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Grilled Shrimp Rolls (aka lobster roll alternative)

Grilled shrimp rolls may be the poor man’s lobster roll, but the dressed-up plump juicy morsels of shrimp in a buttery toasted roll are simply scrumptious!

I love our Two Kooks In The Kitchen Old Fashioned Lobster Rolls, but they are expensive and take quite a bit of effort to extract the lobster meat from the shell.  So I created a pretty darn close alternative – our version anyway (there are lots of recipes out there).

grilled shrimp rolls on a plate with a pickle

I mix up a simple dressing of mayonnaise, lemon, herbs and Dijon (and sriracha if you choose), then use half of it for grilling the shrimp and half as a dressing for the shrimp salad.  The grilling only takes a few minutes.  Give the shrimp a rough chop, add them to the remaining dressing with some celery, parsley and another squeeze of lemon, then stuff the mixture into those toasted buttery hot dog buns. In less than half an hour, you have a fantastic summer meal.  Just add some chips, a salad like our Red Quinoa Salad or some pickles.  Mmmmm.

One more thing…check out some good shortcuts below.


  • Use very fresh shrimp (I defrost frozen ones – preferably Individually Quick Frozen – and use them right away). I actually use a 400 gram bag for this recipe which is just under a pound.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp.  I can’t overstate this enough.  Overcooked shrimp turn rubbery.  They should still have a touch of translucence.
  • If the hot dog buns have crust on the sides, cut off a thin slice – the butter will soak in better and turn the sides a nice golden brown.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • You can stretch the shrimp salad to make more by adding avocado chunks, chopped red pepper or chopped cucumber.
  • Add some heat with sriracha or red pepper flakes.
  • Add dill or horseradish.
  • Line the buns with Boston or butter lettuce before adding the shrimp salad.
  • Instead of hot dog buns, serve them in tacos or pita.

Make Ahead Grilled Shrimp Rolls

  • Definitely.  Make the shrimp salad a few hours or a day ahead, then prepare the buns and stuff them just before serving.


  • Buy peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • Toast the buns in a toaster, then butter generously (instead of grilling them on a pan).
  • Roast the shrimp for 6 minutes at 425F instead of grilling.

Other salad sandwiches you might like

grilled shrimp rolls on a plate with a pickle
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Grilled Shrimp Rolls (aka lobster roll alternative) Recipe

Grilled shrimp rolls may be the poor man's lobster roll, but the dressed-up plump juicy morsels of shrimp in a buttery toasted roll are simply scrumptious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (or 3 fuller rolls)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (450 grams)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


  • 4 hot dog rolls (or 3 if you want them fuller)
  • softened butter


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
  • 1 lemon (1 tablespoon juice + 1 teaspoon zest)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped herbs (e.g. chives, thyme, scallion)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce or less (optional)


  • PREPARE THE DRESSING: (Half will be used to grill shrimp. Half will be used for making the shrimp salad.) Mix all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside 2 1/2 tablespoons in a second medium bowl to dress the grilled shrimp.
  • PREPARE AND GRILL SHRIMP: Heat grill to high. Mix shrimp with 2 1/2 tbsp of dressing. Thread onto steel skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for a few minutes. Spray shrimp with oil to prevent sticking. Grill shrimp for about 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through. Smaller ones will take less time. Do NOT overcook.
  • MAKE THE SHRIMP SALAD: Remove shrimp from skewers to cutting board, Roughly chop into chunks and add to bowl with reserved dressing. Add celery and parsley. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings (I add another good squirt of lemon juice).
  • TOAST ROLLS AND STUFF THEM: Heat a large pan to medium. If rolls have crust on the sides, cut a thin slice off. Generously butter sides of rolls. Place in pan and toast for a couple minutes on each side until golden brown. Add about 3/4 cup shrimp salad to each roll. Serve with pickles and chips or salad if desired.


Make Ahead: The shrimp salad can be made ahead and refrigerated for several hours or even a day.


Nutrition Facts
Grilled Shrimp Rolls (aka lobster roll alternative) Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 281 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 289mg96%
Sodium 1249mg54%
Potassium 163mg5%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 124IU2%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 241mg24%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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