Skip to Content

How to Impress Your Parents with Fancy Shrimp Salad

Finished Shrimp Salad

When I am picking out recipes, I rarely look at the name of the recipe. Just like my mom, I have to see a picture of what I am making, or I am not interested in trying it. If I just read the title of this recipe, I would pass right over it! What is Panzanella anyway? After looking it up, I found out it is Italian and has the words pane and zanella mixed tougher, which means bread and soup bowl. I am like most kids, and the word, “salad” strikes disappointment when it is on the family menu for dinners. But when I saw the picture in the recipe book, it didn’t look all that green, and it looked fancy. So I thought, “Maybe I could make a fancy shrimp salad to impress my parents?”

Cookbook Recipe

My parents always laugh at the fact that my sister and I have such a dislike for chicken, but love seafood. One of our favorite meals is sushi, which might be surprising as it isn’t often considered a kid food. My mom always says if there was no such thing as a food budget, we would eat a lot more fish, but it can be so expensive. So we look for frozen shrimp on sale and often have a bag of it in the freezer.

Shrimp Salad Ingredients

Shrimp Salad as a Summer Meal

Since it has been really hot here lately, and we are not big fans of air conditioning, my mom agreed that this was a good choice for our summery meal. After reading through the directions together, she felt that I could handle this one all on my own.

I was using the Pampered Chef recipe book again, and it has some specific utensil names that we had to figure out. The recipe calls for using a grill pan to make the garlic bread. Because we do not have one of those, we decided to make our normal garlic bread by laying out the bread, spreading melted butter and garlic on top, and then broiling it in the oven.

Preparing Garlic Bread

I thought we had some large carrots in the refrigerator for my sister’s bunny (Sir Albert Grey), but it turns out we only had the small ones. I carefully cut them lengthwise to get them as small as I could. The recipe calls for carrot peels, and I think that would have been better, as my carrots were a bit thick for the salad.

Cutting Carrots

Too Much Lemon?

I was excited to try something new with the lemon, as I had never zested or used the juicer before. The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of zest, but it was a bit hard to tell how much I had. I just decided to zest the entire thing, and then all of the juice that I could get out of the lemon. There was not much left when I got done with it.

Preparing Dressing

Since we were using frozen shrimp, it was still pretty cold when we were putting all of our ingredients together. I ran it under semi-warm water, just take the edge off.

Adding Oil to Dressing

I did think it was a bit weird to be putting garlic bread into a salad, but I followed the recipe just as it said. I thought it looked very pretty in the serving bowl.

Finished Fancy Shrimp Salad

Did I Impress with Fancy Shrimp Salad?

When we all took our first bite, everyone made the same sour-looking face at once! My mom said the word, “refreshing” and my dad chose less subtle wording, “Wow, that has a lot of lemon!” I will admit, it was pretty overpowering. I think I went a bit overboard with the lemon. It didn’t ruin the meal, but it was sour. Even the bread made a sour-looking face!

Sad Garlic Bread

Since we all love garlic bread, I made extra for each of us. We all agreed that we liked having the bread on the side, and not so much in the salad. The problem was probably with the way we broiled the bread, as one side was nice and crunchy, while the other got very soggy in the dressing. If I were to make this again, I would for sure flip the bread in the broiler to keep both sides more crispy, or maybe just leave it out and have plenty on the side of the bowl to eat along with the shrimp.

I guess it wouldn’t technically be a Panzanella salad, but since I do not know how to pronounce that word anyway, so I can live with that.

How to Impress Your Parents with Fancy Shrimp Salad

How to Impress Your Parents with Fancy Shrimp Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 4 Slices (1 inch thick) Italian bread (I tripled this amount for our family of 5 and served some on the side, see post)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1 Medium Carrot (or about 5 Baby)
  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1 Pound Frozen Medium Cooked Shrimp, Thawed
  • Dressing:
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Snipped Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Pressed (which makes for a strong garlic taste)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coarsely Ground Pepper


For salad, lay Italian bread on a baking dish and lightly brush bread with 1 tablespoon of butter or more if using more bread. Broil on low until slightly golden, then flip and broil other side. Set aside to cool. Cut 4 slices into small pieces if using in the salad.

Peel carrot, but in half lengthwise, then crosswise on the bias into thin slices. Thinly slice celery on the bias, set aside.

For the dressing, zest lemon to measure 1 tablespoon, juice lemon to measure 2 tablespoons juice. Snip parsley with kitchen shears. Whisk together lemon zest, juice, parsley, pressed garlic, salt and black better in a mixing bowl. Slowly add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until blended.

To assemble salad, peel shrimp and remove tail (if needed). Add shrimp, carrot and celery to dressing. Fold bread crumbs into mixture and serve immediately.


Adapted from 29 Minutes to Dinner: From Everyday to Grommet by the Pampered Chef

Did you experiment with this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe