Ranch Parmesan Crusted Shrimp

IMG_0071Over the weekend I went to have lunch with my best friend Ashley at D’Italia’s in Avenel, NJ. It was a gorgeous day (but hot!) so we sat outside with Giorgio. Ashley suggested we order the Parmesan Crusted Shrimp but substitute the pasta for a house salad. It was SO delicious that I decided to give it a shot at home. I present to you: “Ranch-Parmesan Crusted Shrimp” over a veggie-filled house salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. shrimp (I bought frozen wild blue shrimp from Trader Joe’s, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing (If you wanted to make this a regular Parmesan Crusted Shrimp, you could substitute the ranch for 2-3 beaten eggs)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard, any kind
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed or pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil {or more to taste}
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Lettuce (or whatever kind of greens you want – I used 2 lbs of organic baby lettuce mix from Trader Joe’s)
  • Peppers (I used 2, one yellow and one orange)
  • Onions (I used 2 white onions)
  • Carrots (I used a whole lb.)

* This salad was MUCH bigger than the two of us could eat in one sitting, but that’s what I was going for. I put it in the fridge and will be having it for lunch the next few days with croutons instead of my fancy shrimp.

The Shrimp

Step 1: Take the shrimp out of the freezer and put them into a strainer. Run hot water over them for a few minutes and then let them sit to defrost.

Step 2: Get a baking sheet and cover it with tinfoil (use a nonstick cooking spray).

Step 3: Get two bowls, big enough to fit a few shrimp at once. Fill one with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and garlic powder. Fill the other with ranch dressing.

Step 4: Dip the shrimp in the ranch until they are fully covered with dressing. Then, dip them in the breadcrumb mixture (you can use a spoon to pat the breadcrumbs onto the shrimp so they stick).

Step 5: Put the shrimp on the baking sheet.

Step 6: Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The Salad

Step 1: Chop up the peppers (after washing), onions, and carrots (after peeling) for the salad.

Step 2: Mix all the veggies with the lettuce.

The Vinaigrette

For the balsamic, I used this recipe. But instead of using a blender, I just mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl and then poured the mixture into a jar and shook it up – it worked well! Sidenote: I got home around 6 pm and walked and fed the dogs before I began cooking. This was my first time making this recipe and I knew Will was coming home late, so I took my time. An hour and a half later, Will walked in the door as I was putting the shrimp in the over (I did this out of order so it would be hot when he got home). I let him man the kitchen while I ran to the bathroom and when I came back he had a terrified look on his face. “I did something bad,” he told me, literally wringing his hands. “Did I do something bad?” I looked around the kitchen trying to figure out what happened and then looked back at him. He held up the bowl where I had prepared the vinaigrette, “I poured this out! Was I supposed to pour this out?!” …………. NO. Obviously he was not supposed to POUR OUT THE HOMEMADE DRESSING I had made. Luckily, I’m laughing pretty hard about it now, but having to remake the dressing at 8:30 p.m. when we were both ready to eat was so annoying. Anyway…


I plated the salad and put the shrimp on top. The Trader Joe’s bag had come with 14 shrimp, so I placed them on top of the salad and poured the vinaigrette over the top. YUMMMMMMMM


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