Colorful Shrimp Avocado Boats makes a refreshing appetizer or meal-sized salad loaded with shrimp, melon, and vegetables.

Shrimp Avocado Boats Recipe – A colorful, refreshing salad or appetizer


Chunky shrimp avocado boats salad combines the briny flavor of shrimp with the sweet flavors of fresh cantaloupe and honeydew melons, accompanied by the velvety goodness of avocado. It is tossed with an easy cilantro mayonnaise and ladled into reserved avocado shells. This makes a pretty presentation as a meal-sized salad or appetizer.

Shrimp Avocado Boats Recipe

Cilantro Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

1 lemon or lime
1 bay leaf
2 ribs celery with leaves, halved
2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
4 black peppercorns
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Juice of 1 lime
3 ripe avocados, preferably Hass, halved and pitted
1 cup small ripe cantaloupe balls
1 cup small ripe honeydew balls
6 small fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, orange zest, cilantro, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Refrigerate. Use within 24 hours.

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Cut lemon or lime in half, then squeeze juice into a large pot of water to cook the shrimp. Toss in the juiced rinds as well. Add bay leaf, celery, parsley, and peppercorns and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium, add shrimp, and cook until they turn opaque (usually less than 1 minute of cooking time – do not overcook or the shrimp will become tough).

Immediately remove only the shrimp with a slotted spoon, discarding the cooked veggies and water, and place the shrimp in a bowl of ice. When cool, pat shrimp dry and cut into about 1-inch thick chunks.

In a large bowl, combine shrimp chunks with tomatoes.

Carve 6 small balls from the center of each avocado half using a small melon baller tool, and place in a separate bowl with the lime juice, tossing gently to cover to inhibit browning. The remaining avocado shells become the “boats.”

Strain the avocado balls from the lime juice (reserve that juice) and add to the shrimp and tomato mixture, along with the cantaloupe and honeydew melon balls. Coat the avocado shells with the remaining lime juice and set aside.

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Fold the cilantro mayonnaise gently into the avocado, shrimp, tomato, and melon mixture, tossing gently to combine. Fill the reserved avocado boats with equal amounts of the shrimp mixture and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Yield: 6 servings

Shrimp Avocado Boats Recipe Photo ©2018 Peggy Filippone

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