• Amy Lucas

Make Ahead Chilled Quinoa Rice Summer Shrimp Salad

Updated: Jul 31

I love this recipe because you can make it ahead, it’s got fresh summer ingredients and is packed full of flavor. Plus, it's super filling. I love this because when you eat it it is so light and refreshing while being so indulgent. At under 500 calories per plate, it’s sure to be a winner in your house!

What’s in it?

  • Shrimp: look for large size (16/20 ct) and make sure to peel them before cooking, I love gulf shrimp they have the sweetest flavor!

  • Gluten Free Whole Grains: This recipe uses brown rice and quinoa, which are two easy to find high fiber options.

  • Tomatoes: any type of small tomato or diced tomato will work in this recipe. Make sure you don’t refrigerate your tomatoes to ensure maximum flavors!

  • Fresh Basil: I love growing this in my garden and using if whenever I need fresh basil in a recipe.

  • Avocado: provide some extra fiber, fat and flavor!

  • Goat Cheese: Provides a bit of calcium and ang this recipe needs to balance out the fresh basil, don’t worry if you don‘t have goat cheese, you can simply swap with feta cheese!

Let’s Get Started:

Prepare the rice by cooking on the stove top or in a pressure cooker.

While the rice is cooking, you can prepare all the vegetables, dressing, and sear off the shrimp and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to enjoy the dish.

If you are preparing this in advance by several hours (or days), do no cut the avocado until you are ready to assemble the dish.

How to cook the shrimp:

Shrimp is one of the quickest cooking proteins, you simply need a steaming basket placed over 1-2 inches of boiling water. Place thawed shrimp in basket and allow to steam (covered) for 2-3 minutes until pink.

If you opt to do a pan sear, heat 1-2 tbsp of oil and place peeled, deveined, thawed shrimp on one side and allow to cook for about 1 minute on each side in medium high heat - until flesh is no longer opaque and outside is pink.

For this recipe you want to make sure shrimp is fully cooked since you will be chilling it and serving it cold.

What other dressings can I use if I don’t have time to make the blended basil dressing?

Italian, lemon vinaigrette, or even a green goddess dressing. Any type of vinaigrette or herb infused oil will work wonders with this dish.

Want to stretch this meal further?

Consider adding 2 cups of baby spinach, arugula, or another of your favorite leafy greens to bulk up this dish without adding too many extra calories.

Servings: 4

  • 1/3 cup Quinoa

  • 2/3 cup Brown Rice

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 2 cups Water

  • 1 pound Shrimp

  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons Water

  • 2 cups Grape Tomatoes

  • 1 cup Kalamata Olives

  • 1 Avocado

  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese

  1. Combine rice, quinoa, largest quantity of water and salt and cook until done. Chill and fluff. Sear or steam shrimp until done and chill.

  2. In a blender combine basil, olive oil and water and blend until smooth. Add additional small quantities of water if needed to blend.

  3. Slice tomatoes and kalamata olive in half.

  4. Dice avocado into pieces.

  5. Assemble each bowl by placing cooked grain on bottom, topping with shrimp, tomatoes, olives, avocado, and goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with basil dressing.


Calories: 474kcal, Carbs: 41g, Protein: 26g, Total Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 5.4g, Sodium: 1508mg, Fiber: 6.5g, Added Sugar: 0g, Fruits: 0 servings, Vegetables: 0.74 servings,

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