New York deli-style Shrimp Salad may just be the best seafood salad ever. It combines poached shrimp with celery and red onion in a mayonnaise-based sauce with lemon, celery seed, and a touch of dill. It’s outstanding by itself, but stuff it in wraps or sandwiches, or serve with chopped romaine for an unforgettable salad.

Shrimp salad in deli container.


There’s something truly wonderful about New York deli shrimp salad.

It’s not only relatively healthy but is loaded with fresh flavor and is perfect for gatherings.

I love it by itself, but it’s really great with mixed greens for a salad, or you can even serve it in a toasted hot dog bun similar to a lobster roll!

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: red onion, mayonnaise, celery, dill, Dijon mustard, spices, lemons, and shrimp.
  • Shrimp. I’m using U31-40 shrimp but you can use any shrimp you’d like. If you use larger shrimp you’ll likely need to chop them in half or thirds if bite-sized pieces are desired.
  • Celery seed. This key ingredient gives the salad that NY deli flavor.
  • Mayonnaise. Most delis are using a thicker Hellman’s or restaurant supply store mayo, however, you can absolutely use grocery store Hellman’s. If you want that authentic NY deli flavor, opt for Hellman’s over the other brands.
  • Dill. Some delis use dill, some don’t. I love it and am using it here, however, if you want to omit it, you can do so 100%!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. In a large bowl combine 1 1/2 pounds of U31-40 (or other size) peeled, deveined, tails-removed shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning and set aside for 15-20 minutes. While the shrimp are brining, finely dice 1/2 cup of celery, 1/4 cup of red onion, and mince 1 tablespoon of dill and set aside. (Photo #1)
New York deli shrimp salad recipe process collage group one showing seasoning shrimp and boiling shrimp next to an ice water bath.
  1. Add 8 cups of water to a pot along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and bring to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice water to shock the shrimp and set aside. After the shrimp have sat in the brine for 15-20 minutes, add them to the boiling water and cook for ~90 seconds or until they turn slightly opaque and are just cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water and place them directly into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. (Photo #2)
  2. Drain the shrimp in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage two showing drying off shrimp on baking sheet and mixing the sauce.
  1. In a large bowl mix together the finely diced veggies and minced dill with 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, 1 teaspoon of celery seed, 2 ounces of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Taste test and add salt and pepper, to taste. (Photo #4)
  2. Add the shrimp to the sauce and mix to coat well. Cover the shrimp salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight to let the flavors marry together. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage three showing mixing shrimp with the sauce in a large bowl and draining the shrimp through a colander.
  1. After 2 hours, but preferably the next day, strain the shrimp through a colander and drain the liquid. If you want it to thicken up a bit, you can mix in 1-2 tablespoons of mayo. Serve immediately and enjoy! Note: you don’t have to drain the salad, but if you intend to make a sandwich it’s best to drain it very well. All the flavor will still be there because of the refrigeration process. (Photo #6)
Shrimp salad on a toasted bun with shredded lettuce.

Top tips

  • Let it sit. The best tip I can give you is to let the shrimp salad sit overnight. This is key for that NY deli flavor! I do it with my NY deli tuna salad, egg salad, and others and it works like a charm. Be sure to drain the excess liquid the next day if you intend to make sandwiches.
  • Cooking the shrimp. If you’re using shrimp that are larger or smaller than the U31-40 I used here, the cook times may vary from what is stated in the recipe which is why it’s important to keep your eye on them and remove once they’re opaque and shock them immediately.
  • Onion, celery, dill. Some delis just use celery and celery seed with very little onion. I think a little extra onion and the fresh dill make an even better shrimp salad, but please feel free to omit the dill if you prefer.

More deli salads

If you love New York deli salads, check out these recipes!

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New York Deli Shrimp Salad

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 23 minutes
Servings: 6
This New York deli-style shrimp salad combines poached shrimp with onions, celery, and dill in a lemon-mayo sauce with celery seed.

Ingredients 

For poaching the shrimp

  • 1.5 pounds shrimp 31-40 count shrimp – peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon dill minced, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

Poaching the shrimp

  • Mix the shrimp well with the baking soda, salt, and Old Bay seasoning and set aside. Wait 15-20 minutes until boiling. While the shrimp are sitting in the brine, mix the sauce.
  • Prepare a large bowl of ice water for shocking the shrimp and set aside.
  • Add the water and lemon juice to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 90 seconds or until they turn slightly opaque. Place the shrimp immediately into the ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the shrimp in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.

For the sauce

  • In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper if required.
  • Add the shrimp to the sauce and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but prefarbly overnight to let the flavors meld.
  • The next day, for a dryer salad, strain the shrimp through a colander to drain the liquid. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • It is recommended to refrigerate overnight. The flavor will be much better and the shrimp salad can be drained to remove excess water.  
  • For convenience, cleaned and deveined 31-40 count shrimp were used.  Feel free to use shell on shrimp if you desire and peel right after shocking in the ice water bath.
  • Any size shrimp can be used.  Larger shrimp will take more time so keep an eye on them.  Once they are opaque, they are done and should be shocked in ice water immediately.
  • Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 242mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1.1g | Calcium: 109mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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20 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    5 stars
    Had some shrimp salad from a high end fish shop in Chicago recently. This was easily just as good. Super easy, super flavorful. Hard sharing it. I put some in a flour tortilla with chopped iceberg lettuce and diced Roma tomatoes. Gonna be a regular in our house from here on out. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Tara says:

      So happy you enjoyed this one, Paul!

  2. James says:

    5 stars
    I cooked this on Sunday, and my wife and I had it with jacket potatoes last night. I loved it and she was still talking about how good it was this morning. I’m in the UK, and old bay seasoning is not common here so I had to approximate with a recipe I found elsewhere. I will definitely make this again

    1. Tara says:

      Hi James, we’re so happy you enjoyed this one and thanks for the comment!

  3. Andy says:

    5 stars
    Excellent!