This prawn & pasta salad with black beans is a healthy salad recipe that’s big on flavour and nutrients. The juicy pan-seared prawns are served alongside lettuce, tomatoes, pasta, black beans and blue cheese. Then drizzled with a homemade creamy and slightly spicy mayonnaise dressing. It’s light yet filling, and simple enough to be made in under 20 minutes.
Recently, I stumbled upon some tiger prawns while grocery shopping and this prawn & pasta salad with black beans is a great way to enjoy them. This salad comes together in a flash, it’s perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner.
This salad isn’t your typical salad, it’s layered with fresh and savoury flavours with a hint of spice. It is pretty easy to make, however, keep reading for a few tips on how to shop for prawns, how to pan-sear them perfectly and some meal prep ideas.
Fresh vs Frozen prawns
Often, the “fresh” prawns at your grocery store is not as favourable a variety because you don’t know how long it has been sitting on the shelves. Unless you know for a fact that your store serves freshly caught prawns, go to the safe route and buy frozen prawns.
Prawn & pasta salad ingredients
I love this salad because it’s super easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Tiger prawns: Frozen prawns are a safer variety because they are caught and frozen immediately to preserve the freshness.
- Butter lettuce: I absolutely love the soft texture of butter lettuce but any kind of lettuce or any type of greens will work.
- Cherry tomatoes: I used firm local cherry tomatoes which turned out really delicious and added crunch to the salad. However, any kind of firm tomatoes will work well.
- Pasta: Bowtie pasta or any kind of pasta will do for this recipe. Don’t like pasta? You can substitute the pasta with brown rice or quinoa for a high fibre salad.
- Black beans: I used canned black beans.
- Blue cheese: This is an optional ingredient in this salad. It adds a distinctively pungent & salty flavour to this dish.
As for the dressing, I used my spicy mayonnaise dressing, But you could also use a lemon vinaigrette, or simply dress the salad with some olive oil and lemon juice.
How to cook prawns perfectly
Prawns, just like shrimps cooks quickly, and overcooked prawns is never ideal. It turns out dry and rubbery. So pan-seared prawns or grilled prawns is an easy method for a perfectly cooked and moist prawns.
Thaw & Prep: Thaw out the frozen prawns in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge and wash under runny water. Remove the shells, leaving the tails intact and devein the prawns. Give it a good wash and pat dry with a paper towel.
Season: For my prawns, I seasoned with a sprinkling of suya spice, vegetable oil and black pepper. You can also season with some salt, black pepper and chilli powder.
Sear: In a hot pan, add some vegetable oil and the prawns. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until the prawns are pink. Do not overcook them.
Assemble the prawn and pasta salad
As you’re cooking the prawns, prep the rest of the ingredients. Chop up the tomatoes and the lettuce. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, blue cheese and cooked pasta on a plate. Add the cooked prawns, then whisk up the dressing. Voila, your sala is done!
More easy prawn recipes
I am a big fan of shrimps and prawns and I usually have a pack of frozen shrimps in my freezer. So here are a few more prawn/shrimp recipes to add to your menu. Prawns and shrimps can be used interchangeably.
Prawn & Pasta Salad With Black Beans
- 4 cups chopped lettuce leaves
- ½ cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 large prawns
- 1/2 cup cooked pasta
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ medium lemon "juiced"
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season the prawns with suya spice and black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Into a small bowl, addthe mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Mix well.
- Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, pasta and black beans on a large plate. Place the cooked prawns on the plate and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately or slightly cooled.
Did you make this recipe?
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