Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

46 reviews / 4.9 average

One thing about this Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing: must. eat. now.

One thing about me at a restaurant: I’m an obsessive pre-orderer. The beautiful thing about the fancy techno world of today is that menus are available online, right from my phone, so no matter where I am (at the grocery store? on the elliptical? cleaning the basement, like all the one times per five years that I do that?) I can look up a menu and place my mental pre-order. It’s either more fun or less fun to decide what I’m going to order before I even get to the restaurant, but I must do it. I have to. It’s just a thing.

I’m sure it’s totally fun for the people I dine with (read: Bjork) when I do this. We get in the car to drive to the restaurant and before we’ve even pulled out of the driveway, I’m asking him what he’s going to order, and he’s giving me THAT look, and I remember, oh yeah, you don’t understand the concept of the pre-order (ahem, weirdo) and you definitely haven’t even looked at the menu. And it’s really likely that you’re not even sure what kind of food is served at this restaurant, but you’re just chill. I think it’s called laid back? I don’t know, it’s foreign to me.

How To Make Our Shrimp And Avocado Salad (1 Min):

Shrimp and avocado salad in a white bowl.

This salad reminds me of one of my most locked-in-pre-orders of all time from California Pizza Kitchen. That’s right, I just brought CPK to the blog. I was never a huge huuuge fan of CPK but let me tell you what I was a huge huuuge fan of: their miso shrimp and crab salad. Oh my good greens. It was deliciously fresh, crispy, and wonderful. Or is it still? I guess all the CPK’s in our neck of the woods have since closed down, but they probably still exist somewhere, right? Go order this salad if they do.

So this is a completely simplified version, because maybe I didn’t happen to remember to look for a daikon radish at the grocery store this weekend, okay? And maybe my thumb was too tired from phone usage to shred carrots. AND MAYBE I LIKE SIMPLE. Whatever the reason. I just kept this shrimp and avocado salad really basic.

Shrimp (spicy, because duh)


Spinach or Baby Kale


and Miso Dressing

Shrimp and avocado salad in a white bowl.

Right? Like that’s totally doable. I might also want to recommend this: homemade wonton strips. Just cut wonton wrappers into strips and fry them in a little bit of oil over low heat; drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. You will most likely find yourself in the same predicament that we did, which was sitting down to a big bowl of shrimp and avocado salad only to find that OOPS we ate all the wonton strips already. 900% addicting.

I kid you not – after frying the strips and prepping the salad, we literally only had one single golden salty fried wonton strip left. Bjork let me put it on my salad. Self-sacrificial romance. ❤

One final note about the dressing: it’s a MISO DRESSING. It’s not too hard to find miso paste (I shop at a very regular grocery store and it was right there in the refrigerated food section) but it does have a really unique taste. If you’re not sure, or if you are very sure that you don’t like miso, maybe start with something more like this Chopped Thai Chicken Salad dressing. That’s pretty much a guaranteed pre-order for your own personal kitchen forever.

Shrimp and avocado salad in a white bowl with drizzle.
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Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This spicy shrimp and avocado salad has cucumbers, spinach, shrimp, and avocado with a creamy miso dressing. Awesome healthy lunch!



For the salad:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, tails removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced avocados (2 small)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 cups chopped spinach or baby kale
  • fresh chopped cilantro for topping
  • peanuts for topping

For the dressing:

  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh peeled ginger
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white miso (it’s like a paste – you can buy it at many regular grocery stores)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shrimp; sprinkle with the chili powder and cayenne directly in the pan. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the shrimp are no longer clear and have a nice golden color on the outside.
  2. Cut the avocados in half; cut lines through the avocado vertically and horizontally and scoop the flesh out with a spoon (like this). Peel and dice the cucumber. Chop the spinach or baby kale into small bite sized pieces. Arrange in a bowl with the shrimp.
  3. Puree all the dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately (or store the individual parts separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve). Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts for crunch.


Use more shrimp to make it more shrimpy! Use less avocado to cut the fat down.

  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shrimp and avocado salad, miso dressing, shrimp salad

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This recipe is part of our collection of easy shrimp recipes. Check it out!

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    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE PRE-ORDERING! We went out last night and I literally knew the exact item I wanted before we went in. I asked my fiancé what he was getting about 6 hours before we went, and was then confused when he said he didn’t know. SO WITH YOU.

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So glad I saw this before I headed to the grocery store later today! Crossing my finger to find the miso paste. This looks delicious and I would love to be able to make it for my lunches this week!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks like such a delicious salad!! I love miso dressings when I’m out to eat, but I have never actually used it at home. I should really get some though b/c I always think it tastes so delicious! And I’m with you on the pre-ordering thing. I look at restauranat menus like 10 times before I go 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Gorgeous salad! And I was thinking of making a miso dressing too..why haven’t I already? Ha..and there is still a CPK like 5 minutes from me but I never go there because I figure I can make the same things at home..ya know? But gahh..this salad!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love these salad bowls you make with all the ingredients in separate little areas! That would be great for my hubby who is one of those people who likes to eat the different foods on his plate separately (I hope he doesn’t read this … haha!) Wonderful combination of ingredients here, too … and what a creative idea to add miso dressing. Fabulous!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE PRE-ORDERING! We went out last night and I literally knew the exact item I wanted before we went in. I asked my fiancé what he was getting about 6 hours before we went, and was then confused when he said he didn’t know. SO WITH YOU.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love all the shrimp people are posting today for Mardi Gras! And I can’t wait to try this combination of spicy shrimp, miso, kale and avocado. It’s basically like you looked in my fridge and said, “Hmm, what could I make with all of this?” 😛

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Also a fan of the mental pre-order, for sure. The miso shrimp salad was my fav at CPK, but they’ve taken it off the menu! At least all the CPK’s I’ve been to in the past year don’t have it anymore, so I’d assume it no longer exists on any CPK menu, unfortunately 🙁 I’ve messed with trying to re-create it, too, and have come pretty close. Definitely going to try yours!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YUM. This looks amazing and perfect for a healthy lunch/weeknight meal! Thanks for sharing. You are not alone in the whole “pre-order” thing! I’ve done it for years and don’t know how people just blindly go into a restaurant 🙂

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I always pre-order mentally because, I always order the same thing. Like, always. Even if it’s something new it’s along the same lines, like “must have roasted tomatoes”. This salad looks amazing and I so love miso dressing.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love how basic this recipe is and all the flavors. Spicy, crunchy, creamy… and whatever miso tastes like. I’ve never had it before but love all the other flavors, so totally tasting it!

    P.S. I’m a total pre-orderer too… I mean it just makes sense.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Honestly, I’ve never cooked with miso before this so I don’t know what the other miso varieties taste like. 🙂

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, come visit me and I will take you to as many CPK’s as you want!! Out here in California, they still exist (I know, I know — big surprise), and there’s basically one at every mall. So we could go to like 10 different malls to make sure you get your fill of their awesome salad — and then compare each one to determine which restaurant makes it best. Because foodies totally do that, right? No? Just me? Oops…

    And I am totally a pre-order person too. I mean, it’s basically a rule! You have to make sure you preview the menu because (a) then you get to see pictures of all the options ahead of time and (b) you know whether you need to save room for an appetizer and entrée, or an entrée and dessert, or just make a meal of appetizers and desserts. And you’d never know any of that if you just waited until you got there! 😉