Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad Recipe

The nice thing about going keto is that most foods that you are accustomed to eating, can in most cases be made ketogenic. You just need to be creative with cutting out carbohydrates, getting your fat in and making sure that you keep those carbohydrates that are in the recipe are low.

This is where this recipe came to light. I think I have mentioned in many of my articles, how much I love Mexican food, in fact in my article Eating Out on a Keto Diet – you can read it by clicking here, I recommend Mexican as a great option when considering eating out on a ketogenic diet.

The fact that their main sides to go with the dishes are avocado, cheese, and sour cream make it desirable for a ketogenic diet. Of course, for me and many others who decide not to eat dairy on our ketogenic diet, we stick to the extra guac and are perfectly happy with that.

The Inspiration:

I used to make a chopped vegetable salsa that I would bring to all of my family functions and people would eat it right up! It was a salsa made with avocado, tomatoes, black beans, corn, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime. It was awesome! It had a Mexican flair to it and I could eat it like a salad vs. just a dip with nachos.

I wanted to create a ketogenic version of that dish, so I started making a list of ingredients that would go well together and after jotting down a few things the below is what made the cut. I had also written down green pepper, zucchini, tomato, and cucumber but when I got in the kitchen, those items just didn’t make it. The recipe turned out perfect with the ingredients below and I think you are really going to enjoy it.

Cold Salad vs. Hot

I really thought that this recipe would be best served cold and could be brilliant as a salad on its own or in a lettuce wrap as a taco, so I didn’t really put the ingredients below together as a hot dish, having said that you could totally add majority of these ingredients in the pan and fry it up adding the avocados last, or you could also, with a few modifications add it to a tomato broth, puree the broth with the avocado and make it a soup or skip the avocado and add coconut cream in its place for the fat.

That is what I love about a good recipe, it can be versatile and altered to fit different needs. The best part of the dish though is the citrus, it is so light yet vibrant at the same time, so it can really add a lot of flavor to any dish you are making. For this reason alone, I visioned and executed the dish to be a cooled salad.


The protein in this recipe is shrimp but you could really use any type of seafood. I could see this being lovely with calamari or with a white fish and I actually think you could stir in a can of tuna into the mix also and have a tuna salad.

This recipe could be served on top of a grilled protein like chicken or beef and have it as a salsa.

Whichever protein you use, it is important that you use grass fed and finished meat or seafood that is wild caught. Farm-raised fish don’t have the same nutrient profile that wild fish does and those poor fish are often given antibiotics and treated with pesticides to fight off diseases and guess what? Those antibiotics make it from farm to your table for you to ingest. No thank you! Farm-fish are also often in cramped quarters and live in less than desirable living conditions.

Although this dish can be changed to accommodate different proteins, when you are looking at seafood, it is not all equal in the carbohydrate count. Shrimp is a great source of protein on a ketogenic diet because the carbohydrates are almost non-existent like chicken or beef, however scallops, for example, have 5 carbs per 100 grams, where shrimp has 0.2 carbs per 100 grams, making it a seafood preference.


Yields: 2 Servings


  • 340 grams wild-caught shrimp, raw
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeds removed & diced
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp MCT oil, or light flavored oil
  • 1 large avocado, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, using 6 leaves as tacos

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Thaw the shrimp under cool water, peel, and pat dry with a paper towel
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of MCT oil in a frying pan on medium heat, cook shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, remove from pan & set aside
  3. In a medium-size bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients, salt & pepper to taste and stir together
  4. Once shrimp has cooled to room temperature, chop each shrimp into 3 pieces, add to the bowl of all the ingredients, stir and set aside for 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend
  5. Serve salad inside each lettuce leaf

Calories: 542 | Fat: 35 grams | Carbohydrates: 13 grams | Fiber: 7 grams | Protein: 45 grams

Add Some Heat?

I want to leave you with the last point being that this dish is actually not spicy. Because we remove the seeds of the jalapeno, it isn’t spicy, not even a little bit, so if you do want to add some heat to it, I recommend hot sauce or cayenne powder to the dish to spice it up! If you are expecting a spicy dish, you will be disappointed without knowing this.

Happy Cooking!

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