Here’s a fresh, flavorful, healthy and easy dinner salad that’s perfect for a light summer meal! Best of all, cool and crunchy Butter Lettuce Salad with Shrimp, Mango, Avocado and Sweet Chili Vinaigrette is practically no-cook!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
Butter lettuce is a lovely sweet salad green that works well for everyday meals. Because it often still has the roots attached, it tends to stay fresh in your refrigerator for weeks.
In this healthy salad recipe, tender butter lettuce serves as the base for shrimp, mango, avocado, red onion, hot or sweet peppers and a Thai-inspired sweet chili vinaigrette for a flavorful nearly no-cook summer dinner.
This Butter Lettuce Salad recipe with Shrimp, Mango, Avocado and Sweet Chili Vinaigrette is pretty much everything! It’s:
- Super flavorful!
- Easy with minimal prep work.
- Practically no-cook and totally no-cook if you use purchased cooked shrimp.
- Versatile! Because it’s butter lettuce, this salad is easily transformed into lettuce wraps.
- Healthy without a lot of oil!
Let’s make it!
How to Make Butter Lettuce Salad with Shrimp, Mango, Avocado and Sweet Chili Vinaigrette:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this butter lettuce salad recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Shrimp: Use wild-caught shrimp if at all possible. Full disclosure: The shrimp shown in the photo are farmed shrimp that my husband purchased by mistake because they were labeled very nicely: No preservatives, no hormones, no additives. But, they were still farmed shrimp. Using them only reaffirmed my resolve to only buy and consume wild-caught shrimp because of the rubbery texture farmed shrimp tend to have.
- Mango: There are numerous varieties of mangoes. The most common types found at most grocery stores are “Haden” and “Tommy Atkins.” To determine ripeness, gently squeeze the mango. A ripe mango will give slightly and will sometimes have a fruity aroma at its stem end.
- Hot or Sweet Peppers: The peppers shown are Fresno chiles which can be pretty spicy. If you don’t like hot and spicy, used diced red bell pepper or thinly sliced mini peppers.
- Butter / Bibb / Boston Lettuce: Butter lettuce is a type of lettuce that also includes Bibb and Boston. Although it doesn’t have a buttery flavor, it has a sweet, mild flavor. The loose, round heads are often sold in a plastic shell with the roots still attached to preserve freshness. Because the roots usually are still attached, be sure to rinse the heads before using.
- Rice Vinegar: This mild Asian vinegar is sometimes referred to as rice wine vinegar, however, they are two different ingredients. Both will work in this recipe.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: This sweet, tangy and spicy condiment can be found in the international aisle of your grocery store.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Make the sweet chili vinaigrette first. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- MAKE AHEAD: Can be made one day ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add salt and black pepper.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or just until the shrimp is firm, pink and cooked through.
- Drain in a sieve or colander and run under cold running tap water to cool the shrimp quickly.
- MAKE AHEAD: Shrimp can be cooked one day ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Assemble the salad: Place the butter lettuce on a platter and top it with the shrimp, mango, avocado, red onion and sweet or hot pepper. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
- Drizzle on the sweet chili vinaigrette or let each diner add as desired.
- This butter lettuce salad can also be assembled on individual plates and the vinaigrette passed separately.
- Or, keep the shrimp warm and enjoy as a wrap.
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Mango flesh can be slippery. The easiest way to dice a mango is to slice it down from the stem end on the two somewhat flat sides avoiding the large pit. Then, take a sharp paring knife and make cuts in the mango flesh in two directions. Use the dull end of the chef’s knife or paring knife to remove the already diced flesh from the mango skin. Like this…
- If you need to peel and devein shrimp, the quickest way I have found to do that is to:
- Use kitchen shears to cut the shell. Without setting the shears down in between handling each individual shrimp (in other words–do ALL the cutting first), cut the top shell of all the shrimp up to the tail part, allowing the tip of the shear to slit an opening as you cut to enable removal of the vein.
- Then, under gently running tap water, separate the shell where you cut with the shears then remove the vein, the shell and the legs.
- You may wish to leave part of the tail on for presentation purposes.
- You can also use a paring knife but I find kitchen shears to be less clumsy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Butter lettuce (which includes Bibb and Boston lettuce) has tender leaves with a very mild, flavor. Because of the mild flavor, it’s an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches and butter lettuce leaves are perfect for wraps when eating low-carb. Butter lettuce is known for its small, round, loosely formed heads with soft, textured leaves.
The sweet chili vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated. The shrimp can be cooked 1 day ahead of time and also refrigerated.
Almost any lettuce can be substituted but the best lettuce would be red leaf lettuce because it has tender leaves similar to butter lettuce.
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More main course/dinner salads you’ll love!
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Butter Lettuce Salad with Shrimp Mango Avocado and Sweet Chili Vinaigrette
- 1 large mango - peeled, pitted and diced
- 2 large limes - juiced (approximately ¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup sweet chili sauce
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - if needed, to taste
- 1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count) - peeled and deveined, tail removed if desired
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 1 head butter, Bibb or Boston lettuce - separated into leaves
- 1 large mango - peeled, pitted and cubed
- 2 large avocados - peeled, pitted and sliced
- Red onion - thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno chile - or mini sweet red peppers, sliced
- Cilantro sprigs - for garnish
- Lime wedges - for serving
- Combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper if needed.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and black pepper.
- Drop the shrimp into the boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold tap water to cool.
- Place greens on a platter. Top with shrimp, mango, avocado, chiles, cilantro and lime wedges. Pass dressing on the side.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.