Beet, Shrimp, and Spelt Salad

Beet, Shrimp and Spelt Salad
Beet, Shrimp and Spelt Salad Katie Workman /
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 salads
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
280 Calories
6g Fat
26g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 280
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1166mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 16mg 79%
Calcium 170mg 13%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 698mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I love incorporating grains with vegetables salads, and since many of them pack a nice dose of protein as well as fiber, this can turn a simple salad into a whole meal. In this case, the addition of beautiful shrimp makes it even more protein packed and special. I happen to like leaving the tails on the shrimp in dishes like this, but you can take them off if you don’t want to remove them at the table.

Spelt is a whole grain that been around since ancient and medieval times, but now it is only commonly grown in Europe. It fell out of favor in the 1900s, but now that whole grains are back in the spotlight, it’s becoming very popular again. It’s quite chewy and nutty. Some people who have wheat intolerance can enjoy spelt, but it is a member another wheat family, so it's not for people who have more serious wheat aversions. It’s usually soaked for several hours before cooking, which reduces the cooking time.

This is one of the very rare instances I will serve something in individual plates, because the way the salad is arranged is so pleasing, and tossing it together in a big serving bowl doesn’t do the ingredients justice. If you are thinking that your kids don’t eat beets, you are far from alone. But why don’t some kids like beets? When cooked they have a lovely silky texture, beautiful colors, and a natural sweetness. Which is why I keep trying, and why sometimes I make a salad that my husband and I are going to like and the kids can just work around what they don't want. That’s fair, right?

And of course you can substitute anything you like here, swapping in quinoa for the spelt, roasted asparagus for the beets, and so on. A bit of crumbled goat cheese or feta would also be delicious. It’s just nice to have a composed salad once in a while.


  • 6 cups mesclun lettuce

  • 1 cup spelt, cooked

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, cooked

  • 6 baby beets, any colors, cooked, peeled, and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Divide the lettuce into 4 bowls.

  3. Distribute the cooked spelt, shrimp, and sliced beets evenly over the lettuce in the bowls, then sprinkle evenly with the thyme leaves. 

  4. Drizzle over the vinegar and olive oil, and serve.

Note: This will make extra cooked spelt, but it’s nice to have later in the week in pilafs, soups and stews. Soak 1 cup spelt grains in water to cover overnight. Drain the spelt. Bring 3 cups of water or broth to a simmer in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, add the drained spelt, and simmer for about 1 hour until the spelt is tender.

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