Italian Ensalata with Shrimps

Insalata Italiana with Shrimps


Are you craving a taste of Italy right in your own kitchen? Well, you’re in luck because today, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes: Insalata Italiana!

This dish is bursting with flavors and colors that will transport you straight to the sunny shores of Italy. I’ve whipped up this recipe countless times, and it never fails to impress.

So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Insalata Italiana with Shrimps

Recipe by Luca / Italian Cooking and LivingCourse: AppetizersCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Calories per serving



Insalata Italiana is a vibrant and flavorful salad featuring tender boiled shrimp, cooked flageolet beans, and juicy cherry tomatoes.

Tossed with a dressing of Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice, and garnished with fresh parsley, this dish offers a delightful combination of textures and tastes.

Served atop a bed of baby arugula leaves, it's a refreshing and satisfying option for a light meal or appetizer.


  • 16 large shrimp, boiled

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked flageolet beans

  • 16 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • 4 heads baby arugula

  • 4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Boil 16 large shrimp until cooked, then set aside.
  • Mix cooked flageolet beans with sliced cherry tomatoes in a bowl.
  • Add lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to the bean and tomato mixture.
  • Spoon the bean mixture in the center with fresh baby arugula leaves on top.
    Arrange 4 shrimp on each plate.
  • Top with chopped parsley.
  • Drizzle with more balsamic vinegar and olive oil before serving. Enjoy!


  • Shrimp Preparation: Ensure the shrimp are properly boiled until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook them, as this can result in a tough texture.
  • Bean Mixture Seasoning: When mixing the flageolet beans with the cherry tomatoes, adjust the seasoning to taste with the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Start with a conservative amount and add more as needed for flavor balance.
  • Assembly: When arranging the salad on individual plates, aim for an aesthetically pleasing presentation by evenly distributing the shrimp, bean mixture, and arugula leaves. Garnish with parsley and drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar and olive oil just before serving for a fresh burst of flavor.

Questions I Often Get

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, but make sure to thaw them properly before boiling.

Is it necessary to use baby arugula, or can I use regular arugula?

While baby arugula is preferred for its delicate flavor and tender leaves, you can certainly use regular arugula if that’s what you have on hand.

Can I prepare the bean mixture ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can prepare the bean mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Can I substitute the flageolet beans with another type of bean?

Yes, you can substitute flageolet beans with cannellini beans or white beans if you prefer.

How should I store any leftovers?

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The salad is best enjoyed fresh, but it will keep for a day or two.

Can I use canned beans instead of cooked flageolet beans?

Yes, you can use canned beans as a convenient alternative. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly before mixing them with the other ingredients.

Is it possible to make this salad ahead of time for a party or gathering?

While it’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain its freshness, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them shortly before serving to save time.

What are some optional additions or substitutions for this salad?

You can customize this salad by adding ingredients like avocado, cucumber, red onion, or roasted bell peppers. Additionally, you can substitute the shrimp with grilled chicken or tofu for a vegetarian option.

Can I omit the shrimp to make this dish vegetarian?

Yes, you can omit the shrimp to make a vegetarian version of the salad. The beans and vegetables provide plenty of flavor and protein on their own.

How can I ensure the shrimp are cooked properly?

Boil the shrimp just until they turn pink and opaque, typically around 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Can I serve this salad as a main course?

While this salad is typically served as a starter or side dish, you can certainly enjoy it as a light and refreshing main course, especially on warm summer days. Simply adjust the portion size to suit your appetite.


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