Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado |

Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado

This post was originally published here on March 18, 2015. I’ve since adjusted the ingredients list and recipe instructions slightly. The text and photographs have been updated to reflect those changes.

I’m celebrating the first week of Spring with a B-I-G green salad!

This Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado is filled with crunchy romaine lettuce, creamy avocado and refreshingly cool cucumber. AND it has my favorite, and most signature, of the Spring vegetables: tender asparagus. It truly is a celebration of all things green!

But let’s not forget the shrimp! Whenever I add shrimp to my salads, I always wonder why I’m not doing this more often (but of course, then I instantly forget). It’s so fast and easy to cook shrimp. And they can really turn a boring side salad into an exciting main meal salad.

The shrimp and asparagus are cooked on the stove top in browned butter. Which gives so much richness and flavor to this salad. I like to buy large or extra-large shrimp for my salads. And I find that 7-8 shrimp per salad is the right amount.

The shrimp and asparagus only take a couple minutes to cook. So I like to make sure I have all my other ingredients prepped before I start. The pickled shallots are the only part of this recipe that needs some advanced planning. But you could make these well in advance (up to 2 weeks) and keep then in your refrigerator. I love having pickled shallots or red onions on hand for adding a bit of zip to my Spring salads!



Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado

Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes


For the Pickled Shallots:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon mirin or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the Salad:

  • 14-16 large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 lb asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced


  1. Make the pickled shallots. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water, vinegars, honey, salt, peppercorns and mustard seeds to a simmer, stirring until the honey and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the sliced shallots to a mason jar (or a similar type of heat-safe and re-sealable container). Pour the hot pickling liquid over the shallots. Cover and let them sit until the liquid comes to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Then place the mason jar in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Pickled shallots can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the salad. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and let them drain. Then pat them dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  5. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to lightly brown, add the shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of the salt and the red pepper flakes over the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they are no longer transparent and have some pink/red accents. Transfer the shrimp to a clean plate and set aside.
  6. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the asparagus and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is deep green and crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 tsp. of salt. Transfer the asparagus to the plate with the shrimp.
  7. Divide the chopped romaine between 2 large bowls. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss to coat. Then top with the avocado, cucumber, shrimp and asparagus, dividing the ingredients evenly between the 2 bowls. Add some pickled shallots and drizzle with additional dressing. Enjoy immediately.

34 comments on “Sautéed Browned Butter Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Avocado”

  1. So I’m not jealous of all the snow that you’ve had, but I am jealous that you get to see seals! So awesome! This salad looks delicious, Liz! I loved the browned butter shrimp, such a creative touch! This definitely makes me think that spring is somewhere on the horizon!

  2. I want to gobble this salad up in 2.2 nano seconds! Have mercy.

  3. Ohhhh girl, you guys really did get the brunt of the winter over there. Thankfully you can eat like it’s summer and wish the snow away 😉 This salad looks amaaaazing! Browned butter shrimp is just plain genius, and I love avo and shrimp together. I need this meal asap!

  4. The furball was TOO CUTE. I can’t wait to come visit this summer 🙂

  5. I loved that furball, too!!! And I love this salad!!! LOL at your can’t stop, won’t stop hahaha Never gets old!! 🙂

  6. Browned butter shirmp — ALWAYS a win.

  7. Liz, was that a seal?!!! total cuteness overload!! and oh my gawd, this salad. . love the miso dressing!! Hope it starts to warm up for you soon!!!

  8. Snow? Still? Don’t worry – I’m sure spring is right around the corner! P.S. I’d dive into miso-anything. This included!

  9. It’s not Spring here yet either, but this salad certainly brightens my day 🙂 Sounds delicious!

  10. I love the shrimp you add in this! It is such a nice and unique twist to this salad!

  11. I feel like I would eat way more salad if it always involve brown butter. Though that miso dressing is also pretty tempting!

  12. We’ve been getting so much snow! I’m ready for warmth and spring flavors in the garden and at the farm stand. This looks amazing. 😀

  13. I love miso, Liz, and it sounds so good with all these other flavors! And brown butter shrimp — big yes!! Pinned.

  14. OMG your baby seal is adorable just chilling out on an iceberg! Brown butter makes everything better and that miso dressing sounds awesome!

  15. A hail storm??? Yuck!

    I LOVE the sound of this miso dressing! I’m weird and can’t stand shrimp (texture thing for me) but the rest of this looks amazing!

    • This dressing would be awesome on just about anything. You can definitely sub out the shrimp for chicken or keep it vegetarian and add some more veggies!

  16. Hoping spring comes your way soon friend! Shouldn’t be long now. This salad sounds delicious!

  17. I always think the same thing about shrimp! It’s so easy, I totally SHOULD make it more often! I’ve gotten in the habit of always keeping a bag in the freezer… when I need something to make for dinner last minute it’s SO quick to defrost and cook! This sald looks amazing. I’m loving avocado on pretty much EVERYTHING these days!

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