Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad: Gateway to the Holidays

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad. It’s both easy to prepare and light enough for the “pre-holiday” season.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a good idea to focus our attention on lighter meals this week. We all know what’s coming, right? I don’t just mean Thanksgiving. I mean all six weeks and the whole shebang!

Caesars aren’t typically what you consider “light”. However, the trick to this Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad is to add as much brightly flavored citrus as you can– both to the dressing and in the shrimp marinade. My version still has a whole (practically) raw egg in it, and plenty of Parmesan. In my book, it just doesn’t deserve the Caesar moniker without these ingredients. However, the big bite of acid from two kinds of citrus means you can cut back on the more caloric additions as much as you see fit.

Eating flavorful but lighter is part of what I love about citrus this time of year, but I have to admit I have another reason for turning to citrus just in time for Thanksgiving.

To me, Thanksgiving (not Halloween) is the gateway to the holidays. When I was a kid there was no “on-demand” TV, so Charlie Brown and his pathetic tree always waited until after Turkey Day to hum their way into my heart and herald the holidays at the same time. Nothing could get me wound up for Christmas quite like Lucy refusing to eat “November snowflakes” and Schroeder in a pair of skates (all set to some of the best music of the 20th century). I still can’t get in the Holiday spirit until I’ve heard the songs from the show.

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

But Charlie Brown isn’t the only reason I chose to rev up this Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad with citrus flavors. Nope. Tangerines, lemons, limes, and especially oranges all remind me of the holidays because my mom used to stuff an orange into the toe of my Christmas stocking. Year after year– no matter how old I got. Once I was bigger you’d think she’d graduate to a grapefruit, but no, my mom adhered to that old European tradition and considered oranges and other citrus the rarest of treats. Just the thing to lighten up a Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad. GREG

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad Charlie Brown Christmas

Orange-Cirtus Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Inspired by Martha Stewart LivingPublished
Orange Cirtus Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad


  • 1 ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (divided)
  • 3 clove garlic (peeled and smashed)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided, plus more for bread)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 ½ pound large shrimp (about 12 to 16 shrimps, shelled & deveined, tails on)
  • ½ baguette (sliced lengthwise)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 1 clove galic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 romaine lettuce (interior leaves only, separted)
  • 1 ripe avocado (peeled seeded and cut into ½‑inch cubes)
  • 4 lemon wedges


Make the marinade: In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup orange juice, smashed garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half; about 10 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature, discarding solids. Whisk in orange zest, sugar, ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper; set aside.

Prepare the shrimp: Place shrimp and ½ cup marinade in a medium bowl. Cover, and let stand 20 minutes; tossing once or twice. Set the rest of the marinade aside at room temperature.

Make the croutons: Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush both sides of baguette with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill bread until lightly toasted but still chewy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, let cool, then cut into 1‑inch cubes; set aside. Keep the grill pan set on high heat.

Grill the shrimp: Cook the shrimp onto the heated grill pan, flipping once, until pink and barely cooked through; about 1 minute per side. Toss shrimp with remaining room temperature marinade; set aside on a plate lightly tented with foil.

Prepare the dressing: Plunge whole egg in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from water, and let cool slightly in shell. Whisk remaining 1 ½ cup olive oil, remaining ¼ cup orange juice, and Worcestershire in a large bowl. Briskly whisk in egg, Parmesan and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Toss dressing with romaine, then add baguette croutons and avocado cubes.

Plate the salad: Arrange 4 leaves on each plate, making sure each has croutons and avocado. Top each with 3 or 4 shrimp, sprinkle with more Parmesan. Serve with a lemon wedge, salt, pepper and additional Parmesan on the side.