil over the top seems to help it keep longer in the fridge.


  1. Whisk together the chipotle puree, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic. This is the marinade and dressing.
  2. Put the shrimp in a large bowl and pour half the marinade over it (reserve the rest). Mix well and leave it to marinate for around 15 minutes, while you chop the lettuce and slice the radishes and otherwise busy yourself.
  3. Heat a large pan over high heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Pull the shrimp out of the marinade with your hands or a slotted spoon and spread them out in the pan (throw away the marinade the shrimp were in). Cook for a minute or two, then flip and cook them for another couple of minutes (3-5 minutes altogether, depending on the size of your shrimp), keeping the heat high enough to evaporate the liquid so that they fry a bit instead of simply steaming. Move the shrimp to a bowl and into the fridge to cool a bit before you assemble the salad (so you don’t wilt the lettuce).
  4. Meanwhile arrange the lettuce and radishes on a wide platter, add the avocado, and drizzle everything with the reserved dressing. Top with the shrimp and cilantro and serve. 

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]