I love the combination of flavors in this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad and the tasty salad is enhanced with cilantro, cumin, and lime.

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Shrimp and Black Bean Salad finished salad

I love this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad. Shrimp, black beans, cilantro, and lime. It’s a combination that goes together so well that you could easily come up with hundreds of recipes featuring this quartet. I bought a big bag of cooked frozen shrimp from Costco, and this was a salad I made for lunch after thinking to myself, hmmm, what else can I make with shrimp?

The ingredients were determined by what I had in the fridge and pantry, as well as a well-documented love for cilantro, and this recipe has cilantro in the dressing and more cilantro in the salad, which is just fine with me. If you’re not a cilantro fan I think you could still get a pretty good result with thinly sliced green onion replacing the cilantro in the dressing and just using a little more green onion in the salad, but I wouldn’t use parsley in place of cilantro here.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • frozen cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed
  • canned black beans
  • sliced green onion
  • red bell pepper
  • chopped cilantro
  • Olive Oil (affiliate link) or a neutral flavored oil
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice, I used my fresh-frozen lime juice
  • Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) or other hot sauce
  • ground cumin (affiliate link) (or more to taste)
  • Chili Powder (affiliate link)
  • salt to taste (I used sea salt)

What size shrimp did I use?

In the United States, shrimp are labeled with a number that shows about how many shrimp make up a pound. I used 51-60 size shrimp for this recipe, but larger shrimp would also be great.

What if you don’t like cilantro?

This is kind of a cilantro-lover’s salad, since it has chopped cilantro in the dressing and more cilantro on the salad. But if you want to try making it without cilantro, I always recommend replacing it with more thinly sliced green onion.

How can you make this recipe lower in carbs?

A salad with black beans won’t ever be that low in carbs, but if you want a lower-carb version, use more shrimp and peppers and less beans.

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad process shots collage

How to Make Shrimp and Black Bean Salad:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. When you’re planning to make the salad, thaw the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator and then drain well.
  2. Then spread the shrimp out on a paper towel, cover with another towel, and pat dry.
  3. If using canned black beans, put them in a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears.)  Let the beans drain well. (I love to cook dried black beans in the slow cooker, and those would be perfect for this recipe.)
  4. You’ll need 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro for the dressing as well as another 1/2 cup or more chopped cilantro for the salad.
  5. Use a food processor (or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender (affiliate link) to mix together the oil, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), ground cumin, ground chile powder, and a little salt to make the dressing. 
  6. For best flavor, mix together the shrimp and black beans with about half the dressing and let it marinate in a covered container in the refrigerator for about an hour. Even a short marinating time will improve the flavor if you can’t wait an hour.
  7. While the shrimp and beans marinate, cut up the red bell pepper into pieces that are about 1/2 inch square.
  8. Slice up enough green onions to make about 1/4 cup. 
  9. Then add the chopped cilantro, chopped red bell pepper, and sliced green onions to the marinated shrimp and black beans and serve.
  10. This will keep in the fridge for one night, but after that the cilantro gets pretty limp.

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad large thumbnail image of finished salad

More Recipes with Black Beans:

Instant Pot Recipes for Black Beans ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Black Bean, Rice, and Cilantro Salad 
Black Bean and Pepper Salad
Spaghetti Squash Black Bean Mexican Bowl
Black Bean Salad with Jicama

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad
Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad

Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

I love the combination of flavors in this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with that also has cilantro, cumin, and lime.


  • 1/2 lb. frozen cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed (see notes)
  • one 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed well (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (or more)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or a neutral flavored oil
  • 1 1/2 T fresh squeezed lime juice (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. Green Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chili powder
  • generous pinch salt (I used sea salt)


  1. Thaw shrimp in refrigerator overnight if possible (or thaw in the bag in cold water).
  2. Drain well, then pat shrimp dry with paper towels.
  3. Rinse black beans in colander until no more foam appears, then drain well. Pat dry with paper towels if beans look very wet.
  4. In food processor with steel blade, pulse together oil, lime juice, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, Green Tabasco Sauce, cumin, chile powder, and salt about 1 minute, until cilantro is finely chopped and ingredients are well combined.
  5. Mix about half of dressing with beans and shrimp and let marinate in refrigerator one hour or as long as you can before you need to make the salad if you can’t wait one hour.
  6. While the shrimp and beans marinate, remove seeds from the red bell pepper and chop into pieces about 1/2 inch square.
  7. Slice enough green onion to make 1/4 cup (or more if you’re not adding the cilantro.)
  8. Add green onion, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped cilantro to shrimp and black bean mixture.
  9. Add additional dressing until salad is as moist as you prefer, and devour!  (You may not need all the dressing.)
  10. I kept the leftover salad in the refrigerator overnight and ate it for dinner the next day, and it was still very good the second day.


I used 51-60 size shrimp. I used my fresh-frozen lime juice for this recipe. Use 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans if you don't want canned beans. Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 1560mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 8gSugar: 2gProtein: 33g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Although the original South Beach Diet does permit beans even on phase one, they’re limited to a very small serving for Phase One. Since this Shrimp and Black Bean Salad does have other Phase One ingredients besides the beans, you can have a normal-sized serving, but use portion control. To make this salad lower in carbs, you could use more shrimp and peppers and less beans, but salads with beans won’t work for strict low-carb diets.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Seafood Recipes or Salads to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This salad was first posted in 2007! It was updated with better photos in 2014 and updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Shrimp and Black Bean Salad

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