Shrimp Remoulade

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Shrimp remoulade is a classic Southern dish popular in New Orleans. It’s lovely as a luncheon salad, or as a first course appetizer. The creamy remoulade sauce is also perfect pairing to fish and seafood. This tangy mayonnaise-based sauce is the highlight to this light and healthy recipe. It’s ideal for a special occasion, or as an elegant starter to a dinner party. Louisiana Remoulades are different from classic French remoulade sauce. 

shrimp remoulade on a plate.

How many variations are there for Remoulade sauce?

The short answer is a lot! Shrimp remoulade has as many variations as there are cooks and cookbooks. While researching the perfect remoulade sauce, I consulted the two French “bibles”, Larousse’s Gastronomique and Escoffier. Both are considered preeminent authorities on French cuisine, and both books were part of my culinary education.

Shrimp remoulade sauce on salad.

I still use them as references. However, even between those two books, I found a few slight differences in this classic French remoulade sauce. I looked at the New York Times, Joy of Cooking, and Gourmet magazine, and got three entirely different recipes.

new orleans street.
French Quarter.

My next attempt was the actual recipe from Galatoire’s restaurant in New Orleans from Bon Appetit, 1999. But because New Orleans cuisine is heavily influenced by its French roots, it makes sense that they borrowed a French classic and made it their own.

restaurant des familles.
Restaurant des Familles.

So the question is, did I want to stay true to the French origin of this classic sauce or go with a variation? Because I was making shrimp remoulade which is a classic shrimp dish found all over the French Quarter of New Orleans, I consulted my niece who owns a restaurant in New Orleans. She graciously gave me the recipe that they use at Restaurant Des Familles.

Louisiana bayou.
Bayou view at Restaurant des Famillies.

Traditional remoulade sauce recipe

A traditional French remoulade sauce à la Escoffier is more akin to what we think of as tartar sauce. The following is Escoffier’s recipe:

“To one pint of mayonnaise, add one large tablespoon of mustard, another of gherkins (small dill pickles), and yet another of chopped and pressed out capers, one tablespoon of fine herbs, parsley, chervil, and tarragon, all chopped and mixed, and a teaspoon of anchovy essence or a bit of anchovy paste.”  While a classic remoulade is not a spicy sauce, A New Orleans remoulade tends to have a bit of a kick.

Ingredients for classic shrimp remoulade 

shrimp remoulade closeup.

I took all six, yes SIX, recipes for remoulade sauce and looked for the common ingredients they all shared. There were a few common elements; parsley, mayonnaise and mustard. While most recipes specify mustard, the Galatoire’s recipe calls for Creole mustard. When developing recipes, I consider how easy it is to find the ingredients. Would everyone have access to Creole mustard? Ultimately I settled on Brooke’s remoulade sauce. I substituted the fresh basil for fresh tarragon, as tarragon compliments seafood so well. Since Creole mustard is not as easy to find as Dijon, a teaspoon of horseradish added to the sauce will come close.

Ingredients for remoulade sauce.

  • Mayonnaise
  • fresh parsley
  • Creole mustard (Dijon mustard, spicy brown mustard, or whole grain mustard would also work)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish (if you can’t find Creole mustard or if like a spicer sauce)*
  • Red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • green onions
  • parsley
  • fresh tarragon (or fresh basil)
  • celery
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp (size 26-30 or smaller)
  • Crisp iceberg lettuce
  • tomato
  • avocado (my Southern California addition)

While I love a very large shrimp for grilling like Greek Grilled Shrimp, sometimes smaller shrimp is better like Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Ceviche). For this salad, choose something in the range of 26-30 per pound. Here’s more information on the size of the shrimp.

shrimp remoulade vertical.

How to make remoulade sauce

  • Chop celery, green onions, parsley and tarragon or basil.

chopped herbs.

  • In a food processor or blender add mayonnaise, mustard, (horseradish if using), vinegar, chopped celery, green onions and herbs.
  • With the motor running, add the olive oil in a stream, pulse until smooth and blended. Add paprika, kosher salt, pepper. If the sauce is too tangy, add a little more olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you prefer a spicier sauce, add a few drops of Louisiana hot sauce to taste.

​Cooking the shrimp

Why make shrimp remoulade and not make the the shrimp as flavorful as possible? You really don’t need a recipe for boiled shrimp. It takes almost no time at all. If you like spicy kick, add more Cajun or Creole seasoning. Since shrimp is the star of this show, avoid using pre-cooked shrimp. (From Cook’s Illustrated)

shrimp ingredients.
  • In a large pot add 2 cups cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and the lemon halves, add 1 Tablespoon Old Bay or Creole or Cajun seasoning, a couple of parsley sprigs, and a couple of tarragon sprigs.
  • To the poaching liquid add one pound of shrimp. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook shrimp, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and firm to the touch about 8 minutes. Water should be barely simmering. 
  • Remove pan from heat and let shrimp sit in liquid for 2 minutes while you prepare an ice bath.
cooked shrimp.
  • Fill a medium bowl with a few cups of ice and some water to make an ice bath.
  • Remove herbs, lemon lemon halves and peppercorns.
draining shrimp.
  • Drain shrimp add to ice bath to stop it from cooking. 
shrimp in ice bath.
  • Remove shrimp from water and pat dry. Cover shrimp and chill until ready to serve.

Finishing shrimp remoulade salad

getting ready to assemble the shrimp remoulade.

I consulted my niece, Brooke, whose restaurant serves traditional Louisiana cuisine. Their brunch menu features a crab remoulade salad.

restaurant des familles crab.
One of the many traditional dishes served at Restaurant des Familles.

Serving a New Orleans shrimp remoulade as an appetizer or starter looks completely different than an entree or main course salad. Since the appetizer portion is much smaller, the garnish should be more petite. So instead of tomato wedges, garnish with tomato concasse, (seeded and diced tomato).

  • Toss shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce with some remoulade sauce. In a separate bowl gently coat shrimp with more remoulade sauce. 
tossing lettuce in remoulade sauce.

  • Divide salad onto 4-8 separate plates, depending on whether it’s a side salad or luncheon serving. 
  • Arrange cold shrimp on top of shredded lettuce. Garnish with seeded, diced tomatoes, a few capers, lemon slices, and diced or sliced avocado. (This is my “California” addition). 
top shot of shrimp remoulade.

  • Presentation for an appetizer portion, use shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce.
  • For a luncheon portion, serve it on a bed of lettuce with a tomatoes wedges, hard boiled egg quarters, and capers. Serve additional sauce on the side.
  • Serve this simple shrimp salad with crusty Italian or French bread.
shrimp remoulade.

The remoulade sauce is also the perfect condiment to Crab Cakesor as a dipping sauce to Chicken Tenders.

For a taste of New Orleans or a Mardi Gras party, try Spicy Shrimp or King Cake.

Shrimp remoulade.

Shrimp Remoulade

Shrimp remoulade is a classic Southern dish popular in New Orleans, that's great as a salad, or as a first course appetizer. Shrimp recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Remoulade recipe courtesy of Restaurant des Familles, New Orleans.
5 from 48 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Entree, Starter
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 453 kcal


Remoulade Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard (or grainy brown mustard and 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley loosely packed, then chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon tarragon (or basil, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (not smoked)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 or 2 drops Louisiana hot sauce (optional)

Poached Shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp (26-30) thawed, deveined and peeled.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon juiced, reserved halves, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning (or Old Bay)
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Shrimp Remoulade Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce shredded or coarsely chopped
  • 1 firm tomato seeded and diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 2 Tablespoons capers drained
  • 2 eggs hard boiled and quartered


Remoulade Sauce

  • In food processor fitted with blade, mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, celery, green onions, fresh herbs and spices. Pulse a few times.
  • With motor running, add olive oil in a stream, blending until sauce is smooth. Adjust seasoning, adding more olive oil if too tangy and a drop or two of hot sauce if desired. Chill until ready to use.

Poaching Shrimp

  • In a medium pot, combine shrimp, 2 cups cold water, juice of one lemon and used lemon halves, parsley and tarragon sprigs, peppercorns and Creole seasoning. Stir to distribute seasonings.
  • Bring to boil over medium heat and cook shrimp, stirring occasionally about 8 minutes. Water will be just bubbling around edges and shrimp will be pink and firm.
  • Once shrimp is cooked, turn off heat and allow the shrimp to sit in poaching liquid for 2 minutes. It will continue to cook) While shrimp is resting, prepare an ice bath.
  • Drain shrimp and discard herbs, spices and lemon halves. Plunge shrimp into ice bath to stop it from cooking. Place shrimp in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salads.

Finishing the Shrimp Remoulade Salads

  • Wait to assemble the shrimp remoulade until ready to serve. Toss shredded or chopped
  • Chop or dice seeded tomatoes, dice avocado and squirt with lemon. Peel and quarter the hard boiled eggs.
  • Toss shredded or chopped iceberg or romaine with 1/2 cup remoulade sauce. Divide dressed salad between 4, 6 or 8 plates. (luncheon, starter or appetizer course?)
  • Toss the shrimp in the same bowl with another 1/4 to 1/3 cup remoulade sauce. (You want the shrimp to be coated, but not soaked). Divide the shrimp among the plates.
  • Garnish with tomatoes, avocado, capers, additional chopped parsley, and 1/4 hard boiled egg. Serve additional sauce on the side.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 453kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 6gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 871mgPotassium: 562mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1814IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. This looks fabulous! Have you tried it with dried tarragon? I’m sure it’s not as good as fresh, but it’s so expensive in our local grocery store!

  2. this looks awesome. I will make it. I am on my phone entering for the gift card. hope I did it correctly

  3. 5 stars
    I made this salad for a light dinner and it was easy to make and quick to pull together, I will definitely make it again

5 from 48 votes (45 ratings without comment)

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