Shrimp Cobb Salad

Cover recipe-  Cooking Light, Shrimp Cobb Salad: May 2011

May 2011’s issue of Cooking Light highlights Healthy Seafood in a Snap (quick and easy).  Everyone wants ideas for creating quick-to-prepare recipes that are healthy and delicious, right?  I know that I’m certainly happy to find recipes like this, but I’m even happier if I can find recipes that are wonderful but not lacking in flavor.  When I’m eating light, the last thing I want to have to eat is light food that isn’t filling and isn’t worth the calories.  I want good food.

Cooking Light more often than not publishes recipes that meet my eating-light expectations.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of this quick and easy seafood recipe: Shrimp Cobb Salad

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Shrimp Cobb Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 25 min + chill time

Cook Time: 15 min


4 slices center-cut bacon
1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 (10 ounce) package romaine salad
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges


1.  Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan; cut in half crosswise.  Wipe pan clean with paper towels.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and pepper.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.  Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
2.  While the shrimp cooks, combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, juice, oil, and mustard in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add lettuce; toss to coat.
3.  Arrange about 1 1/2 cups lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates.  Top each serving with about 6 shrimp, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup carrot, 1/4 cup corn, 2 avocado wedges, and 2 bacon pieces.


*I did not care for the paprika on the shrimp.  They were more susceptible to burning and it gave them a funny flavor.
*The simple dressing for this salad was good.
*There's a pretty big difference between bagged romaine lettuce and chopped fresh lettuce.  This recipe calls for the bagged sort- I suppose to make it quick- but the freshly washed and chopped Romaine is so much better.
*I was unable to locate any shredded carrots in the magazine cover photo, so I left them off of my photographed plate too.  Big mistake on their part?
*Fresh, white corn should be used in this salad.  So much better than frozen!
*I felt like the bacon should have been chopped instead of cut in half crosswise.  Who wants to take a piece of bacon that large in their mouth and try to chew it?

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4 of the salad
Calories per serving: 332
Fat per serving: 15.2g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.9g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">551g
Fiber per serving: 7.5g
Protein per serving: 30g
Cholesterol per serving: 181mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 21.8g

Source:  Cooking Light, May 2011

The results:

I had many issues with the ingredients (see notes in the recipe above) but- simply put- the salad was just quite boring.  I’m such a fan of fresh produce and great tasting salads, and this just wasn’t one of them. This recipe appears to have gotten some good reviews on Cooking Light’s website, but many of those who rated it highly also made some pretty significant changes to the recipe.  Like any recipe, you can’t truly rate the original if you end up changing everything!

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight? No, I don’t think so.  Healthy seafood in a snap?  Yes, it was quick to make… but the recipe just didn’t create any raves in our house.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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8 Responses to “Two- Cheese Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. 1

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — September 2, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Yeah, when you said ‘healthy mac & cheese” I was like, there’s no such thing. I’m glad to see that you liked it. I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. 2

    Tieghan — September 2, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing!! I have never used chicken broth in mac and cheese, but I trust you, so I think I need to make this! Thank you for sharing!

  3. 3

    Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet — September 3, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    I will have to try this lighter version of mac and cheese as my kids are huge fans! Great review, Lori!

  4. 4

    bridget {bake at 350} — September 3, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    Lori…this looks so good! Cream cheese?!? Hello! Love your notes! I always love a little red pepper, too!

  5. 5

    Becky — September 4, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    Interesting. Since you do not salt the pasta is it salty enough? I’m a big proponent of cooking my pasta in heavily salted water since it flavors the entire outcome of a pasta dish, but I’m guessing the chicken broth stands in for the salted water. So if you make this a 3 serving meal it becomes 716 calories per serving – yikes! I always like to add some dry mustard to my mac n cheese. Especially since this recipe is careful not to use too much cheese, some mustard or red pepper flakes would probably add great flavor!

    • Lori Lange replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

      I personally didn’t think so, but I also like to add a good sprinkle of salt to pretty much everything when it is served!

  6. 6

    Jamie — September 9, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    I made this as a side dish and my family loved it, my son and I ate it for a couple days afterwards. When I asked my husband how he liked it his response was “very good, but it can’t be healthy” and I told him it was a lightened up version of mac & cheese, he was surprised. It was very good and I will make this again. Next time I’ll add the red pepper flakes as Lori suggested and maybe some spinach to give it some more nutrients. I also used more garlic than the recipe called for and we thought the garlic was a huge bump to making this so good.

    • Lori Lange replied: — September 10th, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

      Adding spinach sounds like a wonderful idea! Glad you all enjoyed…

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